Uinta Co. is ‘StormReady’

National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Barjenbruch presents Josh Rasnake, who manages the county’s emergency management program, with a wall plaque designating Uinta County as StormReady, an educational and implementation project to help communities better prepare for severe weather. (HERALD PHOTO/Amanda Manchester)

EVANSTON — Josh Rasnake, manager of the Uinta County Emergency Management Program, was recently recognized for his efforts to ensure the community as StormReady. The designation was made by the National Weather Service (NWS) during the Sept. 5 Uinta County Commission meeting.

Kevin Barjenbruch, the warning coordination meteorologist of the Salt Lake City NWS, presented Rasnake with an award designating Uinta County as officially StormReady. The program works to prepare potentially-vulnerable communities for extreme weather, water and climate events.

“StormReady communities are better prepared to save lives from the onslaught of severe weather through advanced planning, education and awareness,” Barjenbruch said. “Thanks to the hard work and commitment of Josh, today we recognize Uinta County as a StormReady community.”

Sheriff Andy Kopp also commented on Rasnake’s award, saying “I couldn’t be more proud of him. Josh works his tail off to make sure the community is updated when it comes to issues such as flooding, storms or resources available to community members to be prepared. Josh getting the StormReady award is well deserved and shows his ability and willingness to work with other entities to accomplish what is best for Uinta County.”

Gary Welling, administrator of the local airport board, requested the commission approve the acceptance of a second Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant of $225,000. The latest grant offering is in addition to a previous grant of $186,000 from August to execute an FAA Master Plan, an expansion opportunity that only arises approximately every 15 years.

Both grants were provided at 90% by the FAA, 6% by the state, with the cost of the remaining 4% to be divided equally between the city and the county for a project total of $472,000. The commissioners unanimously voted in favor of the grant.

In other aviation-related news, the Fort Bridger Airport Taxiway and Apron Project two-part payments were also approved by the commissioners when presented by JUB engineer Kim Sylvester. The commissioners agreed to preemptively pay over $28,000 for a navigational aid equipment flight check with reimbursement and a certificate of substantial completion provided by the FAA.

Sheriff Kopp spoke about tobacco and alcohol grants, noting that each contract receives $1,700 per year, with inspections required twice annually. The inspection entails a person between the age of 18-21 enters an alcohol and/or tobacco retail establishment attempting to purchase products underage.

The agency receives $85 per successful inspection, and the cashier is awarded a $10 gift card if the buyer’s ID is checked and the purchase is denied. If the cashier sells the item to a minor, a first-time offense is a warning and some education. Kopp said technology is making it more difficult for underage purchases because many registers now require scanning of state-issued licenses.

Uinta County Sheriff’s Office Victim Witness Coordinator Gina Sundquist discussed her office’s bi-annual grant.

The last items of business was county planner Kent Williams discussing vacating the Butler, Sagebrush and Meadow Park subdivisions, which were unanimously approved.

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