Southern Utah News Articles
WCA updates indicate county funding impacted
On the regular agenda, Ken Brown from the Western County Alliance (WCA) updated the Kane County Commission on several issues. The Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program ends September 30. “We hope to re-authorize if we can find funding.” Currently Utah’s share is $364,000,000 in a four-year cycle. Kane County’s share this year is $131,553. This is a big item for school districts.
Full funding on PILT expires in 2012. Efforts are being made to extend funding beyond 2012. The WCA’s position is if not extended, public land could be sold to raise money. The WCA recommends changing the formula for offsets. Utah counties are set up to handle them, but other state counties are not.
Brown continued with the Wild Horse/Burro Program. There have never been local elected officials on the board. WCA has proposed the BLM to amend the charter to include county elected officials.
Regarding Wild Lands 3310, Utah Rep. Rob Bishop took the lead in seeing that it was not budgeted for. Now the administration is looking at using the Antiquities Act. For now, the Wild Lands is on the back burner.
Brown commended Kane County as leader on the Quiet Title concept.
With the Clean Water Act, the federal government wants to remove the verbiage “navigable,” and replace with “waters of the United States.” The WCA is opposed to that change and Kane County has already filed a notice of opposition.
WCA has members in Utah, Nevada, Montana, California, Arizona and Colorado. Annual dues were reduced from $7,500 to $5,000.
The commission approved the re-distribution of $5,000 within the current contract amount to support the 4-H position in Kane County.
Taking the treasurer’s recommendation, the commission denied a request to waive interest and penalties on back taxes for Jeffrey and Kendalee Cox. Although their scenario is unfortunate, the commissioners were concerned about setting a precedent.
With so much debris left from the winter storms on Cedar Mountain, Roads Supervisor Bert Harris recommended debris removal contracts on Cedar Mountain for the five different areas. FEMA will pay 75% of the cost. Since this was not budgeted, the county will first check with FEMA for approval. If approved, Commission Chair Doug Heaton was authorized to review and execute the contract.
Attorney Justin Wayment, representing Chris Odekerken, discussed closure of the roads K2855 and K2800 on Glendale Bench. With RS2477 and county issues, Commissioner Heaton said, “We need to maintain our access.”
The county did suggest perhaps a compromise could be met if Odekerken gives an easement on the edge of his property to realign and tie K2855 and K2800.
The commission approved the URS Benefit Protection Contract with Tier II not included, as recommended by the County Employee Association.
The commission decided to follow the legal procedure regarding the petition from Big Water to change the Glen Canyon Special Service District from an appointed board to an elected board. The current petition can act as a referendum to be voted on in the next municipal election in 2013.
Commissioner Jim Matson said, “the residents need to sort out and follow the process if they want a public hearing.”
Petitioners need to file a formal request for change as one of the first steps if they want the commission to make the decision. The commission asked they be notified immediately about deadlines, which are very close.
The commission approved the Kaneplex Road Engineering contract with Jones/DeMille Engineering.
Jerry Trebold, Cedar Mountain Fire Protection District, would like to resign and asked the process for filling a vacancy. The commissioners said they have no say, and to check with the board by-laws on replacement. CMFPD is an elected board now, and Kane County Commission has no authority.
As a follow-up on the issue of navigable rivers in Kane County and permits required by the Corps of Engineers, County Attorney Jim Scarth recommended a Nexus Analysis. The analysis is a research project on how an agency has exercised its authority in the past. The county needs to determine the scope of the study. More information on cost is necessary before a decision is made.
JR Tree Service was issued a business license.
A parcel joinder in Elk Ridge Estates was approved. Also, the addition of Article K, Rural Unimproved, was approved with some modifications and clarification to make it easier for the property owner.
With the new agenda for citizen public input, Treasurer Georgia Baca answered a question on taxes and penalties. The state sets the interest rate, which is currently 7%, and payments are applied to the front and then work back.
Another comment was in favor of an appointed, rather than elected, board in the Glen Canyon Special Service District because the commission interviews for qualifications.