Commissioners Discuss County Issues During Regular Meeting
The Emery County Commission met in their regularly scheduled meeting on June 18 at 9 a.m. The meeting began with an opening prayer by Commissioner Drew Sitterud and the pledge of allegiance was led by Captain Kyle Ekker. Those present were Commissioners Sitterud, Randy Johnson and Ira Hatch. County Attorney Dave Blackwell was also in attendance.
The first item on the agenda was the approval of the check edit list, additional claims, requisitions and dispositions. The agenda item for the approval of a donation to Green River City for help with the annexation legal fees was approved for $10,000. A contribution to Green Thumb volunteer program was approved. Commissioner Hatch explained they have six Green Thumb volunteers at the museum at a cost which averages out to be 25 cents per hour. Hatch said they have basically been told to pay up or they are going to pull their people. A requisition was also approved for two high-back chairs and a visitor chair for the economic development office.
The next item on the agenda was Pat Snowball, personnel director. She asked for an incremental increase for a sheriff's office employee and a wage increase for a landfill employee who has completed his six month orientation. She reported they had interviewed six people for the part time librarian position in Ferron. She said, "It is the recommendation of the library board that we hire Sharon Jensen as the assistant librarian." It was also approved to increase the position of Dorothy Taylor from a three quarters to a full-time position.
The next item on the agenda was the discussion of two new drinking fountains for the court house. The present fountains are out of compliance with ADA regulations. A low bid of $406 from Mountain States was approved. It was also pointed out that three fountains in the libraries are down. It is more costly to repair these older fountains than it is to replace them. It was determined that they look at the library budget to see if replacing these fountains can be done as routine maintenance.
The next item on the agenda was the citizen concerns. Mark H. Williams came before the commission to inform them that enough signatures had been gathered to have the monument proposal be included on the ballot in the Nov. 5. election. He said the county would now have to provide voter information pamphlets stating the pros and cons of the issue.
The next item on the agenda was the consideration and approval of the yearly retirement contribution. It was explained that the amount contributed is set by the state. The contribution was approved. The next item was the consideration and the approval of the proposed tax rate for 2002. The certified rate approved was the same as the previous year. Brenda Dugmore from the clerk's office pointed out that there will be a judgment levy this year for PacifiCorp for the payback of approximately $350,000 in tax protests.
The next item on the agenda was the consideration and approval of road construction and maintenance easement with Consoldation Coal Company. Rex Funk from the road department, said the loop road would meet haul road standards. Consol donated the easement to the county for a fee of $1. He said the funding for the project is still under consideration. Commissioner Hatch made a motion to accept the road easement from Consol to connect the two county roads. It was determined that the county would prepare a letter of road ownership and who would maintain it, to send to DOGM. Funk will prepare the letter.
The next item on the agenda was the consideration and approval of an interlocal agreement between Emery County and Emery County Special Service District #1 for the airport apron reconstruction project. Commissioner Hatch said the contract had been awarded to Nielson Construction as the low bidder and they were proceeding ahead with the project. The agreement will be ratified at the next commission meeting. The project total is $178,000 with our portion being $17,800, with the road district agreeing to pay the $17,800, said Hatch.
The next item on the agenda was the approval of the June 4 meeting minutes. The commissioner reports were next with Commissioner Sitterud discussing the boat ramp at Joes Valley. It is muddy and this is hurting the economy at Joes Valley. The only way to launch a boat was to get stuck in the mud and have someone pull you back out with a truck. Joes Valley Reservoir is dropping a foot a day.
Commissioner Hatch said they just concluded a defensive driving course here and in Green River. He said they had approximately 40 people participate county wide. Kathleen Truman reported on how the heritage tour went with Brenda Barrett from the department of the interior. She said Barrett was very impressed with the area and would have had a hard time seeing how the heritage area and public lands all tie together in Emery County if she had not seen it for herself. She said nobody could have described the area to her and conveyed what it meant. She was happy to see for herself and said she will support our heritage area.
The next item on the agenda was Jeff Kelsey with a discussion of the health insurance renewal. Kelsey gave the commissioners a summary of the expenses from July 1, 2001 through May 31 of this year. He said it has been a good year for the county and he has been collecting quotes and through the process all of the carriers wanted to pick up the county. Kelsey said Alliance was offering a 5 percent decrease from the current carrier. He also pointed out that Alliance has an A+ rating and was based out of Salt Lake. Kelsey said in the bidding war Alliance had been good to work with and at one point he had to talk to them every day for two weeks to get the proposal worked out. Commissioner Hatch recommended they accept Alliance as the new carrier with it taking effect on July 1. The proposal was seconded and approved.
The next item was the public hearing to receive public comments on the conditional use permit for The Rockland Corporation. Mack Huntington from planning and zoning spoke and said the Rockland operation is southeast of Emery and they are applying for a level three permit. Emery County officials have visited the site. The operation will be underground with room and pillar. They plan to mine 80 ton of shale a week which is eight truck loads. They will mine three days a week, which will supply the plant in Emery.
There were no comments from the public and the conditional use permit was approved. The next commission meeting will be held on July 16 at 9 a.m.