The county commissioners met in their Sept. 28 meeing, Commissioner Gary Kofford was out-of-state and not present. Jeff Horrocks, acting as chairman opened the meeting.
The first item in the Consent Agenda was the ratification of the signature on the contract for elevator work by Kone Elevator Repair Company. They ratified the signature on agreements with Questar for natural gas service for the Huntington airport and the food bank. The County Commission approved the hiring of Tina Bradley as a part-time assistant librarian for the Cleveland Library, working 16 hours per week, and to hire Debbie Murray as a part-time janitor for the Huntington Library, working 7.5 hours per week. They also approved the hiring of Tennyson Fauver, Connor Benson, Lane Gardner, McKay West and Sam Smith as part-time lifeguards working 19 3/4 hours per week. None of the above will receive benefits with their employment.
The commission approved the closing of the Board of Equalization for 2010. Brenda Tuttle reported: The notices were sent out in July of 2010, and people have had sufficient time to protest the value disclosed on their tax notice.
The commission approved the Board of Equalization property value adjustments reported by the County Assessor Kris Bell. The commission also approved the Veteran, the Circuit Breaker and the Blind Abatements for property taxes. Tuttle said there were abatements available for people in the above categories that can reduce their property taxes. The biggest is a Circuit Breaker program funded partially by the state and the County. This is based on your income and if you are age 65 or a widow or widower. Another program is the Blind Abatement if you are legally blind. There is a $11,500 value that you can apply for to reduce your taxes. The Veterans Exemption, to apply for that you have to be at least 10 percent disabled through the Veterans Administration to qualify for the exemption. The total amount of the abatements is $76,565. The county will be reimbursed by the state for the circuit breaker program in the amount of $39,913.
The consideration of county participation in the Wilberg Grazing Allotment Landfill Mitigation Project sponsored by San Rafael Conservation District was tabled until the commission receives a memo of understanding between the parties. There is a Personal Property Tax Exemption for businesses under $3,800. Based on legislation of two years ago. If your business is under $3,800. You don't have to pay taxes on personal property. That is not a tax on income that is tax on personal property value. The commission approved the personal property tax exemption.
Phil Fauver asked why there are no signs along Highway 10 indicating where off the highway towns are, such as Elmo, Cleveland, Lawrence and Moore. The only signs are signs that indicate to the driver that he/she is coming to a road. After turning on the road and traveling a quarter to half mile there are signs telling the driver the number of miles to the town or towns. If a visitor is traveling down highway 10, they would believe without having a map that there are no off the highway towns along the highway 10. Why does the Utah Department of Transportation and Emery County Road Department not want signs along highway 10 to indicate where our small towns are. The Emery County Travel Bureau should also be interested in seeing that there are signs indicating where off-highway towns are to attract more tourists. Commissioner Pitchforth and Commissioner Horrocks said they would check with Bevan Wilson of the Utah Department of Transportation to find out why there are no signs along highway 10.
Commissioner Horrocks reported on activities he had observed in the county. The Lila Canyon Road should be completed in about three weeks so that trucks can haul coal down that road. At the mine they have about 30 to 40,000 tons of coal on the ground ready to be shipped as soon as the road is finished. The county would like to see that coal shipped as soon as possible because it means mineral lease money coming into the County. "We recently met in Price with the new Bureau of Land Management director Juan Palma. We took him in a caravan to Buckhorn Well area to show him what our plans were. We discussed the information kiosks that we plan to install there. We then traveled to the wedge overlook. He appeared to be extremely impressed with the canyon. We then stopped at the Buckhorn panel and stopped at the swinging bridge. Ray Petersen of the public lands Council helped explain what we were doing with these public lands. Palma said he liked what we were doing and would continue to support us where he could," said Horrocks.
"At the airport the old house has been removed. The old office and one of the hangars has been removed. The runway has been fogged and painted. The tarmac has had the cracks repaired and has been fogged. The airport is now ready to use. The stem walls for the new home at the airport are in and the new home is expected to arrive Monday. We are waiting for Rocky Mountain Power to bring in the power for that home," said Horrocks.
Back Country Flyers, a group of airplane enthusiasts will fly into Huntington Airport Oct. 1 and stay Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Last year there were about 35 planes that participated. This year they anticipate as many as 60 planes will be flying in and out of the Huntington Airport. The young eagles will fly into the airport this weekend. The Castle Valley Composite Squadron cadets of the local Civil Air Patrol will be training on the marshaling of aircraft. Which means the cadets will be responsible for each aircraft when it lands or when the aircraft is being pulled out onto the runway. They will be responsible for all aircraft traffic at the airport. Anyone interested in flying or interested in airplanes is invited to come to the airport and see the planes some of them will be vintage aircraft and some may be experimental aircraft.
We had a ribbon-cutting for a new business in Huntington, called the Foot Zone. We had a ribbon-cutting yesterday in Green River for the Green River Medical Center. This was for their new addition and the remodel of the building. That project did come in on time and on budget.
A reminder: Burn dates on this side of the county start on Sept. 25 and will, end Oct. 24. The Green River burn dates start Oct. 2 and end Oct. 31. Remember that a burning permit is required from each city or town so they will have a record of who is burning and where. This will allow them to have their fire department ready to respond if needed. The food bank is currently under construction and is progressing very well. The stem wall and the footers concrete has been poured. The asphalt around the building will be laid Oct. 15. The metal building will arrive Oct. 15 and the contractor indicates that he will be able to install it in two weeks.
Commissioner Pitchforth reported the Emery County care center open house will be Oct. 13 at 10:30 a.m. There will be a ribbon-cutting program at that time. The open house will run from 11 a.m. till 2 p.m. to allow people to see and enjoy this new facility.
"Our senior luncheon was well attended and I thank Commissioner Kofford, Commissioner Horrocks, along with Kent Wilson and his wife Julie for devoting their time to make this Lamb Fry luncheon a success. I also want to thank the senior citizens center directors that helped by bringing food. But a special thanks to Jim Pierce and his daughter Melanie. They worked hard in getting this luncheon organized. Thanks to Jay Von Frandsen who willingly stepped in to supply the entertainment. He has started a new band named Haywire.
"Ferron City did such a great job on their Peach Days celebration. The flag ceremony was very emotional. The whole celebration was well organized and very enjoyable.
"Green River melon days celebration and parade was an exciting event. The other commissioners and myself were there two days. Green River really knows how to put on a celebration and they did a great job. I encourage everyone to get out and vote in this election. I encourage them to really look at the candidates and where they stand on the issues, such as public lands.
Steve Barton reported that two weeks ago there were about 500 participants that came to Emery County to run in the Little Grand Canyon marathon down through the swinging bridge. Last weekend the Recreation District held its fall Festival at the wedge overlook. Marathons and bike rides are becoming more popular in our County. The Travel Bureau advertises these events.
This year we had several participants from outside of the United States.
JR Nelson said, I noticed non-county people taking advantage of the facilities at the swimming pool. Many of these people were here to climb boulders and they swim at the swimming pool and shower at the swimming pool. I met a wonderful couple from Austria and that had come to Joe's Valley to go bouldering. In the bouldering guide book, Joe's Valley is considered the premier spot to go bouldering.