After tabling the decision to approve a resolution authorizing the creation of the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition on July 8, Emery County Commissioners approved the creation at their meeting on Tuesday.
Attorney Eric Johnson of Blaisdell, Church & Johnson out of Salt Lake City addressed citizens’ concerns that were discussed at the July 8 meeting.
Johnson explained that by creating an interlocal coalition between the seven counties, as opposed to another special service district, all counties involved would share responsibility equally. If a special service district were created in place of the interlocal coalition, only one county would be the responsible party.
He also addressed questions about financial obligations and liability issues. Johnson stated that projects within the coalition would have to be self-sustaining and that revenues would pay for the project. He further explained that an interlocal agreement is a separate and independent body and that Emery County would not have any liability for what another county is doing.
The coalition would have an elected official from each of the seven counties and would be able to attract better grants and interest rates. A unified seven county entity would speak with more political clout and would have more favorable terms for state and federal funding.
Senator David Hinkins was also present at the commission meeting and has been involved in all aspects of the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition along with Senator Kevin VanTassell and Jeffrey Holt, Commission Chairman of the Utah Department of Transportation. Green River Mayor Pat Brady is also in support of the coalition.
After much discussion, commissioners decided they would sign the approval of resolution and interlocal agreement, thus creating the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition.