Monday’s meeting of the Kane County Commission began with public comment from Jo Anne Rando-Moon, who presented a public document indicating that Alton Coal Development, LLC owes Kane County $589,302 in unpaid taxes. Commissioner Dirk Clayson said the county commission “does not keep track of this” and that if any entity doesn’t pay for five sequential years they become delinquent and the entity goes into a tax sale. Clayson also pointed out that he personally is in arrears on his taxes and sees no difference between the two. The Treasurer’s Office quickly checked and found that Alton Coal had not paid taxes for the years of 2014, 2015 and 2017. 

In the first agenda item, County Attorney Rob Van Dyke led a public hearing regarding the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for the new Children’s Justice Center. As reported earlier, this will provide a central location for helping children who are victims of neglect and abuse. There, the investigation and treatment will be coordinated and done in a way to reduce trauma to the children. The total cost for this center will be $453,000. A number of grants from the Delores Eccles and other foundations have been donated. Mesa Design, a local architectural firm, has donated $15,000 in design services. Kane County is contributing $60,000, and $150,000 will come from the CDBG grant. Additional money is still being raised, but there is enough to have a groundbreaking in June. The building will be located behind the SW Behavioral Center north of the hospital. 

The public had several questions. John Casperson asked where children who cannot be returned to their homes would spend the night. Van Dyke explained the state of Utah has licensed foster families in the area where children can stay. Charlie Saba asked if the project was now fully funded, and Van Dyke explained that yes, in order to get the CDBG grant, you must show full funding is in place. Ray Wells asked who would be staffing the center. Van Dyke said that while it will not be permanently staffed every day, staff will be there when the need arises. The sheriff will call Devin Shakespear who will be there, and Stephanie Furnival will also be on the scene. It was generally agreed this is a very good and much-needed service to Kane County.

In the second agenda item, a change to the Kane County land use ordinance Title 9, Chapter 7, was made to the C-1 and C-2 zones addressing building heights. For both zones, the law now reads that maximum building heights can be “Four stories allowed, with no limit on height for roof line and architectural features.” This was unanimously approved by the commissioners.

In Item 3, Sheriff Tracy Glover presented a request for proposal for remodeling the county jail. The remodel is needed to separate the male and female inmate sections. It will also allow space for eight to 10 more inmates, which will increase county revenues. At $57 per day per inmate, the remodel will pay for itself in five to seven years. The contract for the remodel was awarded to Layton Construction, which was the original builder of the jail. Their bid was within the budgeted amount and it was agreed that their work is reliable.

In the final item, the commissioners unanimously adopted Resolution R-2018-11. This resolution addresses road access into and around the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and encourages the BLM and the Department of Interior to use maps drawn prior to the original monument designation as the federal agencies design their four management plans for the newly designated area in and around the monument. The resolution states: “Kane County calls upon and hereby demands the BLM and Department of Interior immediately open, to motorized and non-mechanized vehicle use, all roads as identified in the 1996 map…that presently exist and were in existence pre-monument designation of Proclamation 6920.” Note that this resolution does not immediately open these roads.