August 2, 2016
I will have a lot today since I missed last commission meeting’s Commissioners Report. So let’s get going, shall we?
County Economic Development Strategy
I was able to schedule time with the Mike Mower from the Governors Office, Governors Office Economic Development (GOED), and the Department of Energy. Jordan and I visited with them last Wednesday and I am hoping this will be a start of many meetings with them. Items that we discussed were alternative uses for coal, SITLA, natural gas projects, the fiber optic network we have in the county, support businesses for our growers and grazers, and possible aerospace projects.
Castle Valley Pageant
This is the last week for the Castle Valley Pageant, tonight through Saturday night. Make sure that you hit the lamb fry before the pageant in Castle Dale. The pageant wont be back for another two years so make sure you share it with friends and family.
Summer Sidewalk Jamboree
Also this Friday and Saturday, August 5-6 there is a Summer Sidewalk Jamboree. Brought to you by the Emery County Business Chamber. It looks like it will be good fun.
Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell
As DOI Sally Jewell was making her way to Bluff, UT for a public hearing on Bears Ears (read more about that here) she stopped and met with elected officials, public land council members and the public and then toured Emery County. We were able to explain to her what we have gone through in our Public Lands process. We met for about 45 minutes and then headed out to The Wedge, Buckhorn Wash and Swinging Bridge as she headed for Grand County.
For more on the meeting you can read about it at ECProgress.com. Below are pictures from the visit and meeting in Bluff.
Public Lands Initiative
The day after the visit from Secretary Jewell, after hearing comments from various groups new language has come out for the PLI. Below you can download the pdf and view the website.
Nuclear Power Plant
Recently, the State Court of Appeals ruled to uphold the water use for Blue Castle Nuclear Project. This is a big hurdle that Blue Castle has been waiting to hear about. To read more you can go to their website at bluecastleproject.com and read their press release here.
Roger Brooks Assessment
A while back Roger Brooks conducted a secret shopper/assessment on our county. He did a presentation that covered some of the material in the pdf below. It’s a good, quick read. It’s even quicker if you skim through my highlights of comments he makes that I thought were poignant or as a reminder to myself for future reference in developing an action plan.
Senator Mike Lee’s Visit
It was nice to have lunch and visit with Senator Mike Lee at Palenque’s in Huntington last Tuesday as he was heading to tour the Hunter Power plant. We had a great chat about the county, the PLI, DOI Secretary Jewell’s visit, Bears Ears, Congress, ACA (Obamacare) and the RNC. I am grateful for him taking the time to come through Emery County.
Afterwards, he headed to Blanding, UT to have a town hall to discuss Bears Ears.
EMS Interlocal Agency
The commission, tonight, passed the cooperative agreement, articles of incorporation and the bylaws to form an EMS Interlocal agency. It will give EMS more ownership and autonomy as they serve Emery County. Each city will have the opportunity to have someone on the board that governs the EMS program in the county.
Additional Sales Tax Option for Roads (HB 362)
Last Commission meeting we voted to place the .25% sales tax increase on the ballot for November. I prefer the ballot method than any body unilaterally increasing taxes. There are rules/laws regarding the county promoting this tax so I will leave that to the cities.
I posted this on this on June 21, 2016 Commissioners Report. These are the latest FY 2017 B&C Road Fund Projections from the Utah League of Cities and Towns, all have gone up for the county and its municipalities. The commission has received resolutions from four cities (Orangeville, Green River, Castle Dale and Huntington) regarding putting this proposition on the ballot to be voted on in November. Below are the estimated revenue from the .25% increase in sales tax in Emery County. These moneys will be used to build and maintain roads, and trails that connect to the cities.
|Entity||FY 2015 B&C Distribution||Estimated FY 2017||Increase from FY 2015 B&C Distribution (HB 60)*||% Increase from FY 2015|
|Emery County||$ 1,593,159||$ 2,866,105||$ 1,272,947||79.90%|
|Castle Dale||$ 77,895||$ 83,169||$ 5,274||6.77%|
|Clawson||$ 12,034||$ 12,740||$ 706||5.86%|
|Cleveland||$ 27,750||$ 29,402||$ 1,651||5.95%|
|Elmo||$ 26,370||$ 28,553||$ 2,183||8.28%|
|Emery||$ 33,849||$ 35,335||$ 1,485||4.39%|
|Ferron||$ 83,556||$ 88,982||$ 5,426||6.49%|
|Green River||$ 65,109||$ 70,995||$ 5,887||9.04%|
|Huntington||$ 101,149||$ 108,696||$ 7,547||7.46%|
|Orangeville||$ 68,035||$ 72,884||$ 4,849||7.13%|
|Municipal Subtotal||$ 495,747||$ 530,755||$ 35,008||7.06%|
|Countywide Total||$ 2,088,906||$ 3,396,860||$ 1,307,954||62.61%|
* Based on FY 2017 B&C Fund estimates from the Utah Department of Transportation