Emery County Commissioners met on Sept. 8 and Commissioners Jeff Horrocks and Laurie Pitchforth were present. Commissioner Gary Kofford was out of town on business.
One of the first of the items on the Commission agenda was the consideration of the purchase of two 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe's for $61,000 for the Sheriff's Office. The Commission approved $61,000 for the purchase of these vehicles and $1,575 for side bars on three vehicles.
The Commissioners wrote off a $2,000 ambulance bill for a man in a care center, who is unemployed and has no means of paying the bill. The building permit fee for Cleveland Town Fire Station of $9,500 was waived so this money can be used with the construction of the fire station. The county does not normally charge local governments a building fee.
The Commissioners approved a resolution establishing a new travel policy for Emery County employees and elected officials. This travel policy rescinds all prior travel policies, rules and regulations. This new travel policy will be in compliance with current IRS rules and requirements. Mary Huntington, the commissioners and staff put in a lot of time revising the Emery County Travel Policy. New travel expense forms will be sent out with the resolution to all employees and elected officials.
The Commission approved of the Emery County Care and Rehabilitation Center bylaws which increased the members on the board to nine. All geographic areas in Emery County including Green River are now represented. The Care Center Board members are as follows: from Ferron Gil Conover, Richard Seely from Green River, Dan Wells Huntington and Cleveland, Connie Nelson Ferron, Sandy Lake from Emery, Bruce Stilson Orangeville, Tom Humphrey Castle Dale/Orangeville, Caleen Wilcox the Cleveland and Elmo area, and Laurie Pitchforth representing the Commission.
Commissioner Jeff Horrocks said, "Emery County took possession of the Aquatic Center one year ago, it was under warranty for one year. We had our final inspection after the one year was up. There are two change orders that need to be made. Change order #39 to repaint the sound barriers that are hanging in the swimming pool area. This will cover the stain caused by excessive humidity in the room. The humidifiers were not working properly and had to be adjusted. The cost will be about $5,000. The general contractor has agreed to cover half of the cost. The county will pay $2,530 to have that work done.
Change order #40 is to add hardware to the main gate of the Aquatic Center by the outside pool next to the parking lot. That is a safety issue and by statute and they have to have this control. The cost will be $1,761. Because there is still money in the contingency fund for the pool, the money will not come out of the general fund. The contingency monies were left over after the pool was completed. Approval was given to pay for Change Order #39 and #40.
The Commission considered and approved a cooperative agreement between the State of Utah (Division of State Parks and Recreation) and Emery County for the development of the Buckhorn Information Center. The County will receive $40,000 for the installation of restrooms and be responsible for the maintenance of the Buckhorn Information Center and restrooms. The monies will be delivered soon so the county can order the facilities before the costs go up.
The commission agreed to renew the Title V right of way for a portion of Green River Airport Road (CR 1007). The road crosses government land and the original agreement was for 20 years. They have now agreed to allow the road to cross the land in perpetuity. There is no cost to the county it is simply a renewal.
Approval was given for out of state travel for James Nielsen of the Weed and Mosquito Department. He will travel to Sacramento, Calif. to receive an award. Nielsen works with a cooperative group in Carbon and Emery counties. They have put together 18 other smaller groups that spray noxious weeds, take out plants that are not needed in the area and re-vegetate some of the areas. He has won an award and has requested permission to go to Sacramento for the purpose of accepting that award. His expenses travel, meals, and lodging will be paid for by the Bureau of Land Management. This is quite an honor to receive this award. The county has three people in Emery County doing the weed and mosquito work.
Commission Reports: Pitchforth reported the Historical Society, Cowboy Poetry Night at Castle Valley Outdoors was a fun event. "I encourage everyone to come next year for a good time. The care center walls are ready to go up and they are making good progress. They are in the process of hiring another director. All the new carpet has been selected. New landscaping is underway at the Senior Center in Ferron," said Pitchforth. A Senior Lamb Fry at Little Bear along with entertainment was held for seniors on Sept. 11.
Peach Days will have horse races, demolition derby, soap box derby, games in the park and a parade. Melon Days in Green River is Sept. 18-19. "They do a good job on entertainment, there is lots of food, all the melons you can eat, many venders and a huge parade," reported Pitchforth.
Sept. 26 all County Employees are invited to a luncheon at the Castle Dale Pavilion. John Judd will be serving pulled pork sandwiches. RSVP by Sept. 15.
Steve Barton reminded the group of Sept. 12 the Little Grand Canyon Marathon which has almost 400 people signed up. The marathon will be from Huntington to the Little Grand Canyon.
Jeff Horrocks reported: The last Commission meeting was held in Green River to accommodate the people of Green River. The Board of Equalization in Green River was held on Aug. 25. A few people came in to discuss their property taxes.
The Castle Country Partners (Carbon, Emery, Grand, San Juan Counties) met at the Museum of the San Rafael on Aug. 27. Commissioners Pitchforth and Horrocks attended that meeting. The Castle Country Partners exchange information on travel and tourism also work situations in the counties such as businesses coming in. Following that meeting the group toured the Huntington Power Plant.
The Huntington Power Plant was recently renovated and it is now the most efficient coal powered plant in the State of Utah. Several million dollars were spent in the renovation. The tour was very enjoyable. It is nice to know that when you turn on the lights the power comes from Emery County. Senator Hatch and Senator Bennett had meetings in Provo and Salt Lake that were very well attended.
During the Green River Clinic Board meeting Sept. 1, board members discussed how they are moving forward with the clinic addition which will make it very nice for the Green River people and people that travel through the area and by being able to treat medical cases, give physicals etc., in Green River.
"I also attended the Green River City Council meeting. They are in the process of upgrading the infrastructure in the community. They did implement a city property tax which they have not had for several years. With that funding they hope to improve the city of Green River. At the local Government Trust Meeting we are working on contracts for contract employees and we put out four bid to brokers of insurance," said Horrocks.