Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for September 2, 2009
Kanab City Council looks at capital facilities plan
At the last Kanab City Council meeting two weeks ago, the council voted to suspend issuing any water meter permits until it could decide in what direction they wanted to go with the moratorium on impact fees. Since then they have learned of a new state law tying impact fees to a municipalities capital improvements (also known as capital facilities) plan. These plans are greatly influenced by a towns anticipated project needs along with the prevailing general economic trend.
Milo McCowan, a local developer, told the council most cities in Utah will have to draw up new capital facilities plans because of the economic downturn, and these plans should be developed by engineering firms that specialize in this type of work. He suggested two St. George firms, other than Alpha Engineering, which preformed the last Capital Facilities Plan study, for the council to consider to accomplish this task. "I''m not against impact fees," said McCowan, "as long as they''re fair." The council directed City Manager Keith McAllister to ask firms for bids to produce a CFP that can then be implemented. After that is accomplished, the Council will be able to consider reestablishing impact fees, which previous to the moratorium were about $9000 for a new home.
As far as the dilemma the council faced two weeks ago regarding the issuance of water meter permits and the council''s decision to stop issuing them until impact fees could be reconsidered, they found their own solution in Resolution No. 9-1-05R passed by the council in September 2005. It states a water meter may be installed on a buildable lot within the Kanab city limits- prior to the building permit for the primary structure- if all of the following conditions are met. The property owner shall pay time and materials and the water meter shall be installed on an approved lot within Kanab city limits within 30 days of purchase. The property owner shall pay impact fees for the water meter connection at the time they receive the building permit and start paying the monthly fee for the water connection when installed.
Councilman Terrill Honey updated the council on changes to the Kanab City General Plan, which were predominately vocabulary corrections, term clarifications and graphics changes. Mayor Kim Lawson and Councilman Jim Sorenson asked that the description of Downtown Overlay design standards continue to support a "western" motif, rather than eliminate that verbage for the nondescript "cultural and historical" suggestion.
Public Works Director Keith Robinson reported on the waste water program stating some parts of the system are now nearly 50 years old, but holding up well. The sewage lagoons on the south end of town were built in 1981 and can handle just over 700,000 gallons of effluent a day, but averaged about 240,000 gallons a day last year. "When a town approaches 90% of effluent capacity, it''s time to initiate plans to upgrade the system," said McAllister. The Kanab Creek Ranchos is on septic tanks and does not impact the system. He seemed most proud of the weed control measure he initiated at the lagoons- a herd of goats. "They never complain, enjoy their work and never call in sick," exclaimed McAllister.
The council approved hiring Arkay Pugh in the Public Works Dept. Forty-five applications were received for the job with most of those eliminated by the stipulation of having a CDL driver''s license.
City Attorney Van Mackelprang received a merit pay increase by the council. Mayor Lawson stated, "A full time city attorney for Kanab is a necessity, with not only for litigation proceedings, but Planning and Zoning issues requiring considerable amounts of his time."
UDOT informed the city that it will no longer provide traffic control signs and barrels to regulate traffic flow and safety issues on State Hwy 89 when events, like Western Legends Roundup are held on that road in Kanab. They informed Lawson the city would have to handle that issue themselves or hire an outside firm to do so. Councilman Steve Mower, who manages the Western Legends Roundup for the city, has worked out a compromise with UDOT for this year’s event, but the city will be purchasing additional sign boards of their own to use.