The Emery County Commission had a discussion on how to handle the grants coming in from NRCS for the Seeley fire clean-up.
There is extensive paperwork involved with the grants. The commission discussed turning future grants over to the Emery Water Conservancy District because they are familiar with the NRCS process. A concern with the grants is the 25 percent match required which can be a substantial amount. The first grant in the amount of $150,000 will be managed by the county's emergency management office. After this grant is administered the county would like to move any future grants to an entity involved directly with water and irrigation.
The commission denied a request from Mike and Cheryl Nelson to reclassify the county road they live on from a D to a B road. Commissioner James Nelson said farmers also use the road as well as XTO. As a class D road, it is maintained from time to time.
The commission denied a request for four ambulance write-offs because no attempt to pay has been made. The commission approved a change order for Superior Security Services for the Emery County jail control upgrades. They will be adding more cameras, seven more doors and cameras in the visiting area. The metal building security will be upgraded. The entire project will come in about $110,000.
An agreement was made with Bar Z Adventures for the creation of the San Rafael Country app for the travel bureau. This app will allow users to access information about Emery County concerning attractions and services.
Jacob Sharp, director for the Castle Valley Special Service District discussed the upcoming annexation of portions of Castle Dale, Clawson, Cleveland, Elmo, Emery, Ferron, Huntington and Orangeville into the Castle Valley Special Service District boundaries. More property has been added than originally thought, due to areas which were being considered for annexation a few years back and the process wasn't completed at that time. Those properties have been added to the new map. A public hearing concerning the annexation will be held on Jan. 22, 2013.
Commissioner Nelson reported he went to Washington DC with Ray Petersen and Randy Johnson to speak to Utah's Washington delegation about the Emery County Public Land Use Management plan. Commissioner Nelson said they were well received and able to speak to everyone. The delegation was encouraging concerning the bill. On the plane ride to Washington they found out about the citizen proposal to Pres. Barak Obama concerning the expansion of the Canyonlands National Monument. This expansion could include 196,000 acres in Emery County. UAC sent a letter opposing such an expansion to the president. Commissioner Nelson wants the county to write their own letter to Pres. Obama opposing such a monument.
The letter will state that Emery County supports a grass roots process and opposes people going to the President and asking for monuments.
Commissioner Laurie Pitchforth suggested the Emery County Public Lands Council also send their own letter opposing the expansion of the Canyonlands monument.
Commissioner Pitchforth encouraged everyone to shop local for the holidays whenever possible. "We have some cute shops here in the county. There is Debbie's gifts, Moments 2 Cherish in Huntington and Patrick Braun just opened a rock shop with some interesting gifts. Look within the county for your purchases."
Commissioner Jeff Horrocks said he along with Commissioner Pitchforth attended UAC for training. There were many different breakout sessions including one on jails, public lands, recreation districts, travel bureau and other topics. The commissioner elect Ethan Migliori was shown around and introduced to other commissioners in the state.
"I am thankful for those who went to Washington to fight for our lands bill. I am thankful for the dedicated employees we have in our county," said Commissioner Horrocks.
Sheriff Greg Funk encouraged everyone to buckle-up and drive safe and sober throughout the holiday season.
The next commission meeting will be on Dec. 18 at 5 p.m. and will include a public hearing and final approval of the 2013 budget.
In the local building authority meeting Commissioner Pitchforth gave an update on the weed and mosquito building. The contracts have been received from the CIB and signed and sent back. Johansen and Tuttle will prepare the bid and the project will be advertised. Work is being completed now at the site in preparation for the new building. The new building will be located on the DesBeeDove Road behind the state buildings. The project will be just under $1 million.