Commission signs contracts worth over $300,000 in January meeting

Navajo Mountain was the location of the January 21 meeting of the San Juan County Commission.  It was the first such meeting in the isolated community, which is 200 miles from the San Juan County Courthouse in Monticello.

After being welcomed by Navajo Mountain Chapter President Hank Stevens, the Commission completed a variety of business, including signing economic development and marketing contracts worth nearly one third of a million dollars.

A one-year marketing contract with the Relic Agency, worth up to $300,000, was extended for an additional year.

Relic provides a variety of services for San Juan County Economic Development and Visitor Services, including digital marketing, public relations, social media management, media buys, and a creative retainer.

The contract is paid through Transient Room Tax funds collected from visitors to the county.

The contract states that it is “not to exceed $300,000” for the year.  San Juan County Administrator Mack McDonald estimates the total expenditures “will be close to the $300,000.”

McDonald said the contract handles digital marketing, Facebook leads, advertising targeting, and automation for the county.

Relic provides monthly statistics, social media content calendar, and a social media platform strategy.

McDonald said while this contract was renewed for another year, it will require a full-blown Request of Proposal (RFP) in subsequent years.

“In the future, they will need to have an RFP for an annual contract of this type,” said McDonald. “For right now, we are asking to continue to approve working with the Relic agency.

Commissioners approved the contract, with Commission Bruce Adams asking that it be reviewed by the Utah Counties Indemnity Pool to ensure that it covers cyber security.

A $30,000 contract was extended to Capture Adventure Media for video production services. They have also provided similar services to the county for several years.  The company is owned by Monticello native Gilbert Rowley.

McDonald said the company has taken “lots of footage from previous years.” The contract provides several options, including 60-second and 30-second spots, film shorts, and products for social media and mass media.

McDonald said this contract will also need to go out for an RFP in the future.

Commissioners discussed the possibility of expanding emergency radio transmissions from telecommunications infrastructure on Navajo Mountain.

McDonald said the proposal could increase the effectiveness of transmissions in San Juan County, with a new tower location farther to the north on the mountain.

McDonald added that the plan would increase the effectiveness of emergency radio broadcasts and may strengthen television coverage to Navajo Mountain.

Chapter President Hank Stevens expressed concern about the telecommunication infrastructure on Navajo Mountain.

“Communication companies are not familiar with what the mountain actually represents,” said Stevens. 

“We continue to impose on the mountain, and at this point in time, I don’t think the community is really comfortable with letting other telecommunications come in and establish themselves up there.”

Stevens said the infrastructure has no enclosures, which can impose a lot of liability to the Chapter.  He specifically addressed an exposed ladder, radiation, contaminants, and corrosive materials.  

He added that there is no archaeology clearance outside of the towers and nothing on the access roads.

Stevens said the telecommunication companies are signing contracts with the Navajo Nation and Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Stevens claimed, “The Navajo Nation takes about $1 million for the leasing of that land, and the Bureau of Reclamation takes half a million.  We get a measly $740 for scholarships.”

Stevens added, “We have to sit down and establish some type of contract, but we can’t do that until this chapter is actually certified.  Until then, the Navajo Nation and Bureau of Indian Affairs do the negotiation.”

In other matters, William Petty, representing three ranching families in Allen Canyon, asked the county to support a special use permit from the US Forest Service.

Petty stated that the access road to the ranches has become a problem in the past three years, primarily because “people don’t have the manners to take care of roads like they used to.”

“We need to have a good road to get out of the ranch,” continued Petty, and that road is accessed through the Blue Mountain / Causeway Road on the Forest Service.

Petty said the ranching families would like to put a gate at the top of the road to limit access and protect the road.  He said there is no other alternative to get there.

The private road goes across Forest Service land and has never been maintained by the county.

Commissioners approved a beer license for the Hole in the Rock General Store.

Commissioners also approved a letter of support for the System of Care program with Utah Department of Human Services System of Care program, which is seeking a federal grant.

San Juan Record

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