Clerk/Auditor Karla Johnson presented the elements of the 2012 budget. “The tentative budget is balanced. Property taxes are reduced by 10% and the budget has been lowered to accomplish it,” said Johnson.  Commissioner Doug Heaton asked, “Is the tax cut sustainable over four years?”

Johnson answered yes, if the county sustains revenues as they currently are. However, cuts in PILT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes), and State Mineral Lease money would have a negative impact. There are reductions in each department across the board for the fifth year.

The commissioners gave Johnson a standing ovation when she gave them a consolidated monthly activity report. They had a six-inch stack of papers representing the 2012 budget and financial report. The consolidated activity report for quick reference was a few pages.

The Roads Fund does have some concerns. The state hold-harmless formula, which is based on population, hurts the funding for Kane County. Kane County has many miles of roads, but a small population. The county also has many tourists using the roads. The formula needs to be re-visited. The commissioners will work with Representative Noel in the next legislative session.

The commission will apply for a Community Block Development Grant (CDBG), and Community Impact Board (CIB), for funding for a new senior center. The American Legion Hut needs to be redone, and the Care and Share needs an upgrade; especially space. PILT funds help support the senior center. They agreed there needs to be cooperation between Kanab City and the county to accomplish this.

Commissioner Heaton asked two questions for consideration, “Do we get what we pay for, and do we want what we pay for?”

Commissioner Dirk Clayson reported that the Travel Council building needs to be repainted. He showed them the tentative design the council desired and the commissioners liked it.

The Kane Medical Insurance committee suggested that with the new jail employees, the number of county employees receiving benefits is 99. With 12.9 % increase in medical insurance, this maybe a good time to consider self-insure like they have with dental insurance. The county would not be at the mercy of an insurance company and its increases, if they self-insure.

Dave Owens said, “Obama Care, although unintended, is pushing people to consider this.” 

The discussion included a conference call with insurance broker Mikel Sharp. Sharp also said this a good time to consider self-insuring. The committee will consider researching the alternatives and pros and cons of making a change to self-insure.

The commissioners concluded the meeting by coordinating upcoming meetings and making sure Kane County is represented.