The Kanab City Council voted four to one to adopt changes to Kanab’s Animal Control Ordinance, which, most notably, includes the provision of allowing a household to have a total of four dogs; an increase from the current total of two.

The additional dog permit carries some stipulations and new city fees, to be determined later, will apply. A pamphlet will be issued by the city outlining all the provisions in the ordinance before February.

All dogs must be licensed or be exempted, as in the case of foster dogs that are being sponsored by licensed entities like Best Friends.  A foster dog is one that is in a foster residence for greater than 30 days, but less than one year.

All dogs must be neutered.  Dogs cannot be tethered or chained up (this does not apply to two dog homes). The residence must have a 450 sq.ft. fenced area.

If the home is being rented, the homeowner must sign off on the provisions.  The permits are not transferable.

The additional dog permit can be revoked if there are two convictions within a year for excessive noise or an ‘at large’ (loose) dog.

A conviction for cruelty to animals, not maintaining sanitary conditions or failure to adhere to the above stipulations can also lead to revocation.

A new Animal Control Board is being formed to hear appeals from persons who have had their permits revoked or had other licensing issues. It will consist of the city manager, city police chief and an interested and competent local citizen to be appointed by the mayor. Their term is four years.

Residents losing their license will have 10 days from the revocation date to file an appeal with the board, which will make a final decision on the matter within 10 days after it’s received.

If the incident involves impounding an animal and no appeal is filed within 10 days, the animal will be subject to disposal. There will be a $35 pick-up fee for impounded dogs, a $150 fine for a second offense, and $300 for any subsequent offenses within one year.

The new dog ordinance will take effect February 1, 2013, to allow time to implement the provisions and have the Planning and Zoning Commission revise the Land Use Ordinance to reflect these changes, including designation of a private licensed kennel as being needed for more than two dogs without an additional dog permit, and over four dogs with the permit. It also states as being needed for over three cats.

Councilman Jim Sorenson cast the lone nay vote, stating he had reservations about the number of dogs allowed.

Public comments on the changed ordinance were highly favorable.  JoAnne Rando-Moon felt it would make for more responsible pet owners, increase city revenues with more license fees, and people moving into town who are presently outside city limits because of having more than two dogs.

Jim Pierce, of the Kane Humane Society, said he would rather see fines for infractions of the ordinance, as he felt it would lead to less dumping of dogs in the county.  “They either end up dead or at my doorstep,” emphasized Pierce.

Gregory Castle, of the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary management team, echoed these comments saying, “These changes allow us to save more animals by promoting foster dog care in local homes, and it allows many of our 400 employees to live in the city with their pets.”

Claudia Presto, of the resurgent Greyhound Gathering, quipped, “The Greyhound Gang will appreciate this as greyhounds are like potato chips – you can’t have just one of them.”

Councilman Ed Meyer said he spoke to some local realtors who felt more properties could be sold in Kanab now because of more dogs being allowed at a residence.

Councilman Joe B. Wright praised law enforcement for the job they have been doing with dog control, and believed they will be called upon more to enforce the provisions of the new ordinance.

City Manager Duane Huffman’s new city employment contract, specifying a salary increase from “$63,000 plus some change” per Huffman, to $69,500, was opened for public comment, generating one notable negative response.

Gary Johnson, who has presided over the Justice Court in Kanab for nearly 15 years, stated, “In my meetings with the city manager, I have experienced a lack of respect and courtesy from him. There has been no consideration for the problem being addressed and no explanation given for what appeared to be his pre-determined response. I think he feels the Justice Court is not needed and should not be recertified and just shut our meeting down. More city employees than just this one are not getting the respect they deserve. The question is not what salary he should receive, but if he should be offered a contract at all.”

Mayor Laycook thanked Johnson for his comment, and after another participant offered her favorable impression of Huffman’s work, Councilman Sorenson made a motion to accept the contract, which was passed 4-1, with Councilman Wright dissenting.

Adoption of an interlocal agreement for recreational services between Kanab City and Kane County was approved, specifying Kanab will supply $35,000 as their part of the deal, and Kane County will be responsible for administering the recreational opportunities in the area.

The council adopted the 2013 Capital Improvements List, which is basically a prioritization of what they would like to see accomplished if they find the money and time.

The one-year list includes:  1. City-wide flood control project. 2. Construction of a Senior Citizen Center. 3. Trail project. 4. Capital Facilities Plan update. 5. Skate park. 6. Refurbish tennis courts. 7. Cemetery expansion. 8. General Plan update

Noel Poe said the trail project would be a hiking-biking trail from the Ranchos Park to Jacob Hamblin Park.

 The two-five year plan includes: 1. Converting park and cemetery to secondary water. 2. Culinary water projects. 3. Two trail projects. 4. Jackson Reservoir recreation projects.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Councilman Ed Meyer submitted his letter of resignation as a council member to Mayor Laycook after three years of dedicated service. Explaining that for his own and his wife Kathy’s health, they had decided to move to their new home in Arizona, at least for the winter months. Meyer could have stayed on as a council member attending meetings once a month and by phone the other meeting, but he felt Kanab’s citizens deserved better. His resignation was effective November 28.

Meyer has served small Utah communities for 35 years and has accomplished much in his tenure in Kanab, having most recently headed-up the building of the Outdoor Performing Arts Center and spearheaded the Animal Control Ordinance revisions.

Ed Meyer’s unique experience and thoughtful insight will be missed, but his ability and talent as a writer will continue to develop as he pursues his research and chronicling of Zane Grey and the Arizona Strip. 

Any Kanab resident interested in filling the vacancy now present on the city council for the balance of Meyer’s term should contact Duane Huffman for an application at the city office.