The Emery County Commission approved the ordinance for the banning of spice. The ordinance will become effective 15 days from the date of the commission meeting on Oct. 26. County Attorney David Blackwell prepared the ordinance for the county which states in part: Whereas, Emery County finds and determines the chemical compounds are intoxicating and hallucinogenic to humans upon ingestion and are often used as alternatives to marijuana; these chemicals are potentially dangerous to users and their long term health effects are unknown. It is in the interest of the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Emery County to prohibit the possession, use, sale and manufacture or distribution of the intoxicating chemical compounds described.
Notice of the new ordinance will be published in the newspaper.
In another matter, Ray Petersen, public lands director is working to ensure the Crandall Canyon discharge water is taken care of in a long term manner. The discharge water has been high in iron content and almost ran red at one point a couple of years ago. Since then the mining company has treated the water before its being released into the creek and on down into Huntington creek. Petersen has prepared a letter to submit to the Board of Oil, Gas and Mining. DOGM has planned a hearing where they will ask the mining company, Utah American Energy to take out a bond to ensure the mine water discharge is taken care of into the future.
The letter informs DOGM that it is Emery County's intent to maintain a healthy watershed and DOGM's assistance in the mine water discharge issue at Crandall Canyon is critical.
The commission approved a tentative budget for 2011. Clerk/auditor, Brenda Tuttle presented the budget to the commission. She said there are a few slight changes in the budget but it is similar to years past. In 2009 the actual budget was $5,883,040. In 2010 the budget was $6,003,000. Tentative budget for 2011 is $6,237,800. Tuttle said she is required by law to present a tentative budget to the commission by Nov. 1. The commissioners and Tuttle along with department heads will meet in budget sessions to work on departmental budgets. The final budget will be approved in the Dec. 21 commission meeting. The budget for the Castle Valley Special Service District was also approved.
The commission approved a 3 percent wage increase for Keaton Cowley for successful completion of his six month orientation. Det. John Barnett was promoted from Detective I to Detective II. Lori Wallace has been hired as a 90 day temporary worker in the Emery County Archives.
An ambulance bill negotiation was completed for Jim Higgs, he is unable to pay and his brother has offered to make a partial payment. Out of state travel was approved for Sgt. Tom Harrison, Capt. Kyle Ekker, Sheriff LaMar Guymon, Det. John Barnett, Deputy Blake Gardner, Deputy Garrett Conover, Deputy Kurt Price, Deputy Mike Jorgensen, Det. Sgt. Robert Blackburn, Det. Jerod Curtis; public lands director Ray Petersen and Commissioner Jeff Horrocks. The sheriff's office employees will be attending trainings and Petersen and Horrocks will be going to Washington DC to speak to the Washington Delegation.
The commission spoke of projects on the CIB funding list to go to the Southeastern Utah Association of Governments for submission to the CIB. Huntington Airport improvements, Green River public safety building, storage building for public safety, weed and mosquito county public works building and the remodel at the Huntington Senior Citizen Center will all remain on the list.
The county entered into a memorandum of understanding with Carbon County concerning the management and sharing of communication sites and microwave system Ethernet bandwidth existing and proposed for installation in both counties. Communications director Bret Mills has worked on the communication system.
Two change orders were approved for the sheriff's office training building, a fridge, sink and cabinet were approved and changes in the concrete work which the county received an $800 credit.
Chanel Atwood gave an update concerning the Castle Country Regional Information Center in the CEU Museum. She said she received numerous inquiries this year about Emery County. She sent many visitors to the Castle Valley Pageant as well as fair activities. Many people visited the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur quarry. She thanked the county for their continued support.
Commissioner Jeff Horrocks thanked Atwood for her work in behalf of Emery County with getting out tourist information to bring more visitors to our area.
The Emery County Business Chamber will host their inaugural kick-off luncheon on Nov. 16 at noon at the Museum of the San Rafael. The speakers will be Price Mayor Joe Piccolo and State Senator David Hinkins.
Commissioner Horrocks reported the wellness fair was a success and everything went well. Trying to keep county employees healthy saves money. He attended the dedication of the care center.
Commissioner Laurie Pitchforth mentioned the Business Chamber and their efforts to step up and promote the businesses of Emery County. She encouraged everyone to attend the kick-off luncheon.
"The Emery County Care and Rehabilitation Open House was a great success. It was a great event. There was a large crowd and we were well pleased. There was a very touching flag ceremony and flag raising. There was a program. It's been a venture. The staff has stepped up during the remodel. If you haven't toured the facility yet, you need to go and see what the county has.
"I attended the Hope coalition. They are really working hard to battle the drug problems in the county. They talked about the drug bust at Emery High. A person moved to our area to sell drugs to our young people. The drug task force was pleased and happy to get the people off the streets that were selling drugs. The tip came from the Buddy Box. I really admire the person who wrote the tip that led to the arrest. It takes courage to put yourself on the line.
"I attended Festive Friday and they had a lot of Halloween ideas. The reality show Manhunters out of Canada was here in the county gathering information on Butch Cassidy for a show they are doing. There have been seven different productions in the county this year. Our county is getting on the map and we appreciate what Mike McCandless, economic development director and Tina Carter, travel bureau have been doing to promote our county," said Pitchforth.
Commissioner Gary Kofford reported the left over funds from the previous phases of the Moore Road project will be used in a final phase to build a fence along the entire corridor. The cows last winter slept on the road and several were killed. Some of the cattle guards will be taken out and a culvert will be placed under the road for cows to go back and forth. The chip seal of the entire road was recently completed. UDOT is currently working on getting the left over money from the various phases put into a fund for the final fencing phase of the project. The food bank building foundation is ready and the asphalt will be put down this week weather permitting.
Kofford reported the new toilet at the Y intersection at Buckhorn Draw has already been vandalized. It has only been in place for two weeks and already it has been shot by vandals. Kiosks will also be added out there in the spring. Surveillance cameras will be added in the future to keep an eye on the new bathroom and improvements to the area. The water troughs for cattle have been moved to accommodate the information center.
Sheriff LaMar Guymon reported a $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the vandalism.
Kofford said the county is in the process of working out a land trade with the forest service for the land where the Crandall Canyon Miners Memorial is located. The forest service will move through the process and they think they can have the paperwork done by December 2011.
The Bureau of Land Management has listed the landfill patent on the federal register. It will take six-eight weeks for the paperwork to get back to make it official. This patent will increase the acreage at the landfill for expansion.
Pitchforth commended the drug task force and the sheriff's office for their work on the recent drug arrests and she appreciates the work they do.