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Commission awards grant for college's regional tournament

Sun Advocate writer

On June 3, Carrbon commissioners approved several funding request measures brought before the lawmakers by the county's tax advisory board.

The funding request approvals included $25,000 for College of Eastern Utah's athletic department so the school may sponsor next year's regional basketball tournament.

Although the tournament money is pending on legal clarification, it is expected to pass.

Because the competition will be the first time Carbon County has seen such an event, the lawmakers appeared to be enthusiatic about the prospect.

"I think this shows what a college can do for a community," said council member Bill Krompel during the meeting.

Price is considerably smaller than previous hosts of the event.

CEU athletic director Dave Paur reported that Salt Lake and other places, "don't think we can do it."

But with the money provided by the commission, Paur hopes to prove the critics wrong.

Other promotional events that the county awarded money to were Robber's Roost Roping, which received $2,000, and the 59-year-old Sunnyside Rodeo was awarded $1,000.

The Evolutionary Gardens Expansion project again came before the commission with a $50,000 proposal to do some ground work at the site.

But because the commission believes that the project is lacking on academic commitment from CEU, the request was turned down by the county.

"I can't support funding unless I know the college is behind it," said Commissioner Mike Milovich during the meeting.

Money for the project was intended to do some ground work on the site. But according to the presented report, the funding was also intended to bring in matching money from the EDA - another $50,000.

Much of the issue lies with the county's insistence on support from CEU, which would involve a heavier academic element with the entire program.

The commissioners indicated that they don't want to see the county as the only major long-term supporter for the project.

While the lawmakers believe the actual building process might go smoothly, they want a partner to help maintain the initial investment.

"Easy to build, hard to maintain," is how Milovich summarized the discussion.

In order to gain academic support, the project has been asked to formulate submit a plan of study to CEU for approval. The plan is currently under consideration by the CEU campus committee.

"The paleontology and archaeological programs are done and submitted," said Reece Barrick, director of the CEU Prehistoric Museum in Price.

The two submitted programs will likely come before the state board of regents for approval next spring.

If approved, Barrick hopes the programs could be ready to begin the following fall semester.

Milovich said he believes that the project's academic element with CEU would help the college grow and expand appeal to a new demographic of students.

But the official also wants firm commitments from the school.

"The college has a lot of verbal support, but not a lot monetary consent," pointed out Milovich to project representatives.

According to Milovich, the county has spent $400,000 on the project.

"I don't have a problem giving you $100,000 with a good plan," said Milovich to Barrick during the meeting.

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