The Carbon County Commission met in their regularly scheduled meeting last Wednesday night and one of the main topics of discussion was the proposed ATV trail system some citizens of Wellington are proposing.
"I am here for two reasons," explained Larry Johnson, who represented the group that wants to build the trails. "First of all, we need to review where we head from here. We also need to know on how to get final approval on the money the restaurant tax committee approved for the project."
Johnson referred to $50,000 that the committee approved to begin the project. But at the last meeting of the county commission, the money was held up due to concerns about the trail system, particularly the right of ways that needed to be acquired.
"We are proposing an ATV trail system similar to the one they have in Piute County," stated Johnson, referring to the Piute Trail. "The first leg of the system would travel from Wellington to East Carbon. Actually, many of the trials already exist. We need the money to set up the trail head and signage."
Johnson indicated that the system would be the beginning of what the proponents hoped would become a full set of trails eventually going from Scofield to East Carbon.
"Piute County now estimates that their trails system brings in an additional $5 million per year because of the tourism dollars it has generated," Johnson stated. "It has really upped their revenues and businesses. For instance, before the trail system was put in, Marysvale had only one business license within the city limits. Now it has 25. The county estimates those who come to use the trial systems spend $75 per day per person while there. Many of those I talk to think that is very conservative and believe it to be more like $150 to $200 per day."
Commissioner Bill Krompel outlined what would have to happen for the group to put in the trail system.
"When granted, the money that the restaurant committee approved will have to be supplemented with grants," explained Krompel referring to the total $250,000 needed to put together the project. "We have discovered that a federal recreation grant is available for this kind of project as well."
But the issue of proper right of ways resurfaced. Apparently, many of the trails already run along class D county roads. But some of the trails run on United States Bureau of Land Management property as well as a couple of sections of private parcels.
"There is a section of land that will need to be secured for this first section of trail, said Johnson. "But I understand that the owner is willing to sell the property."
However, further resolution regarding the awarding of the money was postponed until the next meeting of the commission. Commissioner Mike Milovich was excused from the meeting and he was the one who had concerns about right of ways, particularly those on BLM land at the last gathering.
Acting on unrelated business matters included on the meeting's agenda, the county lawmakers:
The commission opened bids from five companies for one million feet of paint striping for county roads. The bids included: Interstate Barricades $29,500; Peck Striping $36,000; Premier Striping $37,500; Don Wright Lines $32,000 and Mountain West Striping $40,000. The commission decided to pass the bids onto Ray Hanson, county road supervisor for examination before approval.
The commission looked at the Carbonville Road reconstruction project they are planning. The total project will cost $2.5 million dollars. Right now the county has received grants of $400,000 for utility relocation that will be needed as well as a grant for a survey and design for $150,000. They approved a contract for Creamer and Noble the design phase of the project.
Krompel also mentioned that he had recently had a meeting with Price City officials on the repair work that has been and is being done on the road because of the pipeline project the city is working on. Many residents and officials have complained about the asphalt overlay job that has been done. Krompel explained that the company is committed to putting two more inches of overlay on the pavement already put down and to feather it out more so the road will be smoother.
At the last meeting of the commission a small piece of land was awarded to one of two known bidders, after one of those bidders dropped out. However, a mistake was made and apparently a third bid was missed, but had been submitted in time.
"I am wondering what the commission would like to do about this," asked county clerk Robert Pero. " Do we want to open this bid or do we want to readvertise it?"
Discussion centered around the fact that the bid had already been awarded. County attorney Gene Strate said the county may be in a no win situation no matter whether they stand by the award or rebid it.
Pero also brought up the fact that the legal notice that appeared had a discrepancy in it. The date of the opening of the bids was actually before the bid deadline.
The commission decided to leave the award of the property as it stood after the last meeting.
The commission also examined the bids for the new airport improvement project, that is primarily being funded by the federal government. Local bidder Nelson Construction received the contract for $1,591,000. Staker Construction, from Salt Lake was the other bidder, but their bid was a half a million dollars higher.
A discussion ensued about the fencing regulations in the county.
"A number of people have talked to me about the fencing situation in the county," stated commissioner Tom Mathews. "There is a lot of discussion about whether people need to fence out their land or owners of livestock need to fence in theirs."
The problem that exists, as the commission went on to explain, is that people will often buy property in the undeveloped part of the county, property that has had cattle grazing on it for years. Some of the people that purchase that land get upset when cattle come on their land and make a mess or get into things.
"I think we need to look at some kind of ordinance on this," said Mathews. "Maybe something like Grand County's ordinance of fencing out."
Building and zoning official Dave Levanger pointed out that his department is in the middle of rewriting zoning and building ordinances and that this very subject is part of that rewrite.
"We have been working on this issue for some time now,' stated Levanger. "This has been a problem every since I came to work for the county. I believed at one time state law said that we are a fence out state, but after some research I am not sure now. However the ordinance as we are putting it together will make Carbon a fence out entity."
Levanger went on to explain that he believed that since Utah is a "buyer beware" state that the fence out concept was probably the right one in the absence of an exact ordinance.
The commission decided to wait to look at any kind of ordinance on the subject until building and zoning were through with their rewrite.
In an informational session, Kimball Johnson, who attended the last meeting of the commission and is a college employee, reported back to the commission that the business department at the college would be interested in helping out on a public survey concerning the radio translators the county owns.
"I talked with Dave Cassidy and he thought it might make a good project for the students as a year end marketing study," explained Johnson. "But it would have to wait until near the end of the school year."
The commission took the information under advisement and said they were interested in having the students do such a study and would work with the college when the time comes.