Emery Commissioners Discuss Budget

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By Sara Price

Emery County Commissioners met at their bi-weekly meeting meeting Oct. 22.

Commissioner Jeff Horrocks’ main focus was on ongoing budget meetings. Commissioners have completed preliminary meetings and successfully created a tentative budget. Commissioners voted to approve both the county tentative budget as well as the budget for Castle Valley Special Service District.

Mineral leases switched from state to federal control in 2012, which reduced funding for county budgets. The federal government has promised to send the county a portion of the mineral leases by 2014 but commissioners opted to remain conservative on their estimates until the money is actually in the accounts, said Commissioner Ethan Migliori. This will keep budgets in the black.

Horrocks stated that he notified all county departments to minimize their budgets as much as possible this year due to the reduction in funding. This includes purchasing equipment, which has been on an as-needed basis and that now has a spending cap.

Horrocks met with county officials from Uintah, Duchesne, and Carbon counties as they pursue job and financial benefits that will help all four counties. This has been an ongoing process and will continue until the plans come into fruition, Horrocks said.

Commissioner James Nelson reported on the domestic violence luncheon he was able to attend. The guest speaker was a prosecuting attorney who trained the Emery County Sheriff’s Office on the risks of domestic violence. Nelson described the content of the meeting as, “scary.”

Castle Valley Special Service District and Emery Water Conservancy District are looking to build or lease a combined office building on Main Street in Castle Dale. Nelson felt it would be a, “benefit to the community to have a nice office on Main Street.”

Other notes from the meeting:

Nelson announced that a coal symposium would take place at the courthouse Thursday, to discuss ways to keep coal viable. Nelson stated that this was important for coal country and everyone should be concerned.

The Bureau of Reclamation is meeting with Pacificorp and Emery Conservancy District Oct. 28 at 1 p.m. to discuss contracts in the coming year.

Nelson also mentioned that the super hosting seminar is taking place Wednesday and that locals sometimes forget that we’re surrounded by “world class” attractions. He mentioned a group from South Africa who recently visited the area. Biking festivals have also become an international event and that Emery County is becoming known around the world.

Migliori reported on the Travel Bureau, which has secured three grants. He was proud of the hard work they have done.

Friday, the Museum of the San Rafael is hosting a day on the desert in south Emery. They are meeting at the museum at 8 a.m. Those questions may contact the museum for details.

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