Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for August 17, 2011
Kanab Fire Department climbs up the ladder
Kanab City Manager Duane Huffman went over a few items in the work meeting before the regular scheduled city council meeting on August 9, 2011.
He discussed with the council if they felt there was a need to have legal counsel present at all council meetings.
The council felt it would be necessary on important agenda items, but as long as they had the option of conference calls, that would be adequate.
Huffman said he had gone over the amendment change to Section 3 of Ordinance 8-1-11-0 with the lawyers to review before the council vote that night.
He had discussed the site plan appeal with legal counsel, and when all groups are brought together, the city council and the city planning and zoning commission need to have separate legal representation.
He announced the Kanab Creek Bridge construction is scheduled to begin September 1.
Huffman also stated he is working on a new personnel and policies manual and all employees have received a rough draft.
Fire Chief Joe Decker was asked to give a little background on the ladder truck that Decker, Huffman and Captain Mark Foley had gone to Colorado to inspect.
Decker said the fire department wasn’t looking for a new truck, but this was brought to his attention and it is such a great deal for the city and the department, it was just hard to pass up.
It is a 1983 ladder truck with a 55-foot ladder and a nozzle on the end. It is capable of being a ladder and an engine truck (E-One Stratosphere), has 34,000 miles, 2600 hours, with a price tag of $15,000. Those who inspected the truck said the equipment alone was well worth over $15,000. All who went to inspect the truck said it was in immaculate condition.
Decker said it was unanimous from the fire department volunteers to take the money out of the department’s equipment budget, rather than lose the purchase of the truck.
Decker went on to discuss the evaluation the Insurance Services Office (ISO) had given the city. The last evaluation done was 19 years ago, but should be done every five years. On a scale of one-10 (one being best, 10 being worst), the city received a five. The ISO officer told them the city was in need of a ladder truck, which could help the city maintain their score of five.
This score helps business and homeowners get better rates with their insurance companies.
Comments from the audience were all positive. Mac Robinson said, “I feel it is definitely a safety issue. I hate to see any firefighter on the roof of a house or any other structure, with the dangers of it caving in.”
Dennis Mosdell agreed on the safety factor, as his business and house are three story structures. He would hate to see anyone get hurt by trying to put out a fire on his roof.
The audience as a whole seemed to be in agreement this would be beneficial to the community.
The regular city council meeting then started with four council members present, with council member Steve Mower excused.
The first item on the agenda was the proclamation declaring August 14-20, 2011, as Western Legends Round-up Week. A motion was made and passed by all.
Kathy Meyer, from the Canyon County Quilt, requested the council’s services as judges for the Western Legends Round-up Quilt Show. She said the quilts to be judged are from the Canyon County Quilt Guild only. The quilts will have numbers on them, not names.
Awards given will be Mayor’s Choice, one from Kanab Mayor and one from Fredonia Mayor, Kanab City Council choice, Kane County Commissioner choice, and two viewer’s choices, one wall hanging and one traditional. All agreed to come and judge and vote for their favorite.
Next was Ordinance 8-2-11-0 “An Amendment to Section 3 of the City’s General Ordinances, Adopting Rules Governing Public Meetings.” Huffman told the council to look in particular at the section that includes the addition of Section 3-510 “City Council Agenda,” procedures for those desiring to have an item placed upon the city council agenda.
Other sections were: Section 3-601, “Business of Governing Body Conducted only in Open Meeting;” Section 3-606, “Rules of Procedure;” Section 3-607, “Rules of Conduct for Members of the Governing Body;” and Section 3-608, “Rules of Conduct for the Public.” A roll call vote was as follows: Council members Tony Chatterley, Cheryl Brown, Jim Sorenson and Ed Meyer all voting aye.
The next agenda item was the purchase of a ladder truck. Huffman said he was impressed with the condition of the truck. He and the fire chief had discussed ways to pay for said truck, and agreed taking the money out of the department’s equipment budget would be the best option, with the chief stating he may have to come back to the council if necessary for any unforeseen expenses that may occur.
Chatterley said, “Even though the current budget wasn’t planning for this purchase, he feels this is a once in a lifetime deal.”
Council member Cheryl Brown asked, “Can another truck be sold?
Decker answered, “That would make our evaluation rating go up with ISO.”
Brown also asked, “Will this add additional maintenance costs?”
Decker said, “Just normal maintenance.”
Sorenson said, “My first reaction was, What, we just voted on the budget.” However, he feels comfortable with the department offering to pay for the truck out of their equipment budget.
He then asked, “Will any additional equipment be needed?”
Decker said, “No. It is completely set-up. The truck needs no additional or new equipment.”
Sorenson continued, “Is there a need for special training?”
Decker said, “Yes, the Utah Fire Reserve Academy will send the needed training material to Decker, who is an instructor, and he will instruct the firefighters on the proper use of the ladder truck.”
Sorenson asked about engine 23, located at the Ranchos Fire Station. Engine 23 is on loan from a government program, meaning we can use it, but we do not own it. It is useable, but needs some repairs. Decker said he feels uncomfortable putting money into something the department does not own.
The suggestion was engine 22 would be moved to the Ranchos Fire Station, and engine 23 be used for emergency back-up. Decker would report this to ISO, which could help our future evaluations.
Sorenson thought it was a great idea to have a workable truck in the Ranchos with a faster response time.
A motion was made and all voted aye to purchase the ladder truck.
Council member Meyer thought they should do a roll call on this motion. A roll call vote was as follows: Council members Chatterley, Brown, Sorenson and Meyer all voting aye.
Judge Gary Johnson came before the council to address Resolution 8-2-11 R, “A Resolution Appointing Temporary Justice Court Judges.” According to Johnson, when a judge is unable to cover their own court, they appoint their own temporary replacement, which could be a conflict of interest. Johnson recommended there be a rotation of temporary judges, rather then appointing their own replacement.
The council agreed and a motion was made to adopt Resolution 8-2-11 R. All voted aye.
A motion to approve an engagement letter with Hinton, Burdick, Hall and Spilker, PLLC, as financial auditors was next on the agenda and it was passed.
Sorenson questioned if a Request for Bids (RFB) had been sent out. Huffman stated it had not been done. Sorenson questioned how long has this company been our financial auditors? Treasurer RaeLene Johnson said she believed for the past five to six years.
Sorenson suggested when the next engagement letter comes due, that a RFB be put out.
A grant contract and preservation agreement with the Utah State History Department of Community and Culture was discussed. This was a budget item with a matching grant. The grant is $18,800, with the city’s share being $9,400.
Development and repairs of the Kanab Heritage House is $2,800. Reconnaissance Level Survey (professional consultant fees) of approximately 800 buildings in downtown Kanab is $16,000. This grant was passed.
The last item on the agenda was performance evaluations for the Fire Chief and Animal Control Officer/Meter Reader. Sorenson had a question on the Animal Control Officer’s evaluation and requested the council go into executive session.
After executive session, the council approved the Fire Chief step increase from 20-B to 20-C and approved a grade and step increase for the Animal Control Officer/Meter Reader from 9-D to 10-E.