The BLM has requested a closure of the roads into the Range Creek area. Due to national exposure of the areas and its archeaological value, they want access more restricted. At this point, the commissioners have refused to close any roads and more meetings are scheduled.
Sheriff Lamar Guymon stated that officers have already been to the Range Creek area investigating theft of artifacts. The BLM is requesting additional patrols of the area also.
Steve Barton addressed the commissioners with the suggestion that the county treasurers office begin to make paying property taxes available for use with electronic checks. Barton explained that the service would cost the payer $3 a check to pay their taxes this way.
The commissioners next considered a request for a level III conditional use permit for wastewater treatment lagoons and outfall lines for Ferron City. Commissioner Drew Sitterud explained that the sewer lagoons for the Ferron project will be moved approximately four miles. Present lagoons will be used for storm water retention. By state statute, sewer lagoons must be a certain distance from residences. Moving the lagoons will satisfy the requirement.
In addition to satisfying the criteria for the statute, moving the lagoons will enable many homes that have been outside of the hook up area, to be able to hook onto the sewer line as it goes past the homes. This move will also eliminate the pumping of waste up from the Molen area. Public hearing for this request was scheduled from Aug. 3 at 5 p.m. in the commission chambers.
Chris Rowley and Julie Johansen were approved to serve on the Emery County Planning Commission in the capacity of voting members. For the past several years, the two members have served, but in the nonvoting capacity.
Commissioner Sitterud read a letter which is proposed to be sent to those concerned with the decision making in the Wild and Scenic River designation. Sitterud will sign this copy and request that Utah's congressman to sign it also. The letter strongly states Emery County's opposition to the designation of any rivers or river segments in the county and their reasons for that opposition. Copies of the letter were approved to be sent to the BLM and the forest service offices in the Price and Richfield areas.
A cooperative agreement to enhance boating facilities at Joe's Valley Reservoir was considered for approval by the commissioners. Commissioner Ira Hatch questioned as to whether the Bureau of Reclamation had been contacted. Commissioner Sitterud explained that the forest service is the agency in control of the recreation of those lands, and they have been notified. The commission approved entering into the agreement to enhance boating opportunity at Joe's Valley Reservoir.
Commissioner Sitterud explained a letter received from the Utah Retirement System. The letter explains a new system for protection of employee information. The URS is requesting signatures of approval from the commissioners to institute this new privacy protection. The commissioners approved.
Commissioner Sitterud presented a proposal from the Emery County Recreation Department for consideration of the commission. The recreation board has purchased a used piano to be used for the fair and other county activities as needed. They have requested a reimbursement from the commission for the purchase price of the piano. Commissioner Hatch gave his approval with the stipulation that the recreation board make criteria for the use of the piano in the future.
Baliff and perimeter security services was discussed next. Every day on which court is held, the sheriff's office is required to provide one baliff and a perimeter security person. The amount the State Office of the Courts will reimburse is nearly half of the cost to Emery County. Commissioner Hatch stated that every year, they press the legislators to reimburse a bigger percentage of the required services, but thus far, the state has not raised the amount. He stressed the need to continue to press for better compensation. Both memorandums of understanding were approved.
Commissioner Hatch suggested the ratification of the Emery County Drug Task Force grant. The grant provides the county drug task force with needed funding. "This is a good program, one that we can look on with pride. It is one of the most successful drug programs in the state," said Hatch.
An interlocal agreement was approved with the Southeastern Utah Area Agency on Aging. This agency serves Emery, Carbon and Grand county seniors. Although funding is down and there is a considerable amount of belt tightening going on, this is a good program. It is funded by federal and state money. The county also puts is a percentage based on the population of seniors. "This is a real good program in our county. Maughn Guymon is doing an extremely good job," said Hatch.
A business license was approved for Bernice Payne of Cleveland to open a home based business providing art lessons and supplies.
Brenda Dugmore explained to the commissioners that a new tax rate has been received. Prior to the submission of the budgets on June 30, the state had sent out a tax rate. All of the cities had prepared their budgets based on that tax rate. With the new, lower tax rate, some budgets adjustments will be needed. The commissioners ratified the new tax rate amendment.
Commissioner Hatch explained that the county had received the grant for West Nile Virus prevention and abatement. With the grant, the county has purchased an ATV and a fogger for use for mosquito control.
Commissioner Sitterud explained that Sunrise Quarterhorse is looking for at least 30 acres of property in the upper end of the county on which to relocate their horse business from California. They are committed to come to this area. He also reported that the BLM, Ray Petersen, Gary Kofford and himself had been to the Swasey's Cabin area to look into more dispersed camping areas. The meeting went well and was very productive.
Commissioner Sitterud announced that the county is about to move into the litigation process on several RS-2477 roads. "The process is moving along," he stated.
The next commission meeting will be held July 20 at 9 a.m. in the county building.