Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for March 9, 2011
USDA loan closed on Public Safety Building, deer crossings proposed for Hwy 89
The Sportsmen for Fishing and Wildlife had a prepared powerpoint presentation to the Kane County Commission on the need for safety for wildlife crossing on U.S. Hwy #89 east of Kanab.
Rusty Aiken and Sam Carpenter related the importance of protecting one of the most premium deer herds in the United States, and the estimated road kill and accidents caused by drivers trying to avoid the deer.
Bruce Bonebrake, Division of Wildlife, explained the Paunsaguant herd is very unique, and migrate over 100 miles. The four proposed 12’ x 12’ underpasses would be located at mile markers 45.5, 42.5, 40.5 and 39. Between MP 37 to 48 are considered wildlife vehicle collision hot spots. Bonebrake said the structure on I-70 east of Cove Fort has been very successful for deer. The estimated cost is $150,000 per structure, plus the fencing.
Andrea Clayton, engineer, stated preservation of wildlife is her passion and she offered to help the county seek funding “pro bono.”
Commissioner Doug Heaton asked, “What would be the county’s role? Who is the quarterback and will champion this in order to pull this off? The county is not opposed. We can sponsor, but who will champion the cause?”
Commissioner Jim Matson and the new Recreation Committee being organized will work with the Sportsmen for Fishing and Wildlife.
Rob MacWhorter, Dixie National Forest Service, introduced two new staff members with the positions of Public Relations and Recreation Coordinator. As an update on Robinson Creek public access, there is funding for wildlife and archaeology surveys for the environmental study. The decision is due this fall.
MacWhorter expressed concern regarding the locked gate and having to phone and wait to open the gate with an escort through for the next five years. “We are looking at an alternate route. There is a safety issue with the trucks.”
MacWhorter is okay with the access for now. The road is part of the county claimed RS2477, and the county has offered the landowner some alternatives to move the county right of way.
MacWhorter reported he met with the Kane County Water Conservancy District and is concerned about the location of two water tanks and pipes. The Forest Service is okay with the lower tank location, but not with the upper tank location.
Heaton asked MacWhorter to “please continue to keep us in the loop and help us continue to keep our public lands open as a coordinating agency with other local agencies.”
The commission approved the RFP Economic Development initiative based on the economic development strategy approved in January. They also approved issuing an RFP for an Economic Director.
On personnel issues, Event Coordination was added on the job description of the Volunteer Center Coordinator, bringing that to a full time position.
Shannon McBride’s part time position with Land Use was moved to full time and moved from grade 13 to 18. Her part time position with the Extension Service will phase out. USU Extension Service has been cut back dramatically. The county will check their contract with USU, and speak to Extension Agents Kevin Heaton and Julie Ingersoll before action is taken.
Rosiland Metcalf was appointed to the Southwest Public Health Board.
The Cooperative Road Maintenance Agreement between Kane County and Garfield County for Hole in the Rock Road and Left Hand Collett Road needs modifications before finalizing.
During the Municipal Building Authority (MBA) part of the meetinig, Deputy Tracy Glover updated the progress of the Public Safety Facility. The most important news is the USDA loan finally closed on March 2. “This has been a nightmare,” said Glover. “We are finally through the review process, archaeological study, title issues, patents, easements, etc. All that was required by the USDA.”
The commissioners congratulated Deputy Glover, Auditor/Clerk Karla Johnson and her office staff for their diligence.
The county is still negotiating with Kanab City on sewer issues and impact fees with Garkane.
Resolution MBA-2011-1 was unanimously approved: Consideration of the adoption of a resolution authorizing the issuance and sale of $500,000 lease revenue bonds, series 2010B and $1,000,000 lease revenue bonds series 2010C to finance in part public safety facilities including a jail; reaffirming an annual appropriation lease, a master resolution, a ground lease, authorizing security documents and other documents related to the bonds and related matters.
The three bonds for the Public Safety Facility were CIB $7,500,000, USDA for $9.5 million and USDA for $1 million, totaling $18,000,000. The $1 million from USDA was required, and will be paid off within a year, saving the county a minimum of $51,000.
The MBA bond was also passed as Resolution 2011-6 on the regular agenda.