Emery County Budgets Approved Following Public Hearings


By Julie Johansen

A public hearing was held during the Emery County Commission meeting on Tuesday. The purpose of the hearing was to receive public comment concerning opening and amending the 2023 fiscal year budgets. Emery County Clerk Brenda Tuttle discussed a few of the minor changes for the budget, which included interest revenue changes, but otherwise, there were very few changes.

The proposed budget for 2024 was also presented for public comment. Tuttle explained that the various departments had presented their budget requirements in October, which were very similar to 2023. These budgets reflect the general fund, special revenue funds, capital projects fund and local building authority. They did include a 3% cost of living adjustment for all employees and elected officials.

Jacob Sharp also presented the Castle Valley Special Service District budget amendments for 2023 and the proposed budget for 2024 during the hearings. His budgets included the general fund, capital projects and debt service budgets. There were no public comments or questions, so the hearing was closed and all budgets were approved by the commission.

The Safety Minute Presentation was by Kyle Scow, building maintenance lead. He spoke about falls and tripping in the work place and how to prevent them. He pointed out that keeping your eyes open and adequate lighting were some of the main precautions. Falls can happen at the same level, lower level and higher levels.

The safety Visa gift cards were then presented to Darlene Jensen, Camille Thomas, Kyle Larsen, Holly Smith, Belinda Gordon, Mary Huntington, AnnDee Mead, Dallen Cowley, Michael Van Wagoner, Josh Johnson and Devin Wall.

Unified Fleet Services then gave an media presentation on its program for leasing vehicles. The county has been leasing with them and he explained the new program of leasing for three years instead of yearly. Their credentials were presented. The representative stated they feel they have the right tool for the job and a good selection of vehicles.

It was explained that the vehicles are leased and maintained by the company and at the end of leasing period, they can then be sold. Depending on the sale price, the county could receive the profit or pay the decreased value. In rural areas, the mileage capacity and the value of vehicle are considerations and determine the value of the vehicle upon swapping. No action was taken, but appreciation for the presentation was offered.

The commissioners ratified the acceptance of Thinking Money For Kids for the Elmo and Huntington Libraries as well as the grant application to be used for the Emery County General Plan update.

Mr. and Mrs. Kendall asked the commission for an adjustment on their property taxes on their secondary residence. They had been living in a trailer while building their new home in Cleveland, but due to what they felt was extraordinary circumstances, including the pandemic, their construction had taken longer than expected. They had received their certificate of occupancy for their primary residence on Sept. 16, 2023. The commission explained that the Board of Equalization was closed for 2023 and this request could be made again next year. The request for adjustment was denied.

A resolution amending the gifts and awards policy was approved. This will change the awarding of pins for every five years of service to giving $100 at each five-year anniversary. This will have a 30-year cap and will be presented at the end of the year.

The holiday schedule, meeting schedule and fee schedule for Emery County for 2024 was then approved.

AnnDee Mead, Emery County Travel and Tourist Director, then requested using HUB for website rebranding and maintenance. She also asked for acceptance of a Museum Operations Grant for 2024 and 2025. Both these requests received approval.

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