Southern Utah News Articles
Show me the money
On a short list of agenda items that lasted a long time, the Kanab City Council reviewed the Kanab city budget for 2015-2016 at the April 28 city council meeting. When totaled, revenues are expected to exceed expenses by $422,000 and that combined with 2015’s beginning balance of 621,000 will bring the beginning balance for the start of 2016 to $1,043,000.
“Overall we’re in good shape right now largely due to increased sales tax income,” said Mayor Robert Houston. “We have the second highest growth rate in jobs in our five county area. In formulating the budget, we have been conservative on the revenue side and liberal with the expenditures to be more assured of staying within our budget predictions.”
The Parks and Recreation Dept. received increased funding to cover the full time department employee and “because it has been under funded for years,” said City Manager Joe Decker. Special city events like Western Legends and the Amazing Earthfest among others are budgeted at $20,000 total. “Meaning that is the pot that all groups will draw out of, and when it’s gone that’s it,” said Houston.
The Kanab proposed budget for 2015/2016 can be found on the Kanab Website for review and further discussions will be held at the May 12 council meeting with a Public Hearing scheduled for the May 26 meeting and a formal council vote on the budget at the meeting on June 9.
Another topic that will follow the same dates and format as the budget hearings is the proposed revisions to the Nuisance Ordinance. This topic will include everything from barking dogs to unsightly yards. These revisions can also be found on the website and it would be wise to read them before commenting at the council meetings.
Council member Cheryl Brown asked the mayor and council if they would consider a proposal to close off the north end of Main St. to provide more space for what has been termed the K-Town Plaza. The plaza concept is an extension of the long standing plan to build a new skate board facility on the lot to the west of the Kanab swimming pool. The idea would be to include new tennis and basketball courts, along with the skate board structure.
Mayor Houston questioned where the money would come from and asked Brown if she had solid cost estimates for the skate park. It was thought the skate park alone would cost at least $150,000 and possibly over $200,000 and any additions to that would minimally double the cost.
Options for the tennis courts would be resurfacing the existing courts at far less cost. Councilmember Brent Chamberlain said the Parks and Recreation Board would want to review any of these plans. Decker suggested each of the city’s parks should develop a master plan for that park to use as a guide when new proposals are being made.
“We want to get the skate park done and that is what was originally discussed and planed for,” reiterated Houston. He acknowledged Brown’s larger goal of furnishing a place where young people could gather and be occupied with constructive outlets was a good one, but it boiled down to the old adage ‘show me the money.’