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Commission looks at Russian Olive cutting


"The Russian Olive tree removal project will begin at the Swinging Bridge and continue upstream to Fullers Bottom."

By COREY BLUEMEL Staff writer

The Emery County Commissioners met in their regularly scheduled meeting with the absence of Commissioner Jeff Horrocks due to illness.
James Nielsen of the Emery County Mosquito and Weed Department explained he has advertised a project which is the removal of Russian olive trees from the Swinging Bridge to Fuller’s Bottom. Nielsen stated the Bureau of Land Management has given $10,000 toward this project and he will be the overseer. The commissioner opened four proposals which were received for this work.
Global Studies Institute submitted the proposal to remove the first two miles of Russian olive trees for $2,750. The next submission was received from Castle Valley Landscaping for $87,000 for the entire length of the project. Lee Jeffs submitted a proposal to do the entire length of the project for $8,000. The final proposal was received from Colby Jensen, and his proposal was for the entire length of the project for the amount of $26,000.
Commissioner Gary Kofford recommended that these proposals be studied by Nielsen and then reviewed by Blackwell. The award of the contract will come during the next commission meeting.
Commissioner Kofford requested Dixie Swasey to procure a gift for the Utah Association of Counties convention in St. George in November. Swasey said she would complete that project. The gift is to be representative of Emery County.
Bids were opened for the fuel bunker project to be constructed at the county roadshop. Wall Contractors of Price was the only bid received from the publication of the project. Wall bid $6,864 to complete the entire project including plans, labor and materials.
The commissioners ratified the approval of the Secure Rural School allocation. The deadline for submission for the allocation was Oct. 1 and with the late notification from the state level, the commission office proceeded with the allocation submission. With this allocation, the county will receive $354,000 to be divided, at the county’s discretion, among the Emery County Special Service District #1 and the Emery County School District.
It was decided to allocated those two entities a 50-50 split of 85 percent of the funds.
It was also decided to give the Forest Service and Title 2 8 percent of the funding, with the remaining 7 percent of the funds to be given to Title 3, which will be distributed by the county to pay for emergency services on federal lands.
A portion of the Title 3 funds will be put into the Firewise programs. Title 3 includes the Wildfire Protection plan, and these funds will reimburse Emery County for any emergency services provided on public lands.
Budget meeting work dates were tentatively set for Oct. 20, Oct. 23, Nov. 4, and Nov. 6. These meetings will begin at 9 a.m. and the commissioners will work on the fiscal year 2010 budget.
Approval was given for Emery County, represented by economic director Mike McCandless, to work with Carbon County economic director Delynn Fielding to reclaim several parcels of land. County Attorney David Blackwell has reviewed the contract, made corrections, and suggests the commission approve. Commissioner Kofford explained this contract will allow application for an Environmental Protection Agency assessment grant for Southeast Utah for Emery County to participate in the reclamation project.
Commissioner Kofford announced the plans are complete for the construction of the new food bank building.
A public hearing on the matter will be held during the commission meeting on Nov. 10 at 10 a.m.
Commissioner Laurie Pitchforth announced work on the expansion/renovation project at Emery Care and Rehab in Ferron is progressing quickly.
Caleen Wilcox of Elmo has been appointed to be the administrator of that facility for the next six months, when a review will be held to determine the direction of that facility.
Commissioner Kofford said the Red Rock Wilderness hearings are available for all to listen to and the are available on the county website.
He said it was his understanding following the hearings that Pres. Obama has recommended this issue be returned to the local areas to decide. “Emery County now faces the challenge to go forward.
“We must meet these challenges and compromises to come up with an agreement. This process could take several years,” Kofford said.
Nielson Construction has been given the notice to proceed with the Moore #7 portion of that project. Surveying will begin in several weeks.
Phase three of the Goblin Valley road has been awarded to Brown Brothers Construction, who has a private agreement with Nielson’s to do the asphalt work on that road. That work has already begun.
During a public hearing held at 10 a.m. that day, the commissioner heard input on the decision to issue up to $2 million aggregate principal for industrial development bonds.
These bonds are for Conductive Composites to construct a facility in Green River.
Following the closing of the hearing, the commissioners agreed to proceed with the project.
McCandless informed the commissioners this project has the potential to provide 50 jobs for residents.

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