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Front Page » January 15, 2008 » Local News » Emery Town swears in new mayor
Published 3,326 days ago

Emery Town swears in new mayor

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Mistie Christiansen is given the oath of office by Emery Town clerk Susan Praast.

Emery Town swore in their first lady mayor on Jan. 8. A large crowd of residents were in attendance for the historic event. Mistie Christiansen's first order of business was to in turn swear in the re-elected councilmembers, Gary Jensen and Patrick Sundstrom.

Mayor Christiansen said she hopes those on the town council feel free to speak their minds clearly and calmly. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and when it's over she hopes everyone can respect each other and still be friends. She expects disagreements on issues and wants everyone to work together for the good of Emery.

The council agreed to donate $50 to help the Girl Scout troop get started. There are 16 girls meeting each week under the direction of Ashley Sundstrom and they need enough money to open an account.

Mayor Christiansen reported on the maintenance position for the town. This position is held by Ken Christiansen who is the mayor's father-in-law. Under the guidelines it is illegal for a relative to supervise a worker. If the relative held the position before the relative was elected then it is OK. But, Mayor Christiansen has appointed Patrick Sundstrom, council member to be Ken's supervisor to avoid any conflicts of interest. Mayor Christiansen pointed out the town council as a whole is responsible for hiring and firing.

There was some discussion on the Consol water line. There have been some repairs along this line and those with leaks will go over their allotment of water.

There is a written agreement with Consol on the use of the water line in question and that agreement needs to be reviewed before any more decisions are made regarding this line.

Emery Mayor Mistie Christiansen swears in council member, Gary Jensen.

One resident is ready to get their work going and has transferred the required water shares. Eric Anderson, council member will be responsible for getting this resident on the agenda for the Castle Valley Special Service District to make sure this work gets started on their water line.

Ken Christiansen said he reads the big meter and deducts the farmers shares from that and Consol pays the rest.

The question was brought up on overages and if they should be forgiven or if they should have to pay. Sundstrom thought if someone gets right on a water leak then he has no problem forgiving an overage; especially when repair costs are substantial. The council will discuss the overage issue at a later time to make a decision. They have to be fair across the board and can't require one citizen to pay an overage and forgive an overage for someone else. Whatever they decide must be consistent and fair to all residents.

The council discussed the need for a fee for the burial of an urn in the cemetery. A plot is needed for the burial and is a separate cost. Emery has no designated cost for this process. Jensen suggested $100 for the service. For a regular grave the opening and closing fee is $150. The council determined $100 would be fair and the resolution will be approved at the next meeting.

The council discussed the fees of the new community center. The council wants nonprofit groups and organizations to be able to use the building free of charge. Private functions will be charged a fee, like family reunions, private parties and also businesses. It was approved that Pam Adams as part of her duties with the town will open and close the community center for activities. She will also help make sure it's clean.

Ken Christiansen said Consol wanted to use the building but didn't want to put up the chairs. He suggested a fee be charged for set-ups and local youth groups could take turns setting up for events and use the fee as a fundraiser for their organizations. Suggestions included the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, youth council and church groups. The council set-up a fee of $25 for under 100 chairs and over 100 chairs is $50.

The youth council held a New Year's Eve party which was a success. Their next activity is on Feb. 9 and is a movie and dance night for the youth. The youth council meets at 5 p.m. on the town council night the second Tuesday of each month.

The council looked at the dog fees and business license fees. The fees will stay the same for 2008.

Corrine Dalton, council member in charge of planning and zoning said they have been working on the code book. They are still working on the annexation. They are looking at a table of the town which would go out as far as the substation or just past and to Miller's Canyon and to Staley's and Mincheys. Dalton is in contact with the county assessor's office. This would affect about 15 people. The taxes would only rise a small amount, less than a dollar. Sundstrom said the reason some people have been opposed to the annexation is they thought their taxes would go up. Dalton said that's not the case and any greenbelt property will remain greenbelt even after annexation.

Dalton has been told you can't leave islands of property. She went over the list of property owners and her attempts to contact each one. Many of them are interested in the annexation. Dalton said a public information meeting needs to be held and later on a public hearing on the annexation. Dalton said they don't want to force anyone to participate but hope to work through any problems so everyone can feel good about participation. She also mentioned they have one slot open on planning and zoning if anyone is interested.

Council member, Patrick Sundstrom takes the oath of office.

Eric Anderson said the Castle Valley Special Service District only deals with annexation every five years.Their process will be complete by March so if Emery is going to move on their annexation it needs to be well on its way by March.

Sundstrom asked Morris Sorensen to report on the Muddy Creek Diversion. Sorensen said they met with Rep. Jim Matheson's people, but the situation looks bleak. The Bureau of Reclamation came and took a look and Emery had five days to get the plan in. Sorensen worked with Johansen and Tuttle Engineering recording each canal and measuring the ditches and submitting all the information.

The Bureau of Reclamation bases their funding on how many tons of salt a project will be estimated to remove from the Colorado River. The reevaluation was sent in to the BOR and they have until March to let Emery know where the project stands. Sorensen said the sediment must be reduced before any sprinkling system would be effective for Emery. If the BOR won't fund the project other funding avenues must be explored. Sundstrom mentioned the Community Impact Board and Sorensen said the energy monies are greatly reduced and that funding isn't always available.

Sundstrom spoke in support of the county planning and zoning plan to reduce the required acreage for a home in the county from 10 acres to two acres. Many homes have been lost to Carbon County because of the restrictions in Emery County. In some instances he said, people buy the 10 acres and put a home on two acres and deed the rest back to the farmer. Many people don't want to take care of that much land he said. People outside of the cities need to pay more for their services and a fair policy needs to be worked out to adequately cover expenses for those living outside the cities.

Anderson said a special committee is being formed to look at those issues for the special service district.

He also said services are paid for by paying taxes within a city. Those outside the cities need to be responsible for costs incurred in providing services to them.

Dalton also said the responsible people need to make sure all lines are up to code for those outside the cities. An audience member said the county planning and zoning laws take care of all those requirements and are well enforced.

Anderson reported the rope at the playground needs to be replaced and the council approved replacement of these rope and nets on the playground equipment. He said Emery and Clawson will receive chip and seal this year as a project of the Castle Valley Special Service District.

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