Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for December 5, 2013
County Extra Mile Awards given to Habbeshaw and road crew
Kane County’s inaugural Extra Mile Award was presented to former County Commissioner Mark Habeshaw for his work with roads. With his efforts leading the way, Kane County has had several high court rulings in favor of the county. Habbeshaw thanked the commission and reminded everyone it has been a team effort, and when you feel committed, “it is appropriate to challenge.”
Commissioner Dirk Clayson stated that currently 22 out of 29 Utah counties are using the same procedures initiated by Kane County and the work of Mark Habbeshaw.
The Kane County road crew received the other Extra Mile Award. Clayson said 2013 has been an incredible year with storms, floods and extreme conditions. “We have limited resources and equipment. Our crew has done an excellent job. They maintain close to 1,000 roads in Kane County.”
Bert Harris, Roads Supervisor, said he appreciates his crew and the work they do. Members of are the road crew are: Bert Harris, Dallas Hoyt, Wade Wilkey, Martin Hepworth, Doug Cox, Jonny Roundy and Carl Gurr.
Kane County Assessor Linda Little was awarded Assessor of the Year by the Utah Association of Counties. The commissioners congratulated her.
The commission approved an MOU with Best Friends. The agreement allows in case of an emergency, the fairgrounds and Kaneplex can be used to hold animals. The agreement does not allow sick animals or quarantined animals. However, if an emergency affected the county, then the county is allowed to say no. The agreement is for 30 days with renewable options.
The 2014 tentative $8,128,015 budget was adopted, along with the 2014 meeting schedule.
The commission appointed Karla Johnson as the Kane County Representative for the Utah Counties Indemnity Pool (UCIP) annual membership meeting. Commissioner Jim Matson will serve as an alternate.
The Kane County Insurance Committee updated the commission on renewal rates and proposed changes for 2014. Insurance broker Mike Sharp was on a conference call. Chairman Dave Owens said funded by the dental reserve, coverage could be increased from $1,500 to $2,000 per member. With prescriptions, by changing the company and paying a $6,000 administrative fee, they will still net a 3 to 5% savings. The health insurance coverage will remain the same, and no longer require pre-authorization for MRI, often requiring two trips out of town.
Although with Affordable Health Care, or Obamacare, they are projecting a 14 per cent increase. The commissioners approved the County Health Care program for 2014.
Palomar Estates was approved as a Rural Unimproved Subdivision. There had been a question on access, but that was resolved.
Lou Pratt, GIS/Transportation, and Bert Harris, Roads Supervisor, updated the commission on the onsite meeting for roads in the Vermillion Estates. Committee recommendations are: fix potholes now, which Harris said the county would take care of. The engineer is preparing proposals for various options and locations for a retention pond. Another option discussed was increase the size of some box culverts in Vista Ave. Landowners’ permission would be necessary because of the narrow right of way. The last option was replace inoperative culverts. Because they will need to “blue stake” the area for utilities, Harris is worried about the cost to the county. Another worry is how to clean out the ditches with only a three-foot right of way
The commission adopted Ordinance 2013-11, amending Chapter 21, which increases minimum acreage from five to 10 acres. The change does not affect current applications in progress. The vote was Matson and Clayson aye, and Commissioner Heaton absent. He was excused, as he was attending another meeting.
During the Citizen Input section, Charlie Saba read a letter to the commissioners regarding the Rural Unimproved Subdivision. He asked, “What is the intent of the ordinance? Please rewrite the ordinance so it addresses previous illegal subdividing.”
Mary Craven agreed saying, “I don’t think it is up to the county to change an ordinance when the landowner wants to divide his land for his kids.”
Debbie Dommer, who owns the land adjacent, said she was never notified and “If there is a proposed change it is appropriate to be notified.”
Commissioner Clayson answered, the intent had been to help families. They found for a variety of reasons, infrastructure issues being one, that five acres was not suitable, and he agreed 10 acres is better in rural subdivisions. The commission agreed on the importance of notification, which is now in the Ordinance for Rural Subdivisions.