Remodel at Sheriff's Office complete
The Emery County Commission approved a donation to the Healthy Families Coalition. Delena Fish spoke for the coalition saying they were organized five years ago. "It's a difficult job today to be a parent and we want to give families as much support as possible. We help train families. It is a great organization for families and focuses on the dangers out there to families today. We have had three family events in the past. We have existed with donations from Four Corners Behavioral Health and the community.
"Last year we served 600 people at the dinner and 300 people stayed for the educational sessions. We have had positive evaluations from the attendees. Problems in our area include substance abuse, anti-social behavior; youth tobacco and alcohol use increases a significant amount from grades 6-12. Southeastern Utah also has Utah's highest rate for suicide and child abuse and neglect. The coalition would like to continue holding an education night once each year, but the current funding has dried up. They would like to have speakers go to the schools and then participate in an evening session for families," said Fish.
Commissioner Laurie Pitchforth suggested getting the drug coalition involved.
Fish said one of the main expenses has been the dinner. They also give away door prizes to encourage people to come out and participate. The commission pledged their support saying they would print posters for the event and donate $250. The next activity night is being planned for February 2012 after funds are secured for the event. Anyone wishing to become involved with the Healthy Families Coalition can contact Fish.
The commission pledged their support to the Emery High rodeo club with a $250 donation. The Emery High rodeo in combination with the Carbon rodeo club will host the annual rodeo on April 16-17. Erin Gordon spoke to the commission saying the rodeo is an economic boost for the county bringing in 300 families for two days. "This event will be a great benefit to our community. We are adding stalls for horses at the arena so they can stay overnight. We hope everyone comes and stays in Emery County."
Commissioner JR Nelson said he has acted as announcer for the event in the past and is aware of the large number of visitors it brings to our area. Kevin Gordon is the rodeo advisor.
The commissioners proclaimed April as Parkinson's disease awareness month.
The county approved an application for eligibility to participate in the federal property surplus property program. This will enable the weed and mosquito department to bid on surplus property.
May 26 will be the May tax sale for property owners delinquent five years in paying their property taxes. County treasurer Steven Barton reported seven properties are in danger of being sold. They can redeem the properties any time between now and the auction or work out a payment plan. "Emery County is very tax payer friendly and we will give the taxpayers all the help they need not to end up in this situation," said Barton.
The county considered disposing of a piece of property they own at Joe's Valley which has a rundown cabin on it at the present time. Mike McCandless, economic development director as well as planning and zoning administrator suggested holding onto the property so the county has it available for storing equipment, possible fire fighting equipment. With the wildland fire interface code which requires a fire plan for housing developments near wild lands these subdivisions at some point will need fire suppression equipment. The county is in the process of upgrading the road there, too. The county was originally deeded the property by the Fillmores to use as a posse location for search and rescue.
The county is working to improve fire fighting capabilities for these mountain communities. A cabin was lost up there last year and there have been fires over the years in the mountain communities surrounding Joes Valley. The commission decided the county will hold onto the property.
The commission will write a letter of support for Commissioner Nelson to become a member of the Bureau of Land Management RAC.
The commissioners gave their reports on activities and meetings they have attended. Commissioner Pitchforth said they had an open house for the Emery County Food Bank. A March Madness basketball tourney was held. This brought in 17 teams to the county. The recreation district published an activity guide for the county which lists upcoming events and activities. Mens and womens summer league softball is signing up now. Fair vendors sign-ups are ongoing as well. Locals are signed up first and then out of town vendors. The Millsite golf course has been holding a golf academy for beginners as well as experienced golfers. Pitchforth said she wished to congratulate the sterling scholars from Emery High for doing so well and the girls basketball team for winning the state championship.
Commissioner Nelson announced a media day for the fire district to show off the eight new fire engines at the Ghost Rocks rest area on April 2. He said he received a phone call from the BLM announcing they are re-evaluating a leasing plan in the southern part of Emery County. Leases active now it will not affect, but could affect future energy leases in that area. He also reported the RC&D is in danger of losing funding. They are an active group and helpful to the farmers and ranchers. The future of the RC&D is still in question and they will find out at a later date if their program has been cut out of the federal budget or not.
Sheriff Greg Funk said the sheriff's office has been actively involved in training with FEMA for the possible nuclear power plant in Green River. The remodeling in the metal building at the sheriff's office is complete and the drug task force along with the communications staff will be housed in the building. He also reported the sheriff's office will be involved at Emery High with a mock car accident as well as emergency staff.
Commissioner Jeff Horrocks said in order to be eligible for FEMA funding all elected officials in the county must pass FEMA training and be certified. He reported the eight fire trucks were a $2.5 million addition to the county. They were paid for by reserve funding and CIB money. The fire district is now out of debt. The recreation district will be out of debt next year. The county has set aside $3.5 million for a payment on the sheriff's complex. By paying down the debt early it will save the county $1.5 million in interest. The county has received approval by the forest service to use the old gravel pit at Joe's Valley for the paving project in Reeders. The old road shop building will be torn down now that everything has been moved out of there.
Horrocks reported the Association of County Governments is looking for a new administrator as Bill Howell is retiring soon. "The public lands council continues to work on the public lands bill. They will present it to the commission when it's ready and then it will go off to Washington where their legal staff will write it into a proper bill," said Horrocks.
The lands council will hold public meetings where comments can be made after the bill is put into proper form. Then any additions will be incorporated into the bill. "If the bill changes, (when it hits Congess) then we will pull the bill," said Horrocks. The April commission meetings will be on April 12 and 26.