County signs anti-hate resolution

The San Juan County Commission approved a resolution at their July 21 meeting which “condemns racism, bigotry, hate, and violence at any level.”

The resolution was triggered “by the ongoing tragic events occurring across the country.”

The resolution, which was approved unanimously, says the commission is “committed to actively working against the damaging effects of racism and to ensure the Constitutional rights of every person who lives, works, and visits San Juan County.

“People of all races, ethnicities, cultures, and faiths contribute to San Juan County’s strengths, well-being, cultural history, and general makeup of who we are and what we stand for.”

In other matters at the electronic Commission meeting, it was very difficult to understand – or participate in – the first half hour of the meeting.

For the second meeting in a row, the streaming meeting featured garbled voices, echoing comments, and several layers of speakers.

It was not possible to hear the public comment portion of the meeting nor understand a report about community and economic development that was presented by Economic Development Director Natalie Randall.

Commissioners approved the annual audit at the meeting. Auditor John Haderlie, of Larsen and Company, discussed the audit and its findings on a number of issues, including pension funds, road infrastructure, and the general budget.

Haderlie said Commissioners should be getting financial reports on a monthly basis and the general fund had a positive net income for the year.

Haderlie reported that more than $400,000 in interest revenue from the Tax Stability Fund is scheduled to be transferred to the general fund.

A $36,654 contract with the Utah Department of Health will help fund COVID-19 contact tracing. Public Health Director Kirk Benge said several part-time employees will be employed at $16 an hour to reach out to recently infected local residents and help identify anybody who might be at risk.

Benge said the funds will be helpful since the staff is “currently working at capacity.”

The Commission renewed a $74,000 public health contract with the Utah Department of Environmental Quality. Benge said the contract covers services regarding air quality, drinking water, underground oil tanks, water quality, used oil disposal, and other potential issues throughout the year.

The Commission approved a contract to defend corporate challenges to centrally-assessed property values in San Juan County. PacifiCorp and Rocky Mountain Power are challenging $446 million of their property valuation.

Commissioners approved the canvas of the June 30 Republican primary election.

The election consisted of three county and two statewide races to determine Republican candidates in the November general election.

The local voters for the statewide positions favored Greg Hughes and David Leavitt, even though they lost the races in the statewide election.

County races were won by Bruce Adams, Cindi Holyoak, and Rick Meyer.

County Clerk John David Nielson reports that 29 ballots were rejected, including 10 ballots where signatures did not match, three that did not have a signature, eight that were mailed late, six that were rejected for other reasons, and two provisional ballots that were rejected.

Lyn Loyd Creswell was hired as an administrative law judge for the county to hears appeals for employee grievances, land use conflicts, businesses, and other regulations. If used, the contract pays Creswell $100 an hour, plus travel.

Contracts with the San Juan School District were approved for library services in Navajo Mountain and Monument Valley.

County Librarian Nicole Perkins explained the new contracts are “making sure that these communities are getting the services outlined in the contracts.”

The libraries at the local schools are open after hours, between six to eight hours each week, for the general public.

A contract with Utah State Library, Heritage and Arts will help purchase and manage digital content of the local library collections. The county library contributes $1,678 to the project.

Commissioners approved a $582,762 contract with Jviation for a project at Cal Black Airport. Jviation will provide consulting services and serve as the design engineer for the runway and lighting project, which is paid with a federal grant.

During the Commission reports, Chairman Kenneth Maryboy said there is growing concern about road maintenance on the Navajo Reservation, even after the county signed a maintenance contract for a number of roads, including school bus routes.

“The paved roads are getting really bad,” said Maryboy. “It looks like the Nation is not doing anything about it. We may need to take some extreme measures to see what we can do to take over some of these roads.”

San Juan Record

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