A public hearing was held at the Aug. 5 commission meeting concerning the issuance of a Level III conditional use permit for Carnotite LLC. The uranium mine is located in the Tidwell Bottom area 3.5 miles north of the Hanksville exit. Michael McCandless, planning and zoning administrator said if more than five acres will be disturbed then a Level III permit is needed. A public hearing must be held before the permit can be approved. The planning and zoning committee held a hearing and approved the request and it was reviewed by the planning and zoning office and approved.
The mine will be in a previously disturbed area. The trucks will come from the mine and onto a county road where the uranium will be taken to the White Mesa milling facility in Blanding. Carnotite has their Bureau of Land Management permit and their permits from the State of Utah. The county's conditional use permit requires that the mine be fully reclaimed within a year after operations cease at the site. The reclamation bond for the project is already in place. The operation would like to start as soon as possible and will employ a couple of people along with the owner.
The commission approved the conditional use permit.
In other commission business, Commissioner Gary Kofford recommended the public lands department draft a letter to the state which the commissioners will sign dealing with the opening of SR-29 for ATV traffic. Currently the forest service is issuing citations to those riders who ride on or along the highway as they leave Joe's Valley marina on their way to ATV trails. Commissioner Kofford said there have been many requests for this problem to be addressed. He has talked to UDOT and they said a letter would help.
Sheriff LaMar Guymon said down to Moab there is a 4-wheeler trail all along the state highway and it doesn't cause any problems and he wondered why those traveling SR-29 to the trails in Joe's Valley couldn't be allowed to travel along the road.
One problem that might be an issue is the state has several roads they would like to give to counties and the Joe's Valley road happens to be on that list.
Mark H Williams said the ATV group met with the state and forest service and wanted to put a trail along the road and they found a place for a bridge for an ATV crossing, but nothing ever came of it.
Kofford said he thinks the solution is to lower the speed limit and just put the ATVs on the highway.
Ray Petersen, public lands director thinks there is a need for the county road above the switchbacks to be designated as open to ATVs also. Most of that road is in Sanpete County.
The commissioners waived the building permit fees for Huntington City for projects that include a skate park, splash pad and soccer field.
The commission approved the interlocal cooperative agreement to allow Grand County to join the Eastern Utah Television and Technology Association. This association was formed to deal with the digital TV requirements which come into affect in 2009.
The Swinging Bridge kiosk contract between the State of Utah and Emery County was approved and the kiosk will be in place some time in September.
Every year the contract for the law enforcement services to the forest service needs to be renewed. The renewal was approved with an increase of $1,067.
Out of state travel was approved for Mike McCandless to attend an economic development conference in Denver. Bill Howell from the AOG office invited McCandless along and will pay his entry fee and transportation. The county will pay for meals and lodging only.
The commissioners agreed to withhold the checks for Commissioner Drew Sitterud for his cell phone reimbursement while he is on administrative leave. County Attorney David Blackwell has a call into the Attorney General's office to see if that's how the situation should be handled. Commissioner Kofford said until the court case is resolved then the county will not pay those expenses.
Changes in the pool contract included the paint for the ceiling and the installation of an ultraviolet sterilization system which will kill cryptosporidium for $44,000. The paint change was a cost difference of $1,708.
In personnel actions, 3 percent increases were approved for Tammy Tucker and Mark Debry. County Attorney Blackwell requested a $6,000 yearly increase for Deputy County Attorney Brent Langston. The money to prorate the increase for this year will come from the drug seizure money budget. Blackwell said Langston has 22 years experience as a prosecutor and has had no significant pay increases since he's been with the county. The commission approved the increase. Kofford said they can use the drug seizure money this year, but at budget time the increase should be budgeted for in the proper place.
Dixie Swasey, county recorder would like to begin advertising for a part time scanner, the summer help she has used will be leaving the position.
The commissioners reported it's been a busy month with the Miss Emery pageant, Desertview ProRodeo and the fair this past week. He said everything went well with all the activities and he thanked all the volunteers for their help.