Commissioner Pitchforth to attend DC hearing
The Emery County Commission took care of business in their Sept. 22 meeting. They approved a right of way application for the Wilberg Mine Coal Haul road for the BLM.
The board of equalization has been open for the past 45 days and the commissioners closed the BOE. They also voted to approve the BOE adjustments made during this 45 day period.
Brenda Tuttle and Carol Cox will attend a conference in Las Vegas and the commission approved the out-of-state travel for them.
The Utah Department of Transportation has awarded the bid for Phase 7 of the South Moore road project to Nielson Construction. The commission will draft a letter of support to UDOT for this bid award.
The commission approved a change order for the Aquatic Park which includes changes in the restrooms, hot water heater, heaters and changes in fencing. The final payment is $19,969.
The commission approved the personal property tax exemptions for 2009.
Mike McCandless addressed the commission to discuss the issuance of industrial development bonds in behalf of Conductive Composites, the new company coming into Green River. McCandless explained the company works with composite materials to create a coating used to coat air crafts to reduce their exposure to lightning strikes and other uses mainly in the field of defense. The business is not relocating to Green River but creating a satellite location. They are still in the process of site selection and will be currently operating out of the hangar at the Green River airport. Remodeling work is being completed at this time. The company hopes to be producing product out of the facility by Thanksgiving time.
A financing package is being worked on for the company. The company is in line for defense appropriations for $3.5 million with help from Sen. Orrin Hatch's office. These appropriations from government to help contractors who provide defense is very valuable to contractors to work on and develop new materials for use in defense products. The appropriation has already passed the Senate side. Private activity bonds are issued to help private companies produce jobs. The bond would use the name of the county to apply for and obtain the bond which would be exempt from taxes. The bond would in no way be guaranteed by the county. George Hansen is the owner of Conductive Composites and has already been approved for a bond for $2 million.
The county has acted in a similar manner when they build a coal mine haul road and then are reimbursed by the company.
Alex Buxton from Zions Bank said the savings to a company in interest can be very substantial. McCandless said that's why it's worth it for Hansen to go through the necessary steps to try to secure this funding. There is no commitment from the county involved.
Commissioner Gary Kofford wondered if it would have any bearing on the county receiving bond money for any other projects. Buxton said no this bond wouldn't affect any other projects.
McCandless said the money would show up on the state's limit for bonds and would not affect the county's limit on bonds. This type of funding has been used extensively in housing projects.
Buxton said they are looking for a buyer for the bonds. They are looking at Zions being the purchaser if possible. "We are confident we can find a purchaser," said Buxton. A public hearing will be required as part of the process and the commission scheduled the hearing for Oct. 13 in the next commission meeting.
Hansen said they will be ready for the equipment in Green River in about a month.
Kofford said he toured the Heber City facility and it is a very impressive process with much future potential with the right marketing in place.
The commission approved the inducement to begin the process. The next step is the public hearing and then a 30 day waiting period before the company could become eligible to bond.
Hansen said when things are up and running with a new facility in place they hope to employ 35 people.
The commission agreed to pay costs for employees to have vaccines including seasonal flu, pneumonia and H1N1. If spouse or family members want shots they will pay the co-pay involved.
The commission approved a 3 percent merit increase along with a 4 percent cost of living increase for Janetta Young employed at the library. A volunteer list was also approved for the travel bureau.
Kofford let everyone know there is a house hearing scheduled for the America's Red Rock Wilderness Act on Oct. 1 in the Natural Resources committee. The bill has been introduced each year but this is the first time it has actually reached the stage of a hearing. A past lobbyist for Emery County Robert Weidner has made a request that Gov. Herbert, Rep. Matheson, Commissioner Laurie Pitchforth and John Jones, commissioner from Carbon County be allowed to testify at that hearing.
The county will prepare a letter with a statement in behalf of Emery County which Pitchforth will present at that time. The commission approved for Pitchforth to attend the hearing in Washington DC with associated expenses allowed.
In commissioner reports, Commissioner Jeff Horrocks reported he met with the DWR/RAC at their meeting. They have recently released 12 inch tiger muskie at Joe's Valley with the hope they will eat the trash fish in the reservoir. He met with the Utah Association of Counties board and they have made new appointments in the organization, they are also working on the insurance for counties.
The county has received a letter from UDOT which will allow ATV travel on SR-29 in Joe's Valley. It has been designated as an ATV trail.
Horrocks reported he helped with the senior citizen lamb fry held at the Bear Creek Campground. The Val Jensen band played and everyone had a good time. He attended the fire district meeting and they are approaching the CIB for help with funds for a new fire truck for each community in the county. If approved this money will come in February 2010.
Pitchforth in her report thanked Kent and Julie Wilson for the help with the lamb fry for the seniors and the senior directors for planning the fun event. The Green River seniors brought watermelon for everyone and she thanked them for their contribution. She attended the recreation board meeting and little league football has started. Flag football and soccer are also underway. The district is bringing back mens basketball and Jesse Ward will be over the mens league. Aerobic classes will be starting and repelling and rafting activities are being planned for the future.
After Halloween there will be a pumpkin chucking party and everyone is encouraged not to smash pumpkins on the roads, but save them for the party. There will be a pumpkin launch and prizes. The MECCA fall bike festival will be at the Wedge Sept. 25-27. The historical society has a trip planned to the Olsen ranch on Sept. 26. The elected officials rode in the Peach Days and Melon Days parade. The Little Grand Canyon Marathon was held on Sept. 12 and there were 380 participants. Thirty from other states and six from other countries. Pitchforth also attended the RSVP Walk to Russia celebration. She attended the library board meeting and they reported 600 kids participated in the summer reading program.
Kofford reported Huntington Airport is having a fly-in on Sept. 26. The backcountry pilots will use the facility for an outing. They will camp there and have training for participants on how to land on dirt airstrips. They will also visit the museums and the dinosaur quarry while in the area.
There may be enough money left after the completion of Moore 7 to allow for a Moore 8 project which would be the chip and seal project and a possible acceleration lane. The county will have to wait to see how the money shapes up, before they will know if additional projects are possible.
Goblin Valley will soon have a completed road with the road projects there. $2.2 million came from stimulus money and the other project will be completed with state park access funds.
Pitchforth reported the walls are up at the care center expansion and they will be moving along with sheetrocking and a roof. The project is on schedule.