The Kanab City Council had a plethora of items to deal with at its January 24 meeting.

Auditor Steve Palmer, of Hinton Burdick, said in his presentation that the typical question when a city has an audit was, “did we pass?” The answer is yes, and city financials were given an unqualified, clean opinion. Palmer said while there were a few minor accounting issues not in compliance, the city had cleared all recommends from last year.

Net assets after subtracting liabilities, were $14.6 million at the end of the year. Net assets increased by $729,290 – this would include infrastructure, roads, parks, etc. The unassigned general fund balance was $793,449, (please note, that’s not all in cash form.)

“Overall, the general fund is very healthy,” said Palmer.

Councilman Ed Meyer complimented City Manager Duane Huffman and staff for much improved financials.

A public comment period allowed businessman Victor Sandanato (owner of Denny’s Wigwam), to vent his frustration over the change in the Utah Department of Transportation’s plan concerning needed improvements on Center Street. Sandanato had participated in a citizen’s advisory committee, and had given input concerning the road and scheduled work.

A phase project of two years had been reported in the SUN previously. UDOT now plans to put out a bid for a one-year project this year.

Sandanato said he and other businesses weren’t happy. “The phase project had the least impact on the business community.” He encouraged the city council to meet with business owners considering the change of plans.

Kevin Kitchen, UDOT’s public involvement manager for unit four, Richfield, said the project had not gone out to bid yet. He said Sandanto had been involved in this from the business community early on. Kitchen’s explanation for the change was that while the citizen’s advisory group had come up with a phase plan, another review by UDOT staff and engineers came up with another. He said another open house and presentation of all options would happen at a future date.

Julie Rogers was honored as Artist of the Year. “We’re glad you’re ours,” said Mayor Laycook, after reading the award commendation. Bob and Lillian Gurr were also recognized for their contributions to the arts community.

New planning commission members Dave Borup and Dennis Day were announced. They were both given four-year terms. (There were four applications.)

Paula Zutes was approved for a Class B liquor beer license for a restaurant establishment. Kanab Police Chief Tom Cram spoke on her behalf, saying there were no concerns.

A public hearing was held concerning application for Community Impact Board (CIB) funds for a storm drain beginning on 300 South. Huffman explained that the board decided on funding projects using mineral lease monies. Total cost of the project is $359,000. How to pay for it? Huffman suggested $100,000 in grants, $200,000 in loans, and the rest from the city.

Audience question – “Do we have alternate ways of addressing the funding if this falls through,” questioned Kanab resident Jim Walls. Huffman answered yes and explained how.

The second CIB funding request was for a feasibility study for a new Senior Center. Huffman said the need was certainly there – the current building is very small and it used to be a water cistern...and now it leaks! They hope to seek site location and funding options in the first phase of the feasibility study.

The city council approved a contract with Kane County for attorney services. “By all accounts, the service has been excellent,” said Huffman. This will not be an hourly contract, but rather a flat fee of $50,000 per year paid quarterly.

Building permits were then discussed.