Kanab Mayor Robert Houston initiated further discussion regarding his previous request of the Kanab City Council to increase City Manager Joe Decker’s yearly salary. Decker’s salary as Kanab’s Fire Chief is $54,672, which will soon increase via the city’s yearly 3% step-in-grade increase to $56,312.  He is being paid a yearly salary of $10,800 for his work as the city manager.

Houston completed a survey of wages for city manager and fire chief positions in southern Utah towns, none of which had combined positions, and found that Decker’s combined salaries were far below any of the others. Examples of this include Beaver, with a population of 3,041, paying their fire chief $60,456 and city manager $78,548; Moab, population 5100, paying their fire chief $94,126 and city manager $106,320; and Springdale, with a population of 980, paying their fire chief $72,154 and city manager $92,925.

The mayor asked for a $400/month increase to Decker’s city manager wages, for a $4800 yearly increase, bringing his city manager pay to $15,600. Decker’s fire chief wages are a separate entity and will remain so.  The mayor stated, and Decker confirmed, that he puts in a 40 hour week on that job alone. Decker said, “If there were 30 hours in a day, rather than 24, I’d be in good shape.”

Mayor Houston also stated that he hopes to hire an auditor to come in quarterly to check financial operations and increase to full time a member of the clerical staff to reduce the paperwork load on Decker.

The city council unanimously voted to increase Decker’s city manager wages, which are not subject to automatic step-in-grade increases, by the $4800/year amount the mayor requested.  And most of them stated it was a bargain.

Discussion of the city’s long standing automatic 3% yearly step-in-grade wage increase for Kanab City employees was undertaken. Mayor Houston related that a Cost of Living Adjustment averaged out to 2% per year, leaving in effect, a 1% merit increase. The general discussion involved how a merit increase should be determined and if it should be more specifically awarded and scaled on what goals are achieved by the individual employee.  It was decided that much more thought needed to be done on this matter.

Kanab’s 2015 road chip seal project was awarded to Lamb Excavating, who submitted a bid of $1.87/sq.ft., as opposed to JDM’s bid of $1.93/sq.ft. A cap of $300,000 was placed on the project. The last chip seal project went out at $1.99/sq.ft. and part of the cost reduction this year was facilitated by Decker splitting budget funds between two years and stockpiling chips. The streets to receive the chip sealing will be posted in the paper before the project begins sometime in the latter half of June.

The final vote to adopt Kanab’s 2015/2016 budget will be held on June 9 after a public hearing is concluded.

The proposed new Nuisance Ordinance will undergo further discussion at the next city council meeting on June 9. Concerned citizens are encouraged to obtain a copy of this ordinance on Kanab’s website or at the city office and make any suggestions or comments via e-mail or by returning a paper copy to the city office by Friday, June 5, so that council members and the city attorney can review them prior to the council meeting.  A final vote on adopting the Nuisance Ordinance, as amended, will be made at the June 23 city council meeting.