Green River has struggled with a high unemployment rate for quite some time.
In the Emery County Commission meeting yesterday commissioners moved to act on a request for a Level III conditional use permit concerning a potential micro-refinery and associated rail system.
When fully operational, the four-phase operation would potentially employ 125 workers.
Emery County Economic Development Director Mike McCandless and Hank Diesel, an investment banker on the project, addressed the commission regarding the potential refinery. TheВ microВ refinery would ultimately convert crudes into products such as diesel fuel and other bi-products of the process.
The refinery would be a compact facility using the latest technology to reduce emissions at a high efficient rate. The entire project, including rail line and spurs, would sit on 180 acres of land located close to the junction of Highway 6 and I-70. An existing railroad line borders the property and would be essential to the operation.
The railroad that spurs off of the main line would be phase one. This will allow oil producers who are currently hauling their products to Salt Lake City to use the facility, cutting costs in the process.
The remaining phases will include the construction and operation of two facilities to process crude oils. Thirty production jobs will be needed in the plant initially, and as the project move into phase four needed workers should increase to approximately 125.
Green River Mayor Pat Brady spoke out in support of the plant and is happy that it will come in phases so the city will be able to adapt to the influx of jobs, growth and new residents.
Wages would be 125% of the average wage for the area and would also include great benefits and incentives. McCandless hopes this will put an end to those working two to three jobs to make ends meet.
He admitted that there would be a need for training to prepare local residents for some of the technical jobs at the facility. Training programs would start early.
Other notes from the meeting:
In the wake of recent high-profile cases the Emery County SheriffвЂ™s office has handled, commissioners honored the entire department as employees of the month.
Commissioner Ethan Migliori praised the entire department for its professionalism and its ability to work together. Sheriff Greg Funk had several deputies present to accept the award and took back boxes of treats for the deputies to share. Migliori also thanked the road department and the forest service for their help in capturing Troy James Knapp, or the “Mountain Man.”
Commissioners approved an application for funding to improve the cut-off between Highway 6 and Highway 10 in Green River. If awarded, the county would only be responsible for a 7% match, but would have to put up an initial $10,000 for an engineering study.
Commissioners approved a memorandum of understanding with the BLM for weed control. They also awarded a contract for lawn maintenance and care for the county libraries.