Kanab’s Coral Cliffs Golf Course viability brought course homeowners and local golfers to the Kanab City Council meeting in numbers requiring the December 9 meeting be moved to the circuit court chambers.

The course homeowners were concerned over the prospect of the course shutting down next year if the course owners, headed up by local resident Mike Schollian, don’t receive a favorable water arrangement from the city. 

The city sold the golf course to Schollian’s partnership several years ago and agreed to provide costly water as part of the deal for a period of time.  The course has not generated much play over the past few years and is not profitable, although it is considered by most to be an asset to the city.

Council member Kirt Carpenter told the audience it costs the city $60-80,000 a year in water use, plus dedicating one pump house to watering the course. “Where, exactly, are the agreements the city made with Schollian, and what accounting of the amount used do we have and why is a lot of this water seen running down the street?”

Schollian, who was not present, had, perhaps jokingly, offered to lease the golf course to the city for $1 per year.  Mayor Robert Houston stated, “We anticipate Mr. Schollian making a proposal for us to consider on the water issue very shortly.”

Discussion ensued regarding the inter-local financial agreement between Kane County’s Recreation and Transportation Special Service District and Kanab City to bring in federal funding to build a new airport terminal building. The city council favored this agreement, which is said to generate $500,000, of which half that amount is already committed.

Carpenter summed it up saying, “This represents a cooperative effort between the city and county to bring in money from elsewhere to build something worthwhile here.”

Sunrise Engineering, represented by Tom Avant, was awarded the contract for the Tom’s Canyon flood control project. The local firm has done most of the preliminary work on this project and Mayor Houston and Kanab City Manager Joe Decker favored writing out a procurement exemption to allow this.

Normally, three bids are required in projects costing over $125,000, but if a municipality decides they have the right player for their game, they can include wording in their agreement under Utah code citing the award was made without competition.

Council member Kent Burggraaf felt uncomfortable about the decision and abstained from the vote.

The council debated a request by Rich Csenge, founder and director of the Amazing Earthfest event held in May the past eight years, for a $3000 contribution for next year’s affair.     

Before debating, the council heard from Tom Daniel, who views Csenge as a voice exposing global warming, which Daniel feels is hogwash.  “I don’t believe in global warming and don’t think any money should be given to anyone who believes it is,” Daniel stated.

Mayor Houston followed saying, “We’re not making this a political debate.” The council’s debate had nothing to do with Daniel’s assertion, focusing only on the amount to be contributed.

Burggraaf said it was a good festival, but “I think $500-$1000 is enough.”

Brent Chamberlain countered by saying, “This week-long event generates a lot of tax revenue that should go toward supporting this event that benefits the community. I think $3000 is appropriate.”

Joe B. Wright also favored a $3000 donation and wondered if it could be taken from the recreation fund, rather than the general fund.

Carpenter feels the city should set up an economic development budget from which the council would decide yearly which events should receive a city contribution. “Until that is accomplished, I don’t support giving out any money,” he voiced.

Cheryl Brown presented a compromise after Chamberlain’s motion for a $3000 chip in failed. “Couldn’t we contribute $2000?” she opined.

This motion passed 3-2, with Burggraaf and Carpenter voting nay.

The council voted to reappoint Byard Kershaw and Teresa Trujillo to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Dave Borup’s departure leaves an opening on the commission that Mayor Houston said, “I’ll fill with someone that shares my vision for Kanab.”