Southern Utah News Articles
County adopts state certified property tax rate
The State Certified Tax Rates were adopted by the Kane County Commission with Resolution 2013-15 at the June 24 commission meeting. Property taxes will be the same – assuming there is no increase in property value. It will amount to less change than in the past six years. Commissioner Doug Heaton complimented Commissioners Dirk Clayson and Jim Matson, along with Karla Johnson as “geniuses at debt reduction for the county.”
County Fire Marshal Earl Levanger updated the commission on the current countywide wild fire situation. “It is drier than it was this time last year. People are more aware of fire danger because of the Shingle Fire, which cause is still officially undetermined.”
Levanger reported the BLM and Forest Service are more active checking for fires.
Levanger was asked if there is anything more the county should be doing to be ready in case of a fire? He suggested replacing the small dozer with a larger one, working with property owners and adding wildland fire information on the county website. The commissioners were happy to hear the county is staying on top and being pro-active.
Clerk/Auditor Karla Johnson reported the last legislated PILT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) payment has been received. Carry Reese, Business Manager for the Kane School District, was also present. The county and school district share the PILT monies equally. The county has a lobbying effort and the school district has a lobbying effort in Washington for PILT funds. There is fear this will be the last year for PILT funding, which amounts to a third of the county budget. Commissioner Clayson asked if there could be a better connection between the school district and the county regarding lobbying in D.C. Reese agreed, will check and report back. Reese concluded with thanks to Karla Johnson for how well the county works with the school district.
Commissioner Heaton commented, “loss of revenues in the future is a certainty and that is why transfer of public lands to states is the answer.” Heaton compared Utah’s economy to that of North Dakota. The difference is Utah has resources it cannot use – that is why PILT money is so important. North Dakota has control of its resources and their economy is better. PILT is a cheap ‘rent’ for the use of lands. In Kane County, PILT funds are based on population, not on the amount of land.
Adopting the Kane County General Plan was tabled. It will be ready for the July 1 meeting.
The commission voted to separate the Resource Management Plan and the General Plan. The Resource Committee will be responsible to develop a Management Plan.
Glen Ames, State Courts, updated the commission on Senate Bill 218, which establishes Receiving Centers for the Juvenile Courts. They are for juveniles who could use help, but have not reached the status of delinquent. The bill passed and mandates receiving centers, but did not provide funding. Ames asked the commission to consider help with funding in the next budget cycle to maintain the program. The commissioners said the county doesn’t have any money for this. It is a state program and the state should fund it.
Karen Alvey, representing business, and Larry Crutchfield, representing public lands, were appointed to the Kane County Travel Council. A special thanks was given to Grant Ramsay for his years of service on the Travel Council.
The commissioners approved a zone change from C-1 to C-2 east of town. Although in a platted subdivision, it is on the edge and the only three-acre lot – the others are one acre. Citizens Charlie Saba and Greg Metcalf were supportive of C-1, but opposed the change. Commissioner Heaton said zoning is created to protect interests of people nearby. Ray Wells, the owner, explained why he requested the change. He has the acreage, and there are two businesses down the street and already next to a substation. Commissioner Clayson said he can see arguments on both sides of the proposed change. He respects the time and study invested by the planning commission and their recommendation for the change. Commissioner Matson added, “Let’s facilitate what the landowner wants. The property is next to a substation.”
During citizen input, Robert Allen asked a question on roads regarding the Clarkson project next to Deer Springs. The answer was, it doesn’t affect access from county designated roads. The county will doublecheck. Allen thanked the commission for investigating.