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Utah to take $9 million hit and your hometown could take the blow

Published: Thursday, March 28 2013 7:08 p.m. MDT

Milovich, who serves on the fund's board, said that over the years the mineral revenue money has helped Carbon County pay for desperately needed projects.

"We were able to do a 38-mile stretch of roadway that heretofore had been a death trap," he said of the significant improvement made to the road in Nine Mile Canyon.

"It had curves and washed out many times, and now people can go up there and see the artifacts."

Last year, mineral revenue money supported a half-loan, half-grant to put in a new $2 million animal shelter in Carbon County, replacing a building that the director said was insufferable to both man and beast.

"We used to have cats right in the office area," said Doreen McCourt. "When you walked in, you could tell it was an animal shelter because it reeked."

McCourt said the pipes froze in the winter, the windows had gaps and she once used glue to affix a brick back in the wall after it popped out of place. The winters were especially tough, she said.

"You had to wear long johns and keep a coat on and you still couldn't keep warm."

Beyond the human inconveniences, however, the shelter was hard on the animals because there was insufficient room.

"We had 14 kennels and anything beyond that had to be outside," she said, adding the shelter did its best to make the homeless animals comfortable in the elements by providing straw, blankets and some cover to get under.

For close to a year now, McCourt and the animals have been thriving in an entirely different environment in the new shelter, which has 23 dog runs, a heated floor, glass cages for the cats and even a corral for wayward or neglected horses.

"I never dreamed we would have this nice of a facility," she said. "I figured I would have a tin can."

And then there's Grantsville, which is celebrating its new library, thanks to the mineral fund money. The library is expected to attract patrons from nearby Tooele, which used to be served by a bookmobile. That program discontinued at the end of 2012, the victim of the town's own budget cuts.

E-mail: amyjoi@deseretnews.com

Twitter: amyjoi16

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