Illegal dumping growing problem in county
|Illegal dumping near Emery causes problems for property owners.|
During the recent Emery County Commissioners meeting, Grant and Kathy Jenkins were on the agenda to discuss the illegal dumping of garbage in the county, specifically on their 84 acres near Emery. Their property is located just north of Emery at the junction of the old highway and SR-10. Along the dirt road on the property, a massive amount of refuse has been dumped in the washes.
The Jenkins' have owned the property for two years and when they obtained it, they spent many long, hard hours cleaning it up. The site was an old dump grounds in the past. Much of the garbage that now litters their property is newly dumped items.
"This dumping has been taking place for quite a while now," said Grant Jenkins. "This is our, the county's and ours, problem together. We have tried to clean it up, but the amount is way over our heads now. There are old batteries, refrigerators, and many dead animals. I need your suggestions and help."
Jenkins told the commissioners that many times when he has gone to this property, dumping has occurred in the middle of the road. He expressed his concern for the unsightly appearance of the area to visitors as this route is a designated off highway vehicle route and many people come in to visit and recreate in Emery County. He stated he has written in the Emery and Ferron city newsletters, but the dumping has not decreased.
Another concern of Jenkins' is the obstruction of the roadway. This road is used by several farmers and ranchers who access their farms on the road. "We need to think about putting up bigger signs or barricades across the washes. I have put up signs in the past and they disappear. There may be some of the things in the washes which can be salvaged with steel at $200 a ton," said Grant Jenkins.
Commissioner Gary Kofford expressed his concern for the issue. "This area was an old dump many years ago. It will take a major effort to clean it up and it needs to be cleaned up. Maybe if the area were cleaned up, it would discourage any future illegal dumping," said Kofford. Kofford urged Jenkins to sign a complaint with the Emery County Sheriff's Office so citations could be issued to those who are dumping this trash.
Jenkins went on to tell the commissioners he has considered erecting a gate on his property to restrict vehicles from entering. He has talked with the ranchers who access their property through his, and they have agreed this might be a good solution.
Commissioner Drew Sitterud stressed that if the road has been used by the public for more than 10 years, it is considered a legal right of way. Sitterud expressed his concern for the area and the need for something to be done to stop the dumping.
Morris Sorensen of the county road department stated the area has been cleaned up twice in the past years. He said it lasts for a while, then the dumping begins again.
Capt. Kyle Ekker of the sheriff's office suggested a notification of prosecution for anyone caught dumping. Ekker said signage and advertising would be done immediately, and a notice would go out by order of the sheriff. Restitution will be sought with all prosecutions.
In other business conducted by the Emery County Commissioners, a memorandum of agreement was signed by the commissioners with Andalex Resources, Inc. and Intermountain Power Agency to construct a memorial near the Crandall Canyon mine. Mesia Nyman of the US Forest Service was present for the signing also. The commissioners issued the needed special use permit to allow the memorial project to be completed.
"Sheila Phillips, Dave Shaver and Mesia have all worked very hard on the project. It is the goal of this endeavor to have the monument completed before Aug. 6, 2008. I want to compliment the forest service for the speed with which they pushed through the permitting," said Sitterud.
The commissioners also approved: to give the Order of the Arrow tamarisk project $500; to enter into a contract with Robert Bennett for building inspection services until a building inspector can be hired; purchase antiviral medications for emergency personnel in the event of an influenza pandemic; approved a resolution to establish recovery costs associated with hazardous materials emergencies; and appointed Kelly Bayles to be the east side representative on the Emery County Travel Bureau.
The Emery County Commission meets the first and third Tuesdays each month at the county building at 9 a.m.