Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for August 18, 2010
Kane County gets USDA loan for Public Safety Facility
Margie Stone, from the USDA, was present with a letter of conditions for the commission to approve and sign for a 40-year loan for $10.5 million at 4% interest. Payments are deferred for the first two years to get the Public Safety Facility going. She explained the conditions, which is normal. The commission approved the conditions and signed the paperwork for a letter of intent to meet the conditions.
Aaron Averett, Sunrise Engineering, and Mike Noel, Water Conservancy District, had a Town Site Act for the Duck Creek area sewage lagoon. Averett met with the Forest Service to combine wastewater with them. The Forest Service wants the county to approve the Town Site Act to move forward and buy the land for the lagoon. The Forest Service is waiting for application approval. Then they will evaluate the future uses and costs.
According to Averett, the options are to provide a legal description of the property and perform more coordination with other entities (school, hospital CMFPD, special service districts, law enforcement, water conservancy district, road crew needs, etc.).
Mike Noel said, “We are prepared to do it, but we don’t want to pay to take over sewage.”
Commissioner Mark Habbeshaw said, “The county needs to be fiscally responsible during a recession. I don’t think we have adequate need at this time.”
Averett said with the Forest Service, “this is an all or nothing deal.”
Commissioner Daniel Hulet asked what part Kane County had to do with this.
Noel responded, “They’re saying if you ever want property, now is the time. They want us to buy the land and run it.”
Commissioner Heaton said, “We don’t see any financial gain and don’t have funding now to buy the land.”
Commissioner Habbeshaw said, “We’ve provided lots of services on the mountain which benefits the Forest Service – roads, water, law enforcement – and get no credit.”
The commissioners will write a letter to the Forest Service.
Jane Quist, State Corporation for National and Community Service, was present to discuss the county’s move with the RSVP program. “I am concerned that the RSVP and Volunteer Center have been mushed together. They are two separate programs,” said Quist.
She wanted to make sure the commission understands the RSVP grant funds go to Five County and not to Kane County. The commission indicated they understand that they will operate the same programs, “but under our venue.” The only program affected is the RSVP program. All other volunteer programs will remain with Five County Association.
The commission approved $1,000 for the Carmel Mountain Music and Art Festival on September 11.
Arthur Letkey, The Village of Many Nations, requested a 60-day hardship permit, since they had been red-tagged for operating a campground without a conditional use permit and no PUD in place.
Commissioner Habbeshaw said the red tag trumps commission approval of the business license to operate a bed and breakfast with teepees and outhouses, as long as it passed inspection. “My position is, he doesn’t need a hardship as long as he has a business license.”
Letkey said they plan to meet the requirements for next year. “We just want to make it through this season.” The discussion ended with the letter requesting hardship denied because it is not needed and the red tag will be removed.
Shawna Cox, UT/AZ Tea Party, talked to the commission about sustainable development. “We are frustrated with things happening in the city and county with Agenda 21, legislation from the top down. The federal government is controlling our lifves, contrary to the Fourth Amendment.” Cox continued, “We lock ourselves up by allowing the federal government to rule our land, by getting federal grants and loans to accomplish the Agenda 21 items. We have to go back to the Constitution.”
Cox said the pilot program in Iron County on RS2477 roads is an example of Agenda 21 and federal encroachment. “We want you to be aware that enough is enough.” Cox continued that a lot of departments in Kane County have been infiltrated by agencies supporting Agenda 21.
Commissioner Hulet told her Kane County has stood strong on the RS2477 road issues. “The pilot program in Iron County is under their authority.”
Commissioner Habbeshaw said they are aware of and have been fighting Agenda 21 since he and Hulet have been in office.
Commissioner Heaton said the greatest problem is not apathy of the voter, but ignorance of the voter. “We send a dollar and get 30 cents back,” said Heaton
Cox praised the commission on what they have done and the stands they have taken.
Kane County Attorney Scarth told Cox, “You are preaching to the choir.”
The commission approved Resolution 2010-11 modifying the consulting service contract agreement for the transportation plan with WCEC Engineering. Lou Pratt said the language has been changed as requested by Kane County. Tyler Hoskins is with a company now that is in the State Pool, which is a state requirement.
Dave Owens, with the Salary Survey Committee, presented a comparative spreadsheet on salaries and benefits with other counties the size of Kane County. The committee recommended the county remain with the 2010 budget since the year is more than half over. They have several recommendations for the 2011 budget and policies. The actual savings for a $45,000 cap on salary is not anywhere near what had been anticipated.
Assessor Linda Little gave her reasons for concern with the proposed $45,000 salary cap. “Our raise increases were budgeted for. The raise for one of my employees is affected and I don’t think it is fair.” Further discussion was moved to closed session.
Commissioner Hulet said he is not ready to act. The county needs to continue the analysis for equity. That is the issue.
Commissioner Habbeshaw said, “We are looking at longevity. County employees are making considerably more than elected officials. We are looking at significant budget issues during a recession. We’re fortunate so far. Other governmental agencies are cutting salaries and laying off.”
Ryan Maddux said the survey analysis is a lot of work. “We don’t want to see it set aside.”
Commissioner Hulet responded, “We rely on the Employee Association for input and include them in our decision. The employees have done what we’ve asked them to do to bring costs down and we appreciate that very much.
In other action, Lou Pratt reported that the road is not encroaching on the Mike Morgan property. The road is a platted right of way and the road is a public highway. Road Supervisor Bert Harris said they will stack some rocks when they have equipment in the area.
On personnel issues, Sandy Baker has qualified as a Certified Appraiser and her grade was increases from 19 to 21. Carol Lee Hunt has qualified as Election Specialist with a grade increase from 17 to 18.