Wasatch County Council news
This week has been one of many activities not to mention the Utah July 24th holiday.
First, I would like to mention with a heavy heart the sudden passing this week of Mark I. Payne, Utah’s Division Chief of mental health and substance abuse. Mark was a good friend of mine and did an excellent job as Chief of the division leading the way in our tough economic times. He always had a calming effect upon other Utah state leaders and provided great leadership. He was a deeply religious man and will be missed not only by his family but many professionals in Utah and elsewhere.
The Council met this week to consider several important matters that will affect most of us in Wasatch County. Two of our own from Wasatch High School were present to receive a donation from the Council of $250.00 each. They were Darby Richardson and Chase Wilson, who competed in Fallon, Nevada and although didn’t win it all represented Utah very well. Riley Clyde won his event in Utah State Rodeo finals and is presently at Nationals in Gillette, Wyoming competing.
Nann Worel from People’s Health Clinic in Park City gave a presentation on “Caring for our Community’s Uninsured.” Her agency’s efforts are to help connect this population with health care providers. Presently, 12% of the residents of both Summit and Wasatch Counties lack health insurance. Their agency uses wellness fairs and other events to get the word out. It is a partner relationship combining efforts so that those needing screening and health care receive the care needed. Clients pay a reduced fee for their visit, physicians see patients at reduced costs. Interestingly is the number of patients seen compared over the past decade is about 700 patients in 2000 to over 6000 patient visits in 2009. Costs and sources of support include our community, 24% /patient donation, 3%, government/ 43%, corporations/foundations/ 26%, other, unidentified/ 4%. The new hospital at Quinns junction, Park City has increased the patient visits by 26% new patients in 2010 over last year. Other demographics show that of all the patients 31% are male and 20% are Caucasian.
A lengthy discussion was held regarding the application from J. Chay to remodel the building formerly the Nitro Pack store on main street in Heber. This will be a project that includes a restaurant and a display section where linen and other boutique items will be shown for ordering. Chay has connections world wide that include many big name businesses. Paul Berg is the engineer who is working this project and has addressed the parking situation which still needs to be worked out with the other adjoining business owners. The application requested was to consider granting one million dollars from the recovery act bond money. There is approximately 6.3 million available to Wasatch County. Cities are not eligible to receive this recovery money, just counties. That is the reason why the request did not go to Heber City. The applicant is presently working with Heber to address the other matters that need to be worked out. Finally, the matter to grant the 1 million request was voted upon and passed with a unanimous vote. Councilman Kohler was not present to vote.
A lengthy discussion was held regarding the consideration of Jr. Livestock premiums for fair contestants. This year there are 247 participants compared to 186 from last year. Traditionally, contestants are granted a small compensation for their year long efforts to show their animals. Star class entrants are given $20 each, Blue ribbons given $15 each and Red $10 each. Due to the economic situation, County Manager, Mike Davis could only find $3500 to finance this event this year. During our discussion the entire fair board members showed up to the meeting and made a final plea to increase the amount. During the past year a total of $9600 was given to all the entrants. The philosophy behind this donation is that it helps give the youth motivation to take the responsibility to raise an animal, pay for the expenses of raising the animal and then in the end show their prize at the fair. Few youth have the experience winning and then have their animal purchased at a fair dollar amount during the auction.
Yours truly finally made the motion to increase the amount an additional $2500. This would be taken from the Councils discretionary fund. Others on the Council felt this was not enough so, Councilman Ferrell suggested he is willing to give up his portion of his travel budget of $1000 to make the total amount $3500 to be added to the original $3500 already budgeted. I changed my motion to be in the amount of $3500. The total will now be $3500. Councilman Crittenden seconded the motion and it passed with a unanimous vote of 7-0. It should be noted that the Councils discretionary fund is now very low with 5 months left this year.
The Rocky Mountain Power Franchise Agreement was given another 60 days extension for them to reach agreement with Heber Light and Power.
The EMS/Fire Department agreement on how to man and equip the new ambulance in Jordanelle Basin is still being worked on and I will keep you posted when we have the final details worked out.