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Front Page » February 24, 2004 » Local News » Making a Swap
Published 3,842 days ago

Making a Swap


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By PATSY STODDARD
Editor

Emery County and Huntington City Consider Land Deal

The county owns the property where the former UDOT road sheds are located and would like to trade it to Huntington City for property by the ball complex.

Is a land swap in the future for Huntington City and Emery County? At the recent commission meeting, Commissioner Ira Hatch explained the need for such a swap. The Utah Department of Transportation has vacated their shop facilities at 335 North 100 West in Huntington and relocated in the Cox facility along SR-10 north of Huntington. In 1961 the county entered into a lease agreement with UDOT for the county owned property at the UDOT old facility.

UDOT has no further use for the site and Huntington City is desperately in need of a new maintenance facility. The lease agreement can require UDOT to remove the buildings, but the county is considering approaching Huntington City to work out an exchange. The county owns the ball complex property on the North Loop Road and the surrounding area around the ball complex is owned by Huntington City. Part of the ball complex already sits on city property.

"It is in the best interest of the city and the county to exchange this land. UDOT has requested they be compensated for the buildings at the old site and that will be worked out between UDOT and the city. The county has no reason to keep the old facility, although we did consider it as a satellite station for the road department; but we really don't need it," said Commissioner Hatch. It was agreed upon by the commissioners to approach Huntington City with the proposal at their council meeting on Feb. 18. Commissioner Hatch also said the old UDOT facility had been tested for any possible contaminants and has been given a clean bill of health. This proposal was approved at the Huntington City meeting on Feb. 18 with a vote of four to one.

The commissioners approved a request for a donation from Karen Truman of the Emery County Community Theatre. She said the community theatre was organized to increase public knowledge and promote talent in the community. The production for this year is "Annie" and involves a huge cast of adults and children. She said they are in need of new headset microphones and they cost $355 each. The commission made a $500 donation to the theatre for the purchase of a headset and to help with other costs.

Commissioner Hatch explained the next request for a donation for the upcoming Range School to be held on March 4 at the Museum of the San Rafael. He said the training is beneficial to those in the livestock industry and he encouraged farmers and ranchers to attend and take advantage of the training being brought to our county. Presenters from Colorado will teach techniques they have found to be successful in restoring rangelands.

The commissioners approved an agreement with the Utah State University Extension and the county. Utah State provides the extension officer and the county pays for the clerical help as in the past.

The commission approved the drug task force grant for the Emery County Sheriff's Office.

The commission ratified the approval of appointees to the Emery Water Conservancy District board of directors: Ferron Irrigation, Tracy Behling; Cottonwood Irrigation, Ross Hinkins; Huntington/Cleveland Irrigation, Lee McElprang.

Commissioner Hatch explained a problem taking place in Huntington Canyon with parking for snowboarders along the road. He said it is on the Sanpete County side and they have met with UDOT and expressed the need for additional parking off of the road. The commission will continue to make comments and a long term solution is needed where dirt will need to be hauled in to make wider parking spots and get the cars off the road.

Rob Midgely was appointed as the new Huntington Airport manager and he will begin on March 1. Cheryl Cox was appointed the State and Local Assistance and Local Emergency Planning Committee coordinator to take notes at the meetings and help with the grant writing for these committees. Sheriff Lamar Guymon said this position is paid with grant monies. A business license was approved for Richard Diamond in Huntington for the repair of firearms called Diamond Gunsmithing located north of Huntington by the reservoir.

Commissioner Gary Kofford said the legislative session is ongoing and they are keeping a close eye on bills effecting the county. One area of major concern was the danger of losing medicaid funding which will effect the Four Corners Behavioral Health in Emery/Carbon counties.

Commissioner Hatch said they have met with Energy West on the interchange at the Hunter Plant and are trying to hammer out an agreement. They have plans to use the existing bridge with a cloverleaf access to get on and off and are making headway on the project. Road department manager, Rex Funk said that Nielson Construction is working on the project weather permitting and Johansen and Tuttle is the engineer. With the expansion of the coal yard facility at Hunter the county road was in the way. Funk estimated the project is 70-75 percent completed at this time.

Commissioner Hatch also said they have met with UDOT and they have plans to upgrade the rest areas along I-70 and will begin with better signing and improved toilets as well as improved lighting. The beginning phase of the project is funded for $1 million and plans are in the works for complete rehabilitation of the picnic areas. UDOT will be moving ahead with this project next year. Commissioner Hatch also mentioned that they were having a memorial service for June Maxwell long time senior director at the Huntington Senior Citizens Center on Feb. 18.


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