Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for August 17, 2011
County has new fair building in the works
Tom Avant and Mike Downward, of Thebeau Consulting, had a budget prepared for a new Kane County Fair Building at the August 11 Kane County Commission meeting. The preliminary plan and budget had several options for a 300-person capacity building. The commissioners discussed funding sources, how much was budgeted, and how much more they will need. They will discuss this with the Travel Council for some TRT funds.
The commission appointed former Commissioner Mark Habbeshaw to serve as a county witness in the Bald Knoll litigation and to reimburse him $100 per diem.
The commission removed the tax lien on parcels due to the fact they were on State Trust Lands and the state took back the properties. The title does not transfer from the state until the last payment. The county will check with other counties on the unusual process, and see how they have handled privileged taxes with State Trust Lands.
Property owner Richard Dommer had appealed to the county to lower the assessment on his land and did receive a lower assessment. He appealed to the State Tax Commission and that decision was pending when he paid his county taxes. Later, the state reduced the assessed value even lower, but after the 2010 taxes. The home was reassessed in 2011. The motion was to refund the adjustment based on value, and the refund of approximately $2,000 will apply to the 2011 taxes.
Earl Levanger has revisions of the MOU with Big Water for a Federal Excess Personal Property (FEEP) fire truck ready for signatures. Several fire districts within Kane County are also seeking to upgrade their equipment. Commissioner Jim Matson and the other commissioners commended Earl Levanger for “running a one man county fire department and doing an excellent job for Kane County.”
The commissioners will not close the roads requested by Chris Oderkirken. However, they will vacate the current road through his property and relocate the road in favor of a recorded 33-foot easement approved by the road department. Oderkirken will be required to construct a road to class D standards and allow the public unlocked access. All this will have to go through the appropriate public hearing process.
The annual At Your Leisure contract was approved for $89,900. This includes eight programs including advertisements.
In other business, Kane County has been asked to represent Utah as part of the NACO effort on September 15 and 16 in Washington, D.C. The meeting is related to PILT and SRS funding. Both funds are important to Kane County and to Utah schools. They are looking at major reductions. Twenty percent of the county budget comes from PILT funding. The commission will check and see if Kane County has the resources to send someone.
Commissioner Doug Heaton said, “We need public lands released back to the states. I think the reason they asked Kane County is our tough stand on federal issues.”
Commissioner Dirk Clayson said the last trip was worthwhile with contacts. ”All agreed that what relates to PILT and SRS funds is important to Kane County and whoever goes, they want appointments and not cold contacts.”
Clayson’s request for an RFP for a Professional Travel Council Marketing Study be sent out was approved.
Heaton said he had been contacted and asked by the State Park Director if the county would be interested in taking over the management of Coral Pink Sand Dunes and Kodachrome. The director will be at the next commission meeting. The commissioners agreed a financial analysis was needed.
According to Heaton, “The closer you can get to home, the better off we are for accountability.”
A contract for gravel with Susan Martin was approved for $169,000. The county will pay half this budget year, and half next budget year.
The Resource Committee by-laws were amended so federal land management (Forest Service, BLM and Park Service) are ex-officio members.
The annual weed contract with Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and Kanab BLM Field Office was approved. The county is reimbursed $17,000 for spraying noxious weeds on federal lands.
The county insurance committee proposed amendment to the HRA Plan document was approved when the wording was modified for clarification.
All of the items on the consent agenda were approved. They included a business license for Young Lamb Industries, Parcel joinders in Swains Creek Pines Unit and Zion View Mountain Estates and the proposed changes to Chapter 6 Land Use Ordinance.