The Emery County Commission heard a report from Alex Buxton of Zions Financial. Buxton has prepared a resolution which will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot in Emery County. The resolution is for the voters of Emery County to pass or reject the question of the issuance and sale of General Obligation Bonds in an amount not to exceed $5 million for the swimming pool complex project.
Buxton said the bonds will be issued for a period of 21 years. Along with the bond comes the $100,000 yearly maintenance fee for the swimming pool. Buxton said this would only be a few cents for each taxpayer yearly for the maintenance fee.
Buxton said they have submitted the application to the CIB as requested by the commission and according to the local government bonding act the resolution must be adopted within 75 days of the election.
The commission agreed to approve the resolution prepared to be placed on the ballot. Buxton said he was asked to prepare a tax impact analysis on a $4.5 million loan and a $5 million loan. If no grant is approved by CIB and the entire $5 million is in the form of a loan then the county would have a $225,000 per year payment. The county at this time has no outstanding bonds and no payments. The tax impact on a $100,000 home with a $4.5 million loan for 20 years would be $7.83 a year. On the $5 million loan it would be $8.70 for a $100,000 home per year.
The difference between a 20 and 30 year bond is negligible for taxpayers so the county is seeking to pay the bond off in a 20 year period.
Commissioner Ira Hatch complimented Buxton on the work he has done preparing the bond question and the computing of the tax impacts.
Commissioner Drew Sitterud said the CIB has never given a grant for a swimming pool, but the county is hopeful they will help fund this project as Emery County minerals are a large contributor to the CIB monies. He also said the Green River students will be bused to use the pool approximately three times each year.
Buxton said he is working on a voter brochure to be mailed prior to the election and a notice of the special election will be put in the Emery County Progress.
In other commission business they approved waiving the building permit fee for a sign at the Catholic church for the Lifeline Pregnancy Center.
The commission approved a resolution authorizing Emery County to enter into an amended interlocal cooperation agreement with other member of Utah Counties Insurance Pool, relating to the establishment, funding and operation of UACs insurance pool.
The commission discussed the changing of the road department's cellular phone service from Verizon to Nextel because of the coverage in the Emery area. The costs appear to be lower although new phones would have to be purchased. The commissioners approved making the change as there are no contracts to sign and the county has the option to change back at any time.
An OSHA review summary has been sent back to the county and was very favorable on the county's compliance with OSHA regulations. The county invited OSHA down to do a walk through of the county owned facilities to make any suggestions in regards to these buildings safety and compliance. OSHA has sent back recommendations on a few minor issues. The department heads are to come up with a plan of action to correct these minor issues and send it to Mary Huntington, personnel director. This needs to be done by Sept. 1 as Huntington needs to respond back to OSHA by Sept. 15.
Commissioner Gary Kofford explained the added responsibilities for Mike McCandless in the planning and zoning department. McCandless will take over more administrative duties in the department. The county will look at working out a vehicle to go along with this position. Any additional compensation for the added duties will be discussed in the future.
Huntington said she would like a comprehensive compensation review for county employees. She said the existing steps have not been followed in the past and employees need to know what to count upon as far as raises and cost of living increases. She said the review would be done by an outside source.
Commissioner Kofford said the ramifications from such a process could be great. The county couldn't keep up with the original plan which is why it hasn't been followed completely. Some tough decisions must be made to put the plan in force. "It might create more turmoil with the employees," said Kofford.
Commissioner Hatch said the county has a 100 percent benefit health program. One option might be to scale that back and ask employees to contribute 10-15 percent to their health care. The county can't offer increases unless they have the means to do it. A tax increase could also be considered.
Commissioner Hatch advised Huntington to look into the matter and keep the commission apprised of her findings.
In the commission reports Commissioner Sitterud said the fair was a success and he thanked Sheriff Lamar Guymon for his help with the fair. "The concert was the largest gathering ever recorded in Emery County with an estimated 5,000 people in attendance. The youth had a successful lamb fry taking in $22,000 from which their expenses have to be deducted. The hypnotist was hilarious. The entire fair was a success. There are some little problems we need to work out.
"The attorney's were down last week to start the road process. Gary helped take them on an ATV ride. The CIB approved funds for Green River to help finish their water project. Elmo received the funds for their fire station-city office building," said Sitterud.
Commissioner Kofford said a van tour earlier in the spring has produced an article in the Washington Times magazine. The Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry is mentioned and the San Rafael Swell. The article also contains Mike McCandless' name and email for economic development director.
Planning and zoning has approved a conditional use permit for Chuck Cubel who builds frames for roadsters, and buggy parts and wooden parts for the early Ford trucks. They have purchased the Dick Allen farm and they ship parts all over the country.
He also has an interest in horses and has a Spanish horse with a gene pool dating back to the early Spanish horses in America. He is currently shipping sperm from these horses back to Spain to expand their gene pool.
Commissioner Hatch reported on a meeting they had with UDOT concerning the Moore Road. The funding will be set-up and that project could be completed through the paving project by next year. The county plans to go to CIB for a no interest loan on the match portion for that road.
Commissioner Kofford recommended a county auction to get rid of the excess vehicles in the county.