Political candidates visit Green River City Council
Green River City Council held a public hearing on the budget. Several Green River residents were present to voice their comments. Mayor Patrick Brady said in talking to a number of people in town they said they weren't opposed to Green River reinstating a property tax. The consensus seems to be Green River cannot go on the way it is. Green River has a budget of approximately $760,000 and $580,000 of the revenues for the budget are from the transient room tax and resort tax. Green River needs another revenue source. Infrastructure improvements and maintenance need a revenue stream.
Mayor Brady said on the western end of the county they have city taxes and these city taxes help to pay for improvements to streets. The Castle Valley Special Service District makes these improvements on a rotation basis through each of the towns.
On June 24 at 1:30 p.m. there will be an RC open bids for the airport fixed base operator; open bids for museum grounds keeper; discuss purchase of a lawn mower for the museum; open bids for new museum employee; discuss agreement between the museum and the city; discuss the 08-09 budget; and discuss the implementation of a city property tax.
Mayor Brady introduced two democratic candidates who are seeking to fill the legislative seat vacated by Brad King who has chosen to run for the State Senate seat which Mike Dmitrich will vacate upon his retirement.
Grady McEvoy addressed the council and audience first. He said he wants to understand the issues and things that the Green River residents feel are important. The economy needs to be developed. Mineral extraction has played a vital role in the economies of Carbon and Emery counties and we will continue to rely on coal extraction. McEvoy said he will support those causes. He thinks a larger share of mineral lease monies should come to the counties from which the minerals are extracted because they are the ones who suffer the impacts. He's been told it's next to impossible to get these things changed. But he doesn't believe it's impossible.
McEvoy said the district seat he is running for encompasses a diverse people in Carbon, Emery, Grand and San Juan counties. He thinks he can find a balance among the diverse opinions and make things equitable for all. He believes in multiple use, but wants to protect and be responsible land stewards as well.
McEvoy said we have enough laws and need to enforce the laws we have. The federal government writes mandates and laws but doesn't fund them. Government should be controlled more by the cities, the state is trying to micromanage the cities. "If you don't like what public officials do, then vote them out," said McEvoy. He said he would like to get to know Green River better and hold town meetings regularly.
The Green River council asked questions of McEvoy about the San Rafael Swell and how to get the legislature to notice rural Utah. McEvoy said he is for multiple use of the Swell and doesn't want to see it locked up. He wants it to be used wisely. McEvoy said he would remind the legislators that rural communities operate on a very small budget.
McEvoy's experience includes eight years on the school board of Carbon County. He is a drama instructor at the College of Eastern Utah.
He was asked how he feels about the state vehicle inspection program. McEvoy said he didn't know enough about it to have an opinion. But, if it's an issue he will get the information on it. Conae Black asked McEvoy about technical colleges. She said the major reason Utah was picked for the Proctor and Gamble plant in Box Elder was because of the technical training of the potential employees. McEvoy said CEU has always been interested in technical training and it has been a major focus for them. "You just can't compare seat time with hands on experience," said McEvoy. Technical training takes more money.
McEvoy said for economic development reasons and safety reasons US-6 needs to become a four lane highway. "That road is holding the area back economically," said McEvoy.
Jerry Anderson was the other democratic candidate for the legislature to speak to the council. He said he is a bee keeper and a botanist and he works for CEU. He said he was at the Green River State Park once long ago and saw a rocket launch from the Green River Missile Base to White Sands. He remembers the sight very vividly. He showed a map to the council of the area of Green River in 1879. He said there is a Wasatch Front and a Wasatch Back but he thinks we in this area are the behind.
"They need to get a new map," Anderson quipped. Anderson said we have some real assets and resources in our area. US-6 is a real issue that needs to be addressed. Roads have been locked up in the Swell and issues of access need attention.
When asked about the proposed uranium milling plant slated for the new industrial park near Green River, Anderson answered that we have come a long way in dealing with the dangers of uranium. "We need to have some things developed," said Anderson. Anderson said he is in favor of industry. He said some new businesses have come into Carbon County and the population seems to be stabilizing instead of decreasing.
Nick Lucas from Red Tail Aviation spoke to the council. Red Tail put in a bid for the operation of the Green River airport. Red Tail would like to expand the use of the airport. Mayor Brady asked if an air show or something similar could be brought in to give the Green River Airport some exposure.
Lucas said they could work on something like that and possibly in conjunction with Melon Days or another activity something could be worked out. Another possibility is a hot air balloon event. Lucas said possible small businesses could be off shoots of the airport. A rafting business could use the airport to bring in rafters and possibly a courtesy car could be available at the airport to transport people from the airport to accommodations. Lucas said they are anxious to get started.
Council member Johnson said they are close to having street lights along Pirate Avenue.
Mayor Brady proposed they schedule a council meeting for June 18 to act upon the other items from this agenda.