It may not be as large as the Payment-in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) payment the county gets from the federal government, but the PILT check for $6,451.07 from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources was equally welcomed by the Carbon County Commissioners on Wednesday night.
DWR has three properties in Carbon County including Gordon Creek Management, Lower Fish Creek and Cold Springs Management areas. The money to make the PILT payment comes from fees that hunters and anglers pay for permits.
Chris Wood read a letter from DWR Director Greg Sheehan as he presented the check at the meeting. Wood went on to explain that the division has 27 full-time employees located in Carbon County to administer all the programs and lands within the area.
The county also addressed an in-lieu issue of its own. In the 80’s the commissioners who were elected at the time gave some employees who were single, but covered under the county’s medical insurance pay an in-lieu payment to equal the difference between what it took to cover a family and a single person. An employee who was covered under their spouse or another plan already, also received an in-lieu payment monthly in the amount of what the family medical coverage was.
County attorney Christian Bryner said that while the payments will remain for those covered by another insurance, the payments to the employees that are getting both insurance and an in-lieu payment needs to end.
Several current employees who are getting those payments under the old system spoke adamantly that this was going to hurt them financially and they have received those payments for 20 years. They also stated there are only four employees that still receive those payments and all are long term county employees with many years of dedicated service.
Bryner said that they have consulted their employment attorney and they should not be making these because it singles out a group of employees based on family status. The employees asked that the payments be granted as a salary increase since it feels like taking a big pay cut. The commissioners listened, but decided to discontinue the in-lieu payments to those employees that had this medical coverage.
The commission convened as the Carbon County Municipal Building Board solicited public comment regarding a Lease Revenue Bond for the amount of $6,500,000 that will be used to pave and improve Nine Mile Canyon Road. No one came forward with any issues concerning the bond.
The board also approved to move forward in seeking Community Impact Board (CIB) funding for Class B and D Road Easement Perfection. This would be for $40,000 and would allow the county to resolve easement issues concerning these types of roads.
The commission reconvened and approved the issuance and sale of its $6.5 million in Lease Revenue Bonds.
Other items discussed by the commission included the Watershed Plan and approval for an agreement with Rockart for use of their image concerning Leave No Trace, which will be put on a trails map.