The regular meeting of the Riggins City Council was called to order by Mayor Crump. Councilors present were Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. Guests present included Larry Barnard, Al Slichter, Vicky Lowe, Jennette Tate, Richelle Barger, Layne Dotson, Idaho County Deputies Jon Wilson and Doug Giddings.
The Council was individually polled and all confirmed that they had read the minutes of the previous meetings. Motion was made by Underwood, seconded by Anderson, to approve the minutes as presented. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nayes.
The financial statement was read detailing $12,251.37 bills paid after the October meeting bringing the total October 2006 disbursements to $45,752.31. Bills in the amount of $21,331.06 were then presented for payment. After review, motion was made by Harper, seconded by Anderson, to approve the statement and allow the bills. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nayes. A copy of the financial statement is attached and hereby made a part of this record.
WATER/SEWER HOOKUP APPLICATION
Al Slichter presented a water and sewer hookup application for a residential unit planned for construction on the Diane Thach property, complete with the combined $4,000 hookup fees. The property is outside of the city limits at this time, but is included in the annexation in progress. Slichter reported that he was also looking into the installation of a septic system for the property, if it is not possible to hook into the city system. The property is located on a steep incline, and various ways to connect the property are being explored. After discussion, motion was made by Harper, seconded by Anderson, to approve the hookup as requested. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nayes.
Vicky Lowe visited with the Council about the community’s Christmas lights. Idaho Power reports that the lights have to be on a metered system by 2010, and they estimate the cost of power for the three months of use to be $280-$300 per year. There were various ways suggested to accomplish this change, and Layne Dotson of Idaho Power had planned to attend the meeting to discuss those options with the Council, but would arrive later in the evening. It was reported that one solution suggested by Dotson, was to install the snowflakes on the City’s metered light poles and be included in the monthly street light bill. More discussion will follow later upon Dotson’s arrival.
It was reported that there were several streetlights out and in need of repair. Idaho Power had been notified and they will be fixed when they have equipment in the area working.
Richelle Barger, of the Current, requested that the police reports be made available more timely, coming from the Riggins office, rather than waiting for the information from the Sheriff’s Office. Officer Giddings reported that since all information is sent to Grangeville with no police reports or files maintained in the Riggins office, requests for the information should be directed to that office. After discussion, Councilor Anderson agreed to work with Richelle to facilitate the timely receipt of the police reports for the Current.
At this time, Officer Giddings gave the October police report: The Riggins Sheriff’s Office received a total of 63 calls, the majority being 9 for medical emergencies, 5 accidents and 4 suspicious persons. Of those, 16 were City calls, with the majority of 5 medical emergencies, 3 driving suspensions, and 2 accidents. There were a total of 45 citations issued by the Riggins Office, the majority (29) being speeding. Of those, 24 citations were in the City, 11 for speeding, 3 driving without privileges, 3 failure to show insurance, 2 for possession of paraphernalia, and one each for DUI, oversize, inattentive driving, failure to stop at driveway, and failure to stop at stop sign.
Charlie Amell gave a report on the Upper Clearwater Transportation Master Plan. This is a regional transportation plan prepared with the assistance of LHTAC, for cities, counties and road districts. Under this plan, all entity’s projects are included and prioritized, and can be submitted for grant funding. Those projects showing high priority in the regional plan have increased chance for funding. Amell reported that the Plan sets up minimum sidewalk, curb, and gutter standards and also establishes road standards such as 60’ width, 3” minimum asphalt, storm water drains outside of the wheel path, etc.
Amell recommended that the Council review the Plan and adopt the national standards, which will provide a basis for future construction. If adopted, the City projects will also gain points for grant funding. He will get copies of the street standards for the Council’s review. Amell also reported that he is trying to submit a project for the sidewalk replacement on Ace’s Place, which he feels is too narrow and a safety hazard. He indicated that if that project is done, the City may have to look to purchase additional easements along the roadway.
It was reported that the White Bird Fire Department called about the surplus ambulance. If the vehicle was no longer needed by the City, and they planned to give it to another agency or group, White Bird requested that it be given to them. They were in need of a vehicle to use to carry extrication equipment, and it would stay in the river canyon. Mayor Crump reported that he had personally advised White Bird officials of the mechanical condition of the unit. After discussion, motion was made by Anderson, seconded by Underwood, to give the surplus vehicle to White Bird Fire Department as is. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nayes.
It was reported that the draft of the URD Plan had been sent to all taxing agencies, and was now available on the City’s website.
At this time the Council reviewed the water conservation material provided by Councilor Underwood. It was agreed that the Council would begin a Water Conservation Program which would include information in the City Newsletter, a incentive program which would include $5 credit on the water bill for the installation of a water-saving showerhead, a proclamation describing a watering policy, and a program for using “potty” rocks to be placed in the toilet water tank to displace water, which could be a joint effort with the grade school art class. Installation of the water-saving showerhead would be the first project, with a program policy developed for presentation at the December meeting, or before if possible. Tom Anderson will check with Our Hardware to see if the water saving showerheads are available.
BUILDING HEIGHT RESTRICTION
In response to the question of building heights discussed at the November meeting, the Clerk reported that Idaho Code indicates that those restrictions are addressed in the City’s Comprehensive Plan, as a specific zone. If building height restrictions are to be made, a specific area would have to be defined, and the Comprehensive Plan amended to include it. The Council will review the Comprehensive Plan on the website and bring their suggestions to the December meeting for discussion.
The Clerk reported that complaints have been received about large trucks parking on the main street, blocking the line of sight and creating hazardous situations for cars trying to enter the roadway. No action was taken, since there is limited truck parking and delivery trucks are required to use the area. Complaints about overnight parking at the Heritage Center have also been received. That area is signed with “No Overnight Parking” and there are vehicles that have been there for weeks, limiting the parking for senior citizens and IOOF/Heritage Center events. Since that parking area is used by nearby businesses, a paid permit for parking was brought up as a possible solution. It was suggested that off street parking may soon be very limited if the Zatica lot is developed, so use of the Heritage Center parking will become more critical. It was suggested that outfitters be asked to leave their customer’s vehicles parked at the take-out point, rather than in-town, due to the limited parking. But, it was also pointed out that when that is done, the City’s commercial businesses may lose potential customers. After discussion, Councilor McClure agreed to talk to adjacent businesses about the limited parking in that area on Tuesdays, when the Senior Citizens meet.
Moving of the Visitor Center was also discussed. It was reported that the Zatica lot may have been sold, and it will need to be removed from the property. The City has made a place available for the building, above the park next to the SCOW. It was reported that the building is a joint venture between the Chamber, the City, NRA, BLM and the Forest Service. Councilor McClure will contact the realtor to confirm that the property is sold and see if the building has to be moved. If needed, a meeting of the involved agencies will then be scheduled.
Layne Dotson, from Idaho Power arrived and visited with the Council about Idaho Power’s plan to meter the Christmas lights. The lights are now plugged in direct to Idaho Power poles, with no metering, and no payment made for the power used. He indicated that a metering system for the lights must be in place within five years. There were several options suggested: (1) To put the lights on the City’s streetlights, which are metered. Layne reported that he estimated the costs to do that at $2000 to renovate the poles and install the light fixtures needed, with a cost of approximately $400 per year for the power use. (2) Or to outfit the decorations with solar power, or (3) to abandon the snowflakes and create a Christmas scene or tree, all in one location. The group present indicated their preference to keep the snowflake decorations and would investigate possible ways to keep them on Idaho Power poles by an alternate power-source or would look into having the City poles renovated. In the interim, Idaho Power agreed to allow the unmetered lights on their poles, but would no longer provide power for the lights free of charge. Dotson reported that the cost of the thirteen snowflakes 90-day service was $418 per year or $34.64 per month. It was agreed that the light use could be cut down to 60 days, which would reduce the bill considerably. Vicky Lowe, Chamber President, requested the City’s financial assistance for the power bill. She suggested that the City and Chamber split the costs of the Christmas lights, with the City receiving the monthly bill, and the Chamber making one annual payment to the City for half of the annual cost. After discussion, motion was made by Underwood, seconded by Harper, to accept the monthly bill for the Christmas lights, with the Chamber paying one annual payment equal to half of those costs. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nayes. Layne Dotson will advise the City of the new charges based on the 60-day period and work with Mayor Crump on the future plans for the lights.
At this time the Council canvassed the ballots for the November 7th special election for Local-Option Non-Property Tax. There were 174 ballots used, 172 voted and 2 absentee ballots not returned. Of the 172 votes, there were 139 yes for approval of the tax, with 30 no’s to deny the tax, and 3 ballots unmarked. The tally books and poll books were properly completed and signed by the election officials. After review, motion was made by McClure, seconded by Harper, to declare the election valid, with the Local-Option Non-Property Tax approved by 80% of the voters voting in the election. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nayes.
The Annexation Ordinance was discussed at this time. The Council agreed that the ordinance will be acted upon at the December meeting, with special mailing to the properties involved and notice of public hearing published in the Free Press. Richelle Barger of the Current also requested the information to produce news articles about the proposal.
LIBRARIAN/DEPUTY CLERK POSITION
At this time, selection of the new Librarian/Deputy Clerk was discussed. Sue Barner has resigned her position as of November 30, 2006, and after advertising for the open position for two weeks, five applications have been received. Jennette Tate, Library Board President reported that the Librarian is a very technical job, and the position requires high qualification and capabilities. It is her understanding that the Library Board would review the applicants, hold interviews and recommend an applicant to the Council. She has set up the Library Board’s interviews to be held Wednesday, November 15, to begin at 4:30. The Council agreed and reported that they would be going into executive session at the conclusion of the regular business meeting to review the applications as well, since the position include the duties as Deputy City Clerk.
SET-BACK WAIVER REQUEST
Suzann Underwood reported that she would like to reconstruct a shed on her property at 329 N., which had been previously located on the property line. She requested a waiver of the recommended three-foot setback. After discussion, motion was made by Anderson, seconded by McClure, to allow the reconstruction, waiving any set back requirement, if a letter of agreement was obtained from the adjacent property owner. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper, McClure. No nayes. Councilor Underwood abstained from voting.
NEW FIRE TRUCK
Councilor Anderson reported that Idaho City has received a new fire truck and will be taking one of their units out of service. They are willing to give the City their surplus vehicle for a processing fee of $800. This is a large truck similar to the City’s FireTruck #1. After discussion, motion was made by Anderson, seconded by Underwood, to accept the truck for the $800 fee, and have Dan Catherman arrange to pick it up. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nayes.
REQUEST FOR SURPLUS EQUIPMENT
Councilor Harper reported that former area residents, Cheryl and Mike Gizinski, were working in a hospital in Honduras, and they were representing the group that had previously asked for the surplus ambulance. Since it had been given to White Bird, they requested that their name be added to the list if additional vehicles become available. Mayor Crump reported that Dan Catherman had also found an emergency vehicle for them at Idaho City.
SALMON RIVER ROAD PROJECT & BRIDGE
Mayor Crump reported that the Salmon River Road project had been cancelled for the present, with bids coming in much higher than anticipated. The ownership of the present bridge across the Little Salmon was also discussed. It was the City’s understanding that it was a Forest Service bridge, and that they were donating it to the City when the new bridge was constructed. But recently, Idaho County Commissioners indicated that the bridge belongs to them. It was agreed that with the cancellation of the project, the City’s acceptance of the abandoned bridge was not an issue at this time.
Notice of upcoming meetings were reviewed by the Council.
There being no further business, the regular session adjourned at 9:40pm, and the Council went into executive to review the Librarian/Deputy Clerk applications.
A special meeting of the Riggins City Council was called to order by Mayor Crump. Council present were Anderson, McClure and Underwood. Councilor Harper was absent.
The purpose of the special meeting was to consider the applications for the Library/Deputy Clerk position.
At 8:35am, motion was made by Anderson, seconded by McClure to go in to executive session to discuss the personnel matter. Voting yea, Anderson, McClure and Underwood. No nayes. At 9:00am, the Council returned to open session.
The Council agreed to conduct interviews of the selected two top candidates for the open position, which were Susan Long and Marsha Mead. Interviews will be scheduled for 3:00pm later today, if possible, or at 8:00am Tuesday November 21st. It was agreed that the selection would be made following those interviews. After discussion, motion was made by Underwood, seconded by Anderson, to offer the selected candidate the job for $9 per hour, with a consideration for pay increase after the completion of a 90-day probation period. Motion also stated that Sharon Boggan’s wages would be increased to $9 per hour. Voting yea, Anderson, McClure and Underwood. No nayes. It was agreed that the new person should start to work as soon as possible, to allow for training time with Sue Barner.
CLERKS NOTE: Interviews were held at 3:00pm later that day, and Susan Long selected for the position. Susan was scheduled to begin work, training with Sue Barner on Tuesday, November 21st.
Mayor Crump commented on the following issues: PUC allows franchise fees to be collected by cities, and that was a source of revenue the City may want to consider in the future. Also Nelson Machinery and Manufacturing, a company now based in New Meadows was interested in relocating to Riggins. He inquired if the City and/or Chamber should write them a letter encouraging that move. The Council agreed, and Mayor Crump will draft the letter on behalf of the City
There being no further business, the special meeting was adjourned.