Commission cancels contract at care center
The Emery County Commission went into a closed session in their February meeting to discuss the Emery County Care and Rehabilitation Center. After the closed session they determined they would send a letter notifying Traditions Health Care of termination of contract at the end of 60 days. The county will solicit requests for proposals for operation of the care center. Commissioner Ethan Migliori said they are looking for ways to make the care center profitable. With the current contract there are limited opportunities to do that. The care center board president Ross Huntington will work with the county to assist with the payables. The request for proposals will generate new ideas for the care center and allow for new offerings for services at the care center. It is the wish of the commissioners to make the care center viable. "When the care center first opened it was adequate, but things have changed. There's assisted living now and we'd like to open it up for other opportunities. The current contract isn't flexible enough," said Commissioner Migliori. Commissioner James Nelson added there's an acre of property at the care center that isn't being used.
The Emery County Commissioners recognized Flora Mott as the February Employee of the Month. Commissioner Migliori said, "Flora was hired on Jan. 1, 1975 as an Assistant Librarian at the Cleveland Library under the direction of her sister Mickey Carter, who was the Librarian. When she was hired she worked 2 hours one day a week for $1.25 per hour. During the winter, they were paid 50 cents to build a fire in the old library building. She was part of moving the library twice finally to the building Cleveland has today. She did a wonderful job there for 29 years. In January of 2004 she had the opportunity to become the head librarian in Huntington where she has excelled making the library a very inviting and friendly place. Flora is very talented and always has exceptional bulletin boards and displays. She is very friendly and works well with her staff and the public. Flora has worked for Emery County for 39 years. We are so grateful to have her as part of the Library system." She received a plaque of appreciation and some Emery County Chamber bucks to be spent in Emery County businesses.
A public hearing was held to receive comments on the issuance of general obligation bonds by the Castle Valley Special Service District in the amount of $1,348,000. CVSSD manager Jacob Sharp said each year the towns prepare a wish list of projects and improvements they would like to see in their town. These lists are prioritized. The board goes to the Community Impact Board to see what money the CIB can contribute. In the November meeting the CIB approved the $1,348,000 bond with an interest rate of 1.5 percent.
In the February funding meeting the CIB gave final approval. The bond money will be used for street improvements, curb and gutter, replacing old water lines and other projects.
Commissioner James Nelson said the CVSSD does an amazing job and the improvements in the towns are very noticeable.
Sharp said the debt service for the district will remain level through 2016 after which it should start to drop. This leaves room for projects without raising taxes. People within the communities with ideas for projects should take these ideas to their mayors.
The commission voted to approve the bond for the CVSSD.
The Four Corners Behavioral Health held a public hearing for input concerning their programs. Because Emery County is a contributor to Four Corners, they must come before the commission each year for their input as well as input from the public.
Karen Dolan is the director and Jennifer Thomas is the Castle Dale Office supervisor.
Commissioner Nelson said he serves on this board and they work hard to provide services on a limited budget in Carbon, Emery and Grand counties.
Dolan explained they offer a full line of services. They have outpatient care and a staff of doctors and nurses. They help with medication management and mental health needs of their patients. They offer substance abuse classes and treatment. The drug court program works very well and currently Emery County has 18 enrolled. Carbon and Grand counties have housing for the severely mentally ill because housing is a problem area for these individuals. There are also clubhouses where the mentally ill can go during the day where they learn skills.
Four Corners is doing a lot of prevention work in the schools and helping students who have problems.
Four Corners employs 88 people in the three county area.
Commissioner Nelson said the drug court program works for area employers as well who know those participants are tested regularly and they make good employees. Four Corners is able to leverage their funding into more than $3 million to provide services to the local people. They participate in crisis intervention with the sheriff's office. Four Corners also transports people to Price each day for treatment.
Commissioner Jeff Horrocks said he appreciates what Four Corners does for Emery County.
The commission approved the updated road district bylaws.
There will be a pavement preservation project at the Huntington Airport. The county has received $72,000 in grant money for a crack and seal project on the tarmac and runway. The road district will provide an $8,000 match for the project. The project will be completed when the weather warms up.
The commission approved the interlocal agreement with the road district for the project. The project is not done with taxpayer dollars but with mineral lease money. Commissioner Horrocks pointed out there are large cracks in the tarmac and this treatment will take care of that problem. The runway will be restriped after the sealing.
Emery County and Reeder Subdivision signed an agreement for snow removal on county road 507. They have a snowplow up there and can remove snow more quickly than sending a county plow up to Joe's Valley.
William Coyne, Ted Curtis, Raymond Quinn and Bruce Wilson were appointed to the North Emery Water Users Special Service District.
Howard Tuttle reported the debris basin construction in Huntington Canyon has resumed. They are waiting for the permitting from the Army Corp of Engineers so they can start on the south basin. Tuttle requested a change order to the north basin so they can begin to get the rip rap ready for the south basin so when it is contracted they will have that part complete. The change order is in the amount of $672,829.05.
Tuttle said they need to get the projects completed as soon as possible to be ready for any flooding events.
Commissioner Horrocks said Capt. Kyle Ekker and Sheriff Greg Funk approached the legislature for more funding for the Huntington Canyon restoration project.
The county approved a government lease for the placing of NOAA equipment on the Horn Mountain communications site.
Carl Jacobsen was appointed to the planning commission. The commission approved the EEO plan which must be updated each year. A policy update to the personnel policy will clarify vacation hours.
In the commission reports, Commissioner Ethan Migliori said he attends the BEAR meetings and they have resources available for businesses that are looking to expand. The trails committee is nearing completion of a map which lists trails in the county. With this inventory it will create opportunities for biking, hiking and mountain biking in the area giving more awareness to what is available here.
The travel bureau has been busy attending travel shows throughout the west. Commissioner Migliori said there are three types of money, that which is circulated within the community; that which is spent outside the community and goes somewhere else and money that is brought into the community by the outside. This money is used to build our pot. The travel bureau will advertise for the upcoming travel season to promote Emery County.
The new mammoth display at the Museum of the San Rafael is coming along. The council of mayors meeting discussed the tippage fee at the landfill. "I appreciate the mayors from our cities getting together to discuss issues, " said Commissioner Migliori. In the recreation district meeting the new members for 2014 joined the board. All of the youth sports programs are running well.
Commissioner Nelson said he attended a meeting with grazers on the burro and donkey explosion on federal lands. Several were in attendance from Emery County. Grazers are taking reductions in grazing AUMs because the land can't support all the burros along with the cattle. Nelson said this is a serious problem. He said the BLM said they can't do anything about it.
Commissioner Horrocks said the public lands council met and he attended. The Emery County public land use bill is still moving with Cong. Bishop and his staff. They don't expect they will have anything ready to introduce to Congress until this fall. Ray Petersen, Commissioner Nelson and Randy Johnson will visit Washington DC soon to keep the issue in the forefront. He said the seven county coalition is working towards a memorandum of understanding. They will become an engine for economic development in the area. The fire district wants to purchase new trucks which will cost $1 million. They will approach the CIB for funding.