Comments about ‘Toxic challenges in Tooele County’

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Budget shortfall means a change in spill, accident response

Published: Sunday, Sept. 23 2012 5:57 p.m. MDT

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My2Cents
Taylorsville, UT

It interesting how government over-budgeting and excessive spending is all of a sudden shortfalls requiring the immediate raising or taxes to cover hurricane losses in the storm of economic despair.

Instead of thinking of these as shortfalls, why shouldn't they be considered excessive spending for frivolous controls. This kind of department this country is talking about is the responsibility of the state, not city and county governmnet that has limited localized power to enforce theses kinds of regulatory agency's.

Over budgeting should become the new goal of government to cut and limit services and agency's with no real powers. Most likely the regulatory agency's are being used to collect fess of some kind rather than provide a public service. This is the kind of government that must be eliminated that is specialized industry dependent just to collect fees for no real crime. It costs more to maintain it than it can collect in frivolous penalty fees created to harass an industry on trumped up accusations for more money.

These are the kinds of government taxes and laws that are diving business out of business.

djc
Stansbury Park, Ut

I don't quite understand My2Cents contribution here.

The Tooele County problem occurred due to poor planning.

A new jail was constructed at a cost of $25 million with the belief that federal prisoners would fill it. The federal prisoners didn't materialize. Now this new jail is costing the county about 2.3 million a year more to operate then the old jail did. The county is forced to foot this bill.

The gross revenues coming from Energy Solutions, Clean Harbors and the other hazmat handlers in Tooele County was badly over estimated for this year.

These two budget busters, the new half empty jail and a reduction in hazmat moved into the county, created a $5 million shortfall this year. This is an example of extremely poor planning on the part of the elected officials charged with overseeing the publics' interest. The department cited in this article is just one of many that have been shuttered in an effort to make up for the $5 million shortfall.

oldasdirt
Grantsville, UT

It would be helpful to see the history of actual responses to spills and their ranking. With the destruction of the chemical weapons stock pile, I believe that maintaining the same level of response is over kill.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Let private companies inspect themselves.
Let private companies take care of it themselves.
Private companies can always be trusted to do it better and cheaper than evil Government.

Conservatives haven't got a clue...

Tooele County Fan
Tooele, UT

Great article! The facts are the hazmat team had been dealing with incidents like this for the past 20 years, and have provided lots of hours of training to the area responders. I think this was a huge mistake to have illiminated the hazardous materials division from the Tooele County Sheriff's Department. Obviuosly they did not think this through! Now all of the citizens of Tooele County are at a huge risk.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Okay, everyone agrees it would at least be "nice to have" the current hazmat folks continue in operation, or maybe even a necessary expenditure.

But, unlike to clown posse in Congress who can borrow and spend forever (and send us the bill!) the local government cannot do that.

Tooele County is $5 million short for this year, so cuts have to be made. Where? Schools, cops, road repair, dog catchers, libraries, retired pay for former employees, etc?

If you do not like the cuts to the hazmat crew, then tell us EXACTLY where you would cut to save at least as much money! The county commissioners did not just pull agencies to defund out of a hat, they looked at where all the money is being spent and had to decide (with public votes!) where the cuts could be made with the least negative impact. Critics need to do the same, not just whine about what was done by people elected and paid to make tough decisions.

As far as revenue estimates being wrong, yup that stuff happens too.

And, raising taxes is NOT an acceptable solution either.

NeilT
Clearfield, UT

Wait until we have a catastrope un Tooele county. Then everyone will blame the govenment for lack of oversight and failing to protect the public. I am all for cutting spending, but not in aread that compromise public safety. I would rather pay more taxes than have my health ruined by an accidental exposure to hazardous chemicals.

AmPatriot
Taylorsville, UT

When government says the term shortfall, its a warning sign that increasing taxes are mandatory to sustain there level of frivolous spending.

If the county mandates an environmental organization has the power to tax and levy fines then that organization is not required as governess responsibility. It has also been made notice that weigh stations are a federal agency controls and not county operations.

Often times our government is shutting down some necessary government responsibility and use them as leverage to fake increased taxes. Budget shortfall mean excessive spending, not the need for higher taxes. All government heads must evaluate and eliminate any agency and funding non essential to serving the public. Government serving business can and must be scarified as non essential and dropped from tax base.

Government leaders are denying the fact that the Utah economy is a hoax and it is not sustainable with a population of 3 million living on poverty income and jobs. According to federal studies and reports, base line poverty is at ~$50,000/yr. Only people and foreign nationals overpaid on welfare and food stamps can qualify as poverty stricken. Adjusted federal COLA sets independent middle class income at $250,000/yr.

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