OPENING AND ROLL CALL
The regular meeting of the Riggins City Council was called to order by Mayor Crump. Council present were Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. Guests present included John and Carolyn Pottenger, Ray Stowers, Rob Nuckols, Dylan Rinker, Richelle Barger, Jim Birdsall, Linda Heiter and Craig Mikelson.
MINUTES AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT
The minutes of the previous meetings were read and approved as pen corrected to read ď2006Ē when referring to the beer and liquor license renewals. After reading of the minutes, the subject of dispensing with actual reading of the minutes during the session was brought up. Councilman Anderson questioned the need for the reading since the minutes were posted on the city website and available to the Council and citizens. He cited the length of time the reading had taken during this meeting, 30 minutes, since there had been three meetings in January. The Clerk reported that, historically the minutes were always read aloud to give the guests the opportunity to hear the proceeding business, and that the City had often been complimented by visitors for taking the time to read the minutes aloud during the meeting. She reported that they had been read aloud, also, to assure that the Council had reviewed the minutes and agreed to their accuracy. If the Council dispenses with the actual reading during meetings, she requested that the motion to approve the minutes also contain language to confirm that individual Councilmembers had read the minutes and by their vote, approved their accuracy. After discussion, motion was made by Anderson, seconded by McClure, to dispense with the actual reading of the minutes during Council session in the future and that the motion to approve the minutes also contain an affirmation that the voting member had read the minutes and by his vote, confirmed their accuracy. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nayes. It was agreed that the minutes of the previous meeting will be posted on the City Website at least 48 hours in advance of the next regular meeting, as required for meeting agendas.
At this time the financial statement was read detailing $12,524.06 bills paid after the January meeting, bringing the total January disbursements to $45,978.38. Bills in the amount of $19,663.92 were then presented for payment. After discussion, motion was made by Underwood, seconded by McClure, 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.
Idaho County Deputy Ray Payton gave the following report. There were 26 police calls in Riggins in January and ten citations issued. Payton updated the Council on the progress of prosecution of a juvenile involved in a recent home invasion and threats at the school. In this case, the court ordered the family to leave the area, to receive psychiatric evaluation and treatment, but there were no consequences if that did not happen. Payton also cited a recent case in which a person was cited, and found guilty by a jury, for two misdemeanors, and the judge overturned the verdict. Payton urged the Council to be more pro-active with the court and prosecution. It was suggested that the Council may need to contact Judges and the prosecutors by letter about their concerns and to research the committee formed to oversee judicial actions.
DEER COMPLAINT PETITION
Carolyn Pottenger and Ray Stowers presented the Council with a petition, signed by city and area citizens, complaining about the resident deer population. They reported that the deer are destroying trees, gardens, flowers and landscaping, and are increasing in numbers. They reported that that they have contacted the Fish & Game department, with no response. They have tried repellents, fencing, etc., and nothing seems to work for long. They requested that the Council contact the Fish & Game Department and request that they take action about the problem. Craig Mikelson, Idaho Dept of F&G, addressed the problem also, asking for suggested remedies. He indicated that depredation hunts would be as a last resort, with relocation also low on the list, due to the manpower it would entail. Mikelson suggested that the Council consider passing an ordinance banning deer feeders, since some residents are actually providing them now encouraging the deer. It was also suggested that corrective action should have total community support because while the deer are a problem for some residents, others residents enjoy them and would not support drastic measures to reduce their numbers. It was reported that several years ago, Fish & Game conducted a drive and killed some to reduce the herd, but those activities must be done outside of the city due to the shooting prohibition in town. The Council agreed that the numbers seem to be increasing and the deer do cause residential damage and would take their petition and concern under advisement. They will consider their request and will be in contact with them and the Fish & Game Department.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN
At this time Jim Birdsall addressed the Council. He reported that the Economic Development Strategy Plan Draft is out and available for public input. Lorraine Roach had presented it at the Chamber of Commerce and GEM Team meetings, and there were some additions to be made. She had suggested that these changes be made and the plan draft be made available on the City Website for public input. That additional input would then be incorporated into the plan, with the final presentation scheduled for the April meeting. Additionally Roach had indicated that the Economic Develop Strategy Plan could be submitted to Id Dept of Commerce as the communityís GEM Plan. Birdsall indicated that since it covers many potential projects and courses of action, he would request the Councilís help in assigning priorities. Councilor McClure reported that she is a GEM Team Director and that the community had prepared a GEM Plan, with projects plans and goals prioritized and outlined. The GEM Committee would like to the plan developed by the GEM Team submitted to ID Dept of Commerce, as in the past. She indicated that the Economic Development Strategy could accompany it, but the GEM Team would like to see the communityís planning efforts recognized. Birdsall explained that there was confusion about the two plans. The Economic Development Strategy Plan, which he was contracted to develop, was never intended to be used as the communityís GEM Plan. The Economic Development Strategy is the process of gathering all potential ideas and the Strategy Plan is an overview of those ideas, of which some may work and some may not. The GEM Plan is an action plan prepared by the community, detailing specific projects and goals that the community intends to accomplish to support and enhance economic development. He said that, hopefully, many of those same projects and goals would have been identified in their Economic Development Strategy Plan.
Mayor Crump reported that Dept of Commerce officials indicated that the plan, as developed by the GEM Team and community, was more of what they were looking for in a GEM Plan. Since the Economic Development Strategy Plan will not be finalized until April, Birdsall may inquire about an interim contract payment. The Council agreed.
NUCKOLS PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT
Rob Nuckols visited with the Council about proposed development of his property at 612S behind the espresso shop. He inquired if the sewer moratorium had been lifted, if he would be allowed to develop the property into a 6-unit RV Park or an 8-unit apartment complex. The Council confirmed that the moratorium had been lifted for the present time, and advised Nuckols to complete the water and sewer hookup applications for their consideration. Charlie Amell reported that the number of fixtures would determine the size of lines needed for water and sewer. The sewer hookup fees are based on EUís depending upon the number of RV spaces or living units. The water hookup is based upon the size of the meter required, and Nuckols would be given credit for one EU and residential meter previously using the property. Nuckols reported that he planned to install a privacy fence along the side and back of the property, and that the sale is scheduled to close February 28. He will determine which development he wishes to pursue on the property, and will make the necessary applications.
REDUCE SPEED LIMIT REQUEST
Richelle Barger requested that the 35 mph speed limit sign in North Riggins be reduced to 25 mph. She reported travelers see the 35 posted speed and their speed increases, causing dangerous conditions at the North Riggins entrance. It was reported that the City Council can control the speed limit within the city limits, but that ITD regulates the speed signs on the highway. Since the city limits crosses the highway in that area and only properties on the east side of the street are included in the city, ITD has previous rejected the Cityís request for the lower speed limits. However, since the City is proposing to annex the area on the west side of the highway, north to Salmon River Experience, it is possible that ITD would extend the 25 mph zone north to the new boundary of the city limits. Ms. Barger indicated that she would like to see the lower speed limit extended before the increased traffic of the summer season, and the Council indicated that, considering the annexation schedule, that may be possible.
Charlie Amell reported on the following projects:
(1) The work on the irrigation ditch should start in March. The Council agreed to his request for three ditch workers to help this year. The Council complimented Charlie on the irrigation work done last year. Amell also requested that they be allowed to do some in North Riggins this year. The area has been a problem, with absentee owners, and increasing buildup in the ditches cause problems all summer long with distribution and overflowing. The Council agreed, but requested that property owners be made aware that this work is one-time only, that the City is not taking over maintenance of lateral irrigation lines on private property.
(2) Charlie requested that the Council consider adding a requirement to all new water and sewer installations, as well as construction to replace lines, that a wire be installed over the line to provide easier line location. The Council agreed and the ordinance will be looked at to amend, if necessary. It was also suggested to add that information on the new hookup applications.
(3) He reported that the Squaw Creek Diversion project is complete and the final reports sent in to grant payment. He requested that the Council approve and authorize that the full contract payment to Cook & Sons be made upon receipt of the grant funds. After discussion, motion was made by McClure, seconded by Harper, to accept the project and to issue the payment as requested upon receipt of the grant funds. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nayes.
(4) Charlie gave an overall report of the recent irrigation project completed with the assistance of Bureau of Reclamation and Office of Species Conservation. The old irrigation diversion in Squaw Creek, which blocked fish passage, was removed and the creek restored to provide fish passage and habitat. Work on the main head gate in the Little Salmon removed culvert and replaced it with concrete, which will allow more water in the intake than in the past. The water right was consolidated to take the full 12cfs from the Little Salmon. He had hoped to remove some large rocks, which divert the flow away from the headgate, but was not able to do so due to the water level. That work will be scheduled in the fall, when the water level drops again. He reported that regulations allow this type of work in the river for the repair and maintenance of existing diversions.
(5) He reported that the Little Salmon Watershed Advisory Group (WAG) will soon be setting the Total Maximum Daily Load of pollutants (TMDL) on the Little Salmon. It will only impact activities from Boulder Creek south, since the river is less polluted to the north, due to the increased volume from Hazard Creek, Rapid River, etc. The river in Meadows Valley does not meet EPA standards, which are based on temperature, phosphates (from fertilization) and e-coli. They may have to take actions such as re-vegetate the streambeds, fence livestock away from creek banks and improve irrigation systems in Meadows Valley. The city sewer would not be affected by the Little Salmon TMDLs, since it is discharged in the Main Salmon, but the city storm drain discharges into the Little Salmon on the south end of town. This should not be affected at this time, since the TMDLs only involve the area south of Boulder Creek. He indicated that the work to reduce the pollutants in the Little Salmon would benefit the City, since our wells are adjacent to the river. The city system is classified as ground water, according to the micro-particulate testing done, but it may be affected by the Little Salmon due to the close proximity. He estimates the time of travel for river water to our wells as six to eight weeks.
(6) JUB should have the design for the chlorine system completed next week. The plan will then be sent to DEQ for their review and approval.
(7) He had looked at the fire siren pole in North Riggins, and Idaho Power will have to be contacted to remove wiring if it is to be removed.
(8) The sewer plant generator, with radiator system, should be installed and working next week.
GARBAGE CONTRACT & ORDINANCE
At this time the proposed garbage ordinance and Walco contract was reviewed. Various changes to the contract were proposed, such as removing recycling from the contract, adding the adjustment for EU fractions, and setting the term for five years. The ordinance was reviewed and a section prohibiting city building contractors from using the dumpsters was added. The EU system was reviewed, and various changes were proposed to provide a method to increase the fees for larger users that are now using the County dumpsters for excess garbage. Changes proposed included increasing the minimum for bars and cafes to 5, and adding Outfitters, with jet boat 1 EU and float outfits 2EU (based on the difference in volume). The proposed changes will be incorporated into the new documents, and copies will be e-mailed to the Council for review. After Council review, the Clerk will re-assess the commercial rates, based on the changes proposed, and a list of the changed and increased commercial rates will be provided to Council and to Walco. If the Contractor and Council agree to the proposed changes, a public hearing must be scheduled since the increase to some commercial accounts will be over 5%.
Councilors McClure and Harper reported on a meeting attended with Idaho County Commissioners and area Mayors concerning the garbage problems. The County indicated that they wanted input from the cities, and suggested that a committee be formed including city and county representatives to work on the issue. McClure reported that she urged the Commissioners to act quickly to address the dumpster problem in the Riggins area, since the summer float season was coming up and provisions for the increased volume of garbage must be made to prevent littering and illegal dumping.
OFFICIAL PAPER ORDINANCE
The third reading of the ordinance proposed to change the designation of the Cityís official paper from the Idaho County Free Press to the Current was postponed for review by City Atty Albers.
PROPOSED ANNEXATION ORDINANCE
The third reading of the proposed annexation ordinance was also postponed for further review. It was reported that Idaho Code revisions may have removed the five acre restriction for properties receiving city services. If that is the case, the Council agreed that the annexation should include all properties receiving city services.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL SUPERVISOR POSITION
The Emergency Medical Supervisor position was discussed. Councilor Anderson reported he and the Mayor had visited with EMT officers, and they indicated that a supervisor was needed to oversee the ambulance operation. They reported that the EMTs volunteer their time to be on-call, and to attend to runs, but do not have the time to oversee the entire operation as well as maintenance and repair needs. The Council agreed to advertise for that position opening. A proposed job description was presented, and hours were set at 5 per week. Salary was determined to be approximately $10 hour, DOE. The Council and Ann Wilson will review the job description, with comments back to the Clerk by Friday, Feb17th. The job opening will be posted with interviews scheduled for March 10th.
FIRE CHIEF POSITION
The Fire Chiefís hours and rate of pay were then discussed. Motion was made by Underwood, seconded by Anderson, to set the hours at 5 per week at $11.34 per hour as presently included in the budget. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nayes. Mayor Crump reported that a job description, similar to the one prepared for the Emergency Medical Supervisor should also be prepared for the Fire Chiefís position.
DEER PROBLEM PETITION
At this time the deer problem was re-visited. Mayor Crump reminded the Council that the citizens were expecting their action on the petition presented earlier. After discussion, it was clear that damage was being done by the deer and some citizens were very upset about the problem, but that the community was divided on the issue. Some residents wanted the deer removed , while some residents enjoyed them and felt that we were living in their winter range. It was also suggested that predators may be bringing more deer that normal into the area. Since the City regulations prohibit shooting within the city limits, and the Council does not have the expertise to determine the action to be taken by the Fish & Game in such matters, it was agreed that a letter should be sent to the Fish & Game, along with a copy of the petition. The letter should advise them of the concerns of the citizens and ask them to address the problem. A copy of the letter will also be sent Pottengers and Stowers.
FIRE SIREN REMOVAL
A request has been received from Helen Dixon to remove the old fire siren and pole from the front of her property. She would like to install a driveway gate, and is unable to do so with the pole located there. Councilor Anderson checked the pole and since the siren is not longer hooked up or used, the Council agreed to remove the pole. Idaho Power will have to be contacted to remove the wiring also.
SPEED INDICATOR SIGNS
Councilor Anderson reported that he had received information about the speed indicator signs that are available for city purchase. They can be either mounted on a speed sign post, or a moveable stand, or in a trailer. ITD had been contacted, and they were not opposed to the installation of the speed monitoring signs, only that the present signs might have to be raised to provide the clearance required. Anderson will research the cost of the units, and it was noted that the items were not included in the budget. The Council agreed that it may be possible to fund them in the General Fund, depending upon the price.
CREDIT BUREAU CONTRACT
The Credit Bureau of LC now requires a written contract agreement for their collection service. Ambulance bills are sent to them for collection if there is no response to the City billing after six months time. The Credit Bureau keeps 40-50% of the funds collected, but does charge interest on the unpaid balances. It was reported that they were much more successful in collecting overdue ambulance bills that the City has been. After discussion, motion was made by Underwood, seconded by McClure, to approve the agreement as presented and authorize the Mayor to sign on behalf of the City. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nayes.
SPRING CLEAN-UP & ARBOR DAY PROCLAMATION
At this time Mayor Crump proclaimed April 17, 2005 as Spring Cleanup and Riggins Arbor Day. The cleanup will begin in the morning, followed by the Arbor Day celebration and tree planting in the park at 11:30 am. The school will also be asked to participate. In connection to the clean up and Arbor Day, motion was made by Underwood, seconded by McClure, to submit the $150 grant application for tree planting. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nayes.
SEWER HOOKUP APPLICATION
Riggins Christian Fellowship has presented an application for sewer hookup, 2EUís, to be used on their property at 1033S. for a new church building. After discussion, motion was made by Underwood, seconded by Anderson, to approve the hookup as requested. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nayes.
FIRE DEPARTMENT REPORT
Councilor Anderson reported on the Fire Department activities. He reported the new Fire Chief is working hard, with training being done two times a week, and there are four new volunteers. There are some items that they would like to see constructed, one is a rack and bench for storing the firemenís turnouts and boots. He estimated this cost to be approximately $1000-$1200, with the firemen providing the labor. It was reported that construction of this unit had been planned earlier, but it was determined that it had not been included in the budget. Since the storage is really needed to organize the firemenís gear, the General Fund will be considered for the purchase. After discussion, motion was made by Harper, seconded by Underwood, to authorize the purchase of building material for the shelves, etc., up to $1200. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nayes. Anderson also reported that the washer and dryer in the firebay did not work, and they will be junked and if washing is needed, he offered the motel laundry. It was also reported that with the new volunteers, there was a need for more turnouts. The complete turnout set, including hat and boots, cost approximately $1000 per man. It was suggested that these costs be included in the Assistance to Fire Firefighters Grant. It was also reported that Dave Buchanan had been helping Catherman with the organization of the equipment and department, and the Council needed to recognize him for this extra effort.
Since the Assistance to Firefighters Grant application period will soon be open, the department needs were discussed. It was agreed that the City should apply for a foam snuffer, more turnouts, radios, and more SCBAís. And it was also agreed that the City could provide grant match up to 20%, if necessary, by current budget and fundraisers. Motion to apply for the grant funding as discussed was made by Underwood, seconded by Anderson. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nayes.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.