r By Mike Stansfield
PROVO – Despite some disagreements over the past year on several issues, one thing that Utah County Commissioners could agree on was that the state of Utah County is excellent and is one of the best places in the country to establish a business, live, work and raise a family.rCommission Board Chairman Larry Ellertson pointed out that Utah County’s economy has been No. 1 in the state for the past three years and promised to continue that trend. He pointed out that the county has an active economic development effort going on in the county with “22 entities looking at Utah County with the possibility of locating their business here.”rAll aspects of the county experienced growth this past year including business, housing, and employment with major indicators showing that pattern of growth expected to continue in 2016.rTransportation will continue to be a top priority according to both Commissioner Bill Lee and Ellertson. “If people can’t get around, they won’t locate here,” Ellertson said. In addition, the commissioners will work on such diverse issues as improving Utah Lake, Bridal Veil Falls, area hiking trails and the development of an agricultural sustainability plan.rCommissioner Greg Graves thanked those in the departments he oversees for all the work they do. “It’s been an extreme honor to serve with these people and serve this county,” Graves said.rIn addition to their reports on the State of the County, commissioners honored Dr. Joseph Miner with the Commissioners Medal of Honor and Mountain Country Foods as Utah County Business of the Year.rDr. Joseph Miner who received the Commissioners Medal of Honor served as director of the Utah County Health Department for 32 years. Earlier this summer Governor Gary Herbert named him executive director of the Utah State Health Department. Dr. Miner earned a bachelor’s degree from BYU in 1971, a medical degree from the University of Utah School of Medicine in 1974, and a master’s in public health from the University of Utah in 1983.rThe Business of the Year Award was presented to Mountain Country Food owners Doug and Carol Ford. The business, located in Spanish Fork, was founded in 1974 by Doug Ford. It has been a family owned and operated company for over 39 years. Starting out as a very small jerky (for human consumption) manufacturer it is now one of the largest pet treat manufacturers in the United StatesrA list of the Board of Commissioners’ 2016 goals and 2015 county department reports can be found at utahcounty.gov. View the State of the County Video.