The project to digitize Emery County television is moving forward. Five counties have combined to request a grant of $3 million from the community impact board. The only glitch so far is that Emery County does not own the communications site on Cedar Mountain where the equipment will be installed. They own the buildings and all the equipment but not the actual ground. The site is owned by Green River City and their council was approached by Commissioner Drew Sitterud about deeding that land over to the county so the grant request can be approved by CIB. The Green River City council did not take action on the matter and will wait until their November meeting to rule on the request. Commissioner Sitterud pointed out that the Cedar Mountain site can only be leased to government agencies and not private phone companies. Updating the Cedar Mountain site will enable the county to meet federal regulations which call for digital signals by the end of 2006.
Green River students submitted a letter requesting a donation to the Close-up trip to Washington D.C. The commission approved $250 for the trip. Green River students have been involved in fund raising efforts to raise the required $1,385 per student. Every other year the Senior class travels to Washington D.C. to learn about government and they also visit with the Utah delegation.
Bob Lowe from the Rural Water Association of Utah presented information to the Emery County Commissioners regarding source protection. Lowe mentioned some water sources in Utah that have been contaminated including: Salt Lake's Sugarhouse well, Mapleton's wells, Sevier Town, Weber River and some of Kennecott's wells.
Lowe estimated costs to develop a new source of drinking water for a community to be between $100,000 to 500,000. He said it is a lot less expensive to protect a water source than it is to replace or restore a water source. Lowe said there are three major components involved in source protection. Protection zones around the source must be identified. An inventory of potential hazards to the water source must be identified. Sites must be managed to mitigate any development which might result in water source contamination.
Concerns with water sources are for surface as well as ground water. Lowe recommended protection zones around water sources to maintain water integrity over long periods of time. He said in Salt Lake County there are even guidelines concerning the number of dogs allowed in a watershed area. Lowe said the Division of Drinking Water has no authority to regulate land use, but cities, towns and counties do have authority to enact ordinances to regulate land use at the local level.
Management programs at the local level are intended to be well-thought out plans to control potential contamination source hazards. Lowe also said they have had success with public education and awareness programs concerning source protection. Regulatory land management strategies include zoning ordinances, subdivision ordinances, site plan reviews, design standards, pollution source prohibitions and property condemnations.
Lowe believes that most development can exist within source protection zones if it is controlled through design standards and education. Zoning ordinances passed by local officials are the best ways to control pollution sources that may want to locate near wells and springs in the future. Protection programs must be set up in advance of potential problems to be effective.
Lowe ended his presentation by offering his services to the county if they should wish to enact any source protection ordinances. Commissioner Gary Kofford mentioned that he is aware of source protection and has been involved in a subdivision at Joe's Valley which has the potential for problems. Commissioner Drew Sitterud said one issue Emery County is always dealing with is that watersheds don't always run along county lines. Lowe said in such cases then a cooperative effort is needed between counties to protect water. Sitterud said that in Emery County we are always dealing with coal mines and water and protecting springs from mining activity.
The commission approved a contract with the state of Utah for cadastral mapping and parcel automation.
The road department will be accepting bids for assembly, adaption and installation of used fuel storage and dispensing system at their shop. A meeting has been set for Oct. 26 at 10 a.m. to open the bids.
Commissioner Ira Hatch was named as the representative to the Utah Counties Insurance Pool and Pat Snowball is the alternate.
County Attorney Dave Blackwell prepared a document for the ordinance on collecting the transient room tax money. A public hearing will be held on Nov. 16 at 5 p.m to hear any public comments on the ordinance.
Commissioners set their dates for work meetings on the 2005 budget. They asked Brenda Dugmore, deputy county clerk to prepare a letter to county department heads asking all requisitions be presented at the Nov. 16 commission meeting. They are also requesting all bills be submitted for payment by the first meeting in December. The second meeting in December will pick up all credit card payments and utilities to avoid late charges. The commission also asked all requests for computer related items to go through Jeff Guymon in the IT department to avoid any duplication on products needed.
Commissioner Kofford reported that work is being done on the parking lot at the public safety complex which includes new asphalt in spots and grading work. He also reported on the problems the cities are having in regards to doing all their own building permits through the cities. Kofford said it looks like all requests will go through a city's zoning administrator and the actual building permit would be issued through the county. This hinges on each city adopting the 1997 uniform building code fees. All building permits will be issued under the new fee structure. This will be more expensive, approximate increases would go from a $300 fee on a $100,000 house to a $1,000 fee on a $100,000 house. These additional costs in building inspection fees will help to cover the addition of manpower to the building inspector department.
Commissioner Sitterud also reported that he had talked to the judge candidates and would begin interviews soon for the justice court judge. The next commission meeting will be held on Nov. 16 at 4 p.m.