Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for April 18, 2012
Commission discusses proposed Monument on the Arizona Strip
There was a discussion and update on the proposed 1.7 million acres to be made a new monument by use of the Antiquities Act. Like the GSENM, no public meetings are required. The proposal covers everything north of the Grand Canyon to the state line. It will be more restrictive than the GSENM because no grazing is included, and it will affect current uranium mining.
Those who favor the proposal say it will have an economic benefit to the area with tourism. Commissioner Clayson reported there is a citizen initiative for an executive order and that the study used faulty information regarding economic benefits.
Local counties that would have a negative economic impact by another monument are: Kane, Garfield, Washington and San Juan Coounties in Utah; and Coconino and Mohave Counties in Arizona. The Arizona Strip is historically, culturally and economically tied to Utah.
Commissioner Heaton commented “We have been branded by the environmental movement as not caring about the environment.”
Recently, western counties have organized an American Lands Council with a goal of using education and correct science. They want this new organization to go nationwide.
The organizers hope counties will put pressure on their state legislatures to attack the systemic problem of federal government held hostage by the environmental community that is emotion-driven and not science-driven. They want education to be the “arm.” They need a plan to carry information to the public. The environmental community has a lot more money to fight than local governments.
Commissioner Jim Matson said there is a difference between environmental agencies and environmental financial agencies. “We need to be aware of candidate’s platforms on land issues.”
In other county business, the commission voted to execute the Water System Operating Agreement in Big Water. Deputy Attorney Van Dyke said it is a good way to start the process as a transition of services from the Glen Canyon Special Service District to Big Water.
Ordinance 2012-2 on the Chamberlain Ranch vacation of the amended plot was approved. They need an ordinance to record.
The commission approved the annual Victims of Crime Act grant application for $21,669.
There was no vote taken on releasing the $72,000 retaining fee for Canyon Lands Development. The deadline is near and the release will be contingent on bringing roads to standard for the final inspection.
The County Road Department is feeling pressure with the Sand Dunes Gravel Haul Project. According to Bert Harris, the problem is time, because other projects are getting behind. Harris said they could use help with the hauling. The area discussed is a four-mile stretch south of the Sand Dunes Park.
The Kodachrome project is near and will require ‘in kind’ work. Commissioner Heaton said, “I don’t think the county should go into deficit spending.” Heaton recommended that the county start prioritizing roads.
The time was extended one hour for the Johnson Canyon Road closing for the July 28 Half Marathon. It is now 6-10 a.m.
Several property deferral cases were discussed regarding requests to be removed from the tax sale. The commission denied a request to remove back taxes, interest and penalties. Two were removed from the tax sale with payment deadlines set. The commissioners warned “buyer beware” to those bidding on tax sale properties.
The Cell Phone Policy approved last month was withdrawn because the form was too complicated. The county still pays per diems for county business on personal cell phone use, and it is covered in the budget.