Southern Utah News Articles
Kane County Commission tackles more road issues
The Kane County Commissioners were updated on the condition of Alton Road that had been resurfaced last year. The road was showing alarming signs of degradation so soon after the asphalt resurfacing. It had been noted by Kerry Monroe that water has been seen percolating up from the road base, as well as seeping through the asphalt surface. A larger aggregate stone was used in the asphalt mix because of the heavy coal trucks using the road. This may be part of the porosity problem.
Commissioner Dirk Clayson summed it up saying, “The thickness of the asphalt, porosity and moisture are all contributing to the potential failure of the road surface.”
Commissioner Doug Heaton added, “We need to seal the asphalt and will have to explore our options on this issue.”
Clayson reported the Utah state legislature has added $4.1 million to state prison funding, plus an additional $1 million for inflation. Funding for new programs added another $430,000. This means the Kane County Correctional Facility will be funded at $47.85/bed/day, plus $1.56 per bed additionally for inflation over the year.
Clayson said the facility was designed to accommodate three 200 bed pods and anticipates the second pod being built in the next two to six years as the need escalates for prison beds, which is largely dependent on the disposition of the Point of the Mountain prison facility. Regardless, the commissioners felt the Kane County facility’s funding was secure and it was a well run and good investment for the county.
Kane County Clerk/Auditor Karla Johnson was given a standing ovation by the commission for Kane County’s successful 2013 audit by Kimbal and Roberts, an independent auditing firm.
The county’s ongoing struggles with Federal agencies and road closures – presently the Forest Service on Dixie National Forest – raised the commissioner’s hackles.
Specifically, Robinson Canyon Road and Meadow Canyon Road were identified as roads the Forest Service wishes to take off their management plan, thereby curtailing road maintenance operations. “The Forest Service just wants to reinforce their agenda of closing dead end roads – those that don’t connect two paved roads – but these roads are what allows people to get back into the forest,” said Commissioner Clayson.
The commission will consider initiating legal action to challenge these restrictions, if other satisfactory resolutions cannot be found, especially in regard to Meadow Canyon Road.
Karla Johnson presented a draft formulating a heretofore non-existent written policy on the use of Kane County issued credit cards. “We need a written policy to refer to specify when and how these cards should be used and what procedures need to be followed when these cards are accidentally used for personal purchases or are used inappropriately for county-related expenses,” said Johnson.
As her policy points were read, many questions and disagreements were being voiced between commissioners, department heads, and Deputy County Attorney Rob Van Dyke. Should department heads have the same responsibility as elected officials in overseeing the use of these cards by staff members? What is the payback procedure when a card is used for a personal transaction? Is it prudent to use a card for expediency, rather than obtaining a purchase order? Who should be checking credit card expenditures?
As these questions were debated, it was apparent that formulating a written credit card policy was more complicated then anticipated and the commissioners thought it best to take it up in an upcoming work meeting before rendering it as written policy.
The commission voted to vacate an easement in the Vermilion Cliffs subdivision south of Hwy 89 and divide the parcel between lots 56 and 57, the neighboring properties.