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County Watch

Compiled by Patrick Parkinson

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced that statewide sign ups for 2007 Farm Bill conservation programs will close Nov. 15.

Early sign ups allow farmers to know the results of their applications when making planting decisions for the coming crop year. The new deadlines apply to the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program and the Agricultural Management Assistance Program.

"Again this year we have the flexibility to hold a program sign up that will end earlier in the year," said Sylvia Gillen, an NRCS conservationist for Utah.

She noted that the 2008 cutoff for sign ups would be June 1, 2007.

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program allows farmers to apply for cost sharing for many types of conservation practices. Those who are awarded contracts will receive up to 50 percent of the costs of the project.

"A good conservation system on working farmland is the most effective thing we can do to protect our water quality and the health of our soils on private working lands," Gillen said.

The Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program provides technical assistance and cost sharing to establish or improve wildlife habitat on any type of land.

The Agricultural Management Assistance Program provides cost-share and incentive payments to producers who apply conservation practices that address such issues as water quality, water management and erosion control.

Generally, only the most environmentally beneficial projects are selected for funding. For more information about applying check http://www.ut.nrcs.usda.gov.

Stripes won’t be removed from frontage road

To the likely dismay of Summit County Commissioner Sally Elliott, the county’s roads department won’t repaint stripes on the frontage road east of U.S. 40 between Quinn’s Junction and Silver Summit in Snyderville.

Elliott insisted recently that medians painted on the road weren’t necessary and reduced the size of the shoulder for cyclists.

"There is consensus from everyone for it to stay the way it is," Summit County Commissioner Ken Woolstenhulme said about a recommendation from engineers and the county’s public works department.

Mayor talks trash on county’s hauler

Giving Allied Waste Services, a company formerly known as BFI, exclusive rights to Summit County’s landfill near Rockport State Park prevents other private trash haulers from fairly competing for customers in Park City, says Duane Schmidt, owner of Humpty Dumpsters in Coalville.

"That’s what all the other jurisdictions do," countered County Chief Civil Deputy Attorney David Thomas during a recent meeting of the Summit County Commission in Coalville.

Allied Waste has hauled residential and commercial trash in Summit County exclusively since the late 1990s.

Prohibiting other haulers from using the Three Mile Canyon landfill near Wanship when the contract was negotiated has allowed "the lowest rate for all the users," Thomas argues.

"All the taxpayers in Summit County benefit from that," he said.

But Schmidt insists, "It is playing favoritism to Allied Waste."

"There is no reason why I shouldn’t be allowed into Three Mile," he laments.

Private trash haulers like Humpty Dumpsters compete in western Summit County to haul waste from construction sites in the area.

BFI, however, is the only commercial hauler allowed to dump near Wanship, Schmidt said, adding that others must use a landfill in Henefer or truck the trash to Salt Lake County.

"[Three Mile Canyon] is a county-owned landfill that is supported through tax dollars," said Schmidt, who is also the mayor of Coalville.

As part of a request for bids from trash haulers interested in picking up residential waste in the county for the next five years, the Summit County Commission is preparing to leave the hauling of all commercial trash to the private sector.

Perry retires from Board of Adjustment

Pinebrook resident Ron Perry stepped down from the Summit County Board of Adjustment last month having served 12 years on the committee.

Attorney Alison Pitt was named to replace him on the board.

"I really enjoyed serving Summit County and in particular trying to be fair to all the citizens," Perry said.

The appointed Board of Adjustment hears appeals from citizens dissatisfied with decisions made by county staffers.

"It’s a very, very important position because it’s the last bastion before somebody takes their appeal before the district court," Perry said. "We’re their last chance to have a departure from the code or the last stand on an administrative decision."

Perry, who is a Democrat, served one term as a Summit County Commissioner in the 1990s and was defeated by Democratic Summit County Commissioner Sally Elliott in commission primary election in 2004.

In the Democratic primary election last June, Summit County Assessor Barbara Kresser trounced Perry in his bid to replace to popular incumbent.

"I think my political career is over," Perry said, adding that he intends to serve at least another years on the administrative board for the Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District.


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