Commissioners discuss business at Lunch and Learn
The May Lunch and Learn sponsored by the Emery County Business Chamber featured Commissioner Jeff Horrocks and Commissioner Laurie Pitchforth. Their topic was doing business in Emery County. Commissioner Horrocks said the county is required to follow state law when issuing major contracts and construction. It is a requirement to ask for sealed bids on any project more than $25,000. Three bids must be obtained for projects costing more than $300 and projects up to $25,000 may be awarded with the three bid process also. Commissioner Horrocks said there has been discussion lately on local contractors doing local work. But, the correct process must be adhered to. When a bid goes out, the information goes statewide. Any contractor can bid on the project. If the project is a CIB funded project, then a public hearing must be held. The bids are submitted to the clerk/auditor's office and they are opened in commission meeting. "Unfortunately, a local contractor doesn't always get the bid. With the Aquatics Center and the care center, there wasn't a local bidder. We have pushed for contractors to use local subcontractors. We have strived to have locals work on projects. The construction class built the Children's Justice Center to help them gain experience. The contractor who built the food bank was from out of the area. They were here working on the church and they bid on it. With the roads, the Temple Mountain Road was built with a local contractor. Portions of the Moore Road were built with local contractors. The airport upgrade was local, the upgrades at the schools use local contractors. The housing authority recently bid a project for the remodel of the bathrooms and a local contractor received the bid.
"The pool didn't have a local contractor, but they hired a local supervisor. The Green River Senior Center contractor was from out of the area. As commissioners we are constantly working to keep the Emery County people working. We are working to update our purchasing policy. We have to follow a process. We have to follow the ordinances. All three commissioners are concerned about what goes on in the county. The local contractors need to be competitive against those contractors who come into the county. Our biggest export is our children. We don't have the jobs to retain them here. We need to grow the economy and shop local so we can help our kids to come back," said Commissioner Horrocks.
Commissioner Pitchforth said she appreciates the communication between the commission and Tyler Jeffs and the business chamber. "Let us know where we can help. We have been looking at the purchasing policy. I am glad the chamber has brought this up."
Commissioner Pitchforth mentioned the last two bids the county had went to local contractors, but the subs were from out of town. We need the local contractors to join in and talk to the subs so all the bids that come in can be within Emery County. We are doing what we can to help. Business is the heart of the community. If you drive through and businesses are closed, it's sad. Business is the heart of the community. We need to encourage more business into our county. We need to change the mind set. We need to shop local and support our businesses. I grew up in business. We owned a ranch, farm, dairy and a restaurant. Customer service is the key. Sam Walton said we only have one boss and that's the customer and they can fire everyone by spending their dollar somewhere else.
"If you work only for money you won't be successful," quoted Commissioner Pitchforth. She said she went to a grocery store where they made her feel good about shopping there, they smiled and helped to pack out her groceries. She went to another store, where she had a baby screaming and no one would help her so she struggled out with baby and groceries and needless to say she didn't go back, she went to the store where she was treated good. "There is a gift shop in town, where when you purchase something, you are given a little thank you gift and your purchase is wrapped so cute. One nursery I shopped at gave you a little thank you plant. Little things make all the difference in a business. One car business sold a car that was a lemon, but they let the customer pick out a new car for the same price. Managers and owners need to be good examples to their employees. They need to participate in good customer service. Never ask anything of your employees you're not willing to do yourself. We need to work together to change that mindset. Don't close at 7 p.m. I thank the chamber for wanting to help the contractors and keep our business local," said Commissioner Pitchforth.
Chamber President Tyler Jeffs said the dialogue is started and he hopes it will continue to grow and build from here. He introduced Glen Jensen from Emery Animal Health as the local business spotlight.
Jensen said he is from Redmond, and he went to nine years of school. He met his wife Leslie at Utah State and together they went to Kansas State. He worked in Moab for a time, but he knew he wanted to own his own business. He liked Emery County so he located here in 1997. Last year he opened a branch in Carbon County. He enjoys animals, dogs, cats and livestock. He grew up on a farm and they gave him the job of castrating the calves. The first animal he ever saved was a sheep. "It's really about people and their animals. Veterinary medicine is advancing and we are advancing with it," said Jensen. Emery Animal Health also serves as the county pound. They house and take care of the animals until their owners can be found. He recommends having a microchip planted in your pet, so their owner can be located if the pet becomes lost. A new program at the Emery Animal Health works to get all the animals adopted or they are sent to rescue groups where they aren't euthanized. Since October only five animals have been euthanized. Jensen said the Price office has been busy and they hope to expand the hours there. Dr. Jensen does make house calls, but it's more efficient for him if the animal is brought into the office. Dr. Jensen showed a video of his business with the employees interacting with customers and pets.
The May Lunch and Learn was catered by the Miners Table of Huntington.
The next Lunch and Learn will be in July and the topic will be creating an online business.