The Saratoga Sun -

Tax and disasters

CCCOG names Specific Purpose Tax board, hears about incident planning, proposed visitor center, possible wind tax


The Carbon County Council of Governments (CCCOG) met at 6:30 p.m. on May 15 at the Platte Valley Community Center.

After everyone at the meeting signed in and the voting delegates were recognized from each municipality, the minutes from the regularly scheduled meeting of Jan. 16 were approved.

The treasurers reports for March and April were approved.

County Tax JPB

Irene Archibald gave an update on the Specific Purpose tax telling the CCCOG audience the name for the board would be known as the Carbon County Special Tax Joint Powers Board. All municipalities that bonded need to have a representative to the board.

The Town of Encampment claimed the 2013 consensus outstanding/unobligated funding for $1,938. It involves a fair amount of paperwork which the town clerk of Encampment Doreen Harvey said the town would do. The council approved Encampment to receive the funds.

Incident Training

Vice Chairman of CCCOG, John Zeiger, introduced Patrick Gerdes from Blue Cell, LLC who was at CCCOG to introduce training for Incident Command System (ICS) for elected officials.

“We haven’t had ICS training in Carbon County for six years and since there are a bunch of newly elected officials, I just thought it was a good opportunity to have a session,” Zeiger said.

Gerdes said ICS was developed in the 1970s following a series of catastrophic fires in California urban areas. ICS is a standardized management tool for meeting the demands of small to large emergency and non-emergency situations. ICS represents best practices and has become the standard for emergency management across the United States. The system may be used for planned events, natural disasters and acts of terrorism.

Gerdes said there are 14 essential ICS features.

ICS uses common terminology to define organizational functions, incident facilities, resource descriptions and position titles.

ICS uses modular organization in a top down fashion based on the size and complexity of the incident, as well as the specifics for hazard environment created by the incident.

There are categories that include: management by objectives, establishing and developing assignments, plans, procedures and protocols. ICS has a reliance on incident action plans (IAP). These plans provide means of communicating the overall incident objectives.

There is a chain of command and unity of command. This principle eliminates confusion caused by multiple or confusing directives. Incident managers at all levels must be able to control actions of all personnel under supervision. This means there is a unified command.

ICS has a manageable span of control. Within ICS, the span of control of any individual with incident management supervisory responsibility should range from three to seven subordinates.

There is predesignated incident locations and facilities. Resource management is important to ICS because it includes processes for categorizing, ordering, dispatching, tracking, and recovering resources. These resources can be defined as personnel, teams, equipment, supplies, and facilities.

ICS has information and intelligence management. It’s important to establish a process for gathering, sharing and managing incident related information. Integrated communications are facilitated through a common communications plan.

ICS features a transfer of command that is clearly established from the beginning of an incident. Effective accountability at all levels during operations is essential.

Deployment should have personnel and equipment when requested by the appropriate authority.

Gerdes said there are five types of incident levels.

Type 5 is the least complex that can be handled by one or two single resources with up to six personnel. The most serious level is Type 1 which requires national resources to safely and effectively manage and operate. Total personnel for those will usually exceed a 1,000.

Gerdes said not to forget the legal and financial ramifications of an incident. He said procedures and authorities for emergency purchasing and contracting should be checked. Ensure all mutual aid agreements have been negotiated and clarify coordination procedures among different levels of governments such as tribes, counties, state or federal.

Gerdes said incident complexity is the combination of involved factors that affect the probability of control of an incident. Many factors determine the complexity of an incident, including, but not limited to area involved, threat to life and property, political sensitivity, organizational complexity, jurisdictional boundaries, values at risk, weather, strategy, and agency policy.

When Gerdes finished his presentation, Zeiger and CCCOG thanked him for his time.

Visitor Center Proposal

Visitor Jay Grabow explained his idea for a visitor center in Rawlins. He said the time was right for Carbon County to make a major long term commitment focused on enhancing pride and sense of community, economic vitality, quality of life and national recognition. Grabow wants to build his center off the Higley Boulevard. He envisions a highway billboard, a visitor center, large turbine, display plaza and other ideas to get travelers to stop.

“What sort of project are we talking about?” Grabow posed the question to CCCOG. “Let your imagination be your guide.”

Wind Tax Talk

Carbon County Economic Development Director Cindy Wallace told CCCOG a wind tax was trying to be introduced again.

“The revenue committee is bringing up the issue on taxing one more time,” Wallace said.

“I am asking CCCOG to send people to the next revenue meeting and tell the committee to leave the wind tax alone and to stop trying to increase it. We need everybody’s support from the communities whether it is a telephone call or a letter.”

She said the danger of trying to tax the wind is wind developers looking at Wyoming will not consider it.

“Please oppose it,” Wallace concluded.

The next scheduled CCCOG meeting will be at 6:30 p.m on July 17 in Dixon.


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