Emery County Commissioners close 2003 and set 2004 budget
In a recent meeting of the Emery County Commissioners, Chris Hatch of Avator Corporation explained several wording changes in the contract that the commissioners went on to approve. Hatch told the commissioners that his company would conduct an audit of the utility payments made by the county to private utility companies. Avator Corp. would then receive payment only on a percentage basis of what funds are recovered due to errors in utility billings.
Clerk/Auditor Bruce Funk indicated this would not cost the county anything, but may benefit the county to have the auditing performed. County Attorney Dave Blackwell reviewed the contract with Avator and gave his recommendation to go with the present contract.
Concerning the operating plan for law enforcement with the Manti La Sal National Forest, Sheriff Lamar Guymon reported that the contract is the same as the previous years contract with the exception of the amount paid for mileage. After discussion, the commissioners approved to accept the contract with the forest service with the updated mileage rate of 37.5 cents per mile.
The commissioners ratified a resolution changing the name of the Utah Association of Counties Insurance Mutual to Utah Counties Insurance Pool.
Emery County Treasurer Steve Barton then presented three items for the commission's consideration. The first item was from Ferron City concerning property that city had purchased on which to construct a new fire station. Ferron City is requesting an abatement of property taxes owing on that property. After discussion of a set precedent, the commissioners approved to abate 50 percent of the taxes.
The second abatement item was a request from a Green River taxpayer for an abatement of the penalty connected with the late payment of the property taxes for the year. Commissioners discussed whether the taxpayer was aware of the penalties that could be attached to a tax bill due to late payment. It was decided that the taxpayer was fully aware, because of previous years activities and the commissioners refused to abate the penalty assessed.
The last item brought by Barton was an informational item stating that the delinquent tax list would be published in the Dec. 30 edition of the Emery County Progress. Every effort is being made to notify taxpayers of their delinquency and allow them to rectify those situations before publication.
Commissioner Gary Kofford and Sheriff Guymon informed the council concerning a meeting they had attended with Emery Telcom. New equipment is needed for the E911 system throughout the county. Attorney Blackwell added that Emery Telcom has agreed on a reduced rate for each access line in that system. Commissioner Hatch informed the group that beginning next legislative year, Emery County would be eligible for assistance to purchase the needed equipment.
Rex Funk, supervisor of county roads, requested the approval of the alternate plan for the road work to be done by Energy West at the Hunter Plant coal yard. More coal storage space is needed, and this requires the roadway to be relocated. After negotiations failed with a private landowner, the commissioners approved granting the encroachment for the work to be done according to the preferred alternate design.
Funk also requested the commission's permission to advertise for bids to secure repair work for the landfill compactor. Funk explained that the compactor needs engine and transmission repairs. The commissioners approved Funk's request and also instructed him to advertise the sale of the crimper machine that did not sell at the auction.
The commissioners next approved the meeting and holiday schedule for the 2004 calendar year.
The manager at the Huntington airport has given his notice and the commissioners approved to advertise for a replacement. This replacement will need to be hired before Feb. 1, 2004
Emery Water Conservancy District requested the commissioners to advertise for three positions that will be open on that board. Three of the present members terms will soon expire. The Public Lands Council also has a total of five positions that will soon need to be filled. Advertising will also be done for these positions.
Commissioner Kofford informed the board that Robert K. Weidner of UAC, has requested an increase in salary and an extension of his contract with the county for his lobbying services. Commissioner Kofford moved to offer Weidner the same contract as last year with no increases. This measure was approved.
During the course of the commission meeting, two public hearings were held concerning the 2003 and 2004 budgets. Brenda Dugmore spoke concerning the 2003 budget. She explained that the items with shortfalls were supplemented by the items that had remaining funds. These budget changes will close the 2003 budget.
Darrel Leamaster presented a copy of the Castle Valley Special Service District's amended budgets figures.
The next meeting of the Emery County Commissioners will be Jan. 6, 2004 at 4 p.m.