Emery County Commissioners in their January meeting re-elected Jeff Horrocks as the chairman for 2014. Assignments were given to the commissioners for 2014. Responsibilities include: Commissioner Jeff Horrocks; ambulance/EMTs; animal control, airport, Association of governments, clerk/auditor, county facilities, Division of Wildlife Resources, Emery County Business Chamber, Emery County Special Service District number one, economic development, fire district, housing authority, local building authority, North Emery Water Users District, Planning and zoning, personnel, public lands, sheriff/homeland security, TV/communications, weed/mosquito. Commissioner James Nelson-Aquatic center, attorney, BLM/RAC, conservancy districts, Castle Valley Special Service District, Emery County Business Chamber, Emery County Foundation, economic development, fire district, Green River medical center, library, local building authority, public lands, public/mental health, road department/landfill, senior citizens, SITLA, treasurer, water conservancy, wildland fire. Commissioner Ethan Migliori-assessor, aquatic center, council of governments, care center, Emery County Business Chamber, economic development, extension/USU, historical preservation, justice court, information technology/GIS, local building authority, local emergency planning, Lawrence Cemetery, museum, public lands, recreation district/fair, recorder/archives, state parks, travel bureau, United States Forest Service.
Evelyn Huntsman from the Emery County Historical Society asked the commission for use of the Museum of the San Rafael for their monthly meetings. Commissioner Nelson said their meetings are very well attended, informative and cover a wide variety of topics. Commissioner Migliori said the organization is an all-volunteer group and he appreciates their effort to keep the history of Emery County alive. The commission approved the request from Huntsman to allow the group to use the museum free of charge.
The commission approved a BLM right of way by Millsite to allow access to a lone toilet at the point of the hill. There are several routes to this facility and it will be narrowed down to one route. The road can be muddy at times and people go out around the mud causing user created roads. The county will add the road to their system where it will be maintained and rehabilitated. Road base will be added to the road and improvements. There is an endangered species cactus in the area and this road effort will help protect this cactus. The road will allow access to the area for fishing and the swimming hole.
There are also some BLM OHV trail projects that will be completed in that area.
The commission approved a request for power to the site of the debris basin in Huntington Canyon at 427 West SR-31.
Merrial Johansen said they have been working with the BLM and Rocky Mountain Power to bring power to operate the gate at the lower debris basin structure. The project will help benefit the power plant so it's hoped RMP will help in getting power to the site, but it could cost as much as $180,000.
The board approved replacing a member of the planning commission and recruiting for that position as well as two alternates.
Commissioner Nelson said this board has some serious responsibilities and members need to be well trained.
The commission signed the interlocal agreement with the indemnity pool for UCIP. This is the insurance pool operated by the counties. David Blackwell is a member of this board. The agreement changes the deadline for opting out from 120 to 180 days.
The commission approved the emergency library policy which outlines when a library can be closed. Conditions such as when a bathroom or furnace isn't working.
An agreement with the department of justice for any seizures that Emery County might be involved in was signed and any funds would be split between the two entities.
Under commission reports, Commissioner Nelson reported the quagga mussels are on the move and causing concern for local water districts and irrigation companies. A meeting was held to discuss the issue and more meetings will be held in the near future.
A one year contract extension has been granted to the Emery Water Conservancy District by the Bureau of Reclamation for the continued use of water from Joe's Valley. This is a major distribution point for the water to the Hunter Power Plant. The bureau wants to make changes to the water from Joe's Valley Reservoir. Commissioner Nelson said it's a big concern.
The fire district board met and has volunteer members from each community.
Four Corners Behavioral Health will soon have a residential program in Moab called Aspen Cove. This facility will serve the four county area. The facility will be in-patient care for substance abuse and mental health counseling.
Commissioner Migliori reported he attended recreation board and the youth sports are very well organized and moving forward. The Huntington ball complex renovation project will begin in the early summer and be done by October. The sheriff's office had an audit and he went through that process with them.
Work is continuing on the placement of transmission lines for electricity through the Cedar Mountain area. Commissioner Migliori wants there to be an economic benefit for the county if the lines go through.
Jan. 31 is rural day on the hill and the commissioners plan to attend.
Commissioner Horrocks said in the audit meeting for the sheriff's office there were a few items that are in need of change or repair. There are some safety issues. The contract with the state will need to be renegotiated. There needs to be more money available for personnel so the metal detectors can be operated on court days. Commissioner Horrocks said, "It was a good meeting and they had praise for our sheriff's office."
Commissioner Horrocks attended the ribbon cutting and open house for the new building at USU Eastern.
Commissioner Migliori said the college will play a more dominant role in the future. There was one time money available to help remodel the building. The college will work with Workforce Services on determining needs in the workplace. The BEAR program will move to the new building as well as Custom Fit and the Carbon County economic development office.
The new building will help with the needs of non-traditional students 25 years and older, those people who are returning to college because they have become displaced in the workplace or are underemployed. The new resources will make them feel welcome and help them succeed. "Commissioner Horrocks was the only other commissioner there from the two counties. I appreciate his support," said Commissioner Migliori.
Commissioner Horrocks said he and Mike McCandless, economic development director have been working with seven Eastern Utah counties to pull together into an economic engine to promote project development and diversification.
Blue Castle Holdings continues to work towards the nuclear power plant. The recent court trial ruled in their favor for the diversion of water from the Green River. They are proceeding with obtaining permitting. There is a time period open for any wishing to appeal the court ruling.
Conductive Composites is beginning their new building near Cleveland. They will employ 15 people.
Ray Petersen and the commission discussed snow removal at the Joe's Valley subdivision.
Volunteers were approved for out of state travel for those working on the travel shows.
In the local building authority meeting it was reported the weed and mosquito building is nearly complete and they will hopefully be in the building by the end of the month.
The work at the airport is almost complete still needing the awning for the shuttle car and Johansen and Tuttle are working on the five year plan.
For the Huntington ball complex project there will be five weeks of dirt work and grading, then water and power line work and then construction. Work is being done on bids. Work will begin in early summer and will go for 16 weeks. The recreation district is trying to do the best it can with the funds available and stretch the money to get a lot done.
Commissioner Nelson said anyone wishing to be a sponsor for the ball complex and donate money either businesses or individuals those donations would be welcomed.