The Emery County commissioners met in their first meeting of the new year and began by electing a chairman for 2006. Commissioner Ira Hatch was elected as the chairman. The commissioners approved the disbursement of the commissioner responsibilities to remain the same as in 2005. Commissioner Hatch mentioned that Commissioner Drew Sitterud and Commissioner Gary Kofford have responsibilities on statewide committees which helps the county by seeing that county issues are kept at the forefront.
Clerk Bruce Funk presented the check edit list to close out the year 2005. Commissioner Hatch said some adjustments might be needed in the budget to account for increased heating costs this winter.
County Assessor Kris Bell presented two items for action by the commission. They approved to abate a tax which has popped back up into the system which should have been deleted.
A property in Ferron was left at the same assessment as a buildable lot because utilities are available to the property site.
Under the concerned citizen category, Commissioner Sitterud said the Southeastern Utah Applied Technology College wants to know if it can use two rooms in the county building for mine training and recertification classes. It was decided to allow the college to use the rooms providing they pay a cleaning fee for use. Those attending the classes will also need to use the church parking lot to avoid congestion in the county building parking lot.
Commissioner Sitterud said the county needs to look into the possibility of leasing the incubator building to the tech college to use for trainings.
In personnel items Morris Sorensen was approved as the new department head for the road department. Dennis Fuller was approved as the full time crew leader for the custodial crew for the county. Personnel director Mary Huntington requested permission to begin advertising for part time custodial employees. The commission approved the request.
Commissioner Kofford made a motion to terminate the contract with Castle Valley Maintenance effective on Jan. 31. The motion was approved. He also reported on upcoming meetings sponsored by the Emery County Economic Development Council. On Jan. 12 the arts and education council will meet at 7 p.m. in the county building. On Jan. 19 the Emery County Economic Development Council will hold a planning meeting at 6 p.m. in the county building to discuss goals and direction for 2006 for the council. The economic development board is also looking for new board members and anyone interested can contact Jo Sansevero, council chairman for more information.
Commissioner Kofford also reported that Ramal Jones and the museum board is putting together a committee to pursue adding three life-size replica dinosaur models to the south lawn of the Museum of the San Rafael. The project is in the early planning stages and grants will be pursued to cover the cost of the dinosaurs.
Commissioner Sitterud reported that the recently completed budget was the toughest one he had worked on and he appreciated the help given on it.
Commissioner responsibilities Commissioner Hatch: airport, BLM, clerk/auditor, ECSSD#1, USU extension, historical preservation, personnel, public lands, road department, senior citizens, travel councils, weed/mosquito and workforce services.
Commissioner Kofford: ambulance/EMTs, animal control, attorney, COG, chamber of commerce, county facilities, economic development, homeland security, fire district, landfill, library, mental health, planning/zoning, public health, public lands, treasurer, USFS, and wildland fire.
Commissioner Sitterud: AOG, assessor, canyon country, DWR, housing authority, IT, Justice Court, museum, public lands, RC&D, recreation district/fair, recorder, archives, TV/communications, and sheriff.