The Emery County Commission approved a resolution agreeing not to impair the mineral lease revenues of Emery County Special Service District number one. The district is preparing to authorize a bond for the construction of the Lila Canyon Road. The Community Impact Board requires the commission sign a resolution that they will not reduce the percentage of revenue coming into the district so the district can repay the loan to the CIB. Utah American Energy will be responsible for the loan payments. Emery County has worked with several mining companies to construct coal haul roads. There isn't any expense involved to county residents.
The commission approved an agreement between Emery County and ECSSD#1 for partnership on the Huntington Airport improvement project. The ECSSD#1 will oversee the grant on the airport project. The grant is for $137,000 from the aeronautics division of the Utah Department of Transportation. The trailer will have to be moved and the office along with the first hangar. The trees will also be removed. This will allow a clear zone. This project is part of an overall airport improvement plan approved in 2005 which is being done in phases.
Cleveland Town was granted a waiver for a building permit fee of $391.25 for the installation of an electronic sign at the new fire station.
The commission approved the EEO plan for the county. It is required by the federal government and deals with equal opportunity employment.
Commissioner Gary Kofford said the FFA came to a meeting and brought breakfast to the commissioners and county officials. It is FFA week nationwide. "We appreciate the FFA program. FFA has been very successful here in Emery County and teaches the students debate and farm animal husbandry among other things," said Commissioner Kofford.
Ray Petersen, Emery County public lands director explained a land trade for the Crandall Canyon memorial. He said the forest service granted the county a special use permit for five years on the memorial site. It is the intent of the county to do a land trade with the forest service.
Petersen read a letter by David Shaver the project engineer for the mining company. The letter explained the amendment to the quitclaim deed which the company signed in June of 2008 which deeded the land for the Crandall Memorial to Emery County. "We now propose to amend that quitclaim deed to expand the deeded area from .8 acres to approximately 1.7 acres. The purpose for expanding the deeded area is to provide additional area for the parking lot after the mine is ultimately reclaimed, and to include transfer of the required 6 foot diameter culvert which runs under the parking area, and must be left in place after reclamation.
The quitclaim deed also includes conveyance to Emery County of a certain parcel of land located in Huntington Canyon. This parcel has been reviewed by representatives of Emery County and the US Forest Service and is intended to be used at some time in the future to be exchanged for the forest service land presently surrounding the memorial. This is in fulfillment of the commitment which the mining company made in the memorandum of agreement with Emery County signed May 21, 2008.
The document requires the signature of Commissioner Kofford. The commission voted to approve the amendment to the original agreement and it will be brought back next meeting to ratify.
The commission approved out of state travel for Morris Sorensen and Wayde Nielson to look at equipment. Lori Ann Larsen was appointed to the Emery County Care and Rehabilitation Board. A 3 percent raise was authorized for Julie Hall, Karen Royall and Tyson Huntington for successful completion of their six month orientation period. Troylyn Bentley was approved as a 90 day temporary employee at the aquatic center.
The commissioners reported on their schedules for the past two weeks. Commissioner Jeff Horrocks said he attended the fire district meeting where they approved the purchase of eight new fire trucks. One for each community. He met with the Civil Air Patrol. They are trying to revitalize that organization and would like to ask for pilots and nonpilots to join. The organization aids search and rescue in searches by air. The new recruits to the organization can be of all ages. They will work with the Emery County Sheriff's Office on any searches in Emery County.
Commissioner Laurie Pitchforth reported she attended Sen. Bennett's rural conference in Price last Thursday and Friday. She attended the drug coalition which meets to discuss prevention of drug abuse in Emery County. The Utah State Extension Office sponsored a relationship speaker, Matt Townsend over Valentines weekend and his books are available at the extension office. The extension office has started their master gardener classes and they have family photos coming up on March 6-7. The Miss Emery committee is beginning work on the pageant. Any girls between 17-24 are eligible to try out for the pageant which will be held on July 17. Volunteers are needed to serve on the committee and anyone wishing to help out can call Laurie at the commission office at 381-2119. The Royal tea party will be held on June 5. Commissioner Pitchforth reported Sheriff Guymon is doing well.
The patients at the care center have been moved into the south wing. "I would like to thank the staff at the care center. They are doing such a great job during this remodel taking care of the patients needs," said Commissioner Pitchforth.
Commissioner Kofford reported their is an economic development summit in Green River on March 11 beginning at 1 p.m. "I attended the RV show in Salt Lake that the travel bureau participated in and in talking to the people, many of them are repeat visitors to Emery County. These visitors have a significant impact on the county. They were concerned about what Pres. Obama is doing concerning a monument in the Swell. The governor has met with Secretary of the Interior Salazar and he assures us this will not happen. Sen. Bennett is putting together a bill to stop the President from designating lands under the Antiquities Act of 1906. Wyoming passed a bill years ago stating the Antiquities Act would no longer apply to them and they have been successful with it. We have talked extensively with Rep. Matheson's office and our legislators are all against a monument. When the hearings took place against the Red Rock Wilderness Act then the grassroots efforts for a county land use bill was emphasized that the efforts should come from the local level.
"The public lands council has been working on a public land use bill. The lands council has formed subcommittees which involve all the players. It will be an Emery County bill. We are trying to push for what we'd like to see happen. We would like the current Wilderness Study Areas to become wilderness and we'd like to manage the rest of the desert under the Bureau of Land Management's Resource Management plan. We are not moving toward a monument. It is our intent that what will come out of this will settle the issues of wilderness, grazing, transportation, oil, gas and mining. The BLM RMP has an answer to most of it. The RMP is a good tool for managing the Swell. It was put together with input from all interested parties and we can live with it," said Commissioner Kofford.
Commissioner Kofford encouraged anyone with questions about where Emery County is heading with a land use bill to call him or Ray Petersen.