Delena Fish, regional director for the Division of Workforce Services Castle Dale office, gave her quarterly update to the commissioners at a recent commission meeting. She handed out a statistics sheet to the commissioners outlining the measurements and goals with a general overall view of how the office is doing.
Fish said that seasonal jobs will soon be opening up and also the Hunter Plant is expected to have some shutdowns where added employees from the labor unions will be working at the plant and they might need extra skilled laborers. Fish said flagging certification classes will begin April 20. They are also holding MSHA recertification classes once each month at the office in Castle Dale.
They are also holding a communications class each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The class helps individuals develop work and communication skills. Workforce Services is also placing information articles in the Progress which discuss resources available at DWFS. The food stamp case load is up and the financial caseload is down.
Fish said they have trouble serving people with extreme medical cases because they are hard to fund. Fish said unemployment is at a low in the county and anyone wishing to work can find a job. They are still working to get people trained for the skilled positions.
The DWFS will be operating a summer entrepreneur camp for youth through the Emery County Economic Development Council. The students will meet three times a week. They will write a business plan and be guided through the steps of opening and operating a business. Ages for the class are 15-22. Scholarships are available to attend this class or the participants can self pay. At the end of the class an awards banquet will be held which brings the employers together with the students. Awards will be given. The Applied Technology college has also offered four scholarships to attend the camp.
Mike McCandless, county economic development director also said they hope to find funding for the best plan and actually bring a new business into existence. The goal of the camp is to teach students they don't always have to work for someone else and can be their own boss.
The DWFS also has opportunities for job shadowing where the youth work for a company and the DWFS pays the wages and the employer just provides a job for the youth.
Fish said they do what's best for their customers and teach skills so people can go to work.
Mayor Bart Cox from Orangeville approached the council about the property where the old dog pound is located. This property was leased to the county and since it is no longer in use Orangeville City would like the property back so they can develop restrooms at the facility which will benefit the adjacent ball field. The commission approved the cancel of the lease if Orangeville would accept the property as is which they said they would do. Sheriff Lamar Guymon will see to it that any county property is removed from the building. Commissioner Gary Kofford also said the utilities for the building need to be transferred from the county to Orangeville City.
Karen Truman approached the commission requesting a donation for the community theatre. The commission approved $500. Truman is looking for property where they could build a community theatre building.
The commission expressed concern that tax dollars were used to build the auditorium at the high school and now there is a significant charge to use the facility which prices most groups out of the building. Truman said the county needs a facility that is just for the county people to use. "There are a lot of people in Emery County who are talented and would like to share their talents but there is no avenue to do that, no facility to perform in. I was amazed by the youth that want to be involved in theatre," said Truman. She also mentioned that when such a facility is built it can also be used to attract outside entertainment to the county.
Steve Kemple made a request for permission to replace signs which marked the Old Spanish Trail. The signs put up in the mid-1950s have disappeared. He would like to have them purchased and in place by June when the Old Spanish Trail convention will be held in Green River. The commission approved the request.
A business license was approved for Emily Albrecht from Ferron.
Darrel Leamaster from the Castle Valley Special Service District presented the short term and medium term list for approval. These lists will go to the CIB for their consideration. Projects are given priority of A, B, or C. Top priority projects include money for improvements to the Bear Creek campground, new senior center in Green River, county swimming pool, and renovations for the old Emery church. The commission approved the list.
Commissioner Drew Sitterud said the list goes to the Association of Governments before it is forwarded on to the CIB.
Bret Mills reported that Emery County is ahead of the rest of the state on the 911 system. Improvements are being made to link all systems. All calls will be routed back to the dispatch center closest to where the call is coming from. Currently the Emery County dispatch receives a lot of calls from motorists along I-15 near Cedar City. The new system will give the Emery County dispatcher the ability to immediately connect that caller to the closest dispatch without losing the call. Now they are given the phone number of the closest dispatch or dispatch will relay that information to the closest dispatch. Sometimes those in need only get one chance to contact help and it's important not to lose any of those calls. Some of the funding for new improvements to the system comes from a 911 fee paid on telephone service local as well as cell phone service.
Sheriff Guymon is very pleased with the updates to the system which will enable the sheriff's office to more efficiently handle emergency calls. "This has been needed for a long time to enhance the service to the public and especially for cell phone users. We will be able to pinpoint the exact location the cell phone call is coming from, it will appear on the computer screen. It will be a great benefit," said Sheriff Guymon.
The commission approved an agreement with the forest service for the county to take over the communication site on Boardinghouse Ridge above Electric Lake. This site will increase communication capabilities over the mountainous areas. The commission said a public notice would need to be put in the paper announcing this action.
Sheriff Guymon brought up an item regarding the wrecker service in the county. The dispatch calls wreckers out on a rotation basis. Sometimes the wrecker from Emery will go to Elmo or Cleveland to get a vehicle and then tows it back to Emery resulting in a hefty towing bill for the citizen. Sheriff Guymon said there used to be a dividing line if a call was south of the power plant the wreckers on the south end of the county would go and if it was north of the Hunter plant the northern side wreckers would go. Then some wreckers complained they never got any I-70 calls. The officers also must stay with a vehicle until the wrecker comes and when the wrecker is coming from a long distance it ties up a deputy for a long period of time when he could be of better use elsewhere. "It's a mess, we are facilitating the wreckers but not the public. We need to make some changes and put a dividing line in place again," said Sheriff Guymon
The commissioners decided they would make the issue an agenda item for a future date.
Ray Petersen said he had a grant to get signs to mark the county roads to be in compliance with the OHV ordinance. He also has a volunteer group who will install the signs.
Commissioner Sitterud reported the fair will be buying new tents and these tents will be available for use by all of the cities also. The next commission meeting will be held on April 4 at 9 a.m.