County Watch |

County Watch

Compiled by Patrick Parkinson

State court officials insist they must sign off on whoever is chosen to replace former Summit County Justice Court Judge Lynn Sadler, who retired Feb. 1.

A nominating commission has selected three people for the judicial vacancy: former Summit County prosecutor Gus Chin, former Summit County Commissioner Shauna Kerr and Taylorsville Justice Court Judge Marsha Thomas.

Interim Summit County Manager Brian Bellamy will select the finalist, which the Utah Judicial Council must confirm, according to a prepared statement from Utah State Courts.

"We’re asking them why they think they have final confirmation," Summit County Attorney David Brickey said, adding that the judicial appointment should be confirmed by county officials. "I’m hoping they’re reading it wrong."

The county pays the judge’s salary, Summit County Councilwoman Sally Elliott said.

"The decision should be made close to home," she said.

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According to Summit County Councilman John Hanrahan, "the county should make the final confirmation."

"We’re of the opinion that we’re the local legislative entity and the confirmation should come from you," Brickey told members of the Summit County Council April 8.

The nominees’ names have been submitted to Bellamy who has 30 days to select a finalist, according to a prepared statement from Utah State Courts.

Trails too wet for ATVs

Most roads and trails east of Kamas in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest are still closed to motorized vehicles other than snow machines, according to U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Kathy J. Pollock.

Soil is still soaked where recent warm weather has opened up areas that were covered with snow, Pollock said in a prepared statement.

"Motor vehicle use in these wet areas will cause extreme damage to roads and trails," Pollock stressed. "Summer travel is still several months away."

Damage motor vehicles cause to wet trails can impact water quality, according to Pollock.

Summer travel in the forest usually begins at the end of May.

Historic preservation

The owners of historic homes, businesses, barns and other structures in Summit County should contact the Summit County Preservation Commission to help preserve culture in the area.

The Preservation Commission began in 1994 as a way to celebrate the heritage of Summit County, Assistant Summit County Manager Anita Lewis said.

Lewis encourages residents interested in receiving certificates recognizing their historic structures to submit pictures and stories. Send items to, or mail them to Summit County, at P.O. Box 128, Coalville, Utah, 84107.

Water board appointments

The Summit County Council has named Henefer resident Kirt Richins and Woodland resident Bill Miles as the newest members of the Eastern Summit County Water Advisory Board, which considers water issues on the East Side.

Transition to digital TV

Households must have converter boxes purchased by June 12 to continue viewing free over-the-air television in Summit County, officials say.

Residents who watch television using an antenna will lose their television signal if they don’t have a converter box or new digital set before the deadline. Cable and satellite subscribers will not be affected. Those without cable or satellite TV can now view a digital signal on some stations, including KUTV, KSL, KBYU and KUED, according to Summit County Engineer Derrick Radke.

He advises those who have difficulty receiving the new digital signal to install an antenna outdoors. Trees and buildings near the antenna can interrupt the signal.

Older TVs require special boxes to convert the digital signal. Radke encourages people to apply for government coupons to receive discounts on the equipment at The coupon will allow $40 each toward purchase of equipment to transmit the digital signal through an analog TV.

With the coupon, out of pocket expense will be around $10 to $15 per box, according to Radke.

Residents with high definition televisions with digital tuners built in will not have to obtain converters. TVs purchased after July 2007 should have built-in digital tuners. Those with cable or satellite television will not be impacted when analog signals are shut off in June, he said, adding that those with older TVs won’t be able to view free television without a converter box.

For information about the transition to digital television, call (888) 388-2009 or visit

Sewer specialist retires

Neil S. Jones, Treatment Superintendent of the Snyderville Basin Water Reclamation District, will retire today.

Jones has worked for the district for 30 years. He began as an entry level operator in 1979, and has been the laboratory supervisor, treatment supervisor and finally treatment superintendent.

Jones received numerous awards including the 1987 outstanding operator of the year Award, from the Water Environment Association of Utah.

He received the Hatfield Award from the Water Environment Association, which is a nationwide award given for outstanding performance and professionalism in the operation of a wastewater treatment facility.

During Jones’ tenure the district received numerous awards for the outstanding operation of its facilities and its excellent safety program.

A Woods Cross resident, Jones and his wife have five children and three grandchildren. Jones is looking forward to spending time sailing on Great Salt Lake with his family and friends.

An open house for Jones is scheduled April 15 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the district office at 2800 Homestead Road.