At the recent Emery County Commissioners meeting, a public hearing was held concerning the latest round of approvals required to complete the Ferron Sewer Lagoon project.
Commissioner Drew Sitterud explained that the public hearing had been advertised and no written comments had been received. He then asked for comments from the public present at the meeting. Mack Huntington, Emery County Planning and Zoning, informed the commissioners that the planning and zoning committee had reviewed the plans for the outfall lines and placement of the sewer lagoons. It was the recommendation of the committee to issue the Level III conditional use permit.
Darrel Leamaster, Castle Valley Special Service District, then reviewed the history of this project. As a result of residents complaints, the project began with a bond election in 2001. The project has been moving through the permitting process and is now in the final stages. The City of Ferron is actively working on the private easements, and the Bureau of Land Management is the only agency that has not issued a permit at this time. It is expected soon. Leamaster also informed the commissioners that the special service district is requesting zoning laws be changed to restrict any construction in the vicinity of any of Emery County's sewer lagoons in the future.
With no other public comments, the commissioners closed the public hearing and approved the Level III conditional use permit.
During the citizens concern portion of the commission meeting, Mark H. Williams requested the commissioners to set a public hearing about the proposed ordinance allowing ATVs on county roads. Williams stated that he has served on the public lands access subcommittee since its inception, and at the last meeting, which was several months ago, the committee reached its conclusions.
Williams said that two months ago, the committee submitted its findings to the commissioners, and that the public lands director was to request a public hearing. As Williams has not seen any progress in this direction, he was requesting that the commissioners set a date for a public hearing. Commissioner Sitterud informed Williams that they would take his request under advisement.
Rex Funk, of the county road department, also spoke during citizens concerns. He explained that the road department had purchased a fuel tank system in April and as yet have not had the system installed. With the price of fuel as high as it is currently, Funk suggested that installation of this fuel tank system would save money over time. The need at the present time is for the diesel fuel tank system and for the gasoline tank system to be postponed.
Funk requested permission from the commissioners to advertise for bids to ascertain the cost of installation of the system. The commissioners approved to allow the road department to advertise for bids for the installation of the diesel fuel tank system. Funk said that after that process, he would return to the commissioners with his findings.
Commissioner Sitterud stated that Emery, Carbon, San Juan, Duchesne and Uintah counties have proposed the formation of an association. The association would consist of a commissioner from each county and four technicians. This association would specifically be concerned with the installation of digital equipment for television signal transmission. By 2005, the federal government is requiring that the transmission of television signals be digital. As a single county, none of the five counties involved has the financial capability to achieve the change alone. If this association is formed, the counties can approach the Community Impact Board for grant money to accomplish the changeover.
Emery County, who boosts television signals to San Juan and Uintah counties would receive a new building to house the new equipment needed for the transition to digital signals. If the changes are not made, all the customers who do not have cable or satellite reception would be without television signals. With the installation of the digital equipment, the signals would be more clear and the number of channels, may possibly, in the future, increase. The commissioners approved the formulation of the interlocal agreement that would be necessary to form the association.
Bob Greenburg of Four Corners Mental Health informed the commissioners that the position formerly held by Emery Jones has not yet been filled. They are just beginning the third round of the recruitment process and are having some promising results. At the present time he is covering the Castle Dale office. He also reported that two weekly substance abuse sessions have been instituted at the Emery County jail to assist the inmates with counseling services. Four Corners has also added two new staff members to the Emery County office.
Steve Barton, Emery County treasurer, explained to the commissioners, the process that his office has been pursuing in the collection of overdue property taxes from a property owner who has claimed bankruptcy. Although Emery County has filed all the proper claims and necessary papers, as a result of the liquidation of the company, the funds did not allow for the payment of the taxes. The purchasing company is not responsible for the past debts of the bankrupt company. Dave Blackwell, county attorney, advised the council that pursuit of cases of this type rarely result in the recovery of any funds. The commissioners approved not to pursue any further legal means.
In personnel matters, Tate Manzanares was approved for the mechanic position at the road department, while Travis Winn was approved to be promoted to mechanic crew leader. The commissioners also approved a week long extension for an employee who has been on family leave, to respond to a letter requesting a decision concerning return to work.
Bruce Funk, county clerk, announced that two bids had been received for the property in Emery that was being sold. Following the bid opening and announcement of the amounts, the commissioners announced Miracle Rock Mining of Emery, to be the winning bidder.
Commissioner Gary Kofford informed the other commissioners that he had received numerous comments and questions concerning political ads at the fairgrounds during the Emery County Fair. He made the suggestion that the fair board give booth space to each political party, and inform them that the signs are to stay inside the booth. Kofford stated that before the fair and following the fair, the county has no jurisdiction over the fairgrounds and those matters would require permission from Castle Dale City. The commission agreed.
The next commission meeting will be held on Aug. 17, at 4 p.m. in Green River at the sheriff's substation.