The canvass of the June 26, 2018 Primary Election opened the July 9 Kane County Commission meeting. Election Specialist Carol Lee Hunt described the process she and those working with her use to count and verify each ballot, most of which were sent in by mail. In this election, 54.88 percent of eligible voters participated. The results of the election were unanimously approved by motion to accept.

Next, a discussion of the new location for the Kane County Volunteer Center was discussed. Sheriff Tracy Glover has offered part of the SARS building at the airport. Commissioner Dirk Clayson said, “This is a good idea to consider since it would save about $200,000 over constructing a dedicated building at the new Kanab Center location.”

Volunteer Center Director Vicky Hooper asked to be able to keep a small room in the county offices for convenient computer access when there are events in town. Even though the SARS building is farther out of town, Clayson said, “This is a compromise worth making given the financial savings.”

A public hearing was held to discuss a transportation grant for repaving Old Highway 89 (aka Chinle Drive) from the east side of town to the west end of Vermilion Cliffs Estates. Transportation/GIS Director Lou Pratt said, “This road is getting more traffic all the time.” The job would include a total resurfacing, grading and also correct drainage problems.

Public comment began with Jim Bermont, who said, “It’s interesting that two weeks ago at a public hearing [about changing zones to allow a commercial project along Chinle Drive], we pointed out that the road really needed work. And now, ERA Realty has just sold 700 acres and has more up for sale along that road, and now this grant is suddenly available. Is it your intention to completely develop this area?”

Clayson said he believes, in the next 20 years, the area between Kanab and Johnson Canyon will be more developed, and the county commission is supportive of development. Also, he pointed out that the land in that area is privately owned and the owners can sell their land as they wish. The county cannot predict what will sell, but can only decide in each instance whether rezoning or other changes are appropriate.

Bermont answered, “If that road is improved, won’t it encourage faster development?”

Christy Bundrick commented, “It’s all about appearances. I’ve read the Kane County General Plan and it does not support this kind of development, but instead talks about our Western heritage, open lands, raising cattle, but then you allow a trailer park on land that is agricultural changed to commercial.”

Clayson said he only knew about the grant for road improvement a few days ago, and Bundrick said, “I think you did know about it more than a few days ago.”

After more conversation about what other roads could use improvement, it was decided to gather information about those options and make a final decision about which road(s) will be included in the grant request.

County Roads Supervisor Bert Harris presented a bid opening for a new road grader. The current grader needs replacing, and when it was purchased, the seller gave a guaranteed trade-in price of over $200,000. It was unanimously decided to accept the bid for a new grader with very useful upgrade features costing $78,795 after the trade-in on the old grader.

In the ongoing saga of clarifying the land use changes brought on by the glamping trend, Ordinance O-2018-6 was unanimously approved. This finalizes the language regarding land use for these purposes in Chapters 1, 6, 7, 15, 18 and 21 in the Kane County Land Use Ordinances. It’s important to note that in Chapter 7, “This ordinance does not regulate temporary events and activities lasting less than 10 days, and no more than three times a year on the same property, non-commercial events and activities, and events and activities on public lands.”

Finally, Lou Pratt presented and received approval of a proposal through the U.S. Department of Agriculture to build the Paria River Emergency Watershed Project. A rock retaining wall will be repaired and extended, located at T 41S-Section 33 and T42S-R1W-Sections 4 and 9.

The commission meeting was immediately followed by a Municipal Building Authority meeting to discuss, among other projects, the Kanab Center being built at the site of the old middle school. A public hearing will be held at 10:15 a.m. on July 23, in the commission chambers to hear comment on the budget opening to transfer funds for major cost increases on this project.