During the regular council meeting at Elmo Town on Sept. 28, no business was conducted by the town, but candidate for commissioner Gary Petty was on had to address and inform the council of his run for Emery County Commissioner.
Petty stated that he had been mayor of Emery for 12 years so he was familiar with the challenges and problems of government. If elected as commissioner, he feels his job will be to help the cities in Emery County with building inspector and city cleanup. These things have been offered in the past and have been discontinued. "I feel that it is the county's job to provide the cities with these services," said Petty.
Economic development is another item that Petty feels is very important for this area. Enrollment in the schools is down and the county is losing population. "Our coal reserves are not being promoted and 80 percent of the coal that Hunter plant is using comes from out of the county. Our unemployment is the highest in the state and there are a lot of coal reserves that can be utilized.
"We need small businesses to succeed and the county should be helping. People need work and by encouraging small business this can be done. We have many possibilities here in Emery County. Richfield has the Piaute ATV Jamboree and Moab has the jeep rallies. We can do the same things and promote our area but we need infrastructure and I think the county should help with that.
"Motels and hotels need encouragement to survive in this area. Take Wayne County, how many of your have been there lately? They have undergone a big cleanup and improvement plan throughout the entire county. Now it is a place for tourism and businesses are being built, and those businesses are building the county," said Petty.
Petty also stressed the need to work on the RS-2477 issue. Work needs to be done to keep our roads open and reopen the ones that should not have been closed. He stated that the Seeger's Hole road is on SITLA land and should never have been closed. He said that if the county does nothing following the other road closures, the Bureau of Land Management will surely close some additional roads.
Petty also stated that royalty money from the coal mined in Emery County should be put back into the problems that arise from the mining of coal. SUFCO is interfering with Emery's water supply and that royalty money could be used to solve that problem. Grazing associations and irrigation companies also need the county's backing. These are the things that are impacted by the mining industry and the county should be doing all they can to help these organizations.
"My desire is to make a better way of life for Emery County," said Petty.
Mayor Daryl Wilcox then explained to the council that the advertisement has been placed in the newspaper for the environmental statement for the USDA. The USDA has awarded Elmo Town a $79,000 grant to help with the construction of the firestation. When the advertisement for comments has run, the comments received will be analyzed and if no environmental problems are identified, the grant will be given to the town.
In November, the town will apply for more grant funding to help with the construction of the firestation. Mayor Wilcox explained that the town has an excellent chance for receiving the funding.
The council decided to ask Ashley Grimes to sit on the Economic Development Council as a representative for Elmo. Kirt Rasmussen also pointed out that one of the new drains has not been covered with a grate as yet. "This needs to be taken care of as soon as possible," stated Rasmussen.
Mayor Wilcox also advised the council that he has located a source for the battery charging equipment that the town needs for the equipment. The council approved that the mayor would pick these items up as they had already been approved for purchase by the counci.
The next Elmo Town Council meeting will be Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m.