BLM, San Juan County discuss “blue line” approach

The issue of the “blue line” approach in regards to county D road location designation was addressed at the April 9 meeting of the San Juan County Commission.
Commissioners received a letter from Tom Heinlein, manager of the BLM Monticello Field Office, clarifying the BLM intent regarding maintenance of “D” class roads.  The county has previously expressed concern over the BLM using specific routes designated by a map-grade GPS of county roads in 1999. There was concern over problems that would be created by using the GPS data as it is not 100 percent accurate in regards to the actual ground route.
The issue of the “blue line” approach came after the BLM painted a blue line on the ground outlining the route road D0570, which has been an issue of much conflict in recent months.
In his letter, Heinlein said that the BLM has not declared a new approach based on strict interpretation of the GPS data provided by the county. Heinlein’s letter stated that he seeks an open, two-way communication between the BLM and the county as has been used successfully in the past. He further stated his desire to apply common sense in regards to locating routes on the ground.
Heinlein addressed a letter he drafted on March 5 regarding D0570, stating that his intent was to alleviate confusion regarding the path of the actual route, and that a blue line was painted on the ground to mark the route as a way at assist the County and the public to correctly identify the road. 
Heinlein said the “blue line” approach is not a standard that the BLM will adopt and praised the San Juan County Road Department for being good at identifying and maintaining the correct routes. He expressed confidence in an “excellent” working relationship with the Road Department.
In order to deal with the problems created by D0570, Heinlein said the BLM has installed directional signs to clearly identify the path of the road. He added that in his review of photographs of the route taken on several occasions, he can see no evidence of the “washout” that has been used as the reasoning for the alternative route that had been created.
In other matters, the commission received a report that the San Juan Water Conservancy District is moving forward with a project to increase the size of the proposed Dry Wash Reservoir. It was reported that they have received $55,000 in grant funding from the CIB and will match the amount from the district.
The money will be used for a feasibility study and preliminary design work on the project. County Clerk Norman Johnson reported that the RFP will be approved this week and be advertised the next week for the engineering work to be done this summer.
There was much discussion regarding the building permit for the store being built at the Bluff Fort and whether or not they would be charged a permit fee.
The State of Utah Department of Transportation is a partner in building the store and has said they are not required to purchase a building permit.  The commission is unsure why the Hole in the Rock Foundation is not the agency applying for the building permit because once the building is completed, it will be under their ownership.
Commissioner Bruce Adams said the purpose of a building permit is to allow for inspections and insure that work is done according to code. He said that by waiving the building permit fee, San Juan County would bear the cost of the inspections.
The county has receive a check from the project contractor for a permit fee of approximately $450. Commission said that if the State Agency is exempt, then there would be no fee, but if it was anyone else, then they should pay the fee. The commission approved the building permit and accepted the check for payment.
Commissioner Bruce Adams reported that the Community Impact Board approved a $150,000 grant to repair the water system at Mexican Hat.  Adams, who is a member of the CIB board, reported that the board chairman praised Danny Fleming for his presentation, stating it was the best presentation ever to the CIB.
Commissioners received a report that 12 channels are available on the analog TV system in Mexican Hat. There has not been analog TV in Mexican Hat in the past.

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