Anderson to chair commission; grandstands move forward

The Uinta County Commissioners held a regular meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 3, and opened with Eric South nominating Mark Anderson to succeed him as the Commission’s chairman. Upon taking the position, Anderson thanked South for his service. “Six years is a long time to chair this board,” he said. “He’s done it really well, so I’d like to thank him for that time and all he’s done to help the community.”

South nominated three appointees to the county grievance board. Commissioner Brent Hatch seconded, and the motion passed. The commissioners appointed County Clerk Amanda Hutchinson as the civil rights compliance officer, then reappointed Brandon Day and Elise Lopez to the fair board. Joann Keefer and Tisa Cheney’s positions on the library board were likewise renewed.

Casey Peterson assumed a position on the predatory animal control board. Doug Matthews was appointed to the planning and zoning board. Bernadette Ottley, Samuel Ottley and Heather Hoffman were selected for the veterans board. Frosty Malone, Jerry Crompton and Greg Saxton were selected for the weed and pest control district.

Jeff Breininger of Uinta County Maintenance gave an update on the fairground bleacher renovation project. The county has one qualified bidder, Hanson Sports, whose design features 4,765 bench seats and 38 seating pockets fitting the criteria of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The bleacher price is estimated at $1,793,550. Breininger said that Hanson has been notified that their bid will be accepted. “We’re shooting for a completion date of Aug. 15.” He clarified that the bleachers will be finished after the 2023 county fair, but stated that a temporary seating arrangement will be in place throughout the summer. “We have talked to the town of Lyman, and they have said that we can borrow their portable grandstands all summer, except for the week of July 24.”

The commissioners passed a motion to move forward with the renovation, then passed another approving the reimbursement of a Federal Aviation Administration grant. Uinta County Clerk’s Office employee Tannisha Caves spoke for Saralee Gross, who was unable to attend the meeting due to road conditions.

Caves asked the commissioners to close a congestion mitigation and air quality (CMAQ) grant, which mentioned South, in order to reopen it for signing by Anderson. She then presented a new contract outlining a grant for magwater use in 2024. This would amount to $328,680. The federal portion of that is going to be $262,944, and the county’s match will amount to $65,736. The board passed motions for both requests.

County planner Kent Williams proposed a land use and subdivision resolution amendment, first asking the commission to change subdivision application advertisement cutoffs to three weeks, rather than two. Williams said such a change is necessary due to the Uinta County Herald’s cancellation of its Tuesday edition.

Williams also proposed price changes for various permits. “This isn’t a moneymaking process for the county. It never has been and it never will be.” He clarified that the costs would change in order to recoup county losses. The subdivision permit fee would rise from $100 to $150. A land use amendment would shift from $125 to $200. A subdivision vacation, initially $125, would become $250. For land use certificate, originally free, Williams proposed $25 without a new address and $50 with a new address. “That’s simply to cover the cost of that address plate, putting it up, travel… those sorts of things.” Conditional use would move from $125 to $200. Variance permits would see the same change. Access permits would rise from $0 to $25. A small wastewater permit, initially without charge, would become $150. 

The new prices are based on those of neighboring counties. Williams claimed that the new rates are lower than most of the counties with which he made the initial comparison. Williams hopes the new rates will help Planning and Zonng account for advertising costs. The commission approved both propositions.

Williams presented a change of zoning on Barry Bluemel’s subdivision from agricultural resource development to residential with single-family residential use. The subdivision would become two lots of 3.7 and 5.2 acres, with private access from County Road 253. The commission approved the zoning change.