The Emery County Commission met in their regularly scheduled meeting on Dec. 5. They considered a request from Joe Trenery of Ferron City for a building permit fee waiver for the reroofing of the small pavilion at the rodeo grounds. They are also installing a sprinkler system at the same time. These two projects are being completed with a CDBG grant. The commission approved the fee waiver.
Mary Huntington, personnel director presented the personnel items to the commission. She said Morris Sorensen, road department director had requested a merit increase for employee Wayde Nielsen. He previously received more responsibilities without a pay increase. The commission approved the increase. Commissioner Ira Hatch said, "Wayde is a crew leader in the road department and oversees the landfill." He said the change has worked out well and the pay increase is well deserved.
Huntington also asked for the approval of the resignation by Mark Seely from the road department as equipment operator and driver. The commission accepted this resignation effective Dec. 31. Two employees from dispatch, Maureen Copatch and Alexander O'Neil have completed six months and will receive a merit increase.
Huntington said Sheriff LaMar Guymon has requested a transfer for Jennifer Jensen from corrections secretary to the dispatch as she knows the department and the functions of the sheriff's office and is a good candidate for the position. If she fills this position then recruitment will begin for a corrections secretary. Commissioner Hatch said he would like to see the dispatch position advertised. Huntington advised she will advertise for the dispatch position.
County Clerk Brenda Dugmore presented the check edit list for the commission approval. She also reminded the department heads that all items purchased up to this time and any pending bills must be paid in December. Any new purchases can't be made until January due to closing out the 2006 budget year.
Elmo Town sent a letter requesting a fee waiver for the building permit for their new town hall and fire station. Commissioner Drew Sitterud said they have been working on getting ready for this project for three years now and it will be constructed just west of the ball fields. The bid has already been awarded for the project. Elmo provides the city zoning clearance, but the plans for the facility need to be signed off by county building inspector Bob Bennett. Mike McCandless, planning and zoning director will make sure this has taken place before the project begins.
The commission approved the pass through grant for the Local Emergency Planning Committee, these funds come from the Homeland Security Emergency Management funds for local committees to better prepare and equip them for emergency response. Sgt. Martin Wilson is the county's emergency planner and coordinator.
Commissioner Sitterud explained that Nextel and Verizon will be combining their use at the tower on Horn Mountain. They will share a room and tower space which will work out good for both companies and for the county as they will take up less space on the tower. He also said they need to look at adding to the tower.
Public Lands Director Ray Petersen has begun the needed work on this with the US Forest Service.
In the commission reports, Commissioner Sitterud reported they have met with SITLA and Rep. Brad King and Sen. Mike Dmitrich on the gas royalties from SITLA tradeout lands. They are proposing a new way to take care of those royalties. Instead of the money going to CIB, the county who gave the lease would receive the funds and they could go directly into the general fund. Currently any money of that type would go directly to special service districts and not directly into the county fund. But, if SITLA acted as the special service district then the funds could go directly into the county. Commissioner Sitterud said this is just being looked at and it will take special legislative action before it could become a reality.
Commissioner Sitterud said they have been working on the statewide addressing where roads will keep the same name as they cross county lines. They are currently seeking funding from the governor's office to install signage with the common name of the road. For example, he said the Orangeville/Ephraim road is known as the Ephraim/Orangeville road when you're on the other side of the mountain. The common name will now be the Orangeville/Ephraim road in both counties.
Sheriff Guymon pointed out the need for new signs in Emery County which properly identify the new addressing system recently implemented by the county. Without proper signage the emergency vehicles are having a hard time locating certain addresses.
Commissioner Sitterud said they need to work on that and pay to have new signs made and installed. He also said on the expanded 911 system that Emery County's data base was accepted and work will begin on that in early January.
Sorensen pointed out that sign work is tough right now with frost in the ground.
Commissioner Hatch reported that the county has been involved in budget hearings for the past couple of weeks and they hope to finish up this week.
He said he and Mary Huntington along with treasurer Steve Barton attended the insurance pool meetings which were very informative.
In regards to the SITLA issue he felt confident that Sen. Dmitrich and Rep. King will introduce the legislation to have those funds delivered back to the counties. Mike McCandless also pointed out the 15 percent that is currently going to the special service districts will no longer go there if the funds go directly to the county. Commissioner Hatch said that was true and adjustments will have to be made to deal with that.
Commissioner Sitterud said things are still in the early planning stages and they aren't sure it's legal yet to do things this way. Commissioner Hatch said the way things are now, it would knock your PILT funds down if that money comes directly into the county which wouldn't be good either. "There are pluses and minuses either way. It won't show in this budget year, but it is moving forward," said Commissioner Hatch.
"We met with Ray and the signs for the OHV use on county roads are being ordered and will be installed by spring" continued Commissioner Hatch. He also reported the party for county senior citizens will be held on Dec. 7 and the county employees Christmas party will be held on Dec. 14. They will also give out gift certificates to county employees to be spent in county businesses.