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Carbon lawmakers discuss county land, Spring Glen road abandonment issues


The Carbon County Commission met Aug. 1 to consider a number of matters, with land issues being the most discussed at the session.

In a proposal at the last meeting, some residents of Spring Glen requested an old county roadway be abandoned.

The road runs in between some properties owned by a number of townspeople and years ago it appeared the situation had all been worked out.

But as it sat before Wednesday night, apparently the county still owned part of the property, which residents has assumed belonged to them.

Because of the situation, some of the residents had made improvements to the property, including building sheds and garages on some of the areas.

During a public hearing in the matter, resident Linda Topolovec voiced concerns about the fact that many of the people in Spring Glen use the old roadway to walk through to get from one side of the town to another.

The residents requesting the change indicated that they had no intention of shutting down the road and that people could still walk through it.

At the conclusion of the discussion, the commission closed the hearing and voted to abandon the road.

Commissioner Mike Milovich warned the people in attendance at meeting about property lines, however.

"We will abandon the road, but you must work out between you the easements and property lines," pointed out Milovich. "We can't get involved in that."

Two other property issues, also involving the Spring Glen area, were included on the commission's agenda.

The matters involved agenda items placed on last Wednesday's meeting schedule by Topolovec.

"There is another county road that needs to be abandoned or something done with it," commented Topolovec. "We thought that the situation had been taken care of in the mid 1980's, but it wasn't."

The problem has to do with a section of county property that it leases to an individual in Spring Glen.

Apparently, Topolovec needs a right of way access through the property, yet the lessee will not allow it to happen.

The commissioners decided to have a representative from the county talk with the lessee about the problem and modify the lease so that document will allow the access.

In addition, Topolovec introduced the issue of a different old county road that needs abandoning due to property problems.

"I move we have a legal description done on that section of property and see if we own any of the land in question," indicated Milovich.

The commissioners voted to take the action recommended in Milovich's motion.

Addressing unrelated county business matters at the Aug. 1 public meeting, the commission dealt with the following agenda items:

•The lawmakers listened to a presentation from Patti Pierce, the director of animal control, concerning an award the shelter got from the state in promoting animal adoptions.

The numbers of adoptions the shelter has been making during the last 10 years have gone up dramatically, pointed out Pierce.

For instance in 1988, the county shelter took in 1,834 animals of which 1664 had to be euthanized.

In comparison, the 2000 fiscal year brought a total of 1,616 animals to the shelter. In that period of time, only 699 had to be put down.

"I feel we have made tremendous gains in educating and promoting adoptions versus having to do away with animals," said Pierce.

In another issue brought up by Pierce, in the process of working with the state, she has found that Carbon County is the only county that does not have a county flag.

"After an official visited our office and commented on our lack of a county flag, I started to do some research," she stated. "I checked with everyone I know, including some very long time county employees and no one has every seen a county flag."

Pierce suggested that the commissioners might want to consider looking at designs for a flag.

Ideas were passed around and one of the ideas that seemed to stick was the concept of having a contest for coming up with a design.

"Since you brought this up," stated Commissioner Bill Krompel to Pierce." We are thinking that maybe you would like to the Betsy Ross of Carbon County. Would you like to head a committee to check into this situation?"

Pierce agreed to form a committee and look into the matter.

•The commission approved putting Marty Beckman on the board of the restaurant tax committee.

•The commission heard a presentation from ECDC about a refund that is due them from East Carbon, based on an improper state assessment.

"We will work with East Carbon so they will not have to pay this back in one lump sum," stated ECDC representative Harold Marston, referring to the near $100,000 refund due the company. "We are willing to take that refund out of the increased use fees from next year when they double. That will keep the city from having to pay it all in one lump sum and will satisfy our needs as well."

Mayor Dale Andrews from East Carbon was present at the meeting and felt that this solution would work for East Carbon as well.

•The issue of compensatory time for county employees was also brought up again.

Personnel officer Dennis Dooley sent letters to all the county department supervisors after the last commission meeting asking them about comments they may have had on the county's new compensation time policy.

Dooley had received no comments from any of the department heads.

The commission subsequently voted to make the policy permanent.

The policy states that no county employee may save up more than 40 hours of compensation time and that they must use it within 90 days.

Commissioner Tom Matthews again voiced his concern about the policy, particularly when it comes to county employees who work at the fairground where a myriad of projects and programs are always going on.

However, Commissioner Milovich felt that the problems could be alleviated with some scheduling changes.

•The commission approved a request from Ben Clement to apply for a Cadastral Grant which would give the county money to digitize much of the information in the recorders office, and to help put in a base station repeater, among other things. That grant would give the county $20,000 which would need to be matched by the entity.

•The commission opened sealed bids for a low boy trailer for the road department. The bids opened were for $43,255 from Semi Service Inc., $45,000 from Arnold Machinery, $39,958 from Mountain States Trailer, $46,828 from Western States Truck and Trailer, $46, 742 from ICM, $39,900 from North American Trailer and $39,369 from Rasmussen Equipment.

However, Commissioner Krompel brought up the fact that a mistake had been made in the bid package and that the bidders were probably bidding on a much smaller trailer than the county wanted to purchase.

The commission decided to turn the bids and the decision on whether to re-advertise the item over to Ray Hanson, director of the county road department.

•The Carbon commissioners decided to send a letter in opposition to the United States Bureau of Land Management concerning the federal agency's alleged attempt to make the steel train trestle over Gordon Creek a historical site.

"The problem with that is that every time Utah Railway wants to even change a tie on the bridge they will have to get permission to do so," pointed out Commissioner Matthews. "It would be a nightmare."

•The commission approved a contract with Utah Power & Light on three phase power for the landfill.

The initial cost will be $30,000. A portion of the expenditure will be rebated to the county as other customers are added in the area during the years.

The power is being brought in to run the new compactor the county will be purchasing.

The purchase of the equipment will enable Carbon County government to comply with the state's regulations on landfill operations.

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