Changes needed at Huntington Canyon upper debris basin
The Emery County Commission approved a contract for the south debris basin with Johansen and Tuttle Engineering. A change order was also approved for changes to the upper basin. After the recent storm event, it became evident a larger area was needed for the backhoe to clean out the debris rack. This work area will be expanded and Nielson Construction will do the work. Commissioner James Nelson said time is of the essence for these improvements to the basin as we are in the monsoon season. It's estimated the additional work will cost between $131,000-$132,000. Easements will need to be obtained from the BLM for use of additional land surrounding the basin.
Commissioner Ethan Migliori presented the employee of the month award to Bo Minchey from the Emery County Sheriff's Office.
Kris Bell presented the personal property tax exemptions for approval. Commissioner Migliori said the list is mostly comprised of small home businesses.
The commission ratified the memorandum of understanding between the Bureau of Land Management and Emery County concerning the placement of the silhouettes depicting riders along the Spanish Trail.
All unclaimed bikes collected by the sheriff's office will be donated to the Green River Community Center for refurbishing and distribution.
The county will purchase Eagle Air Med life flight insurance for all county full-time employees for $30 a year. The county will host a wellness clinic at the Emery Medical Center in the fall. Blood work, flu shots and other preventative measures will be performed at the clinic. This is a valuable resource for county employees as many diseases and cancers have been detected early and treated. All employees who participate will receive four hours of paid vacation time.
Attorney David Blackwell said the county has again been asked to participate in the amicus brief in support of the states petition for certiorari to the US Supreme Court. This is in support of Utah's stance on marriage between a man and a woman.
The county will transfer a vehicle to be used by the Emery County Care and Rehab and the Meals on Wheels program.
Bret Mills, the county communications expert asked for approval of the memorandum of understanding between the Emery County School District and Emery County for the use of the Cedar Mountain Communications site. Mills explained the state has turned over communications to the Utah Communications agency and made a company out of it. They are taking money to supply that organization from the poison control monies. The state is going to start charging rent for their buildings.
The county has 600 radios and the cost to go with the new system would be cost prohibitive for the county. Emery County has always worked independently with its communications because of the large area the radios must cover and the lack of cell service in many areas of the county. Emery County has a top notch radio system now. The school district has a building right next to the state building that Mills is proposing the county use instead of paying the state the significant fees they want to charge.
The county will pay for upgrades to the school district building and still be money ahead. The county approved the MOU with the school district.
Commissioner Nelson said the state politicians sometimes forget the problems of the rural areas when they try to push things upon rural Utah that work for metropolitan areas, but don't work out here.
The commission approved an easement to Huntington City for the new trail system being worked on by Huntington City. The county and Huntington City have been working on a trail to connect Huntington Lake with the city, it will be used for walking and biking. Huntington City will maintain the trail.
Commissioner Migliori said trails of this type surrounding towns is good for tourism and adds to their experience.
Commissioner Nelson said he has also been working on the trail with the Bureau of Reclamation to allow the trail to continue around the Huntington Lake and across the dam.
In the commission reports, Commissioner Nelson said he has been working with the BOR and things are moving along towards a contract with the Emery Water Conservancy District, BOR and PacifiCorp. The prior contract was in place for 40 years and at renewal time, the BOR wanted to change some things. A one year extension was granted at that time and negotiations towards a new contract are continuing.
Commissioner Nelson said it was a productive time when Rep. Jason Chaffetz brought Cong. Elijah Cummings to tour Chaffetz's congressional district. Cummings was surprised by the size of Chaffetz's area. Many things were discussed with the Congressman including the Antiquities Act, mineral royalties, natural gas and sage grouse. At your Leisure television show filmed a segment at Millsite golf course and state park and Commissioner Nelson took them scorpion hunting.
Commissioner Migliori said he and Ray Petersen had been interviewed by Fox news representatives from Colorado and they talked about issues involving Emery County. The museum had a folk art festival. The Castle Valley Pageant had 22,000 attendees this season from both in and out of the county. The rodeo and fair are complete and both were well attended.
Commissioner Jeff Horrocks said he has attended the seven county coalition meetings. The coalition approached the CIB for funding, but Grand County hasn't approved joining the coalition. So, the coalition will approach the CIB in their next funding meeting after they know if it will be a six or a seven county coalition. The paperwork for the creation of the coalition is at the Lt. Governor's Office.
Commissioner Horrocks reported the fire district has received a $450,000 grant and they have a match of $250,000 from their budget to purchase eight new brush fire trucks for each of the towns.
There will be a trails open house in Green River to discuss their new trail system at 6 p.m. on Aug. 13. The next commission meeting will be held in Green River on Aug. 26 at 9 a.m. Commissioner Horrocks reminded everyone to attend Melon Days in Green River on Sept. 19-20. There will be a fly-in by the Back Country Pilots to the Huntington Airport in the fall.
The Emery County Commission approved Janell Beagley as a seasonal receptionist at the Museum of the San Rafael. A 3 percent wage increase was approved for Velvet Farley, Kaylee VanWagoner, Mindi Labrum and Melissa Jensen for completion of their six month orientation period.