The Emery Town council met in their December meeting. The town is having a Christmas Lighting contest and a Christmas bazaar was held at the community center to celebrate the Christmas season.
In town business they approved the minutes from a public hearing which was held in November. Dave Mangum reported the CERT training was very successful and seven people from Emery completed the training. A mock exercise training was held on Dec. 5. Those who completed their training will receive their certificates in January.
The beautification committee discussed the welcome rocks.
The historical committee reported a history on each plat of land within the town is being worked upon. They also want to include the history of the Consol mine with the town history.
The town council passed a resolution for a standard for burial vaults. They need to be made from masonry so they are sturdy and can stand up to the passage of time.
The council approved an increase of $5 over the current cost of a dog license. A kennel license fee is $60.
The council addressed concerns about the monument on the history of the Emery tunnel. A road project is currently underway there and the council doesn't want to see the monument damaged. The monument needs to remain visible and have adequate parking so visitors can stop and look at the monument. The town will prepare a letter asking the project manager to protect the monument. The orange fenced areas surrounding the road project are the archaeological sites which have been identified in the area.
Mayor Mistie Christiansen said the recreation district is putting together a calendar of events and the dates of Emery Town events should be submitted. It was determined the 24th of July celebrations will span July 22-24, 2010. An Onion Day celebration will be added on Oct. 9. The town council meetings will be the second Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m.
Mayor Christiansen reported on the public lands council meeting. She said a representative of the Bureau of Indian affairs attended the December meeting. He said the Native Americans may not want each historical site identified. The county is going through the process of a land use bill for the county and the historical subcommittee is recording sites and access roads to these sites. The mayor said it is just something to keep in mind as the county goes through the process.
The fire station will have a pre-final inspection on Dec. 18. The roof for the building will be a dark red metal roof. Next summer when the asphalt work is completed it needs to be asphalted between the library and the new fire station.
On the planning and zoning Corrine Dalton said they are looking into a recreation vehicle parking ordinance.
Mayor Christiansen said she has received a letter of resignation from councilmember Gary Jensen. "We appreciate what he has done on the council," said the mayor.
Mayor Christiansen said Emery is currently involved with drinking water source improvements. Jones and DeMille Engineering has prepared a preliminary opinion of probable cost. Their estimate was $6,250,000. The mayor made a recommendation it be approved upon consent from the town's attorney after he has a chance to evaluate the agreement. The town has the opportunity to receive $900,000 from Rep. Jim Matheson's office for the planning work. This planning will look at horizontal wells and spring development and how to deal with the Mancos. It's possible the $900,000 could be taken and pooled into the first allocation and used for construction.
The mayor said she was nervous to go back to the CIB for additional funds. Some of the money would have to be loan. The mayor proposed a steering committee be formed for seeing the project along. She suggested Jacob Sharp from the Castle Valley Special Service District and a representative from Consol as they are a major water user for Emery and someone from the canal board. This project is for a culinary source of water. The mayor said she asked for some quotes from Nielson's and they said it could be closer to $7-8 million to pipe the entire length of the canal. It might be possible to save distance if some of the pipeline travels through the hill. Pipe alone will be approximately $4.3 million. The pipe will be fused. The canals will be left for use as storm drains. The pipeline may run along the current canal system leaving the canals in place. It isn't known yet what size of pipe will be needed. The Army Corps of Engineers needs a project description. The application is due Feb. 1, 2010 to the CIB. It should be decided by March, April or May and in the worst case June, if the town gets the money.
Currently 6 cfs is running in the canal. The mayor expressed concerns if the canal freezes over. Mangum said with the ponds and the water tank even if it does freeze over the town should have enough water to last until February.
One of the concerns the mayor has in approaching the CIB is that they will ask the town to increase their water rates. Brian Barton said rates can be adjusted so averages are charged at a higher rate which can help to keep water rates close to the current rate.
It was mentioned that when the charges for the water bills are considered and factored into the state rates the taxes residents pay to the Castle Valley Special Service District should be considered and taken into consideration.
The mayor believes the water project is something the town needs and even though it is causing and will cause stress it needs to be done.
The pipe line will be gravity flow for eight miles. It was recommended the pipeline be large enough to accommodate both secondary and culinary water.
Mangum said the upper half of town always complains they have no water pressure, so this project should help alleviate that problem, too.
There are still a lot of questions, but the town can't pass up the $5 million being granted to help the project along.
Mayor Christiansen said in the COG meeting, the boys and girls club presented their ideas for the club. The club is located in Huntington and operated by VISTA volunteers. It is a possibility they can send people to the outlying communities to conduct activities.