The Emery County Commissioners met in their last meeting of the year and within that meeting held their budget hearing.
Commissioner Ira Hatch emphasized the importance of beginning their commission meetings with a prayer and the flag ceremony. The commission has invited people from various denominations to take part in the prayer at the beginning of the meeting and they have had good participation.
The first matter of business was the approval of the standard cooperative agreement with the Utah State University Extension. Commissioner Hatch explained the county provides office space and secretarial help to the extension and they provide the county agent and run their programs for the county. The agreement this year is virtually the same with an increase in the travel budget due to insurance purposes.
The commission approved an ambulance write-off for an indigent party.
The Clawson mayor Carey Bloomer requested the county donate their old generator from the former sheriff's office to Clawson Town.
The commission told Mayor Bloomer that they have determined the generator will be used in outlying areas when jobs are done so they will not be able to donate the generator to Clawson to have on hand for emergency purposes at this time.
Personnel Director Mary Huntington asked for approval to begin advertising for two part-time positions at the Museum of the San Rafael. Willard Young will be retiring from the museum on Dec. 31 and a position for a part time maintenance and grounds keeper will need to be filled. The county recently hired Adam Wayman to fill a position at the landfill.
The commission also approved a contract for insurance with the Utah Local Government Trust. An added incentive they offered the county was a freeze on rates for the next three years.
The commission approved the resolution amending the Emery County Resolution No. 4-6-99A providing the disbursement of mineral lease funds to the special service districts in Emery County.
The funds are allocated on a percentage basis to the following entities: Emery County Special Service District #1, roads, 40 percent; Castle Valley Special Service District, 13 percent; Emery County Recreation District, 8 percent; Emery County Fire District 8 percent; North Emery Water 2 percent; Emery County Municipal Building Authority 29 percent. Each of these districts provide services to the county.
Road department director, Morris Sorensen said he had approached the special service district #1 concerning the need for small plows for the trucks. They have purchased one sander and a plow. The State no longer plows Goblin Valley and with the purchase of the small plow it can be hooked to the one ton truck in Green River and take care of Goblin Valley and Long Street. The commission approved the agreement with the road district and the road department.
The county recorders office has received a grant to get the information online for three cemeteries including: Lawrence, Desert Lake and Victor. Bernice Payne has agreed to compile the records for these cemeteries and the in-kind match required will be the volunteer workers. They have also received an oral history grant to record the cultural history of the San Rafael. They will record what the older generation knows about the Swell, before I-70 opened it to the world.
Commissioner Hatch said it is a worthy project to find the names of all the people buried in the cemeteries. GIS coordinates will also be established and maps printed out with the cemetery layouts. The Emery High Sterling Scholars are also working on the cemetery projects.
The commission approved the holiday schedule for the county employees for 2007. Holidays include: Jan. 1, Jan. 15, Feb. 19, May 28, July 4, July 24, Sept. 3, Oct. 8, Nov. 12, Nov. 22, Nov. 23, Dec. 24, 1/2 day and Dec. 25.
The commission approved the new mileage reimbursement rate for 2007 as 44.5 cents per mile.
Emery County will receive another grant for mapping because they have already completed the work and will just need to send the contract into the state for their approval. The work is done upfront and the state reimburses the county for the money spent.
Commissioner Hatch said, "Emery County has been very proactive getting their cadastral mapping done.
Commissioner Drew Sitterud said the state parks has agreed to put a dock at Joe's Valley where a low water boat ramp was installed two years ago. The US Forest Service will be the boat dock manager and the county will provide a backhoe for the installation of the new boat dock in the spring. The dock will be 16 feet long and 8 feet wide with a walkway on rollers. The dock will be pulled out of the water each winter.
Other items added on for purchase included the money for the salt shed for the road department, roofing for the courthouse and the walk-in refrigerator repair at the the sheriff's complex.
Commissioner Hatch reported the senior citizen Christmas party had gone well and was well attended by the seniors. Maughn Guymon, director for the seniors commented the seniors had enjoyed the party and thanked the commission for putting it on for them.
Commissioner Sitterud said they are in the process of an agreement with the school district for the transfer of property for the new pool facility. The school district will have free use of the pool for their swim team and also two days a year will bring every student in the county including Green River to use the pool. The school district will provide a janitor and their own lifeguards on these occasions. The district may also use the pool for an incentive program for students receiving good grades who might be rewarded with pool passes.
Darrel Leamaster, manager of the Castle Valley Special Service District said the road to the pool will be completed in 2007.
Design work on the pool will begin in earnest in January.
The commission meeting went into the public hearing to amend the 2006 budget. This was done and needed adjustments were made.
Leamaster also explained the changes in the CVSSD budget where the CIB had granted them additional grant money to deal with increased construction costs on their projects. The amended budget reflects this added amount.
The commission approved the 2006 amended budgets.
The public hearing was then held for public input on the 2007 budget. This budget includes the $100,000 tax increase approved by voters at the November election for the yearly maintenance of the pool. The 2007 budget also includes a 4 percent cost of living increase for elected officials and a two step increase for other county employees which equates to approximately a 4 percent cost of living increase.
In the public hearing process it was determined that the $5 million received by the CIB for the pool building should be reflected in the budget. The commission approved the 2007 with the addition of the pool money.