Emery County Receives PILT Payment From DWR


By Julie Johansen

Following a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance, a motion to accept the only bid for the Emery County Landfill scrap metal pile opened the Emery County Commission meeting on Tuesday afternoon. The bid was from Western Metal Recycling, LLC for $220/ton. The bid was accepted and will be awarded following a formal review. The meeting was then closed and a public hearing was opened.

The hearing was to receive input from the public with respect to the issuance of the Castle Valley Special Service District (CVSSD) bonds. There were no public comments, though CVSSD Manager Jacob Sharp explained that district had been approved for a Community Impact Board (CIB) loan in the amount of $1 million with a 1.5% interest rate to go along with a grant for the same amount. He then explained how they use the money in the district. Later in the meeting, the final bond resolution was approved.

Following this, the safety minute presentation was given by Charlene Jensen from the treasurer’s office. She spoke about the effects of too much caffeine and warned to consume it in moderation. The Visa safety gift cards were then awarded to Tammy Tucker, Cindy Bowerman, Tyson Huntington, Dillon Steel, Alida Brown and Carter Robinson for their efforts to practice safety in the workplace.

Chris Wood, Director of the Department of Wildlife for the Southeast Utah region, presented the annual payment in lieu of taxes (PILT) check to the commissioners. He stated that they have about 5,000 acres in Emery County and the check was for $2,610. He spoke about the programs the DWR has in Emery County and expressed his appreciation for working with Emery County. Wood also praised the Emery County Public Lands Council for its efforts.

Members of the student council at Emery High School (EHS) then requested a donation from the county for the school’s annual graduation party. The commissioners granted a $500 donation. Approval was also given to Rowe Zwahlen, USU Extension Agent, to install a weather station on the county administration building to help with drought measurements.

Next, approval was given to use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to update heating and air conditioning at the jail and the county administration building. This should bring the buildings up to 2021 standards without using money from taxpayers. The restroom and cleaning agreement for the Buckhorn Informational Center was discussed and the employee will be expected to clean twice per week and will be paid per visit. The Gifts and Awards resolution also was amended to read $100 instead of $50 to met the rising costs of inflation.

Emery County Sheriff Greg Funk then spoke about the influx of people expected for the Easter holiday in the area and his concern to meet these demands. He also spoke about the retirement of the deputy attorney Brent Langston and how he has helped him in his position.

Next, Commissioner Kent Wilson reported that a representative from the state will come to ride with Jim Jennings and discuss the proposed closed trials on the San Rafael Desert to help with their recommendation. Commissioner Gil Conover spoke about the Build Back Better Program and how it will help to get the industrial park and San Rafael Emery Research Center finalized and operational.

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