County Commission Hears DWS Happenings
|The Division of Workforce Services help with the first Family Night Out in Emery County in September. There were many booths set up to let people know the help available for families.|
At the recent commission meeting, Delena Fish of the Division of Workforce Services gave her quarterly update to the commissioners. "Our fiscal year runs from July 1-June 30 each year. All of the reports and statistics are on our Web site for review. We have taken on 100 cases from the St. George office and the St. George office is doing the interviews. This helps keep jobs in Emery County. Last year in this region, we lost 40 positions," said Fish.
"We have also begun on-line applications recently, a program which we are piloting for the State. The entire state will begin with on-line applications in January 2008. Also, this partnering with other offices is a good thing. We can do some of the work for the offices that have a big caseload," stated Fish.
Fish told of the Healthy Family Coalition, in which many state agencies in the two county area came together and presented the Family Night Out at Emery High School. She said this was a great first try and they will continue to do this program. Another project the DWS is involved with is the Castle Valley Economic Summit, which was presented this year in the new Carbon County Expo building.
The DWS partnered with these same agencies and did a free dental clinic in Castle Dale. The clinic provided the opportunity for anyone in the county without dental insurance to get needed dental work. "It was a great success and we plan to do this every year. We are also trying to plan a dental clinic for Green River," Fish said.
Fish said that unemployment rates are up slightly in Emery and Carbon counties due to the layoffs at the Murray Energy owned mines. Most of the Crandall Canyon miners who were displaced have been reassigned to other mines. "One big difference in unemployment procedure now is that vehicles are an exempt asset. Most people are eligible now to apply after their sick leave and severance has been used," said Fish.
She said that with the way Murray Energy worded the layoffs as temporary, the DWS cannot help those people, but Murray has plans to call the miners back within the next few months.
Another issue which was discussed at commission meeting was the lack of Christmas decorations on the courthouse. "We have just repaired the courthouse roof to the tune of $80,000," said Commissioner Gary Kofford. "Maybe I'm a Scrooge, but we removed all the anchors and electric cords to do the repairs. Now the roof is very slick and dangerous for employees. I just don't want to do any damage to the newly repaired roof."
The discussion turned to ways to decorate the building without doing any damage to the roof. It was decided to look into the matter.
Ray Petersen of the Emery County Public Lands Council reported about several county roads. For a number of years, the county has been maintaining these roads at the request of the Bureau of Land Management, and the BLM recently offered the rights of way to Emery County. The application process was begun and the application is now final on the following roads: Turtle Canyon; the Turtle Canyon extension, Humbug, the Wedge extension east; Fuller's Bottom; North Salt Wash; Gillis Ranch (the Frenchman); Horse Bench; Cedar Mountain near Mussentuchit Road; Justensen Flat, Kimball Draw; Justensen Flat past Copper Globe, Rod's Valley; the state pond road; the North stub of Poison Springs; and the Reed Nielson home base loop off I-70.
"We will be applying for Title 5 which is allowed by FLPMA. If approved, these roads will become part of the Emery County B road system. We will in the future receive funding for maintenance if approved," said Petersen.
Ken Brown and Mark Walsh of the Western Counties Alliance, were on hand to give a presentation of the function of their group. They said they watch public land issues for those counties that belong to the Alliance.
"We have made strides, along with other groups," said Brown. "Our purpose is to assist counties, along with industry, to bring resolution to land issues. We coalesce with other counties in other western states for public land issues. We focus our attention more specifically on helping our members through the process." He stated that membership dues into this alliance are $7,500 per year.