Southern Utah News Articles
Kane County Commission meeting, September 25
At the September 25 Kane County Commission meeting, Commissioner Dirk Clayson announced that on Wednesday, October 4, Lt. Governor Spencer Cox will be attending a Job Fair to be held at Jacob Hamblin Park from 5 to 7 p.m. The topic is how family-sustaining jobs can be created in rural areas. The public is encouraged to attend to speak with vendors and visit the booths to learn more about how to boost our rural economy. All local businesses are also encouraged to participate.
In the public comment period, a representative of the Duck Creek development raised the issue of road maintenance in that area. Earlier, the county had made a motion to maintain those roads, which are currently in poor condition. Commissioner Clayson said the original intention was for the county to do minimal road maintenance, and then see what else was needed. Burt Harris spoke to what his crew has observed and already done, particularly in light of available funding from the county.
Commissioner Clayson pointed out that “the county is not responsible for bringing roads up to standards – that is the responsibility of the development.” Once that is done, the county will continue to maintain the roads, build drainage ditches, etc. It was decided that in the next three weeks the Duck Creek development and the county will decide together what is needed and put together a plan to get it done.
The first agenda item was to discuss changing the Land Use secretarial position from part-time to full-time. Clayson said, “As commission chair, I am drowning in assignments and the lack of time to address everything is causing a bottleneck on projects.” Having a full-time position in the Land Use office will help alleviate that.
Land Use Director Shannon McBride said this could be accomplished without increasing her budget because funds were already there. It was decided unanimously that the current part-time person will go full-time for now, and in January, once it’s clear how this will work out, the full-time position will be advertised, and an additional part-time person will likely be added as well.
Next on the agenda was adopting Ordinance 0-2017-12, which adds the commercial use of large propane tanks used for propane distribution to the conditional use matrix. These tanks are used for storage of propane so that propane companies can then use that gas to fill smaller tanks. This is commercial use only; it does not affect residential use.
Item 3 was presented by County Clerk Karla Johnson and dealt with Board of Equalization Abatements for two cases where the income level was below the minimum needed for tax relief. The commissioners unanimously approved the first case, but need more information on the second case before approval. Also, in addition to state standards regarding qualification for abatement, the county can also identify its own standards, and it was decided to have meetings to formalize those county standards.
The fourth item was to approve a Memorandum of Understanding between Kane County and Mohave County, including Fredonia and Kanab, regarding resource development along the Arizona Strip. Coconino County was asked to join, but declined. This agreement is designed to “reduce regulatory burdens imposed on land uses such as agriculture and livestock, forest product industries, mining, and energy development.”
Commissioner Clayson said that it would be good to get the federal agencies involved in this agreement as well. He added, “This is all about timber logging, uranium mining, and grazing. Also recreation and tourism.” The hope is that this will result in an action plan for collaboration and coordination between the two counties.
Last, Ray Bartholomew, representing Squire, the independent auditor hired to audit the county prior to reporting to the State Auditor’s Office, came to discuss the final wrap-up before the final report is sent. Initially Squire identified “six areas of material weakness,” but now says those have been adequately addressed and the current budget is in compliance with state guidelines. It was decided that next year there would be more meetings between Kane County and Squire to work out any possible problems to allow enough time to make sure all is ready in time for the state deadline.