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Fracking company wants to buy water from Kanab City ... 18,000 gallons per minute
Mayor Robert Houston opened the February 12 Kanab City Council meeting with two work items, both in the initial phases of discussion. All council members except Michael East were present, including newly-appointed Councilman Arlon Chamberlain.
The first item was a proposed Health and Wellness Center for Kanab. The mayor emphasized that this was just in the early stages of discussion with ongoing conversations about needs, wants, locations and funding sources. He directed the city council, “Talk to your constituents about this. We need to get a feel from the community if this is something they want.”
The proposed center would have indoor basketball courts, multi-purpose rooms for classes, men’s and women’s locker/shower rooms, weights, cardio/fitness equipment, running track, offices and more depending on available funding. That funding could come in the form of a tax increase.
The second item of the work meeting was a presentation by Chad Staheli of Southern Red Sands LLC (SRS). Southern Red Sands is planning to mine, process and ship fracking sand from their claim on SITLA land near Red Knoll, for use in fracking wells in the Uintah and San Juan Basins.
The 1.5 million ton, 15 acre plant will require 18,000 gallons of water/minute to process the sand. Staheli described the water needed as “an obscene amount,” but reported that the company will be spending a lot of extra money to build a “closed loop system” which will reclaim 95-96 percent of it. Southern Red Sands hopes to purchase that water from Kanab City.
Staheli stated, “The benefit to the city is: no infrastructure costs, no wells, no piping. We are not leasing the rights, not buying them. We are simply plugging in as a service customer.”
SRS will be drilling a well on-site and using Kanab’s surplus water rights for a period of time. “For the life of the mine … the life of the industry,” he reported.
After the presentation, Mayor Houston elaborated, “The city currently owns 13.6 cfs (cubic feet per second), so that equates to 3,212,802,180 gallons/year. The amount of water they will use on this project is 6.09 percent (of that).”
Although the mayor stated that the city is in negotiations with SRS, he emphasized that two things must happen before we get real serious. First, the city must find an expert to make sure the water is actually available and second, the city negotiates an acceptable contract.
“This comes at a really good time because we need to do some work on our water tanks and this would help us cover that cost,” the mayor explained. “Of course, we need to do our due diligence on it and this will have to come back and get a vote of approval from the council.”
The council then proceeded into the regular business portion of the meeting.
During the public comment period, part-time resident Tom Davis inquired about a rumor he had heard about a moratorium on vacation rentals. The mayor responded that there was presently no official discussion of that.
The council then moved quickly to approve the appointment of Christopher Courville and Elizabeth Walker to the Beautification Board, with terms ending 12/31/21.
Next was a discussion and vote to allow Kanab High School to place a marquee sign on city property at Fire Station #1. The motion passed, contingent upon its approval by the Planning Commission.
The final item was the approval of a minor subdivision for Lane and Susan Little at 635 South 175 East. The motion passed unanimously. Meeting adjourned.