Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for November 17, 2010
Kanab City Council approves zoning change for coal hydro-gasification project
An ordinance amending business license fees next year generated much discussion by the Kanab City Council at their November 9 meeting. Initially, the council was considering doubling the fees to cover the city’s expenses involved with administering the program. Talk evolved towards increasing the fees from $50 to $70 and from $10 to $12 for multiple employee businesses. The payment due dates were moved back to April 1.
In the end, the fees remained the same as this year, at $50 and $10/employee, with the date moved to April 1, rather than January 1. Perhaps the only difference in costs for some businesses is the $25 fee for a fire inspection for any business premises the public enters. There are an estimated 320 businesses that need licenses.
A revenue bond proposal to secure a $200,000 interest free loan from the Community Impact Board, as part of the funding for the Kanab Creek Drive bridge into the Ranchos, was passed by the council. The bond will be secured via class B and C road money. The loan will be repaid at $20,000/year for 10 years.
The council voted to change a 9.75-acre parcel, purchased by Jim Guthrie, from a 160-acre tract of land owned by the State and Institutional Trust Lands (SITLA), from Low Density Residential to a Chemical and Petroleum zone. Initially it was proposed to be changed to a Research and Development designation to accommodate Guthrie’s planned coal hydro-gasification pilot project, which supposedly will convert carbon-based products like coal to methane gas using new technology designed to considerably reduce air pollutants. The Planning and Zoning Commission felt the designation could lead to a variety of possibly undesirable enterprises requesting zone changes in the future.
Guthrie’s property is located approximately a third of a mile east of Hwy 89A on the south side of the Kaneplex road, extending a half mile east down the Kaneplex road and about a half mile south to the Arizona border. The council stressed this was only a zone change, and not a conditional use permit, to start construction of this facility, which will require a smokestack of undetermined height to vent what Guthrie previously described as “low polluting emissions released intermittently.”
There has been no opposition to the zone change from neighboring landowners, the largest of whom is SITLA, which sold the acreage to Guthrie.
The council will look into using the Firefighters Non-contributory Retirement Fund to accommodate Fire Chief Joe Decker’s retirement plan, rather than using the Public Safety Fund (used by the city’s police department), as the cost would be 5% less.
Kanab and Fredonia will conduct their respective Parade of Lights shows on the same night this year, December 16. The time of each parade will be juggled to accommodate people who want to attend both.
The Canyon Country Quilt Show is currently on display in the main hallway of the Kane County Hospital.
Merit pay increases were awarded to Police Chief Tom Cram, Library Director Dickie Robinson and Patrolman II Darin Coleman. City Manager Duane Huffman also received his six-month performance evaluation, passing with high praise from the council members.