Dear Editor:

By now you have probably received your Kanab utility bill for July. Yes, it is true; the city has raised the expense of this bill by $16. This is a 40 percent increase over what most of us are currently paying for our utilities. A price hike of this size is unheard of in most well-managed cities. Why such a large increase in Kanab?

The reason for this large increase in utility fees is primarily the negligence of our city leaders to properly manage projects and operations.

When La Estancia was built in Toms Canyon, the city first required the developer to build an adequate storm drain system as part of his development. After all, the historic name of this area is “Flood Canyon.” Over time, the city allowed this developer to build and sell houses without completing this flood control system. 

Much of the water that is flooding houses and businesses in the heart of our town is simply the drainage caused by development in Flood Canyon without having effective flood control. The city was negligent in not requiring an adequate storm drain system to be built by the developer. Now our local utility bill has skyrocketed to compensate for the city’s lack of follow through.

Another reason why we are paying this large increase on our monthly utility bill is the city’s negligence with regard to building impact fees. Since 2009, the city has not been charging impact fees for new houses and commercial development. Most cities responsibly charge these fees. The City of Kanab was dead wrong not to be charging these fees that pay for storm drain systems, sewer, roads, and other important infrastructure. As of August 22, there will finally be some new impact fees. This is too little and too late. 

We need a city administration that will perform competently and wisely. We need our city leaders to look after the needs of local residents, and not just cater to the financial interests of developers. Trouble arises when our local leaders are themselves developers and land owners. Think about this when you choose who to vote for in November.  Vote for leaders who will place the financial well being of local residents first.