County commissioners have approved restaurant tax funding for several programs and events that are intended to bring more people into the area.
The group that got the most was an exhibit at the Helper Railroad Museum which got $22,500. The display will focus on Abraham Lincoln. Entitled "Self Made in America," the exhibit will feature many artifacts and replicas from the former president's life. The funding should cover around 81 percent of the exhibits overall costs. The display will run from June 18 to July 16 and will be open seven days a week.
"I think it will do well; it feels like the response we've gotten has been great, people from the community are coming out of the wood work to help out," said Stephanie Fitzsimons, director of the museum.
Some of the money will be used to advertise out of the area centering around the Wasatch Front in such news outlets as the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune. The museum hopes it can reach around 500,000 households through such efforts.
The commission also approved $17,000 for the Castle Country information center. However Commissioner Mike Milovich voiced some concern as to how the center has required more money over time. According to Mr. Milovich, the center started out with $6,000 and has been steadily increasing. Kathy Smith, who was presenting the restaurant tax board, was in support of the center and indicated that other sources of funding are being pursued.
"We're trying to get more money out of Emery; all the advertising drives them to the information center. I think we get 42 percent (of visitors out of the center)," she said.
However Milovich still questioned how many people stay in Carbon County.
"I disagree with that because it it does not translate into extra rooms and nights. I don't deny the value of it, I just don't like that we plan the principal of the cost," he said.
The remainder of the restaurant tax money given away was allocated for the Black Diamond Rodeo, which amounted to $2,000.
There is also an agreement that will be reached for the county to buy portable bleachers which will be shared with the county cities for events which will seat 180 people.
In business concerning Permanent Community Impact Board (CIB) money, the commissioners held a public hearing for improvements in Nine Mile Canyon. The project involves $5 million in CIB money being spent by the county, with $5 million from the state and another $10 from the Bill Barrett Corporation to improve the road and suppress dust.
"This is something we've been working on for a long time, but we're still waiting on a favorable recommendation from the BLM," said Commissioner John Jones.
Another public hearing was heard for improvements to the fair grounds which include lighting, audio visual and facility upgrades. In total the improvements come to $3,019,234. The other hearing was for East Carbon City improvements which included the water treatment plant, sewer and fresh water lines.
Finally a matter concerning SOS staff service was tabled due to lack of insurance coverage clarifications and specifics.