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Front Page » January 4, 2011 » Emery County News » Emery County honors employees
Published 2,247 days ago

Emery County honors employees

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Guest Writer

A presentation of Emery County Employee Service Awards were given out by Commissioners Laurie Pitchforth and Jeff Horrocks as Commissioner Gary Kofford read off the names of those receiving awards. Kofford estimated this was about 445 years of service to Emery County. The following employees were honored for their service including: five year service pins: Clinton Olsen, Mary Huntington, Dottie Grimes, Stephanie Oviatt, Natalie Gardner, Dustin Deto, Robert Riley, Kurt Price, Marilyn Olsen; 10 years: Tammy Bentley, Mick Robinson, Jeff Guymon, Coby Hunt, 15 years, Kris Bell, Nadine Thompson, Carol Cox, Jeanette Bray, Kay Jensen; 20 years: Roxanne Noyes, Bonnie Day, Mike Jorgensen, Brook Smith; 25 years-Loyette Holdaway, Doug Downard, Tom Harrison, Les Wilberg; 30 years-James Nielsen; 35 years-Flora Mott; and 40 years-LaMar Guymon.

After the opening prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance, Commissioner Gary Kofford Chairman and the commission took up the Consent Agenda. This eliminates the need to discuss each item in public. The consent agenda is done to shorten the amount of time spent in commission meeting. If any commissioner or person wants more information about an item being voted on that item can be pulled from the consent agenda and discussed.

The following items were listed in the consent agenda. Approval of the check edit list, requisitions, and dispositions. Ratification of motion for clerk/auditor to proceed with the jail bond pay-off and associated paper work. Approval of out of state travel for Tina Carter, Jeff Horrocks, Mike McCandless and Laurie Pitchforth. Approval of LaMar Guymon, Trina Maxfield, and Gary Kofford as travel bureau volunteers. Ratification of contract addendum with Rocky Mountain Power for service at the Emery County Food Bank. Ratification of local government contract for the South Moore cut-off road, phase 9.

Ratification of letter requesting to waive the 30 day appeal period on the landfill patent. Ratification of city appointments to the Emery County Recreation Special Service District, Shaun Bell/Orangeville, Jeff Cowley/Huntington, Jesse Ward/Cleveland, and Brent Hadfield/Elmo. Ratification of approval of new signatories on inmate trust account for the Sheriff's Office. Approval of personnel issues. Approval of $45/month cell phone stipend for Margaret Keller. Approval of 3 percent wage increase for Patsy Grange who has successfully completed her six month orientation period.

Approval to hire Carole Larsen as the library director/branch librarian. Approval of hire Roxanne Noyes as the assistant director/branch librarian. Approval to reassign Gayleen Cox from secretary grade II to deputy clerk/auditor I grade 13. Approval of $25/month uniform allowance for Pauline Stilson beginning January 2011. Approval of commission meeting minutes dated Dec. 7, 2010. The consent agenda was voted on and approved by the commissioners as one block of items.

Commissioner Kofford pulled item 12 forward at this time and said, "We have been working for approximately four years with the BLM, trying to get a patent for 160 acres for the landfill. Jerry Kenska, BLM and Connie Leschin are here to present a patent to the county."

"In the consent agenda. There was an item 7, ratification of a letter requesting to waive the 30 day appeal period on the landfill patent. We did get a draft permit a couple of weeks ago and through the normal process there is a 30 day comment period. The county commissioners opted to bypass that 30 day comment period to expedite the issuance of a landfill patent. We did write a letter and we approved that letter,"said Kofford.

Kenska, BLM acting manager of the Price field office came forward to make the presentation. He said Patricia Claybaugh will replace him in a month on Jan. 31 and he has enjoyed working with Gary and the other commissioners. "When we were trying to get this patent completed, I was hopeful that we could get it done before you (Gary) left and we were able to get it done. Connie took the lead in getting it processed and I want to make sure she is recognized for that as well. From the information we have the process started back in 2006 when I came to the Price office. This is one of the items the commissioners wanted to see if we could get finished. The patent was signed last Wednesday. We received it on Friday, and it is quite a big deal for the BLM to issue patents on public lands. That is why it takes so much time. I am more than pleased to present the patent to you. I know the county was in a little bit of a bind," said Kenska. Kenska then handed the patent to Commissioner Kofford.

They are still working on a patent for the shooting range. The federal register is out, and there seems to be some movement on that now. Buckhorn Wash is another that they are hopeful about.

Commissioner Kofford said, "We do appreciate you. You have been a good addition to the office."

"It means a lot to the county, the landfill plan that is approved by the State Environmental Quality Air Group expires the end of January. The county is in the process of working with the engineering company Mickelson, Iggy in presenting a new plan to the environmental group. That plan needs to be completed by June. The landfill patent of 160 acres fits into the new plan.

The next item discussed was Item 2 in the consent agenda, ratification of motion for clerk/auditor to proceed with the jail bond payoff and associated paperwork. In the last commission meeting as we were doing budgets it came to our attention that we could pay off one note to Zions Bank on the Justice Center. If we paid that off through 2023, which would make our payment a total of $4,230,000. However if we pay it off now we would pay $3,200,000. That would be a savings of about $1,500,000 in interest. We did make a motion to start that paperwork with Zions and it is complete.

The commission approved a motion for the clerk/auditor to proceed with the jail bond payoff and associated paperwork. That will take place sometime in January at one of the commission meetings.

Approval was given to advertise for new board members on Castle Valley Special Service District, Emery County Special Service District # 1, Emery County Care and Rehabilitation board of directors and Emery County Housing Authority. These positions become vacant January 1.

Approval was given for the 2011 commission meeting and holiday schedule. The commission meetings will be on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, with the exception of August 23, which will be in Green River. In December the meetings will be December 6 at 9 AM and the 20th at 4 PM.

Approval was given for a three-year appointment of McKette Allred to the Emery County Career Service Council.

Approval was given for the use of Secure Rural Schools Title III funds for years 2008 through 2011. It is anticipated that we will receive $110,000 over that 4 year period. We did send a request to the Secretary of Agriculture for 2008 and we did use that $19,000 for the Emery County Sheriff's Office. To reimburse them for search and rescue efforts, equipment, man-hours and various things. We recommend that we continue to put that money into search and rescue. This money would be used on the SITLA land, Forest land and BLM land in the County. Approval was given for the resolution amending the personnel policy, paragraph 8. 7. B. of Emery County, Utah. Mary Huntington, personnel director, came forward to explain this change in personnel policy

This change spells out that if a person is moved to another county job their longevity or time on the job is transferred to that new job. This change goes into effect January 1, 2011.

Approval was given for the change orders for the Emery County Food Bank. The change orders are for shelving and a sign on the front of the building.

Acquisition of a piece of artillery for display at the Veterans memorial in Castle Dale was discussed by Jeff Horrocks. The current piece of artillery that sits in front of the Memorial belonged to the American Legion and was taken from Huntington's city Park, with the understanding that we would try to acquire a piece of artillery to give them or replace the one that we're using. The department of defense has been contacted and they have a 105 recoilless howitzer that is available. My recommendation is that we go after this piece of artillery. We will have to pay for the transportation of the artillery to get it here from the state of Washington. It weighs about 200 pounds. The necessary paperwork is in process. A motion was made and approved to continue the process of acquisition of the howitzer.

Commissioner Laurie Pitchforth said earlier in the day, we honored Commissioner Gary Kofford with a luncheon and presented him with a plaque from the County, but this one is from our governor to Commissioner Kofford. With many thanks on behalf of our office for your dedicated service to Emery County as a part of the FEALG governing board. Best of luck in your future endeavors. Warm regards from the Governor's Office. To Gary Kofford from Gary Herbert and Greg Bell. Commissioner Pitchforth then made the presentation.

Under commissioners reports Jeff Horrocks and said, he attended the fire district public hearing for approval of their 2010 budget and approval of the 2011 budget. We received a report on three of the new fire trucks that have arrived, one in Green River, one in Orangeville, and one in Emery. We will be sending fireman back east to pick up three more fire trucks. They will leave on the 5th of January. Following that week we will be sending two more to pick up the final two trucks. That will bring to conclusion the eight trucks that we have ordered. I would like to thank Commissioner Kofford for his dedication in making sure that when we acquired those trucks that they were completely paid for through grants from CIB, through funds from the fire district and from mineral lease money out of the County budget. This was quite an accomplishment. Commissioner Kofford needs to be praised a lot for doing that. This will be a $2.5 million dollar addition to the county said Commissioner Kofford.

Commissioner Pitchforth thanked all the employees who have served on various boards in the County and wishes them a Merry Christmas and a great New Year.

Commissioner Kofford expressed his appreciation to the people of Emery County for the opportunity to serve for the past eight years. It's been a good experience and I have enjoyed the time. Thank you.

The first Public Hearing was about the opening and amending the 2010 budgets for the Emery County General Fund, Special Revenue Funds, Capital Projects Funds and for the Castle Valley Special Service District.

Brenda Tuttle Clerk/Auditor said basically the difference is that the 2010 and 2011 budget, which is a lot lower, because we have chosen to budget the mineral lease money after we actually receive it. This way, we are not anticipating money that we do not receive. The amended 2010 budget is $14,983,675 that takes into consideration the things we didn't know about that happened throughout the year. For the most part, most of the departments were under or on their budget. The difference is transferred over to the capital projects fund into the other funds that are in deficit for the 2011 budget. That is basically what happened with the amended budget. But if your amended budget is higher than your 2011 budget, you didn't get cut.

Commissioner Pitchforth thanked Brenda for all the work she does and how she makes it easy on the commissioners. Maughn Guymon said the Commission was wise to not budget for mineral lease money they did not have.

Jacob Sharp presented the Castle Valley Special Service District fund that had a need to be opened and amend its general fund budget for the 2010 fiscal year. We did realize slightly higher property tax revenue and also slightly higher mineral lease revenue than what was budgeted. We were able to keep down our expenses so that we did not need the appropriated fund balance. Some of our main savings this year were in wages and administrative costs. Our main savings was in road maintenance, and that represents our chip seal maintenance in Huntington this year. We had budgeted for $660,000 and used $490,000. That represents about $170,000 in savings. Our general maintenance and utilities were significantly over what we had budgeted but in the end, we were able to balance our budget.

The Debt Service Fund. We did have to open and amend it. The only change we made on the Debt Service Fund was in our expenditures we had some interest expense for a tax anticipation note of $14,400 that was not budgeted for. We were short on cash flow in a poor budget year and borrowed money in 2009 for a chip seal project. This was a short term six month loan.

The next public hearing was held for the 2011 budgets for Emery County General Fund, Special Revenue Funds, Capital Project Funds and for the Castle Valley Special Service District.

Castle Valley Special Service District, Jacob Sharp said the General Fund is slightly higher than the 2010 budget. The reason for that is the maintenance expenditures. There is not much change for administration expenditures over the past few years. I budgeted $192,000 for general maintenance of our system, from our water treatment plant to pipe in the ground, and the secondary system.

We are budgeting $700,000 for our road maintenance and chip seal projects. Last year we budgeted $660,000 and it came well under that. Based on the engineers estimates this is what we need to budget. We are chip sealing the West half of Huntington this year. We will be crack sealing in Orangeville next year. As far as the advertisement in the paper, truth in taxation, this general fund is where that operation and maintenance tax goes.

Our next budget, is the capital projects fund. This is a fund we use for our bond election money. The bond election that was approved in 2009 was to continue our capital projects. We are seeking from the CIB this year $2.32 million in a loan and grant package at a low interest rate.

We have a variety of projects this year as we do every year, waterline replacements, more trenches here in Castle Dale, sewer improvements and a lot of roads, streets, curb and gutter. That money is allocated in those different areas to balance the budget.

The debt service budget, when we acquire bonds to do all these projects, we acquire five and six year bonds. Depending on the year and the repayment schedule these bonds are paid off by property taxes. Next year, it will be right around $2 million, but in the future we're going to try to get down to 1.5 or 1.6 million range on our yearly payment. So that debt service tax can go down to a more reasonable amount.

Brenda Tuttle Clerk/Auditor, I will go over the revenue budget because you set the department budgets. Basically, the budget for 2011 is lower because of the mineral lease money. We will wait until the end of the year to see how much money comes in from that entity. The property taxes are up a little bit because of new growth that we had this year. We lost about $400,000 to $500,000 in interest earnings over the last couple of years. We had to absorb that as well. Under the building authority the bond payment will pay off the bill. Basically were going to pay $3,136,000 to save $1.5 million over the next 15 years. I commend the commission for going along with that plan. It would be very good for the County to get that paid off.

After the two public hearings were closed. Approval was given for the amending of the 2010 budgets for the Emery County General Fund, Special Revenue Funds, Capital Projects Funds, and the Debt Service Fund for the Castle Valley Special Service District.

Following that action approval was given for the resolution setting the 2011 budgets for the Emery County General Funds Special Revenue Funds, Capital Projects Funds, and Debt Service Fund for the Castle Valley Special Service District.

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