Southern Utah News Articles
Utah State Parks' budget slashed
Michael Franklin and Larry Grace, Utah State Parks, updated the Kane County Commissioners on recent budget cuts by the Utah Legislature and how they will affect Kane County with Coral Pink Sand Dunes at the April 25 regular Kane County Commission meeting. The state parks received a 31 percent reduction or $3,000,000. Two Kane County law enforcement officers at Kodachrome Basin and Coral Pink Sand Dunes were de-commissioned, and two rangers were cut. The intent is to make the state parks more self-sufficient.
The state parks also help on Cedar Mountain OHV roads with trail grooming, as well as law enforcement. That funding was also cut. Kodachrome will have seasonal employees and be closed for part of the year. No parks will be closed in 2012.
The legislature is looking at privatization in the future. State Parks are funded by money from 1) the general fund - where the $3 million was cut from the budget, 2) registrations from boats and OHVs and 3) Use collections, which are camp fees and services.
Ranger Franklin said state parks’ revenue actually increased in Utah during the recession due to more local visitation.
Proposed changes to the Land Use Ordinance brought a long discussion with public input when Commissioner Doug Heaton asked for comments. He read several letters he received into the record. All were opposed to the reduction from five acres to ½ acre parcels in the 8 Mile Gap area. The concern was about water and contamination of water with septic systems. Another concern was that growth control will be abandoned and the problems related.
Heaton said the pendulum swing may be farther than the county wants to go. But he feels some of the county ordinances are not in the best interest of property owners and property rights. “I understand the need for government to protect individual and property rights and for orderly central planning issues,” said Heaton.
Commissioner Dirk Clayson said his vision is when neighborhoods congregate with like interest and the neighborhoods would develop their plan and determine their own destiny with their CCR’s, covenents, contracts and restrictions.
Peggy Stone said, “its not the people we worry about, it’s the developers.”
Charlie Sava said, “8 Mile Gap residents want it to stay the way it is. We fought change from 10 acres to five acres.”
Chris Dvorak said people are looking for consistency. “We need to learn from prior mistakes.”
Heaton stated building permits have to be approved by the Southwest Public Health Department and they determine if the lot is buildable.
The commissioners reminded all that what is decided for the county ordinances will effect the entire county.
Mary Craven offered the pendulum swings too wide with different regimes, adding, “ we need to be closer to the center. People need to be involved. There is a lack of communication. Neighborhoods need an organizer. It’s not going to work, too many owners live out of the area.”
Getting communities together is a horrendous job. The General Plan will set the guidelines.
Clayson asked, “Is there a proposal? We’ve heard concerns.”
The commission voted to move forward on Chapter 5 and approve the agricultural zone change with modification of changing from conditional to permitted public utility lines and remove the language beyond the period.
Chapter 6 was adopted with the exception of paragraph 5, which would change parcel size from five acres to ½ acre. Paragraph 5 was sent back to the Land Use Board for reconsideration.
Heaton told everyone he appreciated the discussion and loves it when the public gets involved. “I believe in basic constitutional principles over political expediency.”
The Canyon Lands plat amendment at Amangiri Resort was approved.
Also approved was a lot/line adjustment for Chris Edman. Clayson recused himself due to a conflict of interest.
The Volunteer Center recognized Anita Perkins and Ron Wise for their help in preparing 160 tax returns for families with an income less than $49,000. Over 1,000 hours were donated.
Also recognized was Karen Kelly for receiving the State Silver Bowl Award, which was presented by Lt. Governor Bell.
Nine bids were submitted for the Hancock Road and Kanab Canyon intersection. After study, the bid was awarded to low bidder Mel Clark Construction for $365,625.49.
Jeff Hoyt and Lou Pratt gave an update on the Spring Drive frontage road pavement repairs in Duck Creek. Their proposal is a retaining wall and drainage. Once the retaining wall is completed, Hoyt asked for county help to chip seal the parking lot.
Heaton said this is a good example. “We commend you for taking care of the infrastructure.”
A public hearing for the Spring Drive Plat Amendment was held. The prescriptive easement will remain as is. No one present at the hearing opposed. Larry Skaggs, Lot #69, said he was happy with what is proposed.
The commission voted to approve the plat amendment for Spring Drive in Meadow View Estates pending approval of the plat by the Land Use Authority.
Sharon Adams said another exit is needed in case of an emergency. There was another road, but it was taken out. Heaton said we need to pursue egress with the Forest Service.
At the MBA section of the meeting, two bids were received for the upstairs soundproof flooring. The low bid was Kanab Furniture for $3,757.08.
Bids were opened for the RFP on the cost to design a fair building. Five bids were received. The commission will review them in more detail before a decision is made.
A commission tour will be scheduled for the Public Safety Facility.
Dirk Clayson, the MBA chair, was authorized to modify the USDA contract, upon approval of the attorney’s office.
Deputy Sheriff Tracy Glover reported they are pleased with the contractors, Wedgewood, for the deputy housing and sheriff substation in Bullfrog.