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County receives grant to repair waterways

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Box Elder County could be getting some help in making some much needed improvements to waterways in the Howell, Blue Creek and Hansel Valley areas.

County commissioners reported yesterday the county has been approved to receive a grant of up to approximately $6.7 million for emergency water projects. The county has a need to make repairs to infrastructure damage to waterways those special service districts that happened in June 2009.

Commissioner Brian Shaffer said the grant comes with a 25 percent match, meaning the districts will have to match 25 percent of whatever funding is used in either cash or in-kind contributions. Although that could be a costly bill, Commissioner Rich VanDyke said the grant is a useful tool in getting these types of projects taken care of.

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch, but these types of grants are pretty good incentives for us to correct some of the problems we have in the county,” VanDyke said.

In other news, Box Elder County Sheriff Lynn Yeates gave commissioners his office’s annual report, updating them on the types of calls and incidents he and his deputies have been responding to over the past year.

Yeates presented commissioners with a booklet detailing a number of statistics, including how many calls the sheriff’s office responds to each year, what types of calls they are and where those calls come from. There were also statistics about drugs seized in the county in 2009. Marijuana was the most common drug, with over nine pounds seized throughout the county at a value of $25,302. Next was heroin, with .56 pounds seized with a value of $20,420. Meth, which has been a problem drug in the county in the past, was much lower on the list, with .04 pounds seized at a value of $1,233.

VanDyke said he and the other commissioners are grateful for the services the sheriff’s office provides.

“Box Elder County has [a sheriff’s department] to be proud of, and we are proud of it,” he said.

Yeates also noted the number of alcohol and domestic violence calls has increased over the past year. The full report can be found on Box Elder County’s website at www.boxeldercounty.org by scrolling over the ‘Sheriff’ tab and clicking on ‘Year End Reports.’

Yeates also asked commissioners for their approval in recognizing Box Elder County’s Search and Rescue team as a certified first responder group. Yeates said Search and Rescue was recognized as a first responder group in the past, but for one reason or another, fell through the cracks in recent years. The group, which has 11 certified first responders and five trained EMTs, asked commissioners to reinstate their status so they can be called to assist in emergencies where applicable.

“They are inspected, they have all the equipment and they have all the necessary training,” Yeates said.

Commissioners approved a motion to reinstate the group as a first responder team.

In other news, Shaffer reported that the new county bookmobile should arrive in the first part of next month, with service beginning at the first of April.

“It should be a nice addition to the library system of Box Elder County,” Shaffer said.


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