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“‘None’ isn’t adequate;” Fire service contract between County/City brought before Kanab City Council

The first item on the agenda of the August 23, 2023 city council meeting revisited a major issue about which many local citizens have expressed concern: Kanab City aiding fire protection efforts in the unincorporated areas of Kane County. Last year in October, the City and County signed an agreement to provide structure fire protection in unincorporated areas while the parties reviewed options for a longer-term solution – that contract was a one year agreement, which will lapse in October 2023. That agreement gave some governmental immunities to allow for Kanab Fire to respond to incidents outside of city limits, as well as the ability for Kanab City to bill the county for time. Per the City Council’s agenda packet for the evening, “Billing has not been successful.”

City Manager Kyler Ludwig presented the information on the agreement to the council, and as a follow up, Kanab’s Fire Chief Brett Pierson reiterated the need for the County’s aid in funding fire protection operations in these unincorporated areas, saying, “The agreement says they need to provide adequate [help] … in my opinion, ‘none’ isn’t adequate.” The City Council corroborated these concerns, with council member Chris Heaton stating “We need to have something figured out … I really hope the County can move on it,” and Scott Coulson agreeing, “If they don’t want to pursue a $2,000 bill because it’s not worth it to them … but the city can’t just eat $2,000.”

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City Attorney Kent Burggraaf added the legal perspective, recommending that if the long-term agreement can’t be reached by the time the current agreement expires, a renewal or modification of the current agreement would be practical. Said Burggraaf, “If the existing agreement expires … some of the homes may become uninsurable in the unincorporated areas, and if it’s uninsurable there’s some potential other risks such as the ability to get a mortgage.”

This item was designed to be informative; in Pierson’s words, “just keeping this on the radar so we can make a plan,” and as such the city council did not take any action at this meeting. However, multiple solutions were proposed with the intent of discussion and research so that action can be taken by the time the current agreement is nearing expiration.

Following that presentation, the council moved on to the topic of traffic signage and various traffic management tools. City Manager Ludwig presented maps showing major traffic collectors, which could benefit from additional stop signs, yield signs and road markings that could aid the effectiveness of such signage. The council agreed the best first action would be a collaboration between city staff, a council liaison and Kanab City Police to determine the specific areas to target and what methods to use.

The City Council went on to discuss the expansion of the Kanab Cemetery property, which would add a few hundred plots, as well as other methods for increasing efficiency of our current property use - like allowing cremains to share family members’ plots, or married couples who wished to be interred together to share a double depth plots.

The final item on the agenda was fairly straightforward, an approval of the use of federal grant funding for the Kanab Airport’s development projects. After that motion was made and passed, the meeting adjourned.

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