Carbon County Tourism Tax will promote a wide variety of events

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Carbon County Tourism Director Shalee Johansen brought funding recommendations from the Carbon County Tourism Tax Advisory Board to the attention of Carbon County Commissioners July 3. There were eight projects and three others that were “brick and mortar” projects to be considered.

Of the eight, only the Helper Arts Festival had received previous funding from the tourism tax. Johansen said a $3,000 request for Pleasant Valley Day’s Fourth of July celebration would be taken care of through the tourism budget and not from the tourism tax fund this year.

Additionally, sponsors of Energy Days, Southeast Utah Energy Producers Association, felt they did not want to be included on the list because they were putting on their event for the residents of Carbon and Emery counties. They might look to expand and market to bring in tourists next year.

With those two projects removed from consideration, the Commissioners quickly passed an approval on the remaining amounts. These included $3,000 for the EMS convention, $9,000 total for the Helper Arts Festival ($5,000 up front and $4,000 if needed), $10,000 for the Carbon County Fair, $2,000 for the Texas Showdown, $500 for the Carbon Quilting Guild and $6,000 for the Carbon County Mud Drags.

Johansen then moved on to the three “brick and mortar” items. There was some discussion about the $5,000 that would go toward pavilion renovations in Scofield.

Commissioner Jae Potter was pleased that the group was using the request and matching it with $5,000.

“I find it interesting that this is a match and I think this is a new standard we could use to make the funds stretch further,” he said.

Two other projects that needed funding were for printing a promotional magazine about the Castle Country area and other promotional items to be used to promote the area when conventions and other events take place. All three projects were approved.

In other business, a lease request from Coastal Energy was put on hold after a discussion took place concerning conditions in the contract. The lease is for five years and Commissioners felt they would like Carbon County Attorney Christian Bryner to approach the company to negotiate an increase in royalties to 16 percent and the lease price per acre to $50.

A group looking to build a new Holiday Inn Hotel in the Price area asked for a delay in the implementation of tax entity status hit a bump when Commissioner John Jones voiced concerns that construction had not begun on the property. He felt the delay for implementing the tax status was appropriate as long as construction was underway before January 1, 2014. With the addition of the deadline, the measure passed.

Contracts with the Children’s Justice Center and Four Corner’s Behavior Health were presented and approved by Commissioners. A cooperative agreement with the Division of Wildlife Resources for the purchase of a restroom and fish cleaning station at the Carbon County Fairgrounds fishing pond was also approved.

At the beginning of the meeting Commissioner Jae Potter wanted it understood that he was alive and well and was not vacating his commission seat. The change of chair is routine and takes place on a scheduled rotating basis. Potter’s absence from the last meeting was a coincidence and was not related in any way to the change.

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