The air pollution controversy between Utah County commissioners and Geneva Steel may have "tabled" a donation the steel company planned to make to the commission.
Last fall commissioners asked Geneva Steel to donate funds for two new tables in the county's conference rooms. Geneva President Joe Cannon agreed to the donation, which amounts to about $6,000.Several months and press conferences later, however, the commission is unsure about accepting any donations from the steel plant - even though the plant's offer still stands.
In a January meeting with the press, Commissioner Brent Morris said local leaders should join grass-roots efforts to make Geneva Steel clean up its act. He also suggested Geneva purchase additional pollution-control equipment and invest in modernization rather than make donations to community projects.
Now that the tables have turned and the two tables are in place, the commission is left to decide whether the funds will come from county dollars or donations. But Morris said, "I prefer not to (ask for Geneva's donation) at this time."
He said Commissioner Malcolm Beck, a former Geneva Steel employee, was free to seek the donation, but Morris did not want to have anything to do with it.
Beck said: "There is so much animosity. I won't go asking for it."
Accepting donations instead of using commission funds, however, would be another way to save tax money, he said.
Geneva Steel spokeswoman Kathy Bryson said the company's accounting department is aware of the donation and will pay the bill when it is received.
"All they have to do is bill the company. We are glad to take care of whatever we committed for."
When commissioners moved into the new county building, Beck said Morris recommended that they ask local companies for donations to pay for conference room furniture because it would be used by the public.
The tables are boat-shaped and made of walnut. One is in the county attorney's conference room and another in the commission conference room. Murdock Industries built the tables for $2,385 and $3,185.