Duchesne County (Utah). County Commission Minutes
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These records are housed in the Utah State Archives' permanent storage room.
Scope and Content
These minute books record the actions of the county commission, the governing body of the county. The commission was authorized to manage all county business and property. This includes budgeting, equipment purchasing, and auditing; use of county lands; districting for schools, roads, voting, drainage, etc.; taxing, specifically acting as an ex-officio board of equalization; business licensing; arranging for the construction of roads, public buildings, etc.; contracting for services; supervising the conduct and payment of all county personnel; providing for basic health care, public safety, and care of the indigent; canvassing election returns and appointing certain officials; incorporating municipalities; and by the 1960s, zoning and planning. All these activities are noted in the minutes. The day's entries are prefaced by the date, names of those present, and where and when they met.
The first meeting of the county commission was held 7 December 1914 in anticipation of Duchesne officially becoming a county on 4 January 1915. The county clerk served as the clerk of the board, recording the minutes.
The commission was authorized to manage all county business and county property. This included auditing all claims against the county and payments by the treasurer. Bids received, and bills and wages paid in conjunction with the activities are noted. The fiscal stability of the county is regularly discussed at the meetings. The commission levied property taxes for county purposes and could call for bond elections. The members served as a board of equalization for county property assessments, with the ability to refund taxes erroneously collected and abate taxes for indigents. Tax abatements and quit claim deeds are particularly common from the 1920s into the 1950s.
Responsibilities noted in the minutes include supervision of the conduct of all county, district and precinct officials, boards, and agencies. All personnel actions are recorded, by individual name, for county employees from janitor to sheriff. Such actions include appointments, hourly or salaried wage increases, requests for car allowances or to use county vehicles, requests for funds to attend conferences, and resignations. Requisition and bid proposals are similarly detailed covering everything from a single typewriter to oil and road base for major road department construction. Both personnel allotments and departmental purchases form part of audits and annual budgets, although these are just a dollar value per category/department.
The commission created election precincts. Commissioners served as canvassers of elections also appointing election officers, setting the boundaries of voting districts, and assigning polling places. The commission also created road districts, school districts, and sanitary districts and appointed superintendents of such districts. Laying out roads and providing for their maintenance was a major activity noted throughout the minutes. The commission was also responsible for any litigation involving the county. Litigation frequently involved conflicts of jurisdiction with the neighboring Indian reservation.
The commissioners provide for the destruction of certain wild animals, birds, noxious weeds, and injurious insects. Ridding the county of noxious weeds and rodents is a common topic in the minutes. The commission was responsible for public health and safety. The county physician regularly made reports to the commission in the early decades. Programs for water, sewer, waste treatment, and landfills were undertaken in the 1970s. Discussions of provisions for public health nurses and emergency medical treatment provisions are common in the 1970s and 1980s. Services are also begun then for alcoholism treatment, mental health, and programs for the aging. Many services were run cooperatively with other counties or the state.
The commission also made provision for recreation in the county. In the 1960s, the commission began attempts to bring TV to the county, and entries regarding television reception appear regularly thereafter. By the 1970s there were regular discussions on parks, golf courses, and baseball diamonds as well as the more traditional county fair.
The legislature mandated that business licenses be obtained from the county commission for operation in unincorporated county areas; most applications were for liquor licenses. Where the county had a more direct interest, more detailed information is recorded, as in the cases of county leases of property or services, and cooperative agreements made with other governmental agencies or private corporations. Oil and gas leases to private corporations are frequent in the 1950s and appear intermittently thereafter. Cooperative agreements-particularly with adjacent counties, the state, or the U.S. forest service-are frequent by the late 1970s.
A major addition to commission functions was made in 1941 when the commission was empowered to provide for the development and zoning of unincorporated areas of the county and to appoint a planning commission. Entries regarding the zoning of subdivisions begin by the 1960s and become more frequent in the 1970s and 1980s.
Chronological by date of meeting.
This series is classified as Public.
Cite the Utah State Archives and Records Service, the creating agency name, the series title, and the series number.
The Duchesne County Clerk as secretary for the Duchesne County Commission should be contacted for current holdings. Filming was begun in 1992. The series was processed by A.C. Cone in June 1995.
Indexes: Volumes 5 and 6 have partial indexes at the beginning of each volume. The indexes are alphabetical by topic, covering from January 7, 1963 thru January 6, 1982.
- Highway planning—Utah—Duchesne County.
- Tax collection—Duchesne County (Utah).
- Sewage disposal—Utah—Duchesne County.
- County budgets—Utah—Duchesne County.
- County government—Duchesne County (Utah).
- Refuse and refuse disposal—Utah—Duchesne County.
- Duchesne County (Utah)—Politics and government.
|1||Volume 1; 1914 Dec 07 - 1921 Jun 20|
|1||Volume 2; 1921 Jul 05 - 1936 Dec 18|
|2||Volume 3; 1937 Jan 05 - 1950 Dec 29|
|3||Volume 4; 1951 Jan 01 - 1962 Dec 18|
|3||Volume 5; 1963 Jan 07 - 1975 Jan 14|
|4||Volume 6; 1975 Jan 21 - 1982 Jan 06|
|4||Volume 7; 1982 Jan 12 - 1988 Jan 05|
|5||Volume 8; 1988 Jan 12 - 1989 Apr 18|