The Emery County Commissioners met in their first meeting of the year. The first two items on the agenda were tabled due to the absence of Commissioner Gary Kofford who is out of town. These items were the election of a chairman and outlining the commissioners responsibilities for the year.
Clerk Bruce Funk was on hand to open the bids for the road department on filters for road department equipment. Seven bids were received from the following companies: J&D Automotive, BookCliff Sales, Kenworth Sales, Wards 4x4, Wheeler, Rhinehart Oil, Lake City Trucks Inc.
Commissioner Ira Hatch said he would get together with Rex Funk, road department head and peruse the bids and breakout costs and come back to the next meeting with a recommendation.
Treasurer Steve Barton approached the commission under citizen concerns. He is dealing with a homeowner in arrears on his house taxes. The commission determined the house will be added to the list for the May tax sale.
Rex Funk approached the commission on the need for a trackhoe for the road department and requested he be allowed to begin searching for a used one. The commission granted approval.
The commission budgeted $10,000 for the lobbyist, Robert K. Weidner who represents Emery County and other counties in Washington, D.C. at the legislature, in December. Weidner has sent a letter informing the commission that his services are now $16,000 per year. The commissioners decided to inform Weidner of the $10,000 available this year and request he notify the county when that has been used. His fee is $250 an hour. Commissioner Drew Sitterud said they receive reports from Weidner and he lobbies for the rural counties and the county needs a voice in Washington.
In personnel matters Pat Snowball requested a six month routine pay increase for Willard Young, grounds keeper at the Museum of the San Rafael. The commission accepted the resignation of Steve Stream from the sheriff's office effective, Dec. 31, 2004. The sheriff's office will hire two employees to replace Stream and also to fill a prior vacancy. If possible they will hire from the current pool of applicants and if not they can begin advertising for the positions.
The recorders office will oversee the Emery County Archives and will be under the direction of Dixie Swasey. Shirley Spears will be hired as a part-time county employee less than 20 hours per week. Swasey is on the state history board.
There are two openings on the county planning commission and the commission agreed to start advertising for these positions. Hatch reported that they didn't have anyone apply for the airport manager position. It was agreed that Hatch contact various airports to see if he could raise any interest in the position.
There will be a public hearing on Jan. 18 at 5 p.m. to review the airport improvement plan. There is a rough draft of the improvement plan at the commission office which is available for review by the public. Sitterud said it is important the manager position at the airport be filled so the airport can be kept open.
Hatch reported that he attended the inauguration ceremony for new Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. "It was an excellent program. It was held at Abravanel Hall because of the renovations being made at the Capitol. The 423rd Army Band played and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang. Huntsman will appoint his cabinet on Wednesday."
Sitterud reported that he had given the Governor's Award to Christine Monroe in Green River and he will also be attending the volunteer banquet in Green River to honor their volunteers. Green River has the highest percentage of volunteers in the state of Utah.
The commission also discussed a public hearing to discuss the addressing ordinance and the changes involved in updating the county addressing system.