Commission gives county service awards
The Emery County Commission honored county employees with service awards at commission meeting on Jan. 24. The 2011 Service Awards included: 30 Years - Bliss Mead, sheriff's office; 25 years - Kyle Ekker - sheriff's office; Steve Kemple - road department; Bret Mills - sheriff's office; Jeff Thomas-sheriff's office; Carol Riddle - assessor's Office; 20 years: Jeffrey Weber, sheriff's office, Colleen Murdock-Library; Shon Roper, sheriff's office; 15 years - Dustin Butler, sheriff's office, Shaun Bell, sheriff's office; Joyce Staley-treasurer's office; Melany Weaver-justice court; 10 years - Tosha Barnett, sheriff's office; Ken Anderson-landfill/road dept.artment; Jerod Curtis-sheriff's office; Garrett Conover-sheriff's office; five years-Gayleen Cox-auditor's office; Dennis Fuller - maintenance; Nannette Harrison-maintenance; Julia Larsen - maintenance; Kimball Larsen-maintenance; Eric Nielsen - road deptartment; Maureen Copatch-sheriff's office; Alexander O'Neil-sheriff's office; Devin Seely-sheriff's office-Jolene Dalton-Library.
Commissioner Jeff Horrocks thanked all the county employees for their service.
The commission approved the cooperative agreement with the Utah State Extension Office for $73,000 a year.
The commission approved the changes in school district boundaries to follow the precinct boundaries. Clerk/auditor Brenda Tuttle explained every 10 years with the new census information that school district boundaries must be re-evaluated to ensure that populations for each school district boundary remain as equal as possible. The school board is made up of five members. One from each boundary section. The two proposed changes will take a one block segment in Castle Dale and one in Huntington and re-align them so they will follow current precinct boundaries. This will also save the clerk's office from printing four different school district ballots at election time.
Dana Gray spoke to the commission about Eagle Scouts and the annual banquet held at the museum each year. She requested a fee waiver for the use of the museum. She said in 2011 there were 25 scouts who earned the Eagle Scout award. She said the Eagle Scouts must do a project to attain their Eagle Scout. Gray asked the county to keep the scouts in mind as they have projects arise in the county. They can erect signs and other projects which are long lasting and have a benefit to the community. Each Eagle Scout must donate 100 hours of service in their community. That means the 25 scouts this year have donated 2,500 hours of service to Emery County. Scouts have helped the BLM with fencing and with signs on the forest.
"An Eagle Scout project helps a young man to develop pride in his workmanship and a sense of accomplishment. I recently talked to someone who had done a project year's ago and he still remembers it and can look back on it. The boys will do all of the work. The county will help with the material expenses," said Gray.
Commissioner James Nelson said there is no greater place to learn service than in the scouting program.
Commissioner Laurie Pitchforth said a remodeling project is going to take place at the Huntington Senior Center and a new sign there would be a great project.
Commissioner Horrocks thanked Gray for coming and for all her work with the scouts in Emery County.
Roger Young from NCS Plus presented information to the commission on his debt collection agency. He said they have a very good debt collection rate of 58 percent. The county would retain control of the account which is not traditional in debt collection. The company has transparency as far as the county would be able to check on how many letters have been sent and phone calls made for each case. After six months of trying to collect a debt the county can decide if they want to take it to court, if the debt is collected that way it's a 50/50 split of what's collected. Other cases are done in bulk for a flat fee of $20 per claim. The amount owed isn't taken into consideration. The commission agreed to take the information under consideration and place the item on the agenda for the next meeting on Feb. 14.
The commission approved to advertise for vacant positions on the Emery County Water conservancy board, weed and mosquito board, the Castle Valley Special Service District and the North Emery Water Users board.
The commission approved a change to the public lands council guidelines concerning the number of members on the board. The members should include at least seven and up to 11.
Rod Player, Ed Geary, Mark H. Williams, Bruce Wilson and Sherrel Ward were approved to sit on the public lands council. This brings board members to 11.
The commission approved $8,600 for the County Seat program which is an informative program dealing with issues from around the state including Emery County.
The contract with the Forestry, Fire and State Lands was approved, this helps to pay for the fire warden, Justin Needles.
Ray Petersen will file a right of way on the Fullers Bottom Road with the BLM. This road requires a lot of maintenance which the BLM asks the county to complete and the county would be better off putting it on the county road system, so it can be scheduled for regular routine maintenance. If it becomes a county road there is also funding that will help with the maintenance costs.
The Ferron Canyon Bridge will be added to the short term list for CIB funding. This bridge is a problem on high water years. Hopefully, when the FEMA funds become available for the Ferron Flooding from last year, these funds can be added to the bridge project. It is hoped the bridge replacement can take place this season.
The letter of engagement with Government Matters LLC for public lands consultation and lobbyist, liaison, advisor and contact with the Washington delegation was approved for the amount of $15,000 for one year.
The county is responsible for the street lights at the SR57 and SR10 junction, lights there have not been working properly and the county has been charged for several years for lights that were taken out when that intersection was reconstructed. Rocky Mountain Power will give the county a credit for those lights and the Emery County Special Service District will take care of maintenance from now on. The commission signed an interlocal agreement with the district.
The commission approved the equitable sharing agreement and certification in the amount of $1,719. The commission approved advertising in the annual Energy Edition published by the Emery County Progress each spring.
Under citizen concerns, Randall Stilson requested the RV dump station maintenance be taken from the recreation district as they have no way to maintain it and other departments are better suited for its maintenance. The commission said they must make this an agenda item for another meeting and it can be addressed at that time.
Commissioner Nelson reported on the things he's been attending and working on in the county. He has been working with the San Rafael Conservation District and they have a number of projects ongoing in western Emery County. The libraries are functioning well and there was a bit of trouble with the Orangeville furnace, but they hope that is fixed. He met with the Council of Governments and they outlined the projects they would like to send to CIB for possible funding.
Commissioner Pitchforth said she attended the Lunch and Learn sponsored by the Emery County Business Chamber. She commended the organization on the work they have put in to engage businesses in the county and move the county business climate forward.
There will be Senior Day at the legislature and she hopes many county senior citizens will be able to attend. Commissioner Pitchforth said the commission is very excited with the approval of the change application for the water for Blue Castle Holdings for the nuclear power plant.
A Day of Service was held and sponsored by the volunteer center. They collected food for the local food bank.
Commissioner Horrocks reported having the water approved for the nuclear power plant was a big step. He believes it will be challenged by environmental groups and other water users.
The project he believes will continue to move and will be a huge benefit to the county bringing in 1,000 jobs during the construction phase and permanent jobs during the operations phase.
Commissioner Horrocks said he was appointed the chairman for the Association of Governments. He attended the economic development council meeting and they have many projects in the works. He is working with the weed and mosquito board on their projects.