At the first commission meeting of the new year Jeff Horrocks was re-elected the chairman of the commission. Commissioner Horrocks gave out assignments to the commissioners for the coming year. Commissioner Horrocks will be in charge of: Ambulance/EMTs, Animal Control, Airport, Association of Governments, Division of Wildlife Resources/RAC, Emery County Business Chamber, Economic Development-contact commissioner, Emery County Special Service District #1 Fire District, Housing Authority, Local building authority, North Emery Water Users District, Planning/Zoning/Bldg, Personnel, Public Lands, Sheriff/Homeland Security, TV/Communications, United States Forest Service, Weed/Mosquito, and Wildland Fire.
Commissioner James Nelson's duties will include: Aquatic Center, Assessor, Bureau of Land Management/RAC, Castle Valley Special Service District,CVSSD County Facilities, Emery County Business Chamber, EMC Foundation, Economic Development, Fire District, GR Medical Center, IT/GIS, Library, LBA, Museum, Public Lands-contact commissioner, Public/Mental Health, RC&D, SITLA, Travel Bureau and the Water Conservancy.
Commissioner Laurie Pitchforth will oversee the: Attorney, Clerk/Auditor, Council of Governments, Castle Country Partners, Care Center, contact commissioner for the Emery County Business Chamber, Economic Development, Extension/USU, Historical Preservation, Justice Court, contact commissioner for the Local Building Authority, Local Emergency Planning Committee, Lawrence Cemetery, Public Lands, Recreation Dist./Fair, Recorder/Archives, Road Department/Landfill, Senior Citizens and Treasurer.
The commission appointed Janet Petersen, Chris Jensen, Cliff Oviatt and Dawnette Tuttle to the museum of the San Rafael board. Bill Dellos, Julie Johansen, Mack Huntington and Mary Kava were appointed to the Emery County Planning Commission. Commissioner Horrocks was reappointed to the housing authority board.
The commission approved a general service contract between Rocky Mountain Power and Emery County for power service at the Buckhorn Information Center.
Tyler Jeffs, president of the Emery County Business Chamber gave an update on last year's activities for the chamber and plans for 2012. The first Lunch and Learn for the new year will focus on technology and its uses in business. Brock Johansen from Emery Telcom will speak and Darcey Powell from Forbidden Fruit. Jeffs said the chamber has a good active board and they've accomplished much in their first year in operation. Every other month a Lunch and Learn was held featuring speakers to help local businesses. The Economic Summit was held in September and was a great success. The board goes and visits with local businesses on a regular basis. The Shop Local campaign was started for the holidays and will continue throughout the year with prize drawings at the Lunch and Learns. The chamber is developing a website and social media contacts.
Jeffs requested the fee be waived for the use of the museum for the Lunch and Learns. Commissioner Nelson said the museum has a limited budget, but he would look into it, he said to plan to use the museum free of charge. Jeffs thanked the county commissioners for their support. He asked the commission to use local businesses when possible for county purchases.
Jeffs said they have been working with County Attorney David Blackwell to know what all the guidelines and parameters are for the bid process. Jeffs would like to see better communications between the local businesses and the commission.
Commissioner Pitchforth said some of our local businesses are struggling and need our support. She believes our local businesses are competitive. During the Christmas season she said she was able to shop at home and get most everything she needed locally.
Commissioner Horrocks said people have the idea that it's cheaper to go to Carbon County, but it's not when you consider the cost of gas and if you eat while you're there, it's expensive. The Chamber slogan is Emery County Your First Choice and they encourage everyone to get everything you can in Emery County first, before you travel outside the county.
The commission approved the contract renewal for Payne Relief, LLC. This is for Val Payne who does public land work for the county.
The commission approved a slight increase in user fees at the Aquatic Center.
The right of way for the Desbee Dove Wilberg crossover road was renewed for 10 years. Ray Petersen said he is going to put in a request to have the right-of-way extended in perpetuity with the mining company instead of having to renew it every 10 years.
The commissioners reported on their recent activities. Commissioner Pitchforth said she attended recreation board meeting and they reported the holiday tournament went well. There are 300 kids involved with junior jazz. The archery club has started their winter shoots every Wednesday evening at the recreation building. Hunter safety classes are going on now. The Fair will be Aug. 1-4 and the rodeo will be July 26, 27, and 28. The Miss Emery Pageant will be on July 14. You can register online for all of the recreation sports. They are getting ready for a golf academy with registration open now for that.
Commissioner Nelson said they have been looking at the concerns raised by pool users. Some people complain the pool is too cold and others say it's too hot so he doesn't think they will be able to keep everyone happy with that issue. He said they are trying to work on the lifeguard presence at the pool so people know the lifeguards are there without hovering. They are working to get the handicapped door fixed.
The Crandall Canyon land exchange is signed and recorded. "I want to thank Dave, Ray and Brenda. The families are appreciative. On Jan. 3 the commissioners met with SITLA. John Andrews did a presentation on how SITLA lands work. We would like to get the bill (county public land use) to Washington as soon as possible. We plan to continue to work with SITLA. The director for North Emery Water Users resigned and the board will meet to appoint a new director," said Commissioner Nelson.
Sheriff Greg Funk reported his deputies are in training on the new computer systems for their patrol vehicles.
Commissioner Horrocks said he and his fellow commissioners are excited to start a new year of service to the citizens of Emery County. They will work to promote and enhance the quality of life in Emery County.
Next meeting is Jan. 24.