County reviews, grants three restaurant tax fund requests
On Jan. 21, the Carbon Commission reviewed recommendations from the county's restaurant tax committee. Based on the recommendations, the commissioners decided to grant three funding requests.
The commission approved allocating $42,000 in restaurant tax revenues to the three local projects, but tabled two requests totaling $33,000 for additional study and consideration.
The tabled requests included a Price city project for $30,000 to replace playground equipment in parks and $3,000 for the Butch Cassidy Outlaw Car Show.
The commissioners did not act on the Price city request because the restaurant tax board needed more information about the project before supporting the proposal.
"Basically, in my conversations with the city, they want the money to replace equipment that is not safe," pointed out Commissioner Mike Milovich at last week's regularly scheduled meeting.
The commissioners appeared to believe Price city's project fell within the bounds of restaurant tax funding, particularly in the area of infrastructure, but decided to send the matter back to the committee before acting on the request.
The issue of granting money to the car show has popped up before, but the event sponsor is not a government entity or formal non-profit group.
"The car show has been a good thing. But we just can't legally fund it the way it is set up," stated Milovich.
Price Councilwoman Betty Wheeler pleaded with the commission to help bring the car show back after an absence of two years.
"It has always been a purely volunteer effort," said Wheeler. "It's also been a big drawing card for the 17 years it was held. There was nothing in it for those that worked hard to put it on and there are so many people that have been disappointed since it hasn't been held."
The car show organization has joined the local cancer drive, added the Price council member.
"I know these guys work very hard to put this on, but they are private," explained Milovich. "And if the cancer drive is involved, that leaves something else we can't legally fund."
All of the county commissioners were apparently sympathetic to the request and offered several suggestions for the members of the car show organization to consider.
"The group needs to file with the state as a non-profit organization, and if they can do that then we can legally make this work," said Commissioner Steve Burge.
The three restaurant tax funding requests approved by the commissioners included:
$16,000 for the Castle Country Information Center.
$25,000 for conducting a study on the expansion of the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum.
$1,000 for a dance/ballet program for the community.
The members of the county's restaurant tax committee will meet in April to discuss additional requests for funding and forward the panel's recommendations to the county commission for consideration.
Addressing an unrelated business item included on the agenda of last week's meeting, the commission approved a county-wide event license.
The document will replace the system of having to secure a business license and obtain numerous additional clearances when a one time event is put on at the fairgrounds or other places.
"With this we now have a one stop place to go to get an event set up," said Carbon County Fairgrounds manager Rhonda Peterson.
The commission has been struggling with the fact that many events have almost forsaken the fairgrounds and venues in the county because of the cost and complicated process of presenting one-time activities in the local area.
The special event license can be obtained at the fairgrounds office. The document lists all contact numbers and places to obtain departmental clearances for all county agencies that might be involved.
County officials always felt uncomfortable charging the same amount of money for a business license for a one-time event that groups pay to operate under for a full year.
The special license takes into account all of the costs involved in using a county facility as well as equitable fees.
"Now people will feel like they are being taken care of," said Peterson. "And even though there is a list of agencies on the license, it is not our intent that they have to contact all of them. We can help them with that now."
In addition, the commission heard a presentation from county planning and zoning department official Dave Levanger on developing an address system for the Pleasant Valley area.
"This effort goes directly toward 911 response," pointed out Levanger. "We literally don't have any addresses in that area now and, when emergency crews respond, it can be quite confusing."
By using the technology of a computer projection, Levanger pinpointed the problems of extending the existing address systems from the valley where the majority of the county's population is located to the Scofield area.
"The addresses would become so unwieldy that they would be very hard to use, so we have another idea," explained the county planning and zoning official.
Levanger pointed out the grid lines that could be used to implement an address system, starting from a section corner by the Scofield Cemetery.
The boundaries would be identified by the national forests that surround the Castle Valley area on the south and west.
"This type of grid would better fit the area," noted Levanger, drawing the commission's attention to the projected map showing the possibilities. "And because there are no existing addresses, now no one would have to change anything."
County lawmakers asked the planning and zoning official to bring a detailed plan back to the commission in the near future for approval.