Southern Utah News Articles
Salazar's decision impacts Kane/Fredonia economically
Commissioner Dirk Clayson updated the commission on Secretary Salazar’s Department of the Interior announcement on banning future claims for uranium mining for 20 years on the Arizona Strip. Clayson explained that an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) costing $2 million had given a “clean bill of health” and that Kane County, along with other counties impacted, had been one of the cooperating agencies, which all spoke in favor of continued mining. Clayson wondered why spend the money for an EIS when it was ignored by the Department of Interior. The economic impact for Kane County and Fredonia is 150 jobs. The existing claims have a short life span of three to four years.
Deputy Tracy Glover updated the Kane County Commission on the new Public Safety Facility at their regular meeting January 23. As of this writing, they have 113 inmates. Kane County is on the cutting edge developing programming for inmates (types of therapy). The state is paying $48 per day for each state inmate. According to the formula, which is 70 percent of their rates, Kane should be receiving $54 per day. The state cost is $78 per day. It comes down to the ‘condition of probation’ funding. The commissioners and Sheriff will unite with other rural counties and meet with legislators. Hopefully, this will be resolved by the State Legislature. The commission also voted to hire Mike Swenson to help lobby for this cause at a cost not to exceed $3,500.
The commission approved executing a contract with Kanab City for prosecution of city offenses by the county attorney for $50,000.
The commissioners reviewed the various county boards, how many members each has and how many terms have expired. They have been advertising openings so they can fill those available positions.
Craig Hansen, Care and Share, and Fayann Christensen, Senior Services, updated the commissioners on services they have. There is a need for additional help and services in the Big Water/Church Wells area. They agreed to check on available resources and see how the eastern part of Kane County can be helped.
Friday, January 27, was designated a Day of Remembrance for DownWinders. Kane County joined with the Utah Legislature and U. S. Congress.
The commission approved an easement with Garkane Energy for running power lines. The discussion was how deep and where the easement would be. The county road crew does not want in the barrow pits because the maintenance crew has run into problems with snow removal, digging and cleaning out culverts, etc. Commissioner Doug Heaton said that if the cable is four feet deep, problems are rare. When the county does damage their cables, they are only down about 18 inches. The motion was to authorize moving forward to install power lines 24 inches from the edge of the road surface into the road and four feet down. This is specifically for Zion View on Cedar Mountain and the road involved is an unsurfaced road.
A separate issue for roads is in the Movie Ranch Subdivision. Garkane wants to remove the power poles in the road and bury the lines. An analysis is needed because this easement crosses waterways and culverts. The commission voted to allow execution of grant of easement to Garkane in Movie Ranch Subdivision with a location accepted by Bert Harris and Lou Pratt, County Roads Department. Power lines will be four feet below the lowest disturbed surface.
The commission approved the deed of conveyance and voted to execute a quit claim deed to Southwest Public Health for the new Public Health Building in Kanab.
After some discussion, the commission voted to accept the recommendation of the Planning Commission for the Chamberlain Ranch Conservation Easement. Now there are two agriculture protection zones in Kane County. Commissioner Heaton wants to review how the government can assume responsibility for private property, when the county theoretically has eminent domain. “We are selling our birthright.” He opposes using federal tax money for this purpose. Federal Conservation areas is the decision of the private property owner.
Although not a zone, Commissioner Clayson requested both protection areas be on the county map as a designation for agriculture. Agriculture protection areas for zone overlay and designation of conservation areas - they are not a zone.
The commission adopted the Job Description Point Matric Systems. This two-year study determines salary grade and job description for county employees. The commission included in the motion that this be reviewed every odd year. This system was designed by Mike Swallow, to be implemented for all new jobs to determine pay grade. The results will be implemented as budgets allow. Commissioner Jim Matson was pleased that this defines the process, but not the outcome.