Officials are organizing a panel representing Juab County, Nephi, Levan and Mona to help develop policy for a proposed natural gas transmission line.
The committee, according to Golden Mangelson, project manager for the natural gas system proposed by Nephi City, could have up to eight members and be called the Natural Gas Development Committee. The county and the cities will be allowed up to two representatives on the committee.Juab County commissioners and the Nephi City Council have already voted to appoint two members each to the panel. Mona and Levan officials will vote on their representation in December.
The policy and procedure recommendations agreed to by the committee will then be presented to each of the governing bodies of the participating municipalities and the County Commission for approval.
The committee's first agenda will include the formation of an agency under the Utah Interlocal Cooperation Act, financing of the project, project engineering, design and inspection and methods of contracting of transmission and distribution, said Mangelson.
Randy Freston, Juab County engineer, and Joseph Bernini, commission chairman, will represent the county.
"We (the county) need to quit being in the middle," said Freston. The committee needed to prepare a letter stating the county's view.
The commission authorized Bernini to prepare and sign such a letter.
One thing the public may be asked to approve is the proposal to allow the county to continue to collect monies now being used to pay the bond for the remodling of the county center. The bonds will be paid off soon and the money could be used to pay off the $600,000 county share of bringing natural gas to the area.
The money would allow the county's share of the pipeline to be repaid in four to six years, saving a considerable amount in interest. The county will begin making money from the project, and in the end, the project will save money for taxpayers.
As time goes by, said Mangelson, the county will grow in consumption and in customers. County residents pay a high rate for electricity and natural gas would save each person who hooks up money. In addition, as time goes by and the system puts money into the county coffers, taxpayers will need to pay less taxes.
The money now being used for the building bond payments might be placed in a capital investment fund or in the general fund and earmarked for the project.
"Under Utah law the county could not bond," said Mangelson.
Nevertheless, county residents will have a chance to speak up on the way they want things handled financially.