Washington County of Utah

State of the County- Part 3 of 6

With our residents at the top of mind, the Washington County Commission is committed to finding ways to cut costs and maintain our status as “the lowest tax rate in the state”.

As we know, Washington County is an attractive location for tourism. Thanks to the positive economic impact of our visitors to our beautiful county, this lowers our resident’s taxes each year.

Watch this video as Commissioner Snow, Iverson, and Almquist talk to us about the positive impacts that are made by our community sales tax and tourism revenue.

Washington County Sheriff logo

The Passing of Former Washington County Sheriff Cory Pulsipher

It is with deep sadness that we share the news that our beloved former Washington County Sheriff, Cory Pulsipher, has passed away after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.

Sheriff Pulsipher retired from his post last December after 35+ years in Washington County law enforcement. His love for the people of Washington County and his efforts to serve and protect them was unparalleled. Our sincere condolences go out to his family.

In this video, we honor the years of service Cory gave to our county and the positive impact he made on numerous individuals in our community.

Vote by Mail, Register Online by June 19, vote.utah.gov

Rep. Travis Seegmiller to Resign from Utah House of Representatives

This morning, Rep. Travis Seegmiller notified Speaker Brad Wilson of his intent to resign from the Utah House of Representatives, effective July 1, 2022. Rep. Seegmiller and his family plan to move outside the boundaries of his current district, requiring the representative to forgo his elected position and withdraw from his current election.

“I appreciate Rep. Seegmiller’s service and accept his resignation,” said Speaker Wilson. “I wish Rep. Seegmiller and his family well in their future plans and endeavors.”

Rep. Seegmiller has represented House District 62 in Washington County since his appointment to the Utah House of Representatives in February 2018. The Washington County Republican Party will hold a special election to fill House District 62’s vacancy in the coming months.

How has Washington County maintained one of the lowest tax rates in Utah state?

How has Washington County maintained one of the lowest tax rates in Utah state?

The Commissioner’s commitment to low taxes is of high importance and they are continuously reevaluating budgets and expenditures to support that.

As a legislative body, the commissioners work with other elected officials and department heads through the budgeting process to find ways to keep a conservative balanced budget.

Watch this video as Commissioner Snow, Iverson, and Almquist describe the steps they took and continue to take to keep Washington County at one of the lowest tax rates in the entire state of Utah.

Great Utah Shakeout logo

Washington County Emergency Operations Center Practices Earthquake Response for The Great Utah ShakeOut

90% of Utah’s population lives in Active Earthquake Zones. The Great Utah ShakeOut is our chance to practice together how to protect ourselves, and for everyone to become prepared. The goal is to save lives and prevent disasters from becoming catastrophes. In order to act quickly, you must practice what to do – ShakeOut is that opportunity.

As part of the Great Utah Shakeout, Washington County activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The EOC is the hub for information management, decision making, and resource support and allocation during an emergency response. Partnering with different agencies within the community, the EOC serves as a one-stop-shop to help Incident Commanders coordinate disaster relief efforts.

At 10:00 am, 21 April 2022, the Washington County EOC activated with participants from the county EOC office, the Washington County GIS department, the finance department, the Sheriff’s Office, the Washington County Public Works Department, the Washington County Assessor’s Office, the Civil Air Patrol, the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, and other community volunteers.  As part of the activation, the EOC practiced logging onto the WebEOC portal, walked through communicating with each other, practiced making requests, evaluated the finance approval process, created maps, and the ARES group reached out on the Ham radios and other communication tools.

In an actual earthquake, you may only have seconds to protect yourself before strong shaking knocks you down, or something falls on you. It is critical to practice “quake-safe” beforehand? When the adrenaline kicks in, you may not act safely if you haven’t practiced the Drop, Cover, Hold On drill before that moment. Don’t wait until the shaking. Check out the Great Utah Shakeout website for additional information https://www.shakeout.org/utah/resources/.

The goal of the EOC is to support incident commanders in the field and promote community preparedness.  Whether it be: earthquakes, floods, fires, or whatever else might happen, regular practice and training will make all the difference in responding efficiently.  Washington County is actively working to make this a great place to live, even when things go bad.  In a real emergency, connect with us on Facebook at Washcosafety for all the latest information and guidance.

Childrens Justice Center logo

Intermountain Healthcare Provides Land to Washington County Children’s Justice Center Expansion Project

The Friends of the Washington County Children’s Justice Center and Intermountain Healthcare today announced an agreement designed to strengthen access to trauma-informed services for children who have been victims of abuse and other crimes.

“Improving access to behavioral healthcare for children in Washington County is directly aligned with Intermountain’s ‘Primary Promise’ to build the model health system for children,” said Mikelle Moore, chief community health officer. “We are grateful to the Children’s Justice Center for converting this empty lot into a place of healing and look forward to continuing to provide services for the CJC’s patients.”

Under terms of the agreement, Intermountain will provide a charitable land lease on 1.22 acres of land immediately adjacent to the current Children’s Justice Center. The Center will use the land to expand its current campus and provide space dedicated to the physical and mental health of children who have endured the trauma of physical or sexual abuse or other types of crimes.

A History of Collaboration

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Intermountain on this ambitious project,” said Christina Harris, chair of the Friends of the Washington County Children’s Justice Center. “Intermountain has long been a strong supporter of Children’s Justice Centers across the state, including here. We are constantly in awe of the generosity of our community as the Center works to fulfill its mission of collaborating with multidisciplinary partners to protect each child, advance justice, promote healing, and educate our community.”

The new facility will be the home for the Children’s Justice Center’s mental health therapy program as well as the local Intermountain Safe and Healthy Families pediatric abuse medical team. “The Children’s Justice Center and Intermountain have a long history of collaboration,” pointed out Washington County Commissioner Gil Almquist. The first Washington County Children’s Justice Center opened in 1997 in a small home donated by what was then Intermountain Dixie Regional Medical Center. From there, the Children’s Justice Center moved to its current location on 500 East in St. George on land also donated by Intermountain. Medical services are provided by Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital employees.

“We are appreciative of the great collaboration between Intermountain, Washington County, the City of St. George, the state of Utah, Children’s Justice Center staff, and private partners to quietly care for the most vulnerable in our community – our children,” he continued.

In keeping with the homelike environment of the current Children’s Justice Center, the expansion will be designed to fit in with its downtown residential neighbors. “Our primary value here is safety,” said Kristy Pike, Washington County Children’s Justice Center director. “We depend on this neighborhood to help us help kids feel safe, and are committed to being the best neighbor on the block.”

Living the Healthiest Lives Possible

“Adverse childhood experiences like abuse have been shown to increase risk factors for nine of the ten of the leading causes of death in Utah, including things you would expect, like suicide, and things you may not expect, like cancer and Alzheimer’s,” said Mitchell Cloward, Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital administrator. “The services provided by the Children’s Justice Center are designed to buffer those effects and help children grow to live the healthiest lives possible.”

Intermountain Healthcare’s Healthy Kids initiative also includes proactive efforts to address adverse childhood experiences. This work includes early interventions with pediatricians, schools, and community groups to help screen children for signs of serious stress, connect them to treatment, and help them thrive.

Healthy Kids is part of Intermountain’s “Primary Promise” to invest $500 million to create the nation’s model health system for children. The investment will be shared by Intermountain Healthcare and community philanthropic support through Intermountain Foundation’s emerging campaign.

The Friends of the Washington County Children’s Justice Center is a qualified 501(c)(3) with a mission of supporting the work of the Washington County Children’s Justice Center. Services of the Center include forensic interviews, victim advocacy, and medical and mental health services for children who have been victims or witnesses of abuse or other crimes. In 2021 the Center served 401 primary victims and their non-offending families. The most common allegation for the kids seen at the Center was child sexual abuse/assault.

The Washington County Children’s Justice Center is accredited by the National Children’s Alliance, and is a public/private partnership funded in-part by the Utah Attorney General’s Office, Washington County, The Utah Office for Victims of Crime under the Office for Victims of Crime Department of Justice, the Friends of the Washington County Children’s Justice Center, and by private donations. For more information or to donate, visit www.cjcwc.com.

About Intermountain Healthcare

Located in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada, Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit system of 25 hospitals, 225 clinics, the Intermountain Medical Group with some 2,700 employed physicians and advanced care practitioners, a health plans division called SelectHealth, Homecare, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes and sustainable costs.

Questions or Comments

Kristy Pike
435-632-9598
kristy.pike@washco.utah.gov

Public Scoping Comment Period for I-15 Widening from Exit 6 to Exit 8 & Exit 7

I-15; Widening from Exit 6 to Exit 8 & Exit 7
We want your input! The 30-day public scoping comment period for UDOT‘s Environmental Assessment to evaluate a potential new interchange at I-15 and 700 South is open now through May 17!

Public input is one of the considerations UDOT takes into account during the decision-making process. Let our study team know what transportation, environmental, and community issues we should consider as part of the study.

  • Submit a comment at our In-Person Public Scoping Meeting on May 4 from 4-6 p.m. at Atwood Innovation Plaza at DSU (453 South 600 East in St. George)
  • Submit a comment on the study website: udot.utah.gov/go/I15StGeorge
  • Send an email to I15StGeorge@utah.gov
  • Mail a comment to:
I-15 Study Team
6605 S. Redwood Road, #200,
Salt Lake City, UT 84123

Visit udot.utah.gov/go/I15StGeorge for more information about the study and details about the public scoping meetings on May 3 (online) and May 4 (in-person).