Emery County Commissioners Place New Emphasis on Senior Citizens


Jade Powell of the Southeastern Utah Association of Local Governments addresses the Emery County Commissioners.

By Julie Johansen

Representatives from the Southeastern Utah Association of Local Governments (SEUALG) met with the Emery Country Commissioners on Tuesday to discuss a memorandum of understanding between the two entities. This would aim to retain the assistance of Jade Powell through the Association of Governments (AOG) as a consultant for economic development issues to help new or existing businesses expand.

Geri Gamber, SEUALG Executive Director, also expressed her excitement to use CARES Act funding to hire an employee through the AOG to be a personal contact for the senior citizens of Emery County to coordinate needed assistance. She felt this would increase momentum for seniors. Discussion also continued to purchase a new Meals on Wheels delivery truck for Emery County senior citizens.

Next, the monthly drawing for safety Visa gift cards were awarded to Justin Truman, Dennis Fuller, Ty Gordon, Estella Grange, Elizabeth Carter, Elida Brown and Carter Robinson for their dedication to practicing safety in the workplace. Commissioner Lynn Sitterud congratulated the employees and thanked them for the no time loss at work.

An amendment was then made to the Inter-agency Coordination and Subrecipient Contract agreement for the Aging Administration, which would allow the AOG to spend CARES Act funds in Emery County. A resolution was then made that approves the submission of an application to the State of Utah, which would change commercial and industrial zones in the county to enterprise zones. This would make is possible to submit an application to the state for these changes. The changes would make it possible for tax breaks in these zones.

Adriana Chimaras, Emery County Tourism Director, requested an amendment to the trails committee bylaws to include one new member. This new member would expand the committee and give a wider variety on the board. The new member, Don Bennett, would represent equestrian activities. One membership expired and Kathy Reeves was appointed to emphasize mountain biking on the committee. The amendment was approved.

Selling used surplus county vehicles to cities before putting them up for public auction was another item of consideration for the commissioners. The amount to charge and the legality of this consideration was discussed with both Emery County Assessor Kris Bell and Emery County Attorney Mike Olsen. Procurement code and state statute will need to be considered before a decision can be made.

The possibility of amending the vehicles/transportation policy, which would enable the commissioners to approve an individual other than county employee or approved volunteer to be a passenger in a county vehicle, was also considered. Mary Huntington, the county’s personnel director, cautioned about the liability of taking passengers in a county vehicle. Consideration was then given to the cost of paying mileage for taking private cars compared to driving a county vehicle.

Commissioner Kent Wilson reported on his recent meeting with Green River City Council to establish an EMS memorandum of understanding (MOU). The service in Green River has been practically non-existent and needs to be developed for full-time coverage, Wilson said. Attorney Olsen was asked to create the MOU that can be taken to the Green River City Council for approval as well as Emery County.

In the elected officials’ reports, Commissioner Wilson noted the importance of the public land legislation recently approved by U.S. Congress, especially now with the change in administration in Washington D.C.

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