The Kanab City Council meeting on June 14, started off strong with significant appointments to city positions. Norris Church and Oran Stovall have been appointed to the Beautification Board, and the city manager position has finally been filled as well; Kyler Ludwig will take up the position starting on July 5, 2022. Mayor Johnson said of Ludwig, “This was a tough decision. We had a lot of great candidates … but Kyler stood out.”
Following these appointments, the majority of the meeting was dedicated to a proposal for a new police station for the Kanab City Police Department. Police Chief Tom Cram opened, followed by Sergeant Darrin Coleman, who has been in charge of researching and developing the plans for the proposal. Sergeant Coleman cited the city’s dramatic increase in call volume and incident responses in the last few years as proof of the necessity for a new facility; calls have almost doubled between 2017 (2,674 incidents) and 2021 (4,600 incidents), with a trending increase of about 400 more incidents per year in that period, putting 2022 at an estimated 5,000 incidents. Utah’s average for policing a city is one officer per 571 citizens, while Kanab currently fields one per about 674, and is looking to grow.
Sergeant Coleman stated, “Since I’ve been with Kanab City - 21 years now - the population of Kanab has roughly doubled, and we’ve got two five-hundred home subdivisions on the way. According to US household data, that’s an average of three people per [household]; 3,000 more people.”
Coleman summed up the proposal with, “In designing this building, the goal is to create a fifty year plus building to allow for expansion, and to meet the needs of the community in the coming years.”
The plan is still in the initial blueprinting phase, so everything is still tentative, including the cost, which now stands at seven million dollars over the years of construction. The police representatives, as well as some corroborating experience from a few members of the council, state that cost is inflated and can be significantly reduced. Sergeant Coleman states that a more realistic cost would be around four or five million dollars over the years of construction.
The discussion ended with an approved motion to proceed with planning and budgeting, with Mayor Johnson stating, “We need to get to the point of a firm budget, and City Council Continued from A1 with potential for grants and loans.”
The council continued with agenda items that amounted to policy review for tax and expenditure. “We want the public to know how many pieces are moving in the background in Kanab,” said Councilman Scott Colson. “We don’t want to raise taxes, and we don’t want to make it harder for people who were raised here in Kanab to find places to live.”