The Carbon County Commission met last week and dealt with a number of issues, including the renewal of a business license for a home based business reportedly in violation of zoning codes in the county.
Bruce Dunn has been operating a business out of his home based on a license awarded by a former administrator in the county. The license was granted in error, according to current officials.
In the ensuing years, Dunn has also moved a mobile home onto his property to use as a warehouse. The trailer was moved in without the proper clearance, maintain county officials. In fact, there is some question as to if the trailer would even be allowed anywhere in the county under current ordinances.
The matter of the business and the trailer became one of the main points of discussion at the commission meeting.
"I know we're not in the business of taking away someone's livelihood," explained Clerk Robert Pero to the commissioners. "But we also can't let noncompliance with our ordinances go either."
According to Gayla Williams, the county's zoning administrator, the new ordinances the department are drawing up make it so the business now in operation will be legal where it is.
"In about a year new ordinances will be in place and that business will fit in the zone it is presently in," she stated. "But the trailer does not fit even with those changes. I have talked with him and he said he would move the trailer out, but it would take him about six months. But I told him that I can't grant him the time, only the commission can do that. So that is why we are here today."
But the county commissioners didn't like that proposal.
"I think it is OK for him to operate the business, considering the changes that are coming," commented Commissioner Mike Milovich. "But I think he should move that trailer out much sooner than that. He should move his inventory out and move that trailer by the end of May. It has to go because it doesn't meet code."
A discussion ensued between the county lawmakers as to what to do in the matter.
Commissioner Bill Krompel felt that 50 to 60 days should be allowed and Commissioner Tom Mathews thought that Dunn should be given leeway until sometime in July.
In the end, however, it was decided to grant Dunn a business license on the condition that he move the trailer out by the first of June.
Acting in unrelated county business matters, the commissioners:
Approved a bid from Nielsen Construction for asphalt for $27 per ton ($30 delivered) for the road department.
The only other bid came from Valley Asphalt for $30.22 per ton delivered to Carbon County from the company plant in Santaquin.
Asked Mike Johnson, who heads the mosquito and noxious weed control programs in the county, to analyze the myriad of bids Carbon government received on chemicals for pest control.
Some of the bids that were opened at the meeting contained dozens of chemicals and packages, thus it was almost impossible for the commissioners to break down prices and comparable products during the meeting.
Ben Clement, from the county's geographic information department, approached the lawmakers about the possible use of the old senior citizens center bus for a project that needs to be completed before the new 911 equipment is installed at the public safety dispatch in the summer.
"We need to go out with a bunch of people, our laptops and GPS equipment and get all the addresses in the county nailed down," stated Clement. "If we don't have those by the time the new system comes on line, it could cause some problems."
The county commissioners were receptive to the needs outlined by Clements, but felt the old bus had too many things wrong with it to use.
The officials discussed other possibilities such as the fairgrounds bus or even and old ambulance.
But the lawmakers learned, that the problem with using the ambulance that is slated to be replaced by a new unit this year, is that the county vehicle will not be available for about six months.
Clement needs a unit right away to get done by the summer deadline.
Various other options were explored, and the decision on what the county can do is still pending.
Bob Greenburg from Four Corners Mental Health approached the commission with a change in the state contract.
"Right now, there's a lot of defunding going on at the state level," pointed out Greenburg, referring to the shortfall in funds that almost every Utah agency is feeling this year. "This contract is being reduced by $4,000. It could be much worse, though."
The commissioners approved the change.
Sherry Agnew, who has been working on the Columbia Park for a number of years, approached the county about help for putting up a pavilion and building a horseshoe pit at the site.
"There are 50 children who live in our community and this park is very beneficial to them," said Agnew. "East Carbon High has volunteer to send students down to help build the project, but we need more money to buy the materials."
Agnew supplied a plot plan of the park, for both the existing facilities and the proposed ones as well as a cost list for all the materials needed. The estimated cost for everything was a little over $2000.
The commissioners discussed what the county could do and suggested that Agnew approach local suppliers to possibly donate materials.
"This falls under the parameters of what the restaurant tax board can do, as well. I think you should approach the board members and see if they can give you some or all of the funding," suggested Milovich.
The restaurant tax board will be meeting shortly, so the commissioners agreed to help Agnew get an application and arrange to be included on the agenda at that meeting to discuss the case for the park improvements.
The county lawmakers agreed to finishing the landfill repermiting process by putting $12,000 a year aside for five years in order to meet the requirements of the state for continued operation.
"We have decades of use still available at the site we presently have," pointed out Krompel. "But the state requires that we put $60,000 in a reclamation fund over the next five years in case for some reason the county does not stay solvent and can't close the facility properly."
The board of commissioners approved allocating the money.
The commissioners also approved the acceptance of a grant to keep the victims rights program going for another year.
Much of the funding comes from the federal government and that money comes from restitution paid by offenders.
The grant contains at $900 increase over last years grant.
Kathy Parker, who oversees the grant also brought up the fact that the person who is employed by this money serves as a back up in the sheriff's office as well. She asked that the commission eventually look at the person becoming a full time county employee at some point.
"The problem we have is that the grant provides no money for insurance or for the state retirement system," said Milovich.
Sheriff James Cordova stated that the individual currently employed has been crossed trained in the department and has been a valuable asset to his department.
The commission directed Cordova to meet with Dennis Dooley, the county's human resource director to see what could be done.