Citizen asks for help with flooding issues in Castle Dale
Mark H. Williams addressed the commission about flooding in the Sept. 24 meeting. He said the river overflowed and he had water in his crawl space and other buildings. Others in the southeastern part of Castle Dale were also flooded. "The river channel needs to be cleared out. We are far enough away from the river that we shouldn't have any problems. There used to be a flood tax to help with these types of repairs," said Williams.
Commissioner Jeff Horrocks said they would look into it to see what can be done.
Commissioner James Nelson said in Huntington. They cleaned out small sections of the river at a time.
Williams also wondered where the Wilson Brown road was which recently the county obtained a right of way. The road is by the softball complex in Huntington and is referred to sometimes as the Nielson loop road. It goes straight on that road and directly north to the Huntington fishing pond. The gate is open and ATV riders can access the fishing ponds. It is a county D road and an open OHV route.
The county courthouse emergency action plan was approved. Jeff Guymon is the leader on this and Mick Robinson his assistant.
With the Affordable Health Care Act going into effect, the county has updated their policy on employee status. There will be three different statuses for employees including, full-time, part-time and seasonal. This clarification is needed for benefit determination.
The county will use the Emery Medical Center for wellness visits and flu, pneumonia and other vaccinations.
The county closed the board of equalization and approved the board of equalization changes recommended by Kris Bell-Assessor.
The commission reviewed the circuit breaker, blind and veteran property tax abatements that were submitted by qualified residents. In the circuit breaker category tax breaks can be made for widows and the elderly in certain income classifications. The clerk's office makes sure that those who have applied in the past are aware they need to submit an application each year.
The low income property tax abatements are done on a case by case basis.
The commission set the budget work meetings for directly after the current commission meeting; Sept. 30, Oct. 3, Oct. 8, Oct. 9, Oct. 15 and Oct. 17. All meetings will be held at the county building.
The Bailey Basket will be on display for a year. The display will open on Sept. 25 at the Museum of the San Rafael 20th anniversary celebration. The commissioners signed a memorandum of understanding between Emery County and the Utah Division of State History for the loan of the basket. The basket was found in Emery County but isn't stored here.
The commission approved using the Title III Secure Rural Schools funding in the amount of $15,000 for search and rescue and other emergency services performed on national forest lands.
The beer tax report was approved. The state allocates each county a portion of this tax. Emery County used last year's portion to sponsor the graduation party. The report is to let the state know what the funds were used for.
Chad Booth from the County Seat and At your Leisure television programs spoke to the commission. He gave an update on the County Seat program and the many and varied topics they have covered lately including a drug program, RS-2477 roads, wilderness, centrally assessed property taxes, drought and many others.
The program works to help citizens understand county government and how it functions.
The program can be used as a tool to not only educate but to help counties navigate difficult problems. For example, Tooele County was having some budget issues due to a shortfall in reimbursement money for storing waste. After participating in a program on budgeting, Tooele County wished they would have done the program earlier because it answered many questions for residents who became more understanding.
Booth asked the commissioners to be thinking of any issues or problems they might like addressed in future shows.
Commissioner Nelson said the BLM oil and gas leases might be a good topic. There was much misunderstanding as to where these leases were located and the upstate media misrepresented the locations of the proposed lease areas.
Booth said they plan on doing an energy series and include gas, oil and coal. "I apologize for the Wasatch Front media. They are unfriendly to rural Utah."
Commissioner Nelson said in Utah 95 percent of the population lives in metropolitan areas and we often feel overlooked.
Booth said not to feel overlooked because at the recent rural summit they predicted that rural America will be leading the way in the next five-seven years with micro-economies that strengthen America.
Booth recommended Emery and Carbon counties partner to get more tourism advertising on the At Leisure program which is now reaching audiences outside of Utah.
The show is being shown 52 times a week across the United States.
Commissioner Migliori suggested a program on the Emery County Public land use bill which is being drafted by Rep. Rob Bishop's office.
Booth said he has visited with Rep. Bishop about that and they can revisit the issue.
Commissioner Horrocks said he would like to see a show on the sequestration and how the Affordable Health Care Act will affect the seniors. Decreased funding has hurt the programs that senior citizens rely on and need.
Commissioner Horrocks said he appreciated the County Seat program and believes it has benefitted Emery County.
In the commission reports, Commissioner Migliori talked of his recent trip to Washington DC. They met with the Pew Foundation, a large environmental group and they are reasonable and open to discussion. They looked at maps and the Emery County representatives portrayed Emery County's position.
They talked with Tim Stewart on oil and gas issues. They met with Rep. Jason Chaffetz and staff and had a good discussion. Rep. Chaffetz recently met with Rep. Bishop for discussion on the public land use bill. They are working together closely on the bill.
They met with Sen. Orrin Hatch's staff and they said they are on board and watching for the bill. They met with Sen. Mike Lee to give an update on where the county is with the land use bill. They also gave Rep. Bishop an update and looked at maps and draft language. Rep. Bishop is using Emery County draft language as a model.
The numbers came in for the rodeo and it was $1,500 overbudget. Much better than in the past when it came in $8,000 or more overbudget. There are still some numbers to crunch as far as the concessions went and that will be looked at and evaluated.
The Emery County Business Chamber and the Emery County Economic Development Council went to the Energy Recycling Technologies operation in Huntington for a tour and lunch at the Castle Cafe. "There are some good things going on in our county," said Migliori. Commissioner Nelson said he attended weed and mosquito meetings and the DOGM meeting which was very interesting.
Two Utah State University professors came down to study the San Rafael River watershed to see how water is being used in our area.
The county hosted an employee appreciation luncheon. Commissioner Nelson met with the forest service and the county road to discuss a gravel pit in Ferron Canyon.
The commissioners will be attending the UAC convention in Midway the end of the week.
Commissioner Horrocks said he attended the DWR RAC meeting where fishing regulations and lion hunting was discussed. He attended the Energy Summit in Vernal last week. It was well attended and several presentations were made. There was big discussion on efficiency in extraction of oil and gas without sacrificing air quality.
A company from Estonia did a presentation on oil shale production. They believe the oil shale reserves in that part of the country exceed the oil in Saudi Arabia.
All three commissioners attended the Melon Days parade and activities in Green River. There were many activities in the park and all the free watermelon you could eat. The fly-in is coming to the Huntington Airport Sept. 27-28 and they will be giving Veteran's free rides. There is a fall bike festival at the Wedge Sept. 27-29.
Out of state travel was approved for Capt. Kyle Ekker to travel to Washington DC for meetings on Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
Jim Gordon, EMS manager will travel to Minneapolis, Minn. to attend EMS leadership academy. Bunny Shelton was hired as part-time janitor for the Castle Dale library. Abby Jensen was hired as a temporary 90 day employee in the economic development office.
A 3 percent wage increase was approved for Chyanne Carter for successful completion of six month orientation period as a life guard. The next Emery County Commission meeting will be on Oct. 8.
The next Emery County Business chamber lunch and learn will be on Nov. 20 in Green River at noon at the WestWinds truckstop restaurant.