Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for April 21, 2010
Kanab City Council deals with contract, autism and liquor license
Considerations the Kanab City Council took up at their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, April 13, included approval of the employment agreement with the new City Manager Duane Huffman. Huffman, who has a Master’s degree in Public Administration, is scheduled to begin work officially on May 15. At that time, he will start his six-month probationary period, at the end of which he will be eligible for a wage increase.
The work agreement is for three years, which provides time for both the city and Huffman to evaluate their relationship. Councilman Steve Mower cast the sole nay vote on the agreement.
Councilman Shaun Smith brought up a proclamation to support National Autism Month in Kanab. He said he had a personal interest in bringing more recognition to the disabilities caused by autism, which affects one in every 150 children in this country, as his nine year old son is afflicted by this neurological disorder. He praised Kanab’s teachers and the schools for being so in tune with the needs of children with complex disabilities to help them lead distinguished and productive lives. The council adopted the proclamation unanimously.
Victor Sandonato, proprietor of Denny’s Wigwam in Kanab, came before the council to request the city consent to a club liquor license for a new restaurant he plans to put into the old “Spurs” site behind the retail shop on Center St.
He stated he has had several discussions with the Utah liquor licensing office regarding changes in the state’s liquor laws and how they affect his application. Sandonato related, “I found out the ‘Club’ license is replacing the old ‘Private Club’ license, which required patrons to purchase a membership in the drinking establishment before using it. The only real difference between the liquor licenses granted to restaurant establishments (requiring customers to eat a meal in order to be served an alcoholic beverage) is with a club license, you can be served a drink without ordering a meal, although at least 50% of the restaurant’s business must come from food sales. There will only be about a dozen of this type of liquor license awarded in the state. Kanab stands to be the first one in the state and a ‘Poster Child’ for this new type of licensing”
The council questioned Police Chief Tom Cram about the possibility of an increase in alcohol related traffic accidents along the curve on Hwy 89 where the business will be located. He said, “I really don’t think there will be any significant increase in traffic incidents in that area. We have people driving two and a half miles south on the highway to drink before driving back the same distance now. Most of the club’s patrons will be tourists, who can walk from their motel rooms, rather than drive anyway.”
He went on to remind Sandonato he could be liable for damages should his employees continue to serve a patron who is obviously inebriated and if that person is involved in an accident.
The state wants to promote both tourism and its appeal as a convention host, which has been stymied in the past by what many consider archaic liquor laws, by establishing less restrictive licensing laws. Tax revenues from liquor sales could promote funding for many of the state’s needs. Cram concluded by saying, “The local government or the state can revoke a liquor license at any time.” The council voted unanimously to endorse the application.
The council voted to table a resolution to adopt the new version of Kanab’s Design and Construction Standards put together by state engineers, with the assistance of Public Works Director Keith Robinson and real estate specialists and presented by Councilman Jim Sorenson. Some of the council members have not had the chance to read the lengthy document as yet and questioned what exactly the changes were. Sorenson stated, “The changes were minor and this is all in technical jargon and would be best explained by the state engineer or Robinson at a later date.”
Discussion of differentiating old criteria from the new changes in future documents was held with several courses of action being considered. A copy of the standards will be available for review by the general public at the city office prior to the council reconsidering it at their April 27 meeting.
Public Works Maintenance Technician R.K. Pugh finished his six-month probationary period successfully and was granted a merit pay increase. Kanab Airport Manager Dick Brewer. also received a merit pay increase.