Southern Utah News Articles
Kanab City Council places moratorium on impact fees
Kanab City's audit report for fiscal year 2007-2008 ending on June 30, was presented at the Kanab City Council meeting Jan. 13, by Mike Spilker, CPA, representing the accounting firm of Hinton-Burdick.
Spilker outlined highlights contained in the 68-page report presented by the accounting firm, and is of public record.
The city's total net assets, one way to measure a city's financial health, increased by $1,110,719. That resulted in total assets in excess of total liabilities (net worth) of $14,64 million at the close of the fiscal year. The unreserved balance for the General Fund, which serves as a useful measure of a government's net resources available for spending at the end of the fiscal year, was $1,848,864 or 59% of total General Fund expenditures.
The cost of governmental activities, which are all of the city's basic services from public safety, public works, judicial and government operational expenses to culture and recreation, community support and interest on long-term debt, was $2,904,829.
Property and sales taxes finance just over 50% of these activities, followed by intergovernmental grants and contributions, and 12% charges for services.
Proprietary activities are business activities the city is involved in, where customers are charged fees to cover costs, which amount to just over 67% of the revenue. Capital grants and contributions account for most of the rest. Net assets from proprietary activities increased by $521,289.
Actual revenues were less than budgeted by $67,531, due mainly to decreased revenue from licenses, permits and fees. But expenditures were $264,228 less than budgeted, principally due to deferred public works projects.
Government and proprietary debt at the end of the fiscal year amounted to $820/Kanab resident. Major city expenditures included airport runway lights ($400,000), swimming pool ($1,558,000), fire truck ($92,000), Jacob Hamblin Park restrooms ($130,000) and retirement of a $29,000 bond.
For fiscal year 2008-2009, the city council and manager were cautioned regarding growth of city revenues and budgeting expenses, which have been set at the same level as last year. Overall, Spilker gave Kanab City a clean status stating, "Kanab is financially-sound, but prudence is required.”
If anyone has questions regarding this financial statement report, Mr. Spilker offered to be contacted at (435) 628-3663, ext. 224 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Impact fees paid by new homebuilders to help defer city new growth costs were addressed.
Mayor Lawson opened the discussion by stating the city issued only one building permit after July 17 of last year, after having issued 20 for stick built and 16 for manufactured homes the first half of the year.
Impact fees are assessed to mitigate the infrastructure and community service costs borne by the city for new growth.
Impact fees have climbed to $14,500 recently. With home sales stagnant, and requirements of 20% of home costs as a downpayment to secure a loan limiting first time buyers, it was proposed that a six-month moratorium eliminating these fees be initiated.
Councilwoman Nina Laycook felt infrastructure expenses are ongoing and the fee should be retained, perhaps at a lower amount.
The council voted to suspend impact fees for six months and then review the situation to determine if fees should be reinstated at their previous level.
The auditor cautioned the mayor and council these fees must be used for public facility improvements, and be spent within the six-year period specified by state law or risk being forfeited by the city.
The mayor opened the meeting to the public, on the request by Danny Mason to change the zoning plan for his proposed 1078-acre Vermillion Village development south of the Kanab Creek Ranchos.
This encompasses property bordering the KCR from Powell St. west along Navajo Dr. then NW along Buckskin Dr. to Stansfield Dr. It extends south and southwest to the Arizona border abutting the Kaibab-Paiute Indian Reservation - all of which was previously annexed to the city.
Previously zoned low density residential with one acre plots (RM-15), Mason wants to break this large tract of land into commercial and multiple residence zones as well as single family zones. Although manufacturing zones were listed as well, Councilman Honey, who is involved with the P&Z board, stated manufacturing would not be permitted.
The concept also includes an airpark, golf course, shopping facilities, separate manufactured home area, a park, hiking trails and open areas. Mason, who was present by phone, stated his financial backing was positioned to initiate this development starting with the first 200 units adjacent to the Ranchos. Access would be via existing roads extending south from KCR until the 200 units were completed, and then another entrance off Hwy 89A south of the airport and across Kanab Creek would be required. The council passed the zoning change as requested much to Mason's appreciation.
Tom Avant approached the city council asking for the city's help in facilitating the relocation of the EMS training facility building from it's originally planned location near the proposed new incarceration facility on the "dump road" to a spot within the city's airport property. Infrastructure costs, including a water line, have become prohibitive, especially with the uncertainty of CIB funding for the jail. The original plan also included a new hanger for aircraft involved with emergency services.
Airport manager Dick Brewer favors the approval of the multiple use building at the airport and, with Avant, suggested a location across the parking lot east of the terminal building. A 99 year lease was asked of the city. Consideration will be given to these requests after further detail is in hand, but the council appeared inclined to accommodate Avant's desired relocation which has CIB grant money and a 30 year low interest loan set.
Ken Young presented the council with the Kanab City Parks and Trails master plan, outlining an ambitious agenda for enhancing existing parks and recreation outlets as well as proposing new walking and bike trails linking the various in-town and peripheral recreational opportunities. The plan recognizes the need for a variety of recreational activities for all age groups and the hope of making physical activities easier and safer to pursue with extended bike and walking trails that let people get out and enjoy our natural surroundings. . Let's hope funding can be generated to facilitate these worthwhile projects, which were adopted unanimously by the council. These projects were unanimously adopted by the council.
Chief Joe Decker reported the fire department’s activities during the past two months stating the department had at least one serious incident every week. Major losses were incurred in three fires recently. A rental apartment sustained $25,000 in damages, another fire at the old Brandon Motel was due to violations in fire codes, and a home fire in the Ranchos ended up with damages in excess of $200,000.
Chief Decker emphasized the importance of renters obtaining insurance for their personal belongings and liability, which is relatively inexpensive. Carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide monitors are also fairly cheaply obtained.
Chief Decker reiterated the Fire Department mission of professional, efficient and dependable service and emphasized fire prevention is not a concept, but a reality that can be realized with education and code enforcement.
Mayor Lawson proposed adoption of resolution 1-1-09 establishing the month of February 2009 as "White Ribbon Against Pornography Month" which was passed by the council. The mayor cited several reasons for this resolution, including the abuses sustained by children as a result of the influence of pornographic material.
Lastly in city business, Dustin D. Bundy was hired by the city for the position of Animal Control Officer, with water meter reading responsibilities. Bundy said, "I have experience interacting with a variety of animals and anticipate being able to work with the public as well". Justice Court Clerk, Lorna Faye Watson, was given a merit pay increase on the recommendation of JP Gary Johnson.