The Emery County Commission met on March 26 and they filled some vacant spots on local boards. Randall Stilson has resigned as the chairman of the board for the Emery County Recreation District. Brad Giles was appointed to fill the remainder of Stilson's term. Commissioner Ethan Migliori pointed out Giles is the chairman of the Castle Valley Pageant and will be a good fit on the recreation board.
The commission approved the contract with Johansen and Tuttle for the engineering services for the construction of the debris basins in Huntington Canyon. The county is anxious to get this project going as soon as possible, before the run-off season preferably.
The commission voted to dissolve the ambulance board which has been inactive. They will structure a new board with input from the county's mayors. The mayors meet together on a quarterly basis and in the May meeting the matter will be discussed. Sheriff Greg Funk said he likes the idea of having a representative from each community to give input on the ambulance service.
The commissioners approved a tax deferral agreement for Travis R. Robinson, Daniel W. Campbell, Green River campground and Michael Hurdsman. These individuals have contracts to bring their property taxes up to date. Commissioner James Nelson said this extension will give these taxpayers more time to get their taxes paid.
A matter which was previously tabled was again brought before the commission. The request by the Emery County Housing Authority to abate the property tax on the housing units was discussed. Commissioner Ethan Migliori said he has talked to other counties to see how this situation is handled there. He was instructed these counties do not abate the property taxes. He made a motion to deny the request to abate the property taxes for the housing authority. The county has received the reimbursement money for the money they put into the remodel project at the low income housing units.
In the commissioner reports, Commissioner Nelson said Lt. Gov. Greg Bell visited the county and he was able to take him on a tour of the San Rafael Swell with Mike McCandless and they showed him some interesting sites in Emery County. Lt. Gov. Bell also spoke at the Emery County Business Chamber Banquet. The Castle Valley Special Service District board approved a number of projects to take place this summer including roads, water and sewer projects. Testing is being completed on Ferron water to see why it cannot be softened with a regular water softener. The refinery is moving forward as well as a helium project. UDOT has funding for roads for access to public lands and Emery County will work to get an application in to apply for this funding which is a 93 percent to 7 percent match.
Congressman Chaffetz will be visiting Emery County and the commissioners will have a chance to explain the county position to him on various issues.
Commissioner Migliori explained a new incentive program the Emery County Economic Development Council is formulating to help retail businesses improve the signage of their stores and their store fronts, or other needed improvement projects around a business. The council has allocated $5,000 to get this program started and businesses will be able to apply through the council. Applications are being drawn up at this time and will soon be available so businesses can apply for this loan money.
Desert Lake is also being discussed and it is owned by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. Talk is of putting in more amenities at the site to draw tourists to the area. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources acquired the Desert Lake property from the Bureau of Reclamation as mitigation for wildlife habitat lost as a consequence of developing the Joe's Valley Reservoir and dam. The ownership comes with the stipulation that it be used for rearing and care of waterfowl.
The business chamber banquet went well. Commissioner Migliori said he attended Cleveland Town meeting to let them know of the award Darcey Powell and Forbidden Fruit received at the legislature. Cleveland Town has a new mayor Bryan Christensen due to the resignation of former mayor Verla Jensen.
Commissioner Jeff Horrocks expressed the condolences of the county to the Elam Jones family who lost Elam due to a mining accident. "Our sympathies go out to the family and our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time."
Commissioner Nelson said he has been talking with many boulderers from around the country and world that have visited the county recently to enjoy the bouldering at Joe's Valley. He met people from Vancouver, Canada; Guatemala, Mexico City and a group of people from the United Kingdom.