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Two days before a state-imposed deadline, Draper officials have offered to locate a new homeless shelter at one of two potential sites in their city.

Salt Lake County officials are now looking into a portion of the Utah State Prison — which will in coming years relocate to west Salt Lake City — and a site at 15001 Minuteman Drive, near 14600 South east of Interstate 15.

Draper Mayor Troy Walker's offer comes after the county proposed putting a new shelter at one of seven locations in either South Salt Lake or West Valley City. Draper is the first city to willingly offer to host the third shelter, after Salt Lake City agreed to locate two of the planned 200-bed centers intended to replace the 1,100-bed the Road Home shelter downtown.

"It's the right thing to do, it's the Christian thing to do. It's the thing that will set us apart and make us the people we are," Walker said.

House Speaker Greg Hughes, a resident of Draper and a driving force behind efforts to address homelessness with an infusion of state money, also expressed his support. He repeated his call from the opening day of the Legislature that the problem is a statewide one that has reached "crisis" proportions.

In his statement posted Tuesday on Twitter he said "every community has a role to play," praising Draper leaders and adding that, "I am willing to accept whatever locations are selected and remain committed [to] solving this crisis."

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams appears willing to overlook a key criteria for locating a new shelter if he chooses Draper: access to public transportation.

The Minuteman site is largely undeveloped and without a TRAX line. McAdams said a line is proposed for the area, and he suggested accelerating that work if the state chooses Draper for the new site.

"You can see it's a good site, it's not a perfect site," McAdams said, adding that having a city willing to host the center is valuable.

Walker also has previously called for a new transit line through the prison property as part of redevelopment there, now just in the early planning stages.

McAdams said because of distance to the Draper sites from existing services in Salt Lake City, a center in Draper wouldn't house high-risk people.

"We believe this facility can work, it's just going to have to work for the right population and that population has lower needs," he said.

Glenn Bailey, executive director of Crossroads Urban Center, a nonprofit group that offers services for low-income and homeless residents, said Draper's remoteness makes it a difficult choice for a shelter.

"The services will be miles away," he said. "So the question would be if it will be well utilized and really meet the same kind of needs that the existing shelter does."

Cities and law enforcement officials consider single men a higher risk for crime and drug use, and residents from South Salt Lake and West Valley City feared the county was relocating the crime surrounding the Rio Grande district into their communities.

No decision has been made on which population — single women, single men or families — would be housed at which location, although a $4 million donation from businessman Pat King was accepted with assurances it would help fund a center for homeless women in the capital. Emails recently obtained by The Tribune also indicate a possible seasonal overflow site somewhere in the county to handle homeless residents.

Additionally, McAdams said in a March 8 email to staff that the county might look at changing an existing 300-bed Midvale shelter from housing families to single men. He has since backed away from that idea.

"That's something that we at a very cursory level considered," he said Tuesday. "It's not something we considered now and I don't think" picking Draper would lead Midvale to house single men instead of families.

Midvale Mayor JoAnn Seghini had a terse response to the idea of transforming the Midvale shelter into a resource center for single men: "Over my dead body."

Deliberation on the nine possible sites now on the table is set for 9 a.m. Thursday at the state Capitol.

Draper residents have two days to weigh in before McAdams delivers a recommendation to a state committee that will have the final say. McAdams will also rank each site when he gives his recommendation Thursday.

"Every public process has to start with a proposal," McAdams said. "No determination has been made as of yet. There's still a public process."

Draper will host an open house for residents to discuss the idea at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in its City Hall, 1020 Pioneer Road.

Twitter: @TaylorWAnderson