Around the same time that U.S. Senator Mitt Romney touted his approval that energy disbursements to the state of Utah were up again this year, Uintah County found that its piece of the pie has all but disappeared. During the October 21st Uintah County Commission meeting, the Commission approved the creation of a temporary budget officer whose job will be to help the county make a plan for managing the budgets of 6 Special Service Districts, whose budgets rely on mineral lease funds. Commissioner Bill Stringer explained during the meeting the seriousness of the drop in funding. “We have known for some time that we have a problem with our mineral lease money and…we got our mineral lease distribution last week,” explained Stringer. “[We had] a grand total for the month of $10,400 dollars [when we] should be getting closer to $1 million dollars.” Stringer checked the state numbers from last month to this month and it showed that the state went down overall by about $1.4 million dollars and almost all of that difference came out of Uintah County’s disbursement. While they are hopeful the disbursement will rebound next month they have no way of knowing by how much and where that will
leave the budgets of the Special Service Districts. Stringer emphasized that there are all kinds of options the county has moving forward. In accordance with Utah Code, the Commission will appoint a temporary budget officer as numbers are put together and options explored. In Commissioner Stringer’s words, Uintah County just “needs a solid plan” and that’s what they aim to accomplish.