The Emery County Commission held their annual commission meeting in Green River on Aug. 28. The commission opened the bids for the painting of the Buckhorn bridge. They only received one bid for $32,260 from B & T Builders and Supply. The bid was approved.
The radio station translator was discussed. Castle Country radio wishes to broadcast KRPX over Emery County's translator. It was determined that a test run be done to see how clear the signals are. Commissioner Laurie Pitchforth wondered if a survey could be done to see which stations the county residents are listening to. The station that would be dropped in order to pick-up KRPX will be oldies KODJ. County residents are encouraged to let the commissioners know if they have a preference on these radio stations.
Bret Mills, the communication director, talked about the grant the county has received for $440,000 for upgrades for the television and translators. It is a national grant that will be used to help recoup the costs associated with the digital TV. This grant has enabled the county to make the improvements without the use of local tax dollars.
Commissioner James Nelson said the improvements to the TV service have been dramatic. The new equipment brings up the signal strength and will allow the county to have digital equipment. Mills modified the old analog equipment to work to get by and now this will give the county new digital equipment. The commissioners thanked Mills for his hard work on the grant.
The commissioners formed a committee to look at the county's purchasing policy. Currently if an item is going to cost more than $300, bids must be obtained. The commissioners are wondering if this amount should be raised. Those on the committee are: Brenda Tuttle, Sheriff Greg Funk, Commissioner Pitchforth, County Attorney Blackwell and Wayde Nielson, road department.
The commission approved the updating of the Emery County jails policies and procedures to coincide with standards for Utah jail policy.
The commission approved a letter of support for the Southeastern Utah Association of Governments Rural Development self-help program. This program helps people get into homes, either new construction or remodeled homes. The applicant will help with the construction or repair of the home. Several applicants can work together to construct homes and they can't move into the completed homes until all of them are finished. They work with licensed contractors to get the work done, the applicants can help with everything except the plumbing, electrical and cement work. Commissioner Jeff Horrocks said the program helps those who are unable to afford a home in traditional ways. Anyone interested in this program can apply with the Southeastern Utah Association of Governments. Chad Booth with the County Seat television program spoke to the commissioners about their program. He thanked the commission for their monetary support of their program in the past. He said KOAL radio rebroadcasts their programs. Some of the topics the program has covered include public lands issues, sage grouse, HB 148, taxes, water, economic development, interviews with the Washington delegation, Emery County public land use bill, indigent defense, RS-2477, invasive species and wildfire among others. The program reaches 34,000 homes each week. Booth said one suggestion they have had is to film school children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to begin the show. They would travel to different schools to film and then the children could watch the show each week to see if they are on the program. The commissioners liked the idea.
Booth said they are always on the lookout for new topics of interest for the show. One topic Ray Petersen suggested was land exchanges. The commissioners said they would prepare a list of topics and get those to Booth for consideration. The show airs on Sunday mornings at 8 a.m. on ABC 4. They are looking at options for the time spot. The website where the shows can also be viewed is thecountyseat.tv
Under citizen comments the Green River ambulance was discussed. Gary Riches said those people who run on the ambulance devote their lives to it and Green River is just out there on their own on their calls and they cover a lot of miles. Commissioner Horrocks said they should take any problems they have to Lt. Gayle Jensen and to Jim Gordon the ambulance director. He said he is always available to talk to also. One resident stressed the need for a city supervisor for the ambulance department.
One Green River resident said in the 15 years he's been in Green River his taxes have nearly doubled on his primary residence. He is concerned that services seem to always go to the western side of the county and Green River is ignored. Commissioner Horrocks said there are several Green River people that sit on county boards and they know where the money goes. Commissioner Horrocks suggested that the travel bureau go to the Green River City Council meeting and give a rundown of where the transient room taxes go. Commissioner Horrocks said most of the county meetings are covered in the Emery County Progress and he encouraged them to pick-up a copy to see what's going on in the county.
The Emery County Business chamber will hold their September Lunch and Learn at the John Wesley Powell River History Museum in Green River at noon on Sept. 19. Mark Holyoak from Castleview Hospital will be the guest speaker.
Commissioner Nelson said he attends many meetings in Green River and they will work harder to keep the Green River residents informed.
The commission approved the promotion of Jonathon Minchey to patrol deputy I after his successful completion of POST. Blaine Allen was hired as a 90 day temporary for the road department.