Emery County Commissioners James Nelson, Laurie Pitchforth and Jeff Horrocks sign the community covenant. Mayor Pat Brady, far left, from Green River also participates.
The Emery County commissioners hosted a Community Covenant signing program at the Nov. 13 commission meeting. Sgt. Ryan Palmer from the National Guard works with the Community Covenant program and he has been to Emery County several times, as programs have been held in Green River, Emery, Ferron, Orangeville, Huntington, Cleveland and Castle Dale. He said he has developed a love for Emery County during his time spent here. Emery County is one of the first of the 29 counties to sign a Community Covenant.
Each of the commissioners expressed their love and appreciation for veterans and military families and for what they do on our behalf.
Commissioner Jeff Horrocks thanked Commissioner Laurie Pitchforth who led the National Anthem. He said he participated in the veteran's program at the veteran's monument in Castle Dale for Veteran's Day. The American Legion from Huntington and Ferron gathered to participate. He said the ceremony was quite touching and the veterans are true heroes in our country. "We owe a deep amount of gratitude to those who willingly serve in the military. Thank you for the service you render. We pray for the military and for their families," said Commissioner Horrocks.
Commissioner Pitchforth said the Community Covenant program is a very honorable program. Her family members have served in the military. "It's hard on families to have someone serve in the military. We thank you for this. The American Legion needs more young people to step up," said Commissioner Pitchforth.
Commissioner Nelson said he has many family members who have served and as a teacher he had many students who joined the armed forces and have come back to visit. "I remember in school, Mr. Eugene Johansen had every student in his history classes memorize all four verses of the National Anthem. Singing that song always brings a tear to my eye. I appreciate all who serve."
The three commissioners as well as mayors, Sheriff Greg Funk and others present came forward and signed the covenant. There will be three copies of the covenant and one will stay at the county building. Another will be in the armory in Price and the other copy will be at the headquarters of the National Guard in Draper.
In other commission business they appointed David Blackwell and Mary Huntington to go to the UCIP meetings.
The commission approved a revised purchasing policy that increases the dollar amount on purchases that can be made and projects completed without commission approval. The $300 limit went to $500. The $3,000 limit went to $5,000. Attorney David Blackwell said the new code doesn't give parameters for limits. They could either establish some parameters or adopt the state code. The committee opted to update the county code which hadn't been revised since 1993. The county policy will remain the same with the upgrades in amounts.
The bat contract was updated for the clean-up of the damages left behind when bats infested the courthouse. Commissioner Nelson said, "It's a serious thing, we have joked about it, but we have to deal with it." The amount of $2,000 was added to the bat cleanup contract.
Jacob Sharp from the Castle Valley Special Service District announced plans are underway to annex the property into the CVSSD boundaries that the cities have annexed into their cities the past few years. This usually happens every five years, but the district is behind on doing this and it hasn't been done the past eight or nine years. A public hearing will need to be held as part of the process.
The county signed the agreement with the Manti-LaSal National Forest for law enforcement. Green River City asked for a tax abatement for property they recently purchased to build a new public safety complex. The commission signed the abatement.
Repairs need to be made at the Emery County Aquatics Center including the fire alarm system, handicap door controls and the crash gate alarm. Commissioner Nelson said these repairs are being done as inexpensively as possible and pool manager Shannon Hiatt is able to do most of the work.
The Emery County Travel Bureau asked for the approval of Bar Z Adventure to design the San Rafael Country app. This app is being developed with a grant from the Utah Office of Tourism and funds from the travel bureau. This app once downloaded can give information on lodging, restaurants, attractions, trails for biking and OHV use in the area. Tina Carter from the travel bureau said our county will be among the only county with an app. People with smart phones will be able to access information about Emery County immediately and from anywhere. The app development will cost approximately $10,000.
Commissioner Nelson reported more meetings will be held on the Emery County public land management bill.
Commissioner Pitchforth reported she had a new granddaughter born. She said all three commissioners attended the Southeastern Utah Energy Producers Banquet and Emery County supports energy production and the county must continue to battle and fight for coal. The power plants and coal mines are the lifeblood of our communities. Commissioner Pitchforth said she contacted Ethan Migliori, the new commissioner and congratulated him on his election to the commission. The next commission meeting will be on Nov. 27 at 9 a.m.