The first county commission meeting of the 2004 year was held on Jan. 6. in the commission chambers at the courthouse. Emery County Commissioner Ira Hatch began by nominating Commissioner Drew Sitterud to again be the chairman of the commission.
Commissioner Sitterud began by assigning the duties of each commissioner for the year.
Commissioner Hatch will be responsible for: airport, BLM, clerk/auditor, COG, conservation LWG, ECSSD #1, USU extension, Green River Medical Center, personnel, public lands, road department, senior citizens, travel councils, tri-county water board, weed/mosquito and work force services.
Commissioner Gary Kofford's responsibilities will be: animal control, attorney, chamber of commerce, all county facilities, homeland security, fair, fire district, justice court, landfill, library, mental health, planning/zoning, public health, public lands, treasurer, USFS and wildland fire.
Along with the chairman duties, Commissioner Sitterud will be responsible for: ambulance/EMTs, AOG, assessor, Canyon Country, care center, DWR, economic development, IT, housing authority, museum/history, public lands, RC&D, recreation district, recorder, TV/communications and sheriff.
During the citizen concerns portions of the meeting, Orangeville City Councilman Randall Stilson had three concerns. The first was a county wide animal control ordinance to coincide with each city's ordinance. He was informed that there is an ordinance in place and the animal control officer from each city should have a copy of that ordinance.
The second concern was the interaction between each city's zoning administrator and the county zoning administrator. Commissioner Hatch will be going to a COG meeting and will bring back more specific instructions on the interaction.
Stilson also expressed his concern for the condition of the dog pound property during the summer months. The commissioners agreed to have extra weed control admininistered next summer.
County Attorney David Blackwell presented the contract for the public defenders. The contract is basically the same as the previous years contract with the only change being the provision of insurance. This contract was accepted by the commission.
Emery County Care and Rehabilitation Center Manager Bryan Erickson has relocated to another employment opportunity out of the area and Commissioner Sitterud introduced the new manager at the facility in Ferron, Jason Giatrus. Giatrus told the commissioners that he had begun his duties on Jan. 5. He explained his nursing home background and expressed his eagerness to do well at the center.
Rex Funk, supervisor of county roads, distributed copies of the countywide road plan for snow removal. He explained the prioritization of the county's roads and what determinations are made before the crew moves on to another category of roads during a storm. The first county roads to receive treatment are school bus routes and paved roads.
Before the crew moves on to another class of roads, the priority one roads must be deemed safe. This process continues until all the roads in the county have had snow removal and treatment. This process can take up to 72 hours, depending on the amount of snow received and the length of time between storms.
Funk also reported that 70 percent of the county road staff is available at all times of the day. There are at least two plows and two road graters and operators available around the clock.
Commissioner Kofford explained the contract for the county fair held in August. He said it was the same as last year, with the exception of the dates of the fair. Kathy Justice will again be the fair chairperson. The contract was accepted.
Clerk/Auditor Bruce Funk opened bids from three companies for the repairs to the engine and transmission of the compactor at the landfill. The commissioners reviewed the amounts of the bids and due to the wide range of amounts, the bid award was tabled until Rex Funk and Commission Kofford can review the bids in detail.
Several personnel issues were approved. They included the extension of the contract for Sherm Miller in the GIS office and the hiring of Clayton Rue Bell as dispatcher for the sheriff's office. Det. Sgt. Bob Blackburn and Becky Jewkes were approved for step increases. Gerilyn Mortensen retired from the Huntington Library and Bonnie Day was appointed as the assistant librarian for the Elmo Library and the Cleveland Library. Flora Motte was appointed as the head librarian for the Huntington Library.
Sue Jones, Castle Dale senior citizens center director retired on Dec. 31, 2003. Kelly Jo Nelson was hired to replace Jones in that position.
The next meeting of the Emery County Commission will be held Jan. 20 at 9 a.m.