Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for March 3, 2010
Kanab City Council meeting
Prior to the start of the Kanab City Council meeting on February 23, Carol Sullivan presented the council with a large quilt. It was originally made by the Kanab Quilter’s Guild, displaying portraits of dozens of Western movie stars who made Western films in this area in years past. This striking quilt was raffled off during the 2007 Western Legends event in Kanab.
The winners of the raffle, John and Carol Gaskin of Sun City, CA (longtime visitors to southern Utah and their Kanab niece, Laurali Noteman and husband, Mike), donated the quilt to Kanab as a gesture of appreciation for the town and its citizens. Their generosity was greatly appreciated and acknowledged by Kanab Mayor Nina Laycook and the Kanab City Council.
Boy Scout Anthony Decker attended the meeting and heard a report from Kanab High School students Daniel Chamberlain and David Nelson, on their city-sponsored trip to the Utah State Capitol on January 26 for Local Official’s Day. There they met with state and national lawmakers.
CEBA’s Kelly Stowall and State Rep. Mike Noel facilitated the young men’s experience, touring the capitol building and attending budget and committee meetings. Their highlight came with speeches by former Atlanta Braves outfielder Dale Murphy, which they described as “very motivational” and by former New York City Mayor Rudy Guilianni, describing “attributes of good leadership.”
Chamberlain and Nelson expressed gratitude to the council and city for their enlightening experience, and the council considered continuing this opportunity in the future.
The council passed Ordinance 1-10-0, a complete revision of Kanab’s Subdivision Ordinance, which was, in part, prompted by state legislative changes and underwent a six-month planning and review process, which included a public meeting that nobody attended. The revisions were constructed by a group led by City Manager Keith McAllister, City Attorney Van Mackelprang and Councilmembers Jim Sorenson and Terril Honey.
The ordinance booklet will contain flowcharts to follow for the subdivision application process and all the forms necessary to file in this process. Another document, the Design Standards and Specifications, is being worked on now.
Keith McAllister reported city sales tax revenues were down 13% from this time last year and resort tax revenues were down 10%. He said these shortfalls should be made up later in the year, but encouraged people to shop locally as much as possible.
Councilman Tony Chatterley thanked Fire Chief Joe Decker and his volunteer fire department staff, along with Public Works Director Keith Robinson, for their diligent work during Kanab’s fire insurance audit by the Insurance Standardization Office (ISO) out of Chicago. Chief Decker explained the last audit for fire insurance ratings was done 19 years ago, but Kanab will now be reevaluated every five years as prescribed.
The rating scale is 1-10 with Kanab scoring a five, meaning 50% of the rating measurements were met with one being the highest score possible, indicating a city has met all but 1-10% of the criteria. The equipment and set-up of the fire department account for 50% of the evaluative score, while the water department is 40% and the dispatch center 10%. The higher the rating (meaning the lower the number), the less it costs businesses and homeowners to insure their property for fire loss.
Decker cited these shortcomings in each of the three departments that need improvement: Fire Dept.- Needs to keep records more up-to-date. Needs equipment, namely another engine company and a ladder company to provide better service for Kanab’s newer three story buildings. Water Dept.: The fire hydrants passed, but 10% of those tested needed back-up hydrants for efficiency.
The 374 fire hydrants in Kanab need annual testing to help assure proper function. Dispatch Dept.: Needs two dispatchers on duty rather than one, as is currently the case.
Chief Decker and his 24 member all-volunteer fire department train and work weekly, and are currently completing training in hazardous material management. These people all have other full-time jobs to go to, and yet are willing to give up much of their personal time to protect the citizens of Kanab and their property. As Joe Decker put it, “I have two full-time jobs, but I wouldn’t want to give either of them up.”
Councilman Shaun Smith, overseeing the Parks and Recreation Dept., reported he intends to apply for an $8000 Shade Structure grant from a source sponsored nationally by dermatologists. Only 30 such grants were awarded last year out of 1000 applicants. If obtained, the grant money would be used to erect shading at Kanab’s swimming pool.
Councilman Ed Meyer suggested Smith look at successful past applications for this to gain insight into what things enhance a grant request for better pre-planning.
Jack Gisler and Noel Poe of the Kanab Hiking Club reported on a grant application to the American Hiking Trails Foundation to help develop a relatively flat hiking trail from Tom’s Canyon to Pugh Canyon around Savage Point (also known as “K” Hill) along the base of the Vermilion Cliffs. This trail would involve the cooperation of the BLM, La Estancia owner Milo McCowan, and other private landowners to make a nice addition to Kanab’s trail system.