Dear editor,

We need your help in exposing and correcting a scandal with the Department of Energy UMTRA Project in Moab, Utah, which is cleaning up uranium mill tailings by the Colorado River in Moab. I live in Moab and a lot of our citizens here and from the surrounding area depend on jobs at the project, but they have recently changed to a nine-month working schedule. This will have a dramatic impact on Moab, as we depend on those jobs throughout the year especially during the winter months when our tourist industry is non-existent. The hundreds of workers employed by the project will be abruptly terminated so the project can save money. They don’t seem to realize that there are no other jobs in this area.

A large part of our communities’ anger with the project is that it is a Utah-based project, but the project has its main office in Grand Junction, Colo., and employs dozens of high-paid staff there and not here.

Why are we supporting a Utah project that outsources jobs to Colorado? Is it because they don’t want to live in Moab, Green River, Monticello or even Salt Lake City?

We are losing jobs, Moab revenue and Utah taxes because they choose to employ people in Colorado instead of Utah. I have seen their offices in Grand Junction and they are very nice and plush and very expensive, I am sure. We have a dozen nice office buildings here in Moab that would be perfect and a lot cheaper and not two hours away from the project.

We want the mill tailings removed so they do not contaminate our soil and water, but we also demand that the UMTRA project spend our tax dollars wisely, and frankly, they don’t.

We all know that they pay more than $60,000 a day to the railroad to move the boxes of tailings soil only 30 miles away to Crescent Junction and that the soil sticks in the boxes so they move the same soil back and forth every day and that they spend days moving the soil from one place to another. The soil coming back and forth and the astronomical amount of money that is being paid to the railroad is absolutely ridiculous and a complete waste of money.

We see just a complete mishandling of our taxpayer dollars and a very concerning lack of concern with our Moab and Utah economy and jobs.

Please help us expose this issue and get it corrected so we can actually be proud of what is going on in our town and state.


Joby Timm and Moab Citizens