Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for July 21, 2010
Kanab City Council hears from Rural Development
The Kanab City Council approved the annexation of 21 acres on the north side of the city owned by Lanny Talbot as an RA 10 zone. Rural Agricultural 10 is a lower density zoning for this property located at 371 N. 360 E. Over half of the land is along and upside the Vermilion Cliffs. A policy declaration for annexation regarding impacts on the city was also approved.
In conjunction with this action was the approval of a plat amendment in the Kanawood subdivision for lots 4,5,6 and 7, just south of the annexed property, to allow for maintenance of a drainage ditch out of the area.
A presentation by Dave Conine of the USDA’s Rural Development Program provided information on what he described was “an underutilized program” for obtaining grants and loans for Utah residents. He later reported Utahns use up 350% of their federal allocation, using the funds that other states don’t, largely because of the high number of young families using the guaranteed home loans for self-built homes.
The Rural Development Program provides grants and loans for community facilities projects based on a community’s economic and various other conditions. Normally, funding for a town project is 30% by grant and 70% as a low-interest loan, which can vary with the status of each community.
Business loans are basically negotiated by the borrower through a local bank, but are backed by this USDA program, which allows banks to be more willing to loan money to qualified borrowers. Businesses involved in renewable energy projects; agricultural enterprises and start-up ventures are looked on favorably for this loan backing aspect of the program. Non-profit businesses can obtain these loans, whereas with the Small Business Administration they cannot be procured. The state USDA has loan authority for $7.5 million and can request up to $25 million.
Perhaps the most exciting financial program the USDA program offers are the guaranteed housing loans for people building self-help homes. The Mesa Hills development in Kanab is one such project.
These loans help those families that otherwise may not qualify for a bank loan obtain those loans through the banks by guaranteeing their payment. Applicants still have to go through a qualifying process, but it is less stringent than traditional loans. “This creates jobs for others, as well, which is the impetus behind these loans,” said Conine. Since October 1. 2009, 1600 guaranteed loans have been issued for over $60 million in Utah for self-built homes. He continued, “Whereas most families stay in their first home an average of five years, those in self-built homes stay 12-15 years. Our first year mortgage delinquency rate is only 2% and later foreclosures 8%, which is less than found with traditional loans.”
By passing Ordinance 7-1-10, the council voted to change the name of the Kanab Variety Arts Council to the Kanab Arts Council. “This better reflects what the volunteer, advisory council represents and is similar in make-up to the structure of the Utah Arts Council,” explained councilman Ed Meyer. “This is not associated with the Center for Education, Business and the Arts (CEBA) in any way, other than in collaborative efforts in promoting the arts and it does not dictate city decisions regarding artisan programs. We will be seeking one or two people in all artistic disciplines identified to participate in the Kanab Arts Council to help direct the city’s efforts to promote the arts,” Meyer said.
Merit pay evaluations for Animal Control Officer/Meter Reader Dustin Bundy; Cemetery and Public Facilities Maintenance Supervisor Jim Aziz; City Attorney Van Mackelprang and Public Works Director Keith Robinson were done, resulting in step increases for each individual.