The Emery County Commission set the time and date of a public hearing to hear comment on the issuance of temporary use permits for county roads for the upcoming Arapeen ATV Jamboree. The hearing will take place at the next commission meeting at 5 p.m. on Aug. 5. Commissioner Drew Sitterud explained that the county and the cities within the county have been meeting and working out an ATV access countywide plan. This is still in the planning stage and the Arapeen ATV Jamboree will be held Aug. 13-16 and use roads and trails in and around the communities of Ferron and Emery. Therefore a need for the county to issue temporary use permits for the use of these county roads is necessary for the jamboree to proceed as planned. The next meeting for the discussion of ATVs and county roads is scheduled for Aug. 12.
In other commission business they approved the reinstatement of archive worker, Dottie Grimes. The commission approved the dates for the board of equalization which will be held in Green River at the sheriff's complex on Aug. 19 from 12:30-3:30 p.m. The commission will meet that day in Green River. The board of equalization for the western end of the county will be held in Castle Dale in the executive conference room of the courthouse on Main Street on Aug. 20 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
The library board of directors recommended the appointment of Natalee Gardner to the library board and she was approved by the commission. The commission also approved the appointment of Kerry Bigelow as recommended by the Emery County Travel Bureau to fill the position on the bureau on the eastern side of the county.
The commission discussed the bids which were solicited to provide an airport layout plan report and the associated paperwork for the Huntington airport. Commissioner Ira Hatch stressed that an airport improvement plan is a prerequisite to receiving state and federal dollars for upgrades at the airport. Eight bids were received and Commissioner Hatch conferred with the consultants at the aeronautics division of UDOT and the firm of Jones and Demille from Richfield was chosen as the consultant on the Huntington Airport Layout plan report. The bid was approved by the commission.
The commissioners discussed the Solitude landfill which will begin work on the facility in early September. The land is an eight mile stretch which is two sections wide and within the city limits. The land is desolate with blue slate hills and an excellent location for the landfill. The commission has been asked to speak in favor of the landfill to the natural resources committee for their permitting process. A class 1 permit has already been issued so the site can accept municipal solid waste from within Utah and is trying for a class 5 permit which will enable them to accept waste from other states, but not anything hazardous. The commission voiced their support of the project which will create jobs in Emery County. The company will seek workers from Green River City first and then from throughout the county to fill available positions.
Until a railroad spur can be constructed to the site, the bales of waste will be trucked to the landfill for a distance of five miles from the old coal spur to the site of the new landfill. It was also mentioned that the patent for the equipment which makes the large bales of waste is held in Utah and the equipment is now being used worldwide.
It was also mentioned the whole landfill operation was listed as being very safe with little to no chance of contamination of ground water.
The local emergency planning committee was also discussed. Capt. Kyle Ekker from the Emery County Sheriff's Office said they have been meeting every month with the fire district, school district representatives and others to discuss emergency planning. Funding is made available through the Homeland Security Act. Deputy Martin Wilson is the coordinator of the project and the letter of understanding for services is for an assistant for the program on a 10 month contract. Judy Lang is Deputy Wilson's assistant.
The commission discussed fire restrictions at the county owned Bear Creek Campground in Huntington Canyon and it was determined that the county would adopt whatever restrictions were in force on the land adjacent to the county's property.
Discussion on the water bills on county property in Green River was discussed. It was determined that a letter be written to the Green River City Council requesting the properties not be listed as commercial businesses so as to reduce costs.
Clerk Bruce Funk brought the claims and requistions before the commission. Payment to Colonial Flag in the amount of $551.08 for the creation of the county flag was approved. Sheriff Lamar Guymon's claim for cell phone reimbursement for replacement costs in the amount of $244.95 of his cell phone, batteries, charger and outside antenna and accessories was denied. The commissioners decided they needed to look at the terms of the contract for cell phone reimbursement before a decision could be made on the reimbursement. Ten large, decorative snowflakes were approved for decoration at the courthouse during the Christmas season in the amount of $2,280.
Pat Snowball, personnel director, asked for commission approval for three step increases for two employees, Kathy Jensen in the sheriff's office and Leslie Bolinder, secretary to the commissioners. The increases were approved. Commissioner Hatch said he felt like the continued request for increases for employees with excellent performance was out of control. He said everybody is doing an excellent job and that maybe an across the board increase for everyone was a better idea and that the whole system needs to be looked at. He said he didn't have any problem with giving the requested raises.
Snowball said she thought the employees who had been recommended for increases to date by department heads are deserving and that these individuals haven't been recognized for a long time. She mentioned that these increases based on performance is kind of neat. She said she did not see it as the flood gates being opened and did agree that across the board raises are terrific as well.
Commissioner Hatch said he believed they were trying to solve a problem with mobility and it has evolved into a wage issue and that people out in the trenches are putting forth a lot of effort as well.
Snowball did agree that across the board raises are easier and that maybe that should be looked at for next year. Commissioner Hatch said that honest evaluations must be taken and kept record of, not only on good performances by employees but also employees whose job performance could use some improvement.