MINUTES

 OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE

TOOELE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

HELD DECEMBER 3, 2013

 

 

            Chairman Clegg called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  The time, place and agenda of the meeting had been provided to the Tooele Transcript Bulletin and to each member of the governing body by delivering copies of the notice and agenda at least two days before to each of them.

           

                                                                                   

1.         PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

2.         ROLL CALL.  The clerk called the roll which showed Commissioners Bruce Clegg, Chairperson, Jerry Hurst and Shawn Milne present.  Also present were Doug Hogan, Attorney and Marilyn Gillette, Clerk.

 

3.         CONSENT AGENDA.  Commissioner Hurst made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda as presented.  Commissioner Milne seconded the motion.  All concurred.

 

Tax Adjustments

A) Ted Vanderwerken JT, Parcel #12-060-0-0001.  It has been discovered that parcel 12-060-0-0001 should have the residential exemption due to the same ownership for adjoining parcel 12-060-0-0002 which has a home on it.  Relief amount $-208.97; B) Bowler Livestock LC, Parcel #16-024-0-0006.  This parcel was taken out of greenbelt in error and needs to be reinstated.  The rollback had been applied and is now removed with the greenbelt status reentered.  The land codes for regular agricultural land and values need to be removed and any late fees or interest that might accrue.  (LA02 & LS02).  Relief amount $-1,737.20;  C) Parcel #16-024-0-0007.  See explanation above.  Relief amount $-1,755.31; D) Tooele Clinic Corp DBA Stansbury Park Spring Health Center, Account #BU-07-0240.  A tax levy was not created for tax year 2012.  Adjustment - $993.60; D) Tooele Clinic corp DBA Mtn View health Care, Account #BU-23-0011.  A tax levy was not created for tax year 2012.  Adjustment - $502.90; E) Ray’s Music, Account #BU-01-0136.  A tax levy was not created for tax year 2012.  Adjustment - $270.66; F) HR Block, Account #BU-18-0117.  A tax levy was not created for tax year 2012.  Adjustment - $38.70; G) Countryside animal Clinic, Account #BU-01-0412.   A tax levy was not created for tax year 2012. Adjustment - $800.14; H) Silver Sage Station, Account #BU-05-0003.  Remove tax exempt.  Adjustment - $13.67; I) Kids Park of Stansbury, Account #BU-07-0057.  Remove tax exempt.  Adjustment for tax year 2006 - $111.07, 2008 - $59.90; J) Bonnie Plants Inc., Account #BU-02-0593.  A tax levy was not created for tax year 2012. Adjustment - $408.78; K) Ibapah Trading Post, Account #BU-11-0025.  Remove tax exempt.  Adjustment for tax year 2005 - $23.76, 2009 - $24.03; L) Don Morrow, Transaction #20132834210050003.  Purchased trailer and returned the next day as the axles ended up being 3,500 lbs and not 5,000 lbs as advertised.  Relief amount ($10.00); M) Lutricia Dawn Williams, Transaction #2013242INR5448137.  Traded this vehicle in on a new one.  Relief amount ($80.00); N)  Sherri Parsons, Transaction #2013234INR5391247.  Sold vehicle 8-23-13.  Relief amount ($10.00).

 

Invoices.

A) Warrants issued on November 7, 2013 in the amount of $197,209.46, Check #142069 thru #142157; B) Warrants issued on November 13, 2013 in the amount of $338,840.04.  Direct deposit #96789 - #97054, Check #6394 - #6397.  Transmittal checks in the amount of $242,448.08, check #6398 - #6412; C) Warrants issued on November 14, 2013 in the amount of $162,471.19, Check #142158 thru #142254; D) Warrants issued on November 21, 2013 in the amount of $641,444.02, Check #142255 thru #142356.

 

4.         MOMENT OF SILENCE FOR DEPUTY STEVE HANSON.  Commissioner Clegg read a release about Deputy Steve Hanson, Tooele County Sheriff’s Deputy, who passed away yesterday.  He was 37 years old, married with 6 children.  Worked with the Sheriff’s office for 4 years and will be deeply missed.  Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to his family.  Moment of silence. 

 

5.         Ordinance 2013-18 - Consolidating the Offices of Clerk and Auditor, Forming the Office of Clerk/Auditor, and Consolidating the Offices of Recorder and Surveyor, Forming the Office of Recorder/Surveyor Commissioner Clegg stated this is being considered to keep government small and expenses down.  There are 29 counties in Utah and 18 have combined their Clerk and Auditors.  Four 2nd class counties all have combined Clerk/Auditor offices.  They feel they can be more efficient by both money spent and more efficient in serving the public  Kirk Allen, Lake Point, asked if combining the staff will eliminating elected officials for 2015.  Other than combining the staff, what would be the benefit.  Commissioner Clegg felt it can make better use of our staff that is hired and to keep the counters open for any time the public needs to come in. 

 

Matt McCarty, South Rim, couple of problems, the county hasn’t reached out to the public ahead of time, other than an article in the paper.  He felt the county would have had adequate time to sell this to the public.  This isn’t a good thing, it’s concentrating more power in fewer hands.  It wasn’t that long ago that Tooele County separated these offices when the population was much smaller and the budget was much smaller, with both larger we don’t need fewer people to watch out for these services.  Failed to present any kind of plan to show how this will roll forward, this is how you will have better services.  How about cross training, applaud for preserving full time employment, but he sees a continued trend to simply put forward ideas without selling them to the public.  He requested this be tabled, take more time to explain this to the public, build some public consent.

 

            Mike Jensen, Auditor, asked if they have thought about how this office will be staffed, one elected official with two chief deputies?  All second class counties have combined offices, however, Davis County has an elected official plus 20 full time employee’s (FTE), Weber County has an elected official plus 20 FTE’s plus 6 part-time employee’s, Utah County has 18.5 FTE’s and Washington County has an elected official plus 9.5 FTE’s.  Not one other 3rd class county has combined at this time.  Summit County thought about it but decided against it.  The savings wasn’t enough to do away with the independence that the separate Auditor’s office has.  By the time you backfill you are not saving as much as one elected official.  Also one of you said it was due to combined office to make them more efficient in smaller offices.  Until this time, my office, was not one of the smallest offices, nor was the Clerk’s office.  If we’re looking for smaller offices, it would make more sense to combine Recorder/Treasurer.  Marilyn and I were two of three that took salary adjustments this last year.  As payroll is being moved to the HR department, 16 other counties continue to have payroll in their Auditor’s office.  By combining these two offices you are taking the voice of the citizens away from them.

 

Brent Marshall, Grantsville City Mayor, is distraught.  You don’t have to hold a public hearing before this, he commended them for taking public comment.  Municipalities  utilize all four offices, there are checks and balances, by eliminating one of those positions, you have eliminated checks and balances.  Auditor has a specific job and that is to keep track of the money of the county.  Clerk is the caretaker of all records and contracts of the county.  We are regressing, taking a step backward.  There is a cost to be associated with having larger forms of government.  He too didn’t know anything about it until he read in the paper Wednesday night.  He did make contact with the Attorney General’s office, they can do what they are proposing to do.  There is a Resolution  in 1987-2 which concerns the Council of Governments (COG).  This is where all of the Mayors and Commissioners meet to discuss things.  There is some interpretation to this, it says “will foster a cooperative effort between local governments in seeking solutions to mutual problems for mutual benefit and ensure effective communication and coordination among said governments.”   This has never been brought up at COG.  If it had been brought up there may have been some good dialogue and give you something else to consider.  He requests that this be tabled and some alternatives be discussed.

 

Jeff McNeil had one question, the amount of money they think they will save annually, do they have an approximation?  The Commissioners didn’t have an answer.  Jeff is all about small government and then the question has to be asked, elected officials role is to protect the citizens liberties.  Is this move going to make it so he’s less protected or more protected.  How much money will be saved. 

 

Harry Shinton asked what is the reason for this move?  Commissioner Clegg stated so we can be more efficient, other counties are doing it.  Also to save money?  In your research can you tell this group of those other counties that your researched, how many have full time Commissioners?  How many have part time Commissioners?  IF your purpose is to save money, I gather your answer is “I don’t know”.  The average salary of a Tooele County Commission is $90,427 , Box Elder County is $63,862, Iron County is $50,256.  Tooele County Commissioners are paid an average of $26,565 more than Box Elder and Iron Counties.  You want to save money, go to part time and cut your salary 50%. 

 

Mike Garrard owns a business here in town.  Something has to stop.  His average sales is about $30,000 per month.  Since this cutting, talk of bankruptcy, you are killing us.  If he can last another 3 months he will be lucky.  It starts at the top, everybody is scared in this county.  It’s got to stop.  Can’t keep putting people’s jobs out there, you don’t even know what the savings would be.  Help us out, you’re killing us. 

 

Erik Gumbrecht, Tooele County Republican Party Chairman, this is an intriguing situation.  He feels like in this county we are stuck in a scenario in which we had a lot of revenue in the past.  No matter how we operated we were able to make ends meet.  Now we don’t have much revenue coming in at all.  Around town he gets a lot of people saying they don’t want taxes raised and they don’t want anything cut.  I think that a lot of us are in denial about our situation.  We need to realize how much less revenue we have coming in and need to make the appropriate decisions to go with that.  He was thinking in terms of efficiency, but then when we don’t know exactly what that dollar amount is, it makes that decision something that we can’t make today.  He thinks that although there are a lot of people frustrated about cuts and realize what we are really dealing with financially.   You have been extremely transparent and continue doing things that manner.  Make the tough decisions.  Time needs to be taken to relook at the situation and how much money it is really going to save. 

 

Gordon Beals is on their side, but that being said he’d like to make a comment on the difference between essential services and nonessential services.  You are saving nonessential at the cost of essential.  He doesn’t know where the government went wrong, They want to provide playgrounds, swimming pools, baseball diamonds, all of those kind of things for people, things that are not essential. 

 

Raymond Dixon talked about recreation.  Gordon said we don’t need swimming pools, soft ball fields.  If we don’t have those kind of things we’re going to need a bigger jail.  They are going to find recreation in other ways.  If kids and people don’t have anything to do they are going to find their own recreation, and it’s not usually good. 

 

Commissioner Clegg made a motion to postpone until the January 7th  meeting.  Commissioner Hurst seconded the motion.  Commissioners Clegg and Hurst voted yes.  Commissioner Milne voted no.  The motion carried.

 

6.       Presentation on Municipal Services Tax Auditor Jensen stated in the Commission Meeting where the tentative budget was approved, the Municipal Services Tax (MST) was discussed.  He discussed what went on at that meeting and the requirements to implement this taxTreasurer Walker gave a Municipal Service Tax overview.  If  the analysis comes back and says the need is less than 1.5 million, they will lower the tax increase to meet that analysis.

 

7.         Public Hearing - Municipal Services Tax.  Commissioner Milne moved to open the public hearing.  Commissioner Hurst seconded the motion.  All concurred.  Those in attendance were: Curtis G. Beckstrom, Tim Gillie, Raymond Dixon, Tom Wilson, Gary Walker, Josh Maher, Matt McCarty, Jeff McNeill, John Beagley, Shirley Beagley, Tom Poyner, Sean McClatchkey, Rhonda G. Larsen, DorAnn Poyner, Kim Clawsing, Mark Nelsen, Diane Burgener, Jonathan Garrard, Rhondalyn Garrard, Regina Nelson, Mike Nelson, Alan VonHatten, Kirk Allen, Jared Hamner, Isaac Astill, Karl Huffaker, Missy Lee, Toby H. Lee, Gordon Beals, Karen Beals, Jami McCart, Janice Anderson, Susan Fryer, Ron A. Fryer, Blair Hope, Chris Sloan, Vicki Griffith, Joyce Hogan, Kirk Pearson, Bill Hogan, Myron Bateman, Robert Warner, James Petersen, Wade Pearson, Vint DeGraw, Linda Carter, Marylinn Sharp, Roddy Sharp, Harry Shinton, Bill Dixon, Tricia Peterson, Ben Blake, Katelynd Blake, Mike Garrard, Jared Winder, Frank Park, Scott Broadhead, Tracy Shaw, Debbie Smart, Gail Williams, Laura Manchester, Kathy Clark, Jerry Houghton, Ronald J. Thomas, Chris Keller, Erin Bender, Brandon Bender, Paul Davidson, Keith Fryer, Treavor R. Williams, Staci Williams, Jeremy Walker.  Gary Walker, South Rim, it appears one of the reasons we need the 1.5 mil is because they have removed all of the PILT money that contributed to this fund.  $837,000 has been moved and where did it go?  Treasurer Walker stated it is a place holder to balance the budget.  Auditor Jensen stated the tentative budget has been on display in his office, however, the budget process is an ongoing process.  The final budget just got finished at 5:30 tonight.  That number was before the Municipal Services analysis has been completed.  They will be over spending $28,206 of fund balance, without taking into account roads.  Mr. Gary Walker stated it still comes out of the total taxes received into this account.  Commissioner Hurst stated the analysis will narrow those numbers down.  He assured Mr. Walker that the money is not going to the Deseret Peak Complex (DPC).  In the audit it stated that 3 of 4 counties used PILT to fund roads or MST.  He felt it was unfair to treat our county different by removing the entire amount of PILT money from this fund.

 

Matt McCarty felt this tax is going to effect him directly.  He is upset and has concerns.  He is coming back to the point of why not make the justification before you make the decision.  In May he told the Commission they need to get 2014 in line.  This tax is about half the total value of 2013's tax increase, but it’s being loaded onto a much smaller segment of the population.  You’ve set the cap and now you’re going to go out and justify it.  Why did they not let out an RFP in October to justify this increase tonight?  He see’s a recurring trend that the county makes a decision and says they are going to do this and then says here’s the reason why.  They haven’t made their case tonight or had a story in the paper about this Municipal Services Tax.  About the budget being available for inspection for the public, the page he has in his hand that gives the details about the Municipal Services Fund was not available.  You had to be able to think like someone that is involved in the process for general consumption by the public.  Make your case first and then make your case to the public.

 

Kurt Pearson, Lake Point, at the last tax meeting where the taxes were raised, there were 16 people who spoke against it and about 18 that spoke in favor of it.  The applause was stronger and louder for those against the tax increase.  They were led to believe that because a few more spoke in favor, everyone was in favor of the tax increase.  He felt there are more here against the tax increase than for it.  Talking to Mike Jensen’s office, he was told that we needed about $600,000,  but we are asking for 1.5 million.  It was explained that you need to ask for more because if you don’t ask for enough you have to hold another public hearing later.  1.5 million is double the $600,000 that is needed.  The extra one million would probably be used in administrative funds.  Also these funds that are being paid right now are the general fund and PILT money.  If this fund is needed to pay for it in a different way, the general fund needs to be lowered to compensate for this extra increase that you’re charging a minority of the county.  The PILT money averages our federal government is paying 1.56 per acre.  The county has the power to take the BLM land back, that is something we probably should be working on.  This is too much too soon.

 

Myron Bateman, Health Department, over the last several years the Road  Department has not been doing any preventive maintenance.  80% of the calls for dispatch are in the northern part of the county.  Stansbury Park  is actually bigger than Grantsville.  Tooele City feels like it is not fair for us to pay for the municipal services in the county.  As a tax payer he wants the roads to be in good shape.  He’d rather raise taxes now and get the preventive maintenance done.  It’s a lot cheaper to do the preventive maintenance now than to have to replace roads later.

 

Kendall Thomas, Stockton, in December 2010 we had this same public hearing.  We were $400,000 short then, mostly from law enforcement and roads.  Auditor Jensen brought this to everyone’s attention at that time.  The citizens need to pay for the services they are getting.  We have a shortfall, we need you Commissioners to step up and have the unincorporated area’s pay for the services they are getting.

 

Josh Maher, South Rim, if the county takes the PILT funding out of the MST, they would be the only county in the state doing this.  How do we know if those dispatch calls are going to unincorporated citizens.  The unincorporated areas of the county already pay 65% of the unincorporated taxes in the county.  He felt the people in the incorporated areas should compare their taxes to those of the people living in the unincorporated areas.  He was concerned that the county will start using the money from this tax January 1, before the analysis is completed.  He asked that a decision be postponed for one year.

 

Jeff McNeil, Erda, felt this tax raising idea is becoming a habit.  He is not for a tax increase.  He thinks there are better ways.  This will make him subsidize services that Stansbury Park  receives.  Stansbury Park  is in a recycling program, we do this at a deficit.  That is one service that he is providing Stansbury Park residents so they can feel good about themselves, while he takes his recycling to the recycling place himself.  He feels there are more services that he can lose before increasing this tax.  He felt there are more services the citizens are willing to give up to avoid the tax increase.  He had some questions about the RFP.  Give them raw data and ask them to come up with an analysis.  Don’t give them the number you need to come up with.  He asked that they continue to tighten their belt.  This is not a tax that we need.

 

Kevin Trimbell, Lake Point, there are a number of things he doesn’t like, someone wanting to raise his taxes, him coming to a meeting, standing in front of a bunch of people.  Knows people who make a lot of money and some who make not much, enough is just a little more than what you have.  If you tax people at 100% you would never get enough money.  Last year NTCFD wanted to raise taxes, the Commissioners voted that down, he was grateful.  He is against the proposed tax, cut the services. 

 

Jennifer Trimbell, Lake Point, there is a good reason we live in the unincorporated areas, they don’t want the services.  They plow their own street, they are good with that.  On these numbers that were in the presentation from the last 5 months, she found it very interesting in the last 5 months, there have been a string of burglaries.  She’s against the tax increase, she’s rather have them cut the services.

 

Kirk Allen, Lake Point, they have a surcharge on vehicle registration for Tooele County.  What is that used for?  Commissioner Clegg stated it is to gather tax money to start acquiring property for the Mid Valley Highway.  Kirk - how much does that generate each year?  Commissioner Clegg  - 1.7 mil  since it started.  Kirk -  what is the projected time frame on the Mid Valley Highway?  Commissioner Clegg stated within a couple years of being started.  Kirk - have you started the environmental impact?  Commissioner Hurst stated the environmental impact has been done.  Kirk felt If we are in need of revenue for the county, things such as the Mid Valley Highway could be postponed and we could use that money to mitigate the needs we have now.  As far as services, the amount of calls is because of traffic problems in the bottleneck coming into Tooele.  They should put in a full blown exchange at the truck stop The calls for this area are actually state calls.  Tooele County may go and assist, but they are state calls.  They should not be recorded on Lake Point statistics.  He felt the numbers don’t show the reality of what’s going on.  He suggested that the Commission consider phasing this in.  He hopes they are not going to say this is phase one.  We need to be charging the municipalities for the county services that the municipalities are using. 

 

Brandon Bender, Roads, is in favor of the MST.  He lives in Tooele City and pays for his services.  He feels like Stansbury Park  has been living off the services without having to pay for them.  They keep saying it’s the incorporated area that these Sheriff’s are going to.  Listen to a scanner, the Sheriff is not going to car accidents.  He wants to see Tooele County not live off the PILT money.  This is a good solution at the time, the tax hike this year only covers us for a couple of years.  As a county employee, he’s glad that they are looking at ways to quit cutting the county departments..

 

Roddy Sharp, LP, congratulated the Com for cutting back and trying to make the budget balance.  About the only thing that isn’t taxed is the air.  He felt he pays 50% in taxes or more considering all of the taxes we pay.  He is against raising the tax.

 

Alan Von Hatten, Lake Point, owns a home in Tooele and Lake Point.  He pays 3 times as much for his home taxes in Lake Point than in the home in Tooele.  He is against it.

 

Robert Fuel, Erda, stated they do not get any officers up there when they have problems.  He’s retired, his taxes went up and his retirement doesn’t go up.

 

Marylynn Sharp, Lake Point, raising her taxes is not going to lower anyone elses taxes.  Mr. Milne I remember when you were running you were opposed to tax increases.  You are here to serve us and you are getting well paid for it.  Maybe they need to take a cut in their pay.  Look at the places they can change, such as entertainment, but it is not essential for the government to provide.  Stop the bleeding, sell these things, let private businesses provide these things. 

 

Bob Salt, Erda,  if this tax is put in place, in the properties that he own, it will raise them $600 on a retired person.  He can’t afford any more money going out.  He would hope they would really look and find some other ways to cut more.  He’s tried to maintain some property in Tooele County so he could leave something behind.  At th rate he’s spending money he’s going to leave it all in taxes.  These taxes will never go away, they will never go lower.  He hoped they would really look closely at his children’s future.

 

Wade Pearson, Lake Point, this is America and he felt we are losing America.  The scriptures tell us that 1/5 is a grievous tax to be born.  We pay way too much in taxes.  He has 5 kids and they have enough bedrooms for each kid and he pays thousands of dollars in property tax in one year, just for his one house.  He urged them to cut what they need to cut and don’t raise the taxes.  These are our Republican Commissioners and they have raised taxes more than the Democrats did when they were in.  We can do better.  In the private sector when our jobs are getting cu t and the economy is going bad, we can’t go to our customers, but we have fewer customers and they have less money. 

 

Jonathan Garrard, Lake Point, saw in the paper some projections on what this tax increase will do for a $150,000 appraised home.  It was saying approximately $60 per year.  He asked Auditor Jensen how many homes there are in the unincorporated area.  Auditor Jensen stated there were approximately 8,500 owners that were mailed a notice.  Jonathan stated if he takes 8,500 and divides into 1.5 million, he comes up with $156 per parcel.  If it’s raw ground it is a lot less on taxes.  He was concerned that the budget numbers have changed.  He asked what commissioners live in the city, which ones in the county.  Commissioner Clegg lives in the county.  Jonathan has collected signatures from various people around the county, which weren’t able to make it to the meeting, who are against the tax increase.  He is against this tax increase.  He thinks the Commissioner needs to look at the people who make the least and see how this tax will affect them.  He and his family are living on just over $30,000.  He asked the Commissioners to please not pass this.  They are hurting people.        

 

Cindy Salt, Erda, asked if Stansbury Park is included in this tax increase.  Stansbury Park has sidewalks, a water system, which she doesn’t have as a resident of Erda.  When they first moved into Erda, they hd a dirt road for a long time.  Finally they decided to chip and seal the road.  She would not be opposed to having her services cut down.  When Commissioner Hogan was in office, money became available to pave a road to nowhere, after that there became a development.  As far as dispatch goes we called the Sheriff two weeks ago because she read an article in the paper that the county was looking for help in capturing people committing thefts in the county.  She apologized for calling dispatch since that went against their percentage in Treasurer Walkers presentation.  Before the stop light was installed on SR36 and Bates Canyon Road, she felt like there was an accident once per week.  She would hate to feel like she shouldn’t call for those people needing help.  She would like to see a tightening of the belt.  She doesn’t feel like it’s her job to pay for mistakes made by those in leadership positions in the county., 

 

Linda Carter wanted to point out is that there is disproportionate percentage of taxes being paid by some in the unincorporated area’s of the county.  In two years her taxes have gone up 35%.  She was told 2 years ago the reason it happened is because Erda, LP were the only cities in the county that their home values were not current.  She felt they are paying their portion, it’s not fair for a few communities to be paying for it, they are already paying more than their share of schools and other things. 

 

Margerie Garrard, Lake Point, stated in August the Commissioners voted to more than double the tax rate.  She was against the tax rate increase but had no opportunity to let the Commissioners know because she is not comfortable speaking in a public meeting.  The Commissioners did not address any of the concerns brought up that night.  Those who didn’t speak up were never asked why they came.  She came here tonight to say she is against this proposed new tax.  She asked everyone here who is against this new tax,  She felt the Commissioners need to see who is against it before they make this decision.  She begged the Commissioners not to raise their taxes again.

 

Paul Davidson, Lake Point, his taxes have increase 20-30%.  He hasn’t seen a pay raise from his job in 3 years, he pays more in taxes every year, more percentages in health insurance and all aspects of his life, so he has to budget and live on less and less money every year.  Now if he can do that as an individual, they can do that as a county.  He advised them not to incorporate this tax.

 

Vicki Griffith, Pine Canyon, one of the things that hasn’t been brought up is to pay back the loan to DPC.  It’s obvious if you look at the budget, one of the things that is concerned about that hasn’t been brought up is the federal and state grants that we receive because we are rural.  If they see we are already taxing the unincorporated area’s we won’t qualify for these grants.  She didn’t feel enough research has been done on this.  The repayment plan can be renegotiated if the loan with the State Auditor is too hard to pay back at this rate. 

 

Pat Griffiths, Lake Point, mentioned to the gentlemen from Tooele City that she will trade property taxes with them anytime.  She’s been listening and has come to the conclusion that a lot of people have a lot of good idea’s on how to reduce the property taxes and it seems that a good leader includes the people he leads when he makes decisions.  Perhaps they should go to the community for ideas so it doesn’t have to be on their shoulders.  They have ideas’s they can help on how to cut taxes without raising them.

 

Rick Encoman, Lake Point, owns a business.  He understands a community needs to have services.  Recently we had a tax increase, now you want another one.  We need to be creative rather than taxing all of the time.  The community has idea’s.  Are the property taxes disproportionate?  Sell the DPC.  Taxing is taking a toll on the citizens, it’s time to be more creative.  He is against the tax increase at this time.  Asked that they reach out to the community for idea’s. 

 

Tom Poyner, Tooele City, recalls in quite a few of the meetings that the Commissioners hade talked many times about how tax increases hadn’t happened for 20 years.  He has heard tonight how one tax increase is a habit that we need to stop.  He felt like the tax increase that came last year was more transparent than anything he’s ever seen in Tooele County in more than 30 years.  This process that is starting now is maybe not as transparent as some of the individual unincorporated area’s would like.  He feels like Stansbury Park should be up there by itself in the slide show.  He felt the Stansbury Park is the biggest number on the board - listed under County.  Is there a way to proportionately tax the unincorporated area’s of Tooele County so they pay their fair share of this tax increase.  Commissioner Milne stated yes there is a way to do that but they have to request it.  Tom has heard many Lake Point people say they would rather not have the services.  If you are not going to raise this MST, then he agree’s with those from Lake Point, the services have to be cut.  Commissioner Milne stated we can’t force Stansbury Park to incorporate or force them into a Special Service District.  Those people that don’t want to be in the unincorporated area anymore could also incorporate.  Tom asked Kendall who plows the roads in Stockton , Kendall-Stockton City. 

 

Joyce Hogan, South Rim, had a couple of questions.  In the process to raise this tax, where is it possible to say no, you don’t want the tax.  You’ve already set a levy at 1.5, is there a possibility to set it at 0?  Treasurer Walker stated anytime prior to June.  She was also intrigued by the fact that Commissioner Milne has indicated that perhaps pressure could get the highest users in the unincorporated area’s to incorporate. If you pass the tax and they incorporate, you leave the tax on the back of those that weren’t using the services like Stansbury Park.  Could the tax be proportionate to the usage of services?  Commissioner Hurst stated that could come from the analysis.  Commissioner Milne reiterated about incorporating so they don’t have to pay this tax, i.e., Rush Valley, Vernon, Ophir, Stockton, etc.  What is the percent that the municipalities pay compared to the unincorporated area’s percentage of this 1.5 million?  Commissioner Hurst - again, that is part of the process.

 

Amy Olson, Erda, did not get a notice for this meeting.  The roads around her home were seal coated, they did a terrible job.    She didn’t feel they have been asking enough questions.  Her children are home schooled, but she pays her fair share for public education.  She will talk to the Commissioners one on one and asked that it be postponed until January.

 

Kim Clawsing - there has been talk of the school district getting a large portion of their funding from our taxes.  She doesn’t know the portion of the taxes that are paid for the school district.  Stansbury Park doesn’t have the business that Lake Point has.  If Tooele County wants Stansbury Park  to incorporate, what are the Commissioners doing to get some businesses in Stansbury Park.  Why don’t they put a restriction on the building in Stansbury Park.  There is that burden because those houses have been built without the tax base. 

 

There were no further public comments.  Commissioner Hurst moved to close the public hearing.  Commissioner Clegg seconded the motion.  All concurred.

 

 

 

8.         Resolution 2013-21 - Adopting the 2014 Municipal Services Tax Rate and Budget for Unincorporated Tooele County.    Commissioner Hurst thanked everyone for the concern and comments.  A lot of things that have been talked about have nothing to do with municipal services.  He appreciated Treasurer Walker’s presentation.  He feels like we need the money to provide those services.  They drive the roads, call the Sheriff’s Department, Fire Department.  He lives in an incorporated area, he pays municipal services.  He’s glad to pay them.  In the unincorporated areas’s not as many services are provided but just with roads, these are the things that we want and should be doing.  The roads should be on a 5 year maintenance schedule, plowed roads, Sheriff’s protection, animal control, building inspections, etc.  Taxes haven’t been raised in 27 years.  The mitigation fee’s have covered those services and fee’s that have been provided.  Those mitigation fee’s have gone away.  The county only realizes 10% of your property taxes.  When you talk about your taxes being raised, the school district is the one that gets most of your taxes.  The county has cut services and cut government.  PILT is fought over every year, it is a Federal Payment in Lieu of Taxes.  That amount can go away, if it goes away, we have to get the revenues that pay for these services.  What we are proposing is to do a complete analysis to see what is actually needed.  A lot of you have asked for numbers, he agrees they need to provide those numbers.  The cap is at 1.5 million, that doesn’t mean that will be charged, that is the maximum they can tax. If the analysis comes in at a lower rate, they can drop the tax to what is needed.  On a $150,000 home the tax would be $60 per year.   We have done more than tighten their belts, they have made dramatic cuts.  They have cut to the point that they can’t cut much more. 

 

Commissioner Milne heard Mrs. Sharp loud and clear, he appreciated the reminder that he promised not to raise taxes when he campaigned.  He remembered his campaign slogan that he’s rather tighten his belt than raise your taxes.  When we get here we become surrounded in an echo chamber.  Brandon Bender would be in support of this because he’s a county employee. The citizens have been getting away with a lot they have not been paying for.  He’s here to tell you this is not a part time job, if they are full time and they haven’t planned ahead this well, what would happen with part time Commissioners.  It costs money to provide services, it could be debatable whether we need recreation.  Part of getting these services, these things cost money.  Property taxes do not adjust for inflation.  If the values of homes goes up, the tax rate goes down.  The county does not have the money to provide the services that they currently provide.  Stansbury Park residents are not here saying they don’t want the tax increase.  He has encouraged Lake Point residents to incorporate then they would have control over their own taxes.  Box Elder and Iron county got a write up from the State Auditor because of the way they do use the PILT money.  They may not have done a good job of explaining to the public their reasons, but nonetheless, the reasons are good reasons.  This is the right thing to do, it’s not the popular thing to do.  He is in support of the increase.

 

Commissioner Clegg made a motion to adopt the 2014 MST rate and budget.  Commissioner Hurst seconded the motion.  All concurred.  Commissioner Milne suggested giving the data to the RFP company, he would like to wait until they have the analysis, so folks would know well in advance of the June time line, see how those discussions go at that time.

    

 

9.         Presentation of 2014 Budget .Mike Jensen, Auditor, gave the presentation on the 2014 budget.   

 

10.       Public Hearing - Salaries of County Officers and Budget for the 2014 Fiscal Year.  Commissioner Milne moved to open the public hearing.  Commissioner Hurst seconded the motion.  All concurred.  For those in attendance, please see item #7 above. 

 

Josh Maher, South Rim, felt the proposed budget needs to be made available to the public for prior approval.  He felt since changes had been made to the budget, approval should be delayed.  He is concerned that the Federal Government will use Tooele County as a case in point that they have to tell counties how to spend PILT.  Therefore he felt some funding from PILT has to be moved into the Municipal Services Fund.  Since no-one is here from Stansbury Park he asked that a meeting be set up to request that they provide their own services.  They have 5-6 miles of uninhabited roads that are being plowed and salted.  He asked that these roads not be plowed and salted.  He asked that some of those adjustments be made in the budget. 

 

Jeff McNeil, Erda, you no longer have the luxury of saying you haven’t raised taxes in 27 years, it’s been 3 months.  We had an increase from 17 million increase to 23 million, that’s 6 million difference.  We’ve raised 2.6 million in one and 1.5 million in another, where does the other increase in revenue come from.  Auditor Jensen stated the additional is part of the Recovery Plan of the Commissioners is trying to increase the fund balance.  There is 1.5 million going to fund balance to help with any contingency, a road project that needs to be done this next year.  Jeff - where does the revenue come from for that?  Auditor Jensen reviewed the accounts that these moneys come from.  Treasurer Walker stated revenue has also gone up to make up the difference.

 

Kurt Pearson, asked how the salaries are determined, is it based on other counties?  Commissioner Clegg stated they have been established before he was elected.  He felt the county employee’s are paid way over the average worker in Tooele County.  If the citizens aren’t making that much money, how can our county employee’s make that much?  Most of his employee’s are getting $15 per hour.  Commissioner Hurst stated that they have asked the HR director to conduct a complete wage analysis on county wages.  She should have it completed by spring.

 

Harry Shinton, Tooele City,  needs a point of clarification on the Wendover Airport.  No general fund money is going to the airport.  A 5.5 million grant is a matching grant and the casino’s make that match.  All of the airport expenses are covered by the airport .  Jim Petersen, Airport Director, stated the airport has almost a million dollars of retained earnings in the county.  Bill Hogan asked how much county money goes to the Wendover Airport.  No money comes from the airport to the general fund, the money has to stay at the airport. 

 

Commissioner Milne stated that some of the federal money we have taken in grants for the Wendover Airport makes it so we cannot get rid of the airport.  It is not demanding money from the general fund, but it also does not contribute to the general fund.

 

Kurt Allen - What is the proposed increase in salaries percentage wise.  Commissioner Milne - there is no raise anticipated for the county employee’s.  These are elected official salaries.  The county has put some money aside to be able to give our employee’s money  not a raise or a bonus.  He has empathy for the county employee’s, he doesn’t feel like if we don’t have the money we shouldn’t have any money in the budget for “something”.  We need to live within our incomes.

 

Matt McCarty would really like to encourage all of the Commissioners and all of the elected officials.  They haven’t done a very good job of communicating with the citizens.  If the budget wasn’t finalized until 5pm this afternoon, the information the public had was inaccurate.  They try to come in and back their comments up with facts, but the facts have changed.  How can you best get the information out to the public.  Use the newspaper, the county website, how about using social media.  He agree’s with turning of street lights in Stansbury Park.  He asked that the Commission find a way to get out ahead of their decisions to educate the public ahead of time, not after the fact.

 

Bill Hogan, South Rim, asked about the 2 million going to DPC, what it’s for.  Commissioner Milne stated there is 2 million going to repay the interfund loan that DPC  took out 4 years ago.  He would like to know who Vicki Griffith talked to in the State Auditor’s office about renegotiating the loan payments, because he was told there would be repercussions.     

 

Joyce Hogan still doesn’t understand where the PILT money went when it was taken out of the Municipal Services Fund.  Commissioner Milne - into the general fund.  Joyce felt putting it in the general fund was just as big a mistake as leaving it in the Municipal services Fund.  If the PILT disappears next year, what is the plan?  They should weaned themselves off the PILT money and put some into a special fund that can’t be spent.  The money that will be repaid to DPC will go towards the restricted funds that have been borrowed from.  She asked for some financial pages that are more basic.

 

Toby Lee, Budget Planning Committee, has attended countless hours of meetings and the math is difficult to understand even after all of those meetings.  He did not attend any town hall meetings, he was still unaware.  When he did find out he did put his name in to try to help come forward with a resolution.  Shame on Bruce and Jerry, you voted on those things.  You knew four years ago that we were out of money.    We can sit back and say it’s the DPC, we should sell it, there are strings attached.  We can’t just sell it.  We made an agreement to pay back the 2 million.  There are contingencies if we don’t pay it back.  We took money for 4 years from restricted funds to pay for things.  It’s lazy accounting, Mike should be ashamed of himself for that.  They can’t make recommendations in one month back to the Commission.  It is going to take time, hopefully they will be able to provide that.  Combining offices is just some of the cuts that need to be made.

 

Brandon Bender wanted to speak on behalf of himself as a county employee.  If the budget isn’t where it needs to be, if we need to make extra cuts, he’s rather see no more cuts.  He’s taken cuts in pay, but over the years he’s lost the 401 contribution the county gave, lost post retirement benefits, clothing allowances.  The county employee’s got a cut in pay.  He applauded for making some cuts at the top, but he needs to do some research on it before he decides whether he’s in favor of it. 

 

Amy Olson, Erda, Leon Pinetta, all of those people that he served dearly loved him because of the sacrifice he made to take no salary.  She felt the Commissioners should do the same thing. 

 

Raymond Dixon stated, Jerry Bruce Shawn, I love you to death, but as Commissioners, maybe we need to look.  I think each one of you make more than my wife and I make together.  He was called greedy because he wanted $1,000 to put on the demo derby which made $30,000.  He felt the Commissioners and Elected Officials need to look at their salaries and perhaps cutting some of the Elected Officials. 

 

Tom Poyner made the point that the Commissioners took a voluntarily $5,000 cut in pay last year.  Commissioner Hurst stated that other Elected Officials also took cuts in pay.

 

There were no more public comments.  Commissioner Hurst moved to end the public hearing.  Commissioner Clegg seconded the motion.  All concurred.

 

11.       Resolution 2013-22 - Establishing the Salaries of the Tooele County Officers for the 2014 Fiscal Year.  Commissioner Milne moved to approve.  Commissioner Hurst seconded the motion.  All concurred.

 

12.       Resolution 2013-23 - Adopting the Tooele County Budget for the 2014 Fiscal Year  .  Commissioner Hurst moved to postpone this until the next regular meeting in order to get the information out that has been asked for.  Commissioner Clegg seconded the motion.  All concurred.

 

13.       Ordinance 2013-19 - Vacating the Public Right-of-Way Interest in Whispering Horse Drive, Located West of and Adjacent to Droubay Road, North of Erda Way Road, North of Erda Way   Recorder Houghton discussed this with the Commission.  At the Planning Commission meeting on Nov 6th, recommendation was to approve the vacation.  Commissioner Hurst moved to approve.  Commissioner Milne seconded the motion.  All concurred.

 

13.      Amendment #6, Contract 101600 - Between Utah Department of Human Services, Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, and Tooele County .    Commissioner Milne moved to postpone until the next meeting since no-one from Mental Health is here to discuss this item.  Commissioner Hurst seconded the motion.  All concurred.

 

14.      Awarding of Landfill Hauling Contract.  Robert Warner,          Landfill, discussed this with the Commission.  An RFP was put out for the county and three bids were received: 

 

Ralph Smith Trucking - $337.20 per load

Pacific West - $339.60 per load

MBI Trucking - $320.40 per load

 

 

He recommended going with MBI.  Brandon Bender asked if the County has looked at hauling the waste themselves?  Robert stated that they did look at it, up front expenses were too much for right now.  But he would like to see that down the road.  Commissioner Milne moved to approve the contract with MBI trucking as recommended with the information provided.  Commissioner Hurst seconded the motion.  All concurred. 

 

15.       Emergency Item – Repair of Fuel Truck at Wendover Airport.  Commissioner Milne moved to add as an emergency item, Repair of a fuel truck that blew up at the Wendover Airport.  Commissioner Clegg seconded the motion. All concurred.

 

16.      Repair of fuel truck at Wendover Airport.  Jim Petersen, Wendover Airport Director, stated it will cost about $18,000 to replace the engine, providing Rod Thompson from the Roads Department will transport the vehicle from Wendover to SLC to get it repaired.  The airport will be able to cover the cost of repairing the truck.  Commissioner Hurst moved to approve the $18,000 to repair the fueling truck.  Commissioner Milne seconded the motion.  All concurred.

 

17.      Contract Review

A)95-01-05-  Garbage Pickup- Road Dept. Between Ace Disposal and Tooele County

B)95-01-06-  Garbage Pickup- Grantsville Senior Center Between Ace Disposal and Tooele County

C)95-01-07-  Garbage Pickup- Tooele Senior Center Between Ace Disposal and Tooele County

D)95-01-08-  Garbage Pickup- Tooele County Building Between Ace Disposal and Tooele County

E)03-08-02-  Electronic Recording of Documents Agreement Between SimpliFile and Tooele County Recorder

F)06-10-03-  Memorandum of Understanding Between U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground and Tooele County Emergency Management

G)09-12-09-  Cooperative Agreement 08-8512 Modification #1 Design Engineering Reimbursement Program- Midvalley Highway Between UDOT and Tooele County

H)10-12-04-  An Agreement By and Between Tooele County and Connex Information Systems, Inc., Relating to the Provision of Computer Services for the Tooele County Jail

I)11-12-01-  Agreement Between Allegiant Air, LLC and Wendover Airport

J)11-12-04-  Memorandum of Understanding Between the Utah Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Management and Tooele County- Utilization of Deseret Peak Complex as a State Logistic Staging Area

K)11-12-05-  Memorandum of Understanding Between the Utah Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Management and Tooele County- Utilization of Wendover Airport as a State Logistics Staging Area

L)11-12-10-  Custodial Agreement for Loan and Use of Federal Excess Personal Property Between Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands and Tooele County will all be approved November, 2014.

 

18.      Board Openings

A)Tooele County Board of Health- 3 Positions

One Position must be Professional Health Provider ( Doctor, Nurse, Dentist, Hospital Administrator, etc.)

Two Positions Representing the Health Issues of Ethnic Minorities, Senior Citizens, the Disabled, Low-income, Women and/or Youth

 

B)Mosquito Abatement- 1 Position - Currently representing Stansbury Park- Open Until Filled

 

C)Tourism Tax Advisory Board- 1 Position- (1) Representing Recreation- Open Until December 16, 2013

 

D)Lake Point Cemetery and Park District- 2 Positions- Open Until Filled

 

E)Tooele County Planning Commission- 2 Positions- Open Until December 7, 2013

 

19.      Board Appointments

A)Rush Valley Water Conservancy District - Commissioner Milne moved to reappoint Scott Pehrson.  His term will end December 3, 2017.  Commissioner Hurst seconded the motion.  All concurred.

B)Tooele County Board of Health- Two Positions Representing the Health Issues of Ethnic Minorities, Senior Citizens, the Disabled, Low-income, Women and/or Youth - Commissioner Hurst moved to approve the following people who have been recommended by the Board of Health: Lynn Faulkner, Health Care Professional, Dennis Rockwell, representing the youth, Angelo Maratta, representing the minorities.  Commissioner Milne seconded the motion.  All concurred.

 

20.      Public Concerns Jonathan Garrard gave the signatures from the petition against the MST to Clerk Gillette. 

 

21.       Adjournment Commissioner Milne moved to adjourn the meeting at 11:00 p.m., Commissioner Hurst seconded the motion.  All concurred.