Commissioners report on county projects
Gary Kofford, Emery County Commission chairman presented a plaque to Joel and Susan Dorsch for their work with Channel 26 which has now been taken off the air due to the switch from analog to digital TV.
The commission approved the purchase of a new fogger truck for the weed and mosquito department.
Each year the county signs a contract with the Southeastern Utah Association of Local Governments to operate the aging program in the county. This contract was approved.
The commission discussed vacancies on the board of the Emery County Care and Rehabilitation Center in Ferron. The position will be advertised and applications need to be submitted by March 6. This open position is currently held by Frank Hall of Huntington. Commissioner Kofford pointed out that the board positions are open to anyone from any town. The board might look at changing the bylaws to have representatives from each area of the county, but that hasn't been done so this position is available to anyone in the county.
The commissioners also filled two positions on the Emery County Historical Preservation Commission. Laurie Pitchforth and Bernice Payne were appointed to the board and other board members were ratified including: Vernell Rowley, Dottie Grimes, Ray Petersen, Evelyn Huntsman and LaMar Guymon.
Jay Mark Humphrey was appointed to the Utah Water Users Association Board of Directors.
Mistie Christiansen was appointed as an at-large member of the Emery County Public Lands Council.
The commission approved the resolution authorizing an employer pick-up of employee retirement contributions. Emery County contributes to the Utah Retirement fund for employees and this record is needed for IRS requirements.
Cynthia Grant was approved as the Local Emergency Planning Committee coordinator. She will assist with meetings and work on the emergency response plan for the county. Grant has been active as the LEPC coordinator since last October. The position is covered by a grant from Homeland Security.
The Emergency Management Performance Grant was approved, this grant is for $78,348 and is from Homeland Security and will be used for trainings and review and updates of the Emery County Emergency Operations plan. Funds will also be used to attend emergency conferences for training. Capt. Kyle Ekker is the grant writer and will oversee the grant.
A business license was granted to Jesse Nielson for the J&N Auto dealership on loop road in Huntington. This is a conditional use permit.
The commission approved an application with the Bureau of Land Management which amends a current agreement which allows the use of BLM land for transportation and utility systems and facilities for communications sites. This site agreement is for the new equipment at Cedar Mountain.
In personnel actions, Tina Carter was approved for full-time status at the Emery County Travel Bureau. The money for this position comes from the Transient Room taxes.
The commissioners gave their reports. Commissioner Laurie Pitchforth said she spent a week at the Utah Association of Counties in Salt Lake for training for newly elected officials. She also attended the legislature day at the Capitol to meet with local legislators. She attended board meetings around the county and at the recreation board she learned they are beginning a spring soccer league for junior high age players. Their racquetball tournament went well and a dodgeball tournament is planned for March 21. The fly-tying class is going well. The Green River trail ride is planned for April. Special needs swimmers will have a class and a special needs dance clinic is also being planned by the recreation department.
Commissioner Jeff Horrocks said he attended the Council of Local Governments where the main discussion centered around the need for a uniform animal control code throughout the county. They also discussed the responsibilities of the animal shelter. Each city pays for the euthanization of the animals from their city, if no one picks up the animal.
Commissioner Horrocks attended a weed and mosquito meeting where they discussed some new noxious weeds put on the state list. The department has lost some state money for weed control and adjustments will need to be made. The scenic byways committee had a meeting and they will be installing new signs at the entrances to the scenic byways. Tina Carter passed out new scenic byways brochures at the travel show in Denver.
He also attended the Workforce Services regional meeting in Moab where their state representative gave projections on the current employment situation. There hasn't been much impact on our area yet in the economic crisis hitting other parts of the country. Commissioner Horrocks attended UAC meetings in Salt Lake and they discussed the budget cuts in the legislature. There is a 3.8 percent cut in each of the agencies which could affect some of the programs in Emery County.
Commissioner Kofford said the US Forest Service needs to set-up Regional Advisory Councils for the Manti-LaSal, Dixie and FishLake forests. The RAC will have 15 members from various walks of life and various counties. The forest service will advertise for these positions when the time comes.
Commissioner Kofford reported Pam Juliano from Rep. Jim Matheson's office said the census for 2010 is getting underway and census workers will be needed.
Commissioner Kofford attended the non-urban joint highway fund meeting to secure the park access funds for the Temple Mountain Road. That project will be bid in May. The project requires a 50 percent match from the Emery County Special Service District #1 which does road projects in the county. When this project is completed there will still be two miles left to finish.
Commissioner Kofford met with Johansen and Tuttle and UDOT Region 4 to go over the design for the next phase of the Moore Road project from the T-intersection to SR-10. This will be bid in March and awarded in May.
The county is still negotiating with Nielson Construction and UDOT on the 18 miles of asphalt which the contract says must be completed by July 31. The same problem exists with getting the oil as last year. Nielson's would like to use a different product, but UDOT specifications require the SuperPave product on their jobs. "We are still working on figuring that out," said Commissioner Kofford.