Army Corp. of Engineers grants permit for lower debris basin in Huntington Canyon
The Emery County Board of Commissioners including: Jeff Horrocks, James R. Nelson and Ethan Migliori met in the only commission meeting of the year held in Green River.
The first item of business was to ratify the engineering contract for Johansen and Tuttle for additional work at the upper debris basin in Huntington Canyon. Merrial Johansen said the work is for the access road so the debris basin can be cleaned out as well as mitigation the Army Corp. of Engineers is requiring for wetlands.
PacifiCorp owns some land in Lawrence that will be used for the wetlands mitigation as well as land in Shoemaker Wash. The money for the wetlands mitigation is already in place and was granted by the NRCS.
Commissioner Horrocks said the Army Corp. of Engineers has given the county the 404 permit so the lower debris basin can be constructed.
Change orders were approved so the work can go forward on the lower debris basin. Cost for the lower debris basin is $1,596,089.55.
Johansen said Nielson Construction will have 77 days to complete the project. Dec. 15 is the expected completion date.
Commissioner Horrocks said the funding for this phase of the project is coming from the NRCS. The money is there and waiting for the project to be completed. Commissioner Nelson said, "The NRCS has been very accommodating, extending the dates. SR-29 was closed last night due to flooding and debris on the road."
Sheriff Greg Funk commented, "The rain in Huntington Canyon last night was luckily below the burn scar or the flooding there would have been bad."
Johansen said, "Nielson Construction will begin moving in for the work on the debris basin and will start next week."
Commissioner Nelson addressed the item of the stock waterline connections for the Emery Road Department. "The water is going underground into lines and we are losing access to water," said Commissioner Nelson. He asked for approval to allow county road department supervisor Wayde Nielsen to negotiate with the Cottonwood Creek Irrigation Company to resolve the water connection issue. Commissioner Nelson said in the past fire hydrants have been donated for the road department's use. Others as well as the road department can have access to these fire hydrants to fill trucks for stock watering and other uses.
The commission approved a contract with the state of Utah and the Emery County Archives to digitize cemetery records and submit the data to the Utah State History burials data base. The cost of this work will be reimbursed to the county. Commissioner Migliori said, "I will take the lead on this and make sure it gets done. There is a complete reimbursement and no cost to the county."
Commissioner Horrocks said the fourth battalion, 10th special forces has asked for a letter of support from the county for the training exercise they will conduct in Emery County. The activity will take place on public as well as private land. Sheriff Funk said, "We are aware of what's going on and they don't want a lot of information out." The commissioner approved a letter of support.
In the commissioner reports, Commissioner Migliori said, "There's an organization in Green River doing WealthWorks and developing a strategic plan. There's been discussions and conference calls. We appreciate the efforts Green River City is making. There was a trails open house with Marcy DeMillion from National Parks. Good things came from that to help make Green River a tourist destination. We have been working with the care center."
Commissioner Migliori said they are working to make the care center more homelike and less like a hospital or institution. He said the staff is receptive to the changes.
Commissioner Nelson said, "I attended the BLM state RAC meeting. One of the items that's going to be on the agenda next meeting is the expansion of the Goblin Valley State Park. "The weed and mosquito department has been issued a grant of $100,000 by the department of agriculture to fight Russian Olives. The NRCS has also given another $100,000 grant money. The money is mainly to be spent along the drainages. Individual land owners can also apply for grants and can get up to $450,000."
Commissioner Nelson attended the Emery Water Conservancy District meeting and said the district, the Bureau of Reclamation and PacifiCorp are close to signing a contract for 40 years. The original contract expired last year and they have been operating on a one year extension. Hopefully the new contract will be for 40 years as well.
Commissioner Nelson will be taking Dr. Baldridge on a tour, he is coming into the county to further his research on the CCC camps. Commissioner Nelson said one of the best articles he found about the history of the CCC camps was in the Emery County Progress in 2006.
Commissioner Horrocks said he is still working on the changes with the low income housing units. He said he advertised in the Emery County Progress for five fridges and five stoves and also for a maintenance employee. He said he was informed by the Department of Workforce Services in Salt Lake, that he must register these items on their website according to Senate Bill 22. Since that time he has received requests for information from as far away as Kentucky and Tennessee. He said, "This creates a problem for our local vendors." He stressed the importance of being able to purchase from local vendors and said he is setting up a meeting with Sen. David Hinkins to talk to him about Senate Bill 22. He would also like to have the county attorney David Blackwell present for this meeting.
The board of equalization was also held this day in Green River.
Consent agenda items approved included: 3 percent wage increase for Meagan Wilberg after successful completion of her six month orientation period. Approval of 3 percent wage increase for Tiffany Baker after successful completion of her six month orientation period. Approval of 3 percent wage increase for Kip Allred for successful completion of his six month orientation period.
Ariauna Downard was hired as a part time Water Safety Instructor I. Approval to hire Todd Hamilton and Jorgen Allred as seasonal Weed and Mosquito Technicians to work on the Russian olive project obtained through grant money. Wage $10.26 per hour. Approval of out of state travel to Washington DC for Commissioner James Nelson and Ray Petersen for public lands issues.
The next commission meeting will be held on Sept. 9 at 9 a.m.