Emery County Attorney David Blackwell was at the Emery County Commission meeting to explain the reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act of 2000. This reauthorization will affect the way this money is distributed. The county has several options to choose from.
Blackwell said his concern is how this decision will affect the PILT funds the county also receives. The first option to receive payment will help the county while the second option will help the school district. In the second option, the county must decide on a percentage basis where the funds will be allocated.
"There is a new law being worked on that will help with the second option to designate 50 percent of the funds to the special service district," said Blackwell. "If this law is passed, it would not affect the PILT money."
Emery County School Superintendent Kirk Sitterud was asked about the district's feelings on this matter. "These are tough economic times for the school district. The decision you make today could mean a difference between $13,000 and $180,000 for the district. We support option number two which is approval of the full funding as it will help the schools," said Sitterud.
After some discussion and questions, the county commission decided to approve option two with the caveat that a regional advisory council is established to oversee the funds. This RAC will be comprised of 15 members.
Commissioner Gary Kofford informed the commission of the decision to replace the 55 ton chiller at the county building. "We have been operating for the past two years on only one of the units. The other has failed. We need to make a request for proposal with the specifications of what needs to be done to replace the entire unit. For the past two years, if the remaining unit had failed, this building who have been without air circulation. The RFP should contain both the electrical and mechanical engineering for the project," said Kofford. The commission approved the RFP.
Several change orders were approved for the aquatic center. They were concerning the elimination of a railing, the changing of a portion of the landscaping to concrete, the purchase of a hose, and the application of a floor sealer. These change orders were discussed and approved.
In personnel matters, Jay Fausett was approved to be hired at the landfill as a solid waste technician. Davi Bosshardt was approved to be hired as a part time lifeguard, Mary Huntington was appointed to represent Emery County's voting at the UCIP annual meeting, and it was approved to begin the recruitment process to hire a dispatcher for the Sheriff's Office.
Attorney Blackwell introduced a matter in which the commission must decide whether to participate in litigation in the telecom sales tax dispute between the Utah Association of Counties and the Utah Tax Commission. He stated other counties involved have decided to participate. If Emery County decides to participate, the benefit would not be great, but the decision to support the litigation would show solidarity between the counties. The commission approved to support the litigation.