A special Kane County Commission meeting was held on January 30, to meet the state deadline for voter precinct and school district changes.

The 2010 census report, with an increase of 1,079 in population in the county, has had an impact on Kane County, especially in the Kanab area. In 2000 the census was 6,046. In 2010 the census was 7,125.  The main reason for boundary changes is the shift in population growth east of Kanab City and in La Estancia.  

This shift had a direct impact on the school district and voting precincts. Students were not affected, but School Board Districts were. Population in each of the five districts needs to be as even as possible. To comply with state statute, district boundaries to elect school board members had to change.

Superintendent Bob Johnson and several school board members were present to hear two possible options presented by Clerk/Auditor Karla Johnson.The commission adopted the boundaries recommended by the school district.

Most of Kanab City residents and county residents east of Kanab will be in different precincts and voting at a different location than they do now.  

The first impact created by boundary changes will be the caucuses scheduled for March 15. The information will be available in the newspaper, and flyers will be posted throughout town.  The county plans to have a mailer out to all voters impacted by this change so they know which precinct they are in and where they will vote. If you still have questions, contact the county clerk’s office for clarification.

 In other business, Toni Chelewski and Roger Chamberlain were re-appointed to the Land Use Board. There were no other applications.

 Dirk Clayson was selected by the commissioners to serve as the 2012 Vice Chair to serve with 2012 Commission Chair Jim Matson.  

 During the public input section, Herb Alexander asked. “Why only three commissioners? Would the county be better served with five commissioners?  Our commissioners do a good job but are overworked.” That brought a discussion on the variety of county commissions with different forms and their effectiveness. Does bigger mean more expensive?

 The regular Commission meeting adjourned and was followed by a work session. Dr. Blodgett, Southwest Public Health, complimented Kane County immunization rate being four times higher than other counties, with fewer incidents in Kane County during the flu season. Blodget said flu season would peak in a few weeks. The season is from November to March. Flu vaccinations last one year.When asked if a flu shot would give you the flu, he replied the vaccine is not capable of producing disease.

 Matson recommended the 401K Board of Trustees, which currently has three members be changed to five.  They switched to Trans-America this year as part of the self-insure process.

 Matson reported the Secure Rural School funding may be in jeopardy, and will affect the county by $100,000. The commission will follow the SRS as well as PILT funding.

 The commission discussed  changing to a four-day week. Longer hours would mean better access by the working public.  Court is held on Friday in Kane County.  Several elected officials felt it would hurt rather than enhance public relations.  There seemed to be more opposition than support for a four-day workweek.

 Clayson gave an update on his visit to rural counties day at the state legislature. He thanked Kelly Stowell for everything he lined up.  The county was well represented with KHS Xpress performing and the presentation of the first all woman city council.

The county supported Kanab City with the request to UDOT to schedule highway construction through Kanab City during the winter and not during the summer tourist season.  If done in the summer, it could affect tourist revenue by as much as 70 percent.

 Also discussed was concern that Utah Valley announced they will no longer provide distance education. They announced a cutback in several rural areas; the very areas that need distance education. Clayson asked the Commission to get involved because the technology development is a key part of the Kane Economic Development program.

 The commissioners concluded stating the State of Utah has expressed their appreciation for Kane County taking the lead in the RS2477 right of way battle.  Commissioner Doug Heaton said the state is doing all they can do to assist Kane and other counties in the RS2477 battle.