Assessor outlines appeal process to Commissioners
The San Juan County Commission held a brief meeting on September 17.
The assessor’s office outlined the appeal of property values that they will file with the State of Utah.
After the county Board of Equalization (made up of the county commission) adjusted the value of more than 100 properties, Assessor Howard Randall said that he will appeal approximately 40 of the adjustments, suggesting that the adjustments may have lacked appropriate documentation.
Commissioner Phil Lyman said he had expected an across-the-board adjustment of commercial properties in the Blanding area after an earlier conversation with Randall.
Lyman said Randall had admitted that the valuation factor used in Blanding was different than the factor used in Monticello. However, instead of an across-the-board adjustment, property owners needed to fill out paperwork to be considered for an adjustment
Lyman said, “If one community drops three percent, you would expect the other community to drop, but it grew by 15 percent.”
Clerk Norman Johnson outlined a schedule to prepare for the budget season. The preliminary schedule includes a preliminary budget released on November 5, a public hearing on December 3 and adoption of the budget on December 17.
Commissioners approved a letter to the Bureau of Land Management commenting to an environmental assessment on the Indian Creek ATV trail. County Planner Nick Sandberg urged the signature, stating that the county proposal is “a good route that gets from point A to point B”.
Sandberg discussed the “24 Hours of Moab” bicycle race that will take place on October 6 and 7 in the Behind the Rocks area south of Moab. The Sheriff and Road departments are getting ready for the annual race.
Commissioner Lyman said he had been approached by local mountain bike enthusiasts to link trails between Monticello and Blanding near the Dry Wash, Palmer Flats, Upper Bulldog, Dude Ranch, and Loyds Lake areas.
Phil Glaze, who is developing the Wilson Arch Community, approached the county with concerns about traffic on the county road through the area. Glaze said that several road signs he made were taken down and added that a number of belly dump trucks were traveling through the subdivision on the way to a well site.
Officials will meet on Wednesday to discuss the Diné Bikeyah proposal, which was developed to consider Native American perspectives in land use planning.
Lyman said, “The Navajo Nation wants to do some land planning, and that’s ok, but the planning seems to be focused on areas outside of the reservation. It seems lopsided to have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Navajo Nation to plan land use in San Juan County.”
Lyman added, “One bright spot is that the Navajos are pushing for access rather than shutting down Cedar Mesa.”
Officials from Design Build Bluff, a group that builds homes in the Bluff area, approached the Commission to seek tax-exempt status as a non-profit organization. They were told that they need to complete paperwork.
County Librarian Dustin Fife outlined the use of a $15,000 grant from the state library system. The funds will be used to upgrade technology at the libraries, including computers, monitors, and television sets.
Fife announced that construction will begin this week on the Blanding branch of the county library.
Commissioner Lyman also submitted a letter to rescind his signature on a previous letter. In November, 2011, the Commission signed a letter to the National Fish and Wildlife Agency to support a local land purchase by the Nature Conservancy
Lyman said he was told that it was a “private property matter that would not impact surrounding properties”. However, he said that after learning about the concerns of neighboring property owners, and oil and gas companies, he would rescind his support of the project until there was more analysis.