Emery commissioners approve wage increase for county workers in the road department and sheriff"s office
Emery County has been involved these past months in a salary adjustments survey. They have been looking at salary bases on how the county compares to other counties and some cities. The survey was completed by Personnel Systems and Services.
Commissioner Drew Sitterud reported the survey said that salaries were low, but when the benefit package was added into the scope of things, the wages became one of the highest in the state.
"The county has had trouble hiring people. So, we took the hot spots like the sheriff"s office and the road department and took the recommendations to move those wages up to a starting minimum. This is just the first phase and it will be built up over a three year period. We have put out advertisements for jobs in the road department and people won"t even consider them because of the low wage and we haven"t had any applicants.Our department heads have worked really hard on this," said Sitterud.
The salary adjustments will become effective with the pay period beginning on Aug. 13. The next phases will be implemented as money becomes available in the future.
Public hearing set
A public hearing has been set for Sept. 4 during commission meeting at 9 a.m. to hear public comments on the proposed road for the Lila Canyon Mine. Commissioner Gary Kofford explained that UtahAmerican Inc. applied for a mining permit five years ago and it was protested by SUWA. In May of this year the permit was approved and SUWA has again protested it. Part of the road is already there and part will need to be constructed. The mining company asked the county to participate in building a road. SUWA claims if a mine is within 100 feet of a county road you need to have a hearing. A hearing took place and it already went through planning and zoning years ago, but the county will have another hearing to satisfy this requirement. All of the rights are in place for the road to proceed.
Commissioner Gary Kofford reported RFPs had been asked for the airport. They received one proposal which is in the process of being reviewed. They requested a new building and the county will ask for Community Impact Board funding to build the building. Hopefully a contract will be ready to approve for the Sept. 4 commission meeting. Bids for the Green River Community Center will be opened Aug. 14 at 2 p.m. in a special meeting of the Municipal Building Authority.
Jeanie Holdaway has been hired as the new director of the Castle Dale Senior Center. Commissioner Jeff Horrocks said the Museum of the San Rafael roof is complete and they are still working on the drain system around the wall.
The North Emery Water Users building is undergoing a facelift. Horrocks said he participated on a tour with the CIB wives that Leslie Bolinder had put together and he appreciates the work done for that tour. He believes this CIB meeting in Emery County was a real benefit for the community to introduce the board members to our county.
Commissioner Drew Sitterud reported the recent pageant, rodeo and fair were well attended. On the Thursday night, "Tough Enough to Wear Pink," night 800 people were counted wearing pink. He said next year a local business has volunteered to purchase pink bandanas to pass out at the gate so everyone can be counted. For each person counted $1 will be donated to a local cancer patient. Commissioner Sitterud reported the special needs kids as grand marshals worked out well and they had a ball riding on the float and also playing at the fair on Friday morning. The magician did a special performance just for them and the games were opened.
Commissioner Kofford reported the road from Joe"s Valley to Ephraim has only a half mile in Emery County, but the county maintains that road up the switchbacks by blading and magchloriding the road. They do this without any compensation from Sanpete County. If Emery County doesn"t take care of this road then it isn"t maintained at all. Kofford wondered if anyone had any ideas as to how to solve this problem. It was determined the commissioners talk to Sanpete commissioners to seek a solution. "It"s a problem," said Kofford.