Commission Looks at Rtb Requests
The Carbon County Commission looked at four requests that had been submitted to the Restaurant Tax Board for funding last Wednesday during their regular meeting; two of the submissions were denied based on the committee's recommendations and two were sent back to the board for further review.
The first request came from Price City, asking for $4300 to purchase snow making equipment for Pioneer Park.
"The money was requested so that the snow making equipment could be used during the winter season when there was no snow on the hills so that kids could have a place to sled," said Commission Chair Steve Burge. "It's a great activity, very family oriented. My kids go there and really enjoy it. But the problem we have with granting the money for this is that it is not tourism related. At this point we need to deny this request based on the parameters of the law. Possibly the transient room tax could be used for this, though."
Commissioner Bill Krompel pointed out that when he saw this request he looked up some information on snow making machines and found there to be a great disparity between the types of equipment available.
"These types of machines can cost multiple figures or you can buy them at around the amount of money submitted," he said. "I for one would say if something like this were to be purchased, it should be a good quality machine rather than a device designed for home use. I am afraid it would wear out too fast."
Both commissioners agreed that the idea was a good one and that something could possibly be done through county recreation so the "whole county could benefit from it."
The next request had been submitted to the board by Scofield town and they were requesting $4000 to offset the cost of the fireworks that they set off each year during Pleasant Valley Days over Scofield Reservoir.
"Based on the opinion of our attorneys, fireworks do not fit the requirements of the law for funding, so we have to deny this," stated Burge. "However, we would like to find a way to assist Scofield on this."
Burge suggested that Scofield could look at some of their "brick and mortar" projects that they need for their park and the county could help with that because that falls within the parameters of the law.
"That could offset the cost of the fireworks in a different way," he told the assembled audience.
But Krompel had a different take on the issue.
"Personally I believe there is a tourism link to the fireworks," he stated. "But we have to find a way to fund this without violating the law."
A third request came from the Carbon Travel Bureau for $14,000. The funds were to be used for advertising the county's venues in a new publication that is coming out and will be distributed in a number of western states and all over Utah.
"In the past the state has published a tourism guide and while we haven't been left out of it, I have turned in good information and when it came out the spread on Carbon was vague and not very intriguing to people," said Kathy Hanna, the Travel Bureau's director. "However, with this new publication we have direct input and can also put a wonderful ad about the county nearby copy that is in the publication. It will go to over 300,000 people and will be featured in Utah and surrounding states visitor centers, welcome centers and will also go to numerous trade shows."
Hanna went on to explain the Travel Bureau wanted to put two pages of advertising in, but would settle for one this year to see how it works.
"It would cost about $10,500 per page," she stated.
The commissioner discussed the situation, and suggested that they could go back to the Restarant Tax Board and submit half of what she had requested.
"You know this isn't just for tourism," pointed out Burge. "I think everyone could benefit from this kind of publicity."
The issue will be placed before the board for further review in the next couple of weeks.
The final request for funds came from Rhonda Peterson on behalf of the County Fair, who asked for $5000 to put together a permanent booth for the Utah State Fair that shows off Carbon County in the best way.
"It's a little late to set this up for this year isn't it?" Burge asked Hanna who was representing Peterson at the meeting. "The state fair is just around the corner. Maybe we ought to budget something for next year, so we have some time to work on this."
Hanna explained that they realized the time was late to come up with a permanent display. She reminded the commissioners that each year all the counties in the state have a booth at the fair and that a lot of people stop by looking for vacation and travel ideas.
"I know it's late for this year and as we have thought about it we would like some money to put something good together for next year," stated Hanna. "However, we do need some money for this year's booth in which we would like to feature the 15th anniversary of the discovery of the Huntington Mammoth, possibly $1000 to $1500."
The commissioners discussed the situation and agreed to go back to the board and discuss that possibility with them.
In another action concerning the Restaurant Tax Board the commission also approved two new board members, Harvey Howard, owner of the Desert Thunder Raceway and Pam Miller, from the CEU Prehistoric Museum.
"Our goal has been to expand the board and include more people from additional areas of the community," stated Burge. "Since Pam Miller is on the Transient Room Tax Committee this will help to bridge some of the gap we have had between the two boards."
Burge also pointed out that there has been some preliminary talk about merging the two boards together.
In other business the commission did the following.
In four public hearings heard during the meeting the commission granted a zoning change and conditional use permit to JW Operating Company for two well sites in the Soldier Creek area on private land owned by the Iriart family trust.
In another hearing they also granted a conditional use permit to ConocoPhilips drilling and future production of two wells on property owned by Violet Feichko in the Miller Creek area.
The final public hearing concerned the installation of an antenna for Nextel Communications at the present site of the Verizon tower on Wood Hill.
No public commented on any of the requests and all were approved.
The commission also opened bids for a consultant to do the environmental assessments on the new proposed county gun range. There were three bids for the project. One came from Environmental Industrial Services of Helper for $65,300. Another was submitted by SWCA Environmental Consultants of Salt Lake for $61,200. The final bid was from Maxim Technical from Murray for $53,003.90. The bids will be reviewed by the executive committee in charge of putting together the gun range and they will submit their recommendation back to the commission.