During the regular meeting of the Carbon County Commission last week, the issuance of a business license turned from being one of the routine items on the agenda to being one of the main points of discussion.
Gerald and Debbie Pappas applied for a license to continue to sell bird feed and supplies to customers when the store they owned on Carbon Avenue was in business.
The request for a license and clarification of Ordinance 248, the rules governing the possession of wild animals on private property without regulatory permits, became tangled up at the meeting
The confusion resulted mainly due to the fact that Debbie Pappas works as a temporary caretaker for raptor birds for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. She cares for the raptors when state personnel find injured birds.
"I am just concerned we don't get into a lot of birds here," pointed out Commissioner Mike Milovich. "I don't want to end up with a situation like we had a few years ago."
Milovich was referring to an incident in south Price where a resident had all kinds of wild animals on his property unlawfully, including some that could be considered dangerous.
The noise caused by the animals as well as the potential danger created a situation requiring the county to take action to resolve solve the problem.
"What I do for DWR is separate from the bird business I have," replied Debbie Pappas. "My birds for my business are inside the house. These raptors that DWR brings me are outside. Besides, I never have more than a few at a time."
Milovich brought up the fact that any kind of permit to handle wild animals on private property requires at least a 10,000 square foot area of open space.
The Pappas couple indicated that they have that much room in their back yard.
"I am just concerned that you don't go too far on this," indicated Milovich. "We just don't want a noise situation or any kinds of problems from it."
The commissioners agreed to grant the home business license and allow Debbie Pappas to continue to act as a partner with DWR in helping injured raptors.
Addressing unrelated agenda items, the county commissioners:
Conducted a public hearing on the road encroachment ordinance county government has been considering and working on for several months.
The proposed guidelines were modeled after the regulations Emery County currently uses to make companies responsible for damage the operations do to roads that may have not been designed for certain kinds of traffic.
The lawmakers approved the county road encroachment ordinance after no citizens had any comments about the proposed regulations.
Decided to approve a lease with Dolar Energy Oil and Gas on county property located south of Scofield.
The lease on the county's 80 acres will bring in a $400 onetime fee and one-eighth of the company's royalties.
However, Milovich was not convinced that the county was getting the best return in the particular lease in question and asked Dolar representative Rick Sutton to review the payout.
"I have seen some much higher rates being paid for mineral rights than are being paid in this lease," explained Milovich. "I think you need to review this so we are getting comparable value."
Sutton told the commission he would look into the matter and make sure the county received comparable remuneration to other local leases.
Authorized the purchase of nearly 500 additional seats for the outside arena at the county fairgrounds.
Costs for the purchase totaled approximately $40,000.
Renewed Carbon govern-ment's contract with the Can Do Crew to take care of grounds at various sites around the county.
The contract was upped to $650 per month.
Approved the county's contribution of $500 to the 2002 Graduation Spectacular.
The event is presented for students graduating from Carbon County high schools.
Appointed Richard Lee and Mike Milovich to serve four-year positions as the directors of the Carbon Water Conservancy District.
During last week's public meeting, Maurine Casper from United States Sen. Orrin Hatch's office made a presentation to the commission regarding the federal government's decision to halt the allocation of PILT (payment in lieu of taxes) monies to counties.
"We need support from each of the counties on restoring this money," emphasized Casper. "At this point, Congress has gone ahead and put about half of the money back in, but the Utah delegation is pushing to put more back."
PILT refers to the money that the United States allocates to local governments for federal property located within a county's geographical boundary.
The payments from the federal government are seldom as high as the property taxes the county would collect if the property was in private hands. Nevertheless, PILT revenues are still a financial return to local governments in Utah, including Carbon County.
Casper encouraged Carbon commissioners to write a letter of support for restoring lost PILT funds and showing what the money means to the county, as well as what funding is really needed to be equitable to the loss of tax monies.
The commissioners agreed to support the move to restore the money to the federal budget in order to fund PILT allocations to the counties.
In conclusion, the lawmakers cautioned citizens who plan on conducting open burning in the county to contact the dispatch center and let officials know they are doing it.
The advisory came in response to fire departments asking for authorization to issue burning permits in the county.
Carbon residents are reminded that outside burning, while legal in the unincorporated county, is prohibited within the Price city limits.