Monday, December 4, 2017

Profiling Utahns with Disabilities

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Groundbreaking held for Kanab Center

November 20 marked the groundbreaking for the Kanab Center convention building. The Kanab Center is located where the old middle school building used to be on the bend in downtown Kanab. The school district donated 13 acres to this project to benefit of the entire county. The Kanab Center will be built without having to go to the taxpayers. Funding has/will come from Transient Room Taxes (TRT) being saved for the project; a $3.7 million CIB grant/low interest loan, which will be paid for by future TRT’s. Southern Utah News

St. George area faces potential affordable housing crisis

A new analysis of the county’s housing stock and its affordability draws a bleak picture for even middle-income workers without serious efforts to address the problem, forecasting demand for more than 30,000 new lower-cost housing units by 2050. There are currently about 954 “affordable” housing units countywide, or about 3,500 fewer than what are needed given the area’s demographics, according to the projections, which were included in a new affordable housing plan.

The vacancy rate for multi-family housing units countywide was at less than 1 percent as of mid-2017, and has hovered at around that same mark for nearly two years, according to a market analysis done by commercial real estate service NAI Excel. In the rental market for single-family homes, the vacancy rate was just 2.6 percent as of mid-year, according to the analysis. The Spectrum

New Restaurant for St. George

Guadalajara Grill plans to bring 'upscale' Mexican food to St. George. The restaurant will go into the old Players Sports Grill building at 1688 S. Convention Center Dr., near the Dixie Center and adjacent to Interstate 15. The high-traffic location has remained empty since this spring, an odd void in a growing city. While the restaurant’s menu will be about “65 percent Mexican,” Guadalajara Grill will also serve prime rib, steak and a variety of seafood including crab legs and lobster tail. The Spectrum

Forest Service considers harvesting, selling timber burned in Brian Head Fire

Much of the wood from the trees burned in this summer’s devastating Brian Head Fire is still useful, and the U.S. Forest Service is proposing a timber salvage along roads in the burn area. Officials from the Cedar City Ranger District say standing dead trees comprising mostly ponderosa pine and incidental amounts of spruce, fir and aspen have merchantable value if they are harvested before succumbing to insects and disease.

The project proposal also cites public health and safety concerns, as some of the trees are along highly traveled routes and may produce road hazards. The salvage project is under review by the Cedar City Ranger District. The project is expected to go forward after an analysis concludes Dec. 1.

The first phase of the project falls within approximately 250 acres of Dixie National Forest in Iron and Garfield counties. The project area is located southeast of Brian Head and northwest of Panguitch Lake along state Route 143 and Forest Service Road 050. St George News

Litehouse Foods successfully adds 103 jobs at Hurricane facility; more to come

Over 100 people have found new employment since Litehouse Foods expanded its operations in Southern Utah with a $40 million investment in May, and more jobs will continue to be added in the coming years. Since the May expansion, the company has added 103 new full-time positions at the Hurricane facility, and the company forecasts offering 75-100 more as the expansion continues.

Litehouse Foods may earn up to 20 percent of the new state taxes it will pay after the jobs expansion in the form of a post-performance economic development tax increment finance tax credit rebate. In order to secure these incentives, total company wages in aggregate are required to exceed 110 percent of the Washington County average wage. St. George News

St George City approves zoning changes for development of 1,188 acres near White Dome

St. George City officials approved an update to the city’s general plan in a portion of a 6,116-acre area of the region referred to as the “south block,” which covers the area extending from the Fort Pierce Industrial Park to the north to the Utah-Arizona border to the south, and from Interstate 15 on the west to the Fort Pierce Industrial Park area on the east. The area affected by the update falls in the eastern end of the south block designated as the 1,931-acre White Dome area.

The amendment creates zoning changes that make way for low-, medium- and high-density housing and commercial and industrial developments. St. George News

New businesses coming to Exit 13 in Washington

City officials are beginning to see a longtime goal of continuing commercial development along Washington Parkway come to fruition with the recent groundbreaking for an incoming diner and the announcement of a hotel nearby.

Currently the only business in the area, located on the east side of Interstate 15’s Exit 13 leading to Washington Parkway, is a Maverik convenience store and gas station. That is changing, though, with an Oct. 25 groundbreaking for a Black Bear Diner across the street to the south. Located to the east of Maverik is a large parcel of land with two signs. One shows an artist’s rendering of a potential “commerce and hospitality center” slated for the spot; another announces a forthcoming Best Western Plus hotel. St. George News

Beaver sees spike in home building from FLDS

Building permits have more than quadrupled in Beaver in the past year. Sheriff Cameron Noel said many of the new residents are from the Hildale and Colorado communities in Washington County, an area known for polygamy. Deseret News