Southern Utah News Articles
Kane County Commission winds down 2012 and gears up for 2013
December 17, 2012
The final 2012 Kane County Commission Meeting was held with Chairman Jim Matson present. Commissioners Doug Heaton and Dirk Clayson attended the meeting via speakerphone, as they were in Salt Lake City meeting with state legislators.
A public hearing was held for the 2013 budget. When asked by Sky Chaney why the budget was down one half million, Clayson said, they budget revenue conservatively and expenses aggressively. He also asked how much of the budgeted legal is for roads and are legal fees taken out of the road B & C monies. Clerk/Auditor Karla Johnson answered none. She continued that legal fees is not just for roads, it also deals with the tiger beetle and sage grouse issues to name a few.
Mary Craven asked why the hospital budget was down over the 2012 budget. Matson explained the commission had extended the hospital one percent tax. Therefore, monies from the mineral lease that had been going to the hospital, will now be used for economic development.
The next public hearing was the budget opening for 2012. All dealt with housekeeping, since most were grants to accommodate. The grants were for the new Drug Court, North Events Center, Travel Council grants, Strike Force and TRT refunds and the new Debt Reduction Program.
After the public hearings, the commission adopted Resolution 2012-24, the final budget for 2013. They then adopted Resolution 2012-23 budget opening for 2012.
Matson was reappointed to the Canyon Land Improvement District for a four-year term. Matson recused himself from the vote. He acts on the board as a citizen and not as a county commissioner.
Natalie Owen was appointed to the Church Wells SSD Board.
Resolution 2012-22 was approved which appointed Alan Aldredge and Joe Decker to the Executive Board of the South West Regional Response and Coordinating Team. They will serve a two-year term.
Ryan Maddux was recommended by Attorney Kent Burggraaf and appointed to the 401K Trustee Board.
January 14, 2013
Commissioner Dirk Clayson reported the county has won two major legal battles. The first is the Uranium suit, which will now move forward because the judge agrees with a five county coalition complaint showing economic harm, and agrees the decision was more political and not based on science (NEPA Study).
The second major legal victory had to do with continued federal requests for extensions with the Hole in The Rock suit. Four county witnesses have died with all of the delays. The judge denied more extensions and gave the county permission to take depositions.
The commissioners set their goals and objectives for 2013. Some of the goals are: Maintain effective budgets and debt reduction; Hold taxes to 2012 level and beyond; Seek funding support for 2477 litigation from State of Utah; Develop partnerships with Kanab City and communities in county; Manage general plan elements and schedule updates as needed; Coordinate economic develop programs including CEBA, Travel Council and volunteer center etc.; aggressively support natural resource development in Kane County and adjacent areas; Assert county jurisdiction regarding federal lands in Kane County; Obtain OHV access to Robinson’s Canyon historic route; and Manage efforts re: Monument grazing lawsuit, JACOB-Ryan Intervention, Sage Grouse listing, Alton coal and Tiger Beetle listing.
The commissioners also approved commission assignments and tasks. There are 62 assignments.
The commission opened nine bids to repair the damage to irrigation, culinary, power substations, etc. from the 2011 flooding from Lydia’s Canyon south to the Barracks. The Emergency Water Shed funding comes from the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The bids ranged from $698,487 to $1,625,835. Before awarding the bid, the contents need to be studied for detail. The commission voted to have the county engineering firm, Jones/DeMille, award the low bid that meets all of the criteria.
Clayson will serve this year as Commission Chairman. Matson will serve as the Municipal Building Authority Chairman.
Dale Clarkson was re-appointed to the Kane County Planning Commission.
Approved Land Use changes as recommended by the Planning Commission are: Chapter 18, parking and loading space and Chapter 14, motor vehicle access.
Also approved was a fee increase for lot joinders from $400 to $500. Commissioner Doug Heaton applauded Shannon McBride and Kane County Planning Commission for all of their work.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Park Service and Kane County was ratified. This allows their personnel to attend the Resource Committee meetings with the understanding that their statements are not official statements by the Park Service.
Commissioner Clayson reported the county is working on a proposal from Southern California Edison for a solar power farm to be developed on SITLA lands. It is a major economic project with good jobs in construction and maintenance.
Rhonda Gant, Human Services, reported the recent Congressional Action did affect paychecks. Congress did not raise taxes, however, they did not extend a two percent cut on FICA payments. Each county employee felt the impact on their first 2013 paycheck by an average of $40 to $50.
Commissioner Matson reported the Resource Committee is involved with Rangeland Utilization and Health project and is involved with the Grazing EIS with the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Matson also reported they are looking at programming and steps for more fire resistance on Cedar Mountain.