|Work on the Joe's Valley boat ramp will be finished soon.|
At the Oct. 5 meeting of the Emery County Commissioners, Delena Fish of the Department of Workforce Services was present to make her quarterly report. Before Fish began, Commissioner Drew Sitterud expressed his appreciation to Fish for the work that she and her department had done on the Emery County Rural Economic Summit held in September.
Fish informed the commissioners that the DWS has published a new booklet called Utah Careers. This publication was put together to enable clients of DWS to look at the career market and help them find a job. The information in this booklet is also available on the internet at www.jobs.utah.gov.
Although the booklet is filled with information concerning the career market in Utah, there is a section that pertains directly to Emery County. The DWS has also put together a booklet specific to young people in the job market. Fish distributed a booklet to each of the commissioners and encouraged them to become familiar with the information.
Fish then explained that Utah State has determined several goals for the coming year, one of which is to target several specific job markets. The state has selected the medical field and the construction field. These markets were chosen because at the present time they are the fastest growing markets in the state. The state goal is to place 100 people into these jobs.
As for the DWS office in Emery County, they have chosen to work in the areas of government and energy. The goal for the county is to place 11 people into each field. Fish stated that Emery County is more than half way to that goal at the present time.
Fish explained the goals for the State Department of Workforce Services. They are: (1) Promote economic stability and self-sufficiency for all our customers; (2) Contribute to the development of a workforce that is prepared for the jobs of today and the future; (3) Provide a dynamic employment exchange system; and (4) Support quality of work-life for all DWS employees. The Emery County office of DWS has compiled a list of goals to coincide with the state and regional goals and each member of the staff has a specific assignment to accomplish these goals. The program will be monitored monthly and Fish will report the progress at each of her quarterly appearances.
DWS will be administering the WIA Youth program this year. This program is for youth ages 14-21 who need assistance with job training or education. Currently there are 18-20 youth involved and there is room for additional participants. Anyone who is interested in this program may apply at the DWS office.
The PCN open enrollment window is currently open. This program provides health care for adults who do not qualify for other programs. The enrollment window will be open until Oct. 29. As an incentive this year, there will be a sliding scale, depending on income, to determine the enrollment fee.
Fish explained that the Learn Key programs are a group of computer learning programs on the internet. These are available at the DWS office at no cost or low cost for Emery County residents.
As for employment in Emery County, Fish said that construction jobs are down while the Consol Mine will be hiring 90 more employees within the next few weeks. DBT, a Huntington business, is looking for employees with welding and machinist experience.
Larry Salazar, of Emery Telcom, was next to give a quarterly report. OC3 has been installed between Emery High School and College of Eastern Utah. This will provide a high speed network connection between the two schools for more efficient internet educational opportunities.
Emery Telcom has also recently redesigned Energy West's network.
They have also upgraded and completed steps to carry out local number portability. This will enable customers to take their phone number with them if they change carriers.
As for community involvement, Emery Telcom has donated $8,000 to local high schools for scholarships for higher education. The Crystal Apple Awards were held last May at CEU to honor outstanding teachers in the Emery and Carbon county area. The winning teacher will be eligible to go on to compete in the Rural Teacher Award competition which has a $5,000 prize to be used for classroom improvements.
Emery Telcom also gives each school in the district $100 per month to be used for awards for students in a positive behavior program. Salazar stated that it is the determination of Emery Telcom to stay involved in community affairs.
Commissioner Ira Hatch stated that the difficulties with UAC concerning the collection of the transient room taxes has given rise to the possibility of Emery County doing their own collection of this tax. Hatch stated that Grand County is presently doing their own collection and he suggested that he and Deputy Clerk Brenda Dugmore meet with Grand County to discuss any problems that may arise for Emery County.
Hatch stated that the Utah State Tax Commission requires a 90 day notice of any changes in collection. A letter has been sent to the state informing the tax commission of Emery County's intent to collect their own TRT money beginning Jan. 1. 2005. The commission ratified this action.
A public hearing to gather comments on this matter will be held on Nov. 16 at 5 p.m. A new ordinance will be drafted and be available for review in the clerk's office, the commissioners office and the travel bureau office. Hatch stated that his feelings are that Emery County can utilize the savings of self collection rather that paying UAC the percentage they keep for doing the job for Emery County.
The commission discussed the new copy machine in the GIS office. This new machine prints color copies. The decision was made to limit the use of the copy machine for county business exclusively. No personal use will be permitted.
Sitterud informed the commissioners that the Range Creek temporary resource management plan is out. The RMP is consistent with the existing rules that admission into the area is by foot or horseback only. A permit must be obtained from the Division of Wildlife Resources, and possibly the museums in the future, before entering the canyon.
The responsibility of writing the permanent management plan of the area is still undecided. The commissioners approved to inform the state and the state parks that the county wants to remain in the process and the management plan should be written by state agencies and not the federal agencies.
Sitterud stated that the search for a judge is underway and will continue through the next several weeks. He stated that 49 applications have been received. He also stated that the work on the boat ramp at Joe's Valley is underway and moving along nicely. The county may be able to pour an additional 40 feet to the planned 500 foot ramp. Sitterud has also been accepted on the BLM RAC and that appointment will continue through 2007.
The next meeting of the Emery County Commissioners will be Oct. 19 at 9 a.m.