Several months ago, San Juan County Surveyor Sam Cantrell came to the commission meeting stating that one of his employees, Jacob Regalado, was being deployed as part of his service with the Utah National Guard.
At that time, Cantrell’s concern was filling Regalado’s position part time during his absence during the department’s peak season. This was approved by the commission as a way to hold Regalado’s job until his return.
Regalado reported for active duty and a yearlong deployment to Kuwait on October 1, 2015. Shortly after Regalado’s departure, Cantrell received an opportunity to fly to Fort Bliss, TX to better appreciate what his employee is doing and to lend support to the deployed soldiers.
Cantrell was unable to make the trip, but Ben Musselman, who also works in the Surveyor department, was able to attend. Musselman was joined by Mike Francom, whose employee is soldier Chris Starkey.
On October 22 to 24, the two employers joined other employers from Utah in the Department of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Program.
They flew out of Salt Lake City in the belly of an EC-130 and had several noteworthy experiences during the flight. They could visit the cockpit, watch as the plane was refueled mid-flight, and walk around and check things out. There were not many windows on the plane, but being a surveyor, Ben spent time trying to identify landmarks from the air.
On the base, they were briefed on what the soldiers will be expected to do during the next year and actually got to participate in some of the training. Starkey and Regalado are deployed with the 116th Engineer Company. While they are going to Kuwait, they can be used anywhere in support of any engineering mission throughout US Central Command (CENTCOM).
The employers came away from the experience grateful for the sacrifices of servicemen from this area. They also have many interesting facts to share, including the fact that 150,000 people live on Fort Bliss. During the whirlwind adventure, they were able to spend a little down time reconnecting with Regalado and Starkey and shared some meals with them as well.
On the flight home, Ben was again vigilant to watch for landmarks. They flew right over the La Sal Mountains and could see the Moab Valley. Too bad they had to continue the flight to Salt Lake City and then drive home.
Commissioners signed a support document and joined in a video HOOAH, which will be sent back to Fort Bliss.
In other matters at the November 17 Commission meeting, Commissioners accepted the County Assessor recommendation regarding three Board of Equalization matters. A side note is that land automatically comes out of greenbelt status if it is transferred or sold. The new owners need to reapply for greenbelt status.
Commissioners voted to accept the election results after a final canvass by County Clerk John David Nielson. Nielson said that county-wide turnout for the election was 40 percent.
A U.S. Forest Service contract for the Fire Warden salary was approved. The county portion of the contract decreased by nearly $1,000.
Local rancher Casey Veach asked that Commissioners support grazing in national monuments. Veach is seeking a grazing permit in the Canyon of the Ancients National Monument, just across the San Juan County border in Colorado.
Commissioner Bruce Adams said the timing is good to support grazing, as this may soon become an issue in San Juan County. The request to support the request was approved.
Commissioners approved the San Juan County response to the Grand County Master Leasing Plan. The plan includes areas of specific interest to areas of northern San Juan County.