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County discusses licensing procedures at fairgrounds

Staff reporter

Streamlining the business license process for events at the fairgrounds was broached by Kevin Axelgard at the last regular meeting of the Carbon County Commission.

"I am looking for some clarification on this whole process," said Axelgard from the fair board. "I am concerned about the feedback we have been getting from those who need to get business licenses to operate on the fairgrounds."

"There seems to be an excess of having to run around to do it. We have been getting a lot of negative comments from people, especially from those who are from outside the area," continued the fair board representative.

Axelgard proposed that possibly the non-profit organizations should be set apart from the for profit ones.

"Maybe this whole process could also be done through Rhonda's office," he stated referring to Rhonda Peterson, who directs activities at the fairgrounds.

Peterson, who was also in the audience pointed out that some of what has to be done to obtain a business license for the fairgrounds seems ridiculous.

"The problem is all the places they have to go to have the request signed," she stated. "For instance if they want to have some type of rodeo event they have to go to planning and zoning as well as animal control. The fairgrounds is zoned for animals, so why do they have to go over there. I feel like we are hassling them with all this and we can't grow if we are doing that."

Peterson also pointed out that expediency is another problem. She said last year a circus called that was coming through town on a tour and they wanted to set up a show at the fairgrounds. But when they found out they needed to get a business license and go before the commission before they could give just a couple of shows they decided not to come.

Commissioners were in a quandary about the situation. None of the lawmakers thought the ordinances required all of the red tape for a several day event.

"We have that check list for a business license application," stated commission chair Mike Milovich. "If that is what they are following then that is why all those things are required. But I don't think we meant it for these short-term situations."

The commissioners discussed how the county could resolve the situation.

Peterson suggested that business licenses for the fairgrounds be issued through her office so that people do not become frustrated by the red tape.

"I think we need to roll this over to the next meeting until we can study this situation legally," advised Carbon County Attorney Gene Strate. "It sounds like we need to put some common sense into this."

The commission agreed to study the matter and see what could be done to simplify the situation.

In another area of concern on business licenses in the county, the commission also decided to look at amending the penalties for payment on late licenses.

"There are just some parts of that ordinance that just don't make sense," said county clerk Robert Pero. "Right now, if someone is a day late in paying the business license for the year, the price doubles. I think we need some type of gradual penalty, not all at once."

The matter brought some discussion, part of which involved what should be done about the past year.

"There has been some real confusion this past year so I think we should forgive the penalties this year and come up with some type of graduated system," said Milovich.

The rest of the commission agreed and decided to come up with a new system by the next commission meeting.

The commission also heard from Bob Greenburg, director of Four Corners Mental Health, about three issues.

The first was the review of an audit that had been done on the organization by the state and it showed a clean bill of health. That discussion also turned to funding problems they might face because of the state's budget crunch.

"Right now the cutoff for support for people is low, but if the legislature does what I have heard, it could knock 153 people out of our program," explained Greenburg. "We would lose about $250,000."

Greenburg also addressed a $63,350 grant that needed to be added to the county's existing contract and an amendment that extended the health care finance for four years in the agreement as well.

Acting in the matter, the county commissioners approved the grant and amendment.

In addition, the county lawmakers approved a new contract for the year for the Castle Valley Center to perform grounds work on the county complex down town as well as at the jail.

The students at the school have been performing the service for a number of years.

In unrelated actions, the commission renewed the appointments of Don Darlington, Patsy Bueno and Nick Sampinos to the sheriff's merit commission and reappointed R.D. Campbell, Jerri Hamilton and Lynna Topolovec to the planning board for five-year terms.

In addition, the county lawmakers approved the state forester contract for $28,000, with quarterly payments of $7,000.

In a final action, the commissioners approved a resolution authorizing the issuance of Utah tax and revenue anticipation notes in the amount of $2.8 million.

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