The pump jack for the pumphouse at the buckhorn on the desert.
The Emery County Commissioners heard a presentation by Val Payne concerning the Buckhorn pumphouse. The pumphouse has been used by cattlemen in the area for many years and it's been located at the intersection on the Buckhorn road. At this intersection there will now be an information center along with the new restrooms which are already installed. There will be a spot for a camp host where information and directions for visitors will be given. Informational kiosks will be in place to educate visitors on the history of the region.
Payne is concerned that with the new improvements to the site, the historical pumphouse would be torn down and discarded. He views the pumphouse as an important part of the history of the Swell and a cultural and historic piece of history. He would like to incorporate the pumphouse into the visitor's center. He would like a kiosk explaining how the pump worked and the history of grazing on the Swell. This would help educate visitors to the importance of grazing on the Swell. Payne said the Bureau of Land Management is receptive to the idea, but they don't have any money to contribute to the project.
The pumphouse would be on display with half the original building in place so it would show the pump jack. The historic door would also be on display. Old time cowboys signed and dated the door and those historic signatures are still visible. When the pump was run by gasoline, the cowboys would take turns maintaining the pump and keeping it filled with gasoline so it would keep pumping water. They would visit the pump before and after their shifts in the coal mine so the pump would keep pumping the water for the cows in the area. This intersection has been a popular gathering place for cattle.
With the new troughs which are off the road a ways it is hoped the cattle won't gather in the roadways.
Payne said the building will need to be dismantled and stored throughout the winter and he hopes it would be ready for display by next Easter.
Payne said they will request funds from the historical preservation committee and will accept any financial donations from interested parties.
In October there will be a grand opening of the Buckhorn Information Center.
In other commission business a change order was approved for the Buckhorn Information Center. The BLM wanted a change in the picnic tables located at the information center and they will cover the costs. The project is expected to be completed this week. There will also be a rock barrier installed by the BLM.
The commission will advertise for a mid-term vacancy on the Castle Valley Special Service District board due to the death of long-time member Tom Humphrey.
The commission appointed Mike McCandless to serve on the Friends of State Parks board of directors. McCandless said this organization has been around for a long time. Five state parks were targeted for closure and the Green River State Park was among those. This group works to restore funding and places emphasis on the state parks. They are working to avoid closure of any state park.
McCandless said there is a group working with Millsite State Park to make improvements there, it's the Southeastern Utah OHV group and they have adopted Millsite State Park.
The county approved the tax abatements for indigent, disabled Veterans and circuit breaker. One of the indigent applications was held out for further review.
Dixie Thompson asked for assistance in having the sidewalk on Bott Lane kept free of snow and ice during the winter. She said there are several walkers that use that route. Commissioner Jeff Horrocks agreed that it needs to be maintained and they will look at options for doing that. The road department is kept very busy in the winter clearing snow from all the county owned building parking lots and county roads and they don't have time to add another project. So the commissioners will look at contracting out the snow removal from county owned sidewalks. The money for this to take place will have to be included in the 2012 budget.
In the commission reports Commissioner James Nelson thanked Castle Dale for their purchase of the old forest service home and corral and for their plans for the fairgrounds. They are planning to remove the old home and find a place for a new pavilion and a permanent stage. "I commend Castle Dale for their efforts," said Nelson. He also commented on the Peach Days celebration which was nice.
Commissioner Horrocks reported the work on Little Wild Horse road has been completed. Nielson Construction is working on the Reeder Sub-division road and the Emery County fire district has plans to keep a fire truck up there. Horrocks reported on the meetings in Green River with the tourism board and the friends of State Parks and ideas discussed to bring Green River Golf Course into profitability. Some of the people who worked on the Millsite Golf Course will help work with Green River.
Commissioner Horrocks said the commissioners were involved in a conference call with Juan Palma the state BLM director. The commission is working through all the steps required to try to get the Emery County Land Use Bill before Congress. It was reported SUWA has issued a response to the Emery County Lands use bill and they didn't like it.
The Back Country flyers will fly into the Huntington Airport on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. They will have a bbq at Cedar Mountain air strip on Friday evening and breakfast at the airport on Saturday. There will be at least 50 aircraft and people are invited to bring their antique cars to the airport on Oct. 1 also. County residents are welcome to come to the airport and see all the aircraft that weekend.
Oct. 8 is a steak dinner for the Republicans at the Museum of the San Rafael.
Tina Carter reported the state office of tourism stayed in Green River this past week for two days and 20 people stayed in Green River motels and ate in the restaurants and supported the economy. Local businesses donated items for the tourism board. The next commission meeting will be on Sept. 27 at 9 a.m.