By Julie Johansen
Tori Killian with Emery OHV Club requested a public information meeting to inform local citizens about the Emery County Public Lands Bill during the county commission meeting on Tuesday. She recommended that it be scheduled at a time when most people could attend the meeting. It was decided that the meeting would take place on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 6 p.m. in the Emery County Administration Building in Castle Dale. She also requested support of the congressional bill on the Antiquities Act that would give Utah the same classification as Wyoming and Alaska to prevent a monument designation.
Also at the meeting, Emery County Commissioners pleaded with citizens to sign up to become EMTs. The county is extremely short of emergency personnel to serve the citizens of the county, it was reported. Consequently, a pay raise was granted for all EMTs. Advanced EMTs will receive a $3 per hour hour raise, with basic at $1 per hour and drivers at $.50 per hour. On-call holiday EMTs will be given a $50 stipend for the weekend.
It was also reported at the meeting that the clothing allowance for the weed and mosquito department was raised to $150, which will meet the allowance for other county departments. Ratification and approval of several annual contracts were made during the meeting as well.
Then, Emery County Sheriff Greg Funk reported on the recent avalanche recovery and extended a huge thank you to Larry Johansen from State Parks for all his assistance in the canyon. Funk reported this was the first avalanche in Emery County in over 30 years. The sheriff’s office called for support from Sanpete County, Alta Ski Patrol and other agencies. The Emery County equipment was found to be outdated and needs updating. Sheriff Funk reported that they are “desert rats” but need to consider equipment for this type of rescue.
To conclude, commissioner Kent Wilson stated that the public lands bill is being backed by Senator Mitt Romney and Congressman John Curtis. When discussing a timeline, commissioner Wilson said it could be in a week or a couple of months, no one really knows.