Commission addresses fairgrounds concerns
Potential conflicts and liability situations at the fairgrounds were addressed by the Carbon County Commission last Wednesday night.
The problems have stemmed from a clouded idea of what constitutes public use of the local fairgrounds and what business use is.
Over the years, a number of horse and livestock organizations have used the facility on a regular basis with little problem. But what came to light recently was the fact that some that were using the facilities were charging others to ride stock during practice times.
The renumeration mostly seemed to be in the form of feed for animals and such, but still county officials were concerned about the situation.
"I think the commission may want to regulate the rough stock practice at the fairgrounds," stated county attorney Gene Strate. "It's a matter of safety and liability."
Obviously the liability factor was the biggest sticking point in the whole matter. The county requires that any individual and group that uses the fairgrounds for a profit motive must provide liability insurance.
The room was filled with people for the meeting and the majority had come to talk with the commission about just such a move.
"This whole thing stems from an incident where someone exchanged money for practice," exolained Rhonda Peterson, county fairgrounds coordinator. "I just don't want to see us penalize whole groups of people for what just a few are doing. There are a number or issues to address in this situation."
Chad Greenhalgh, who, along with some others, have been regularly practicing at the facility for a number of years was concerned about what might happen.
"We have been buckin' bulls out there for years," he stated. "Lately other parties out there have been breaking the rules. We have all had a schedule that we could work with and no one has been hurt."
Commissioners began to discuss the problem. Their biggest problem was obviously with people coming in to the arena to watch and then not being covered by insurance in case something happened to them. There apparently has also been some reports of betting going on at events staged at the facilities.
"Would you object to a pass being issued by the county to those who should be there?" Commissioner Mike Milovich asked the assembled group of local residents.
"To receive such a pass a person would have to fill out a form that would hold the county harmless and address indemnity concerns. Profit groups would not fall under these passes but would have to buy their own insurance," pointed out the commissioner.
Most of the people in the group seemed to agree with Milovich's idea. But they had some questions about the passes, including who would be allowed to watch the events and what would happen with minors who wanted to ride.
"Basically, anyone who participates would need a card," explained Milovich. "The main thing is that those who have the arena reserved for that time would be responsible to be sure that those participating has the pass."
Most of the residents in the audience at the commission meeting seemed to agree that the pass would be a good idea.
The commission said that the county would have someone begin working on forms and the passes right away.
Acting on unrelated business matters at last week's meeting, the county commissioners:
Approved a lease extension and change for Western Reserve Coal Company on some property located near Scofield.
The changes approved by the lawmakers included straightening out 1,200 acres of land that has been leased to Western and Skyline mine at the same time in years past and providing parameters for the sub-leasing of property should any coal companies come into the area to do some resource extraction.
Approved four-year appointments to the Carbon County Recreation and Transportation Special Service District.
Individuals appointed to serve four-year included Pace Hanson, Richard Lee and county commission member Bill Krompel.
Approved a resolution adopting the 2003 county budget.
County government's main operation fund (Budget 10) was approved at $8,369,451.
Granted approval for a 10-year lease for 10 shares of county water to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources for the Gigliotti Pond in Helper.
The lease agreement between Carbon government and the DWR will contain a severability clause that may be exercised by the county on a yearly basis.
Otherwise, the water lease automatically would renew annually.
In addition, the Carbon lawmakers authorized changing the dates of three county commission meetings.
The commissioners moved the Dec. 26 meeting to Dec. 30. The other two changes involved commission meetings scheduled next year.
The Jan. 2 county commission meeting will be moved to Jan. 8 and the Jan 15 meeting will be moved to Jan. 22.
The officials also approved closing the county offices for Christmas starting at noon on Dec. 24.