The regular meeting of the Riggins City Council was called to order by Mayor Crump. Councilors present were Akins, Friend and McClure. Councilor Barnard was absent. There was a sizeable group of citizens present including Pete & Cory Raquet, Tom Anderson, Gale Larson, Marvin Thach, Jay Mentzer, David Rauze, Mr. & Mrs. Vaughn, Richelle Barger, Richard & Linda Heiter, Heather Wheeler, Brook Green, Jonny Wilson, Steve Whipple and Curt Brimacomb.
The minutes of the previous meeting were presented. Council members were individually polled and all confirmed they had read the minutes. There were no additions or corrections offered and the minutes accepted.
The financial statement was read detailing $17,065.33 bills paid after the November meeting, bringing the total November disbursements to $37,350.56. Bills in the amount of $26,797.91 were then presented for payment. After review, motion was made by McClure, seconded by Akins, to approve the financial report and allow the bills. Voting yea, Akins, Friend and McClure. No nays, motion carried. A copy of the financial report is attached and hereby made a part of this record.
There was a sizeable group of citizens present to provide input on the city deer problem. A strategy plan, proposed by the Fish & Game Department, was sent out in the newsletter, asking for public input on the city deer problem. There are two issues to address: one is the increasing number of deer now in town, and the other is the exotic louse infection. Councilor Akins gave a brief overview of the Idaho Fish & Game Vet report on the exotic louse, and advised the group that those officials indicated that the deer numbers had to be reduced to effectively treat the louse infestation. Their strategy proposal included four parts: (1) Enact an ordinance to prohibit the intentional feeding of deer, (2) To have a City-sponsored depredation hunt, using selected individuals or agents, to remove a number of deer from town donating the meat to needy families, (3) To have a State sponsored controlled anterless deer hunt on the land adjacent to town, and (4) To treat the remaining deer for the louse infestation. The response to the survey did not provide any clear direction for the Council, but indicated the community was divided on the issue. There were 52 responses received, with 24 supporting the strategy plan proposed by IFGD and 28 opposed. Following are some of the concerns and input received from the group attending the meeting:
Cory Raquet – Expressed concern that sufficient notice was not sent to the community, that only those receiving the newsletter were aware of the proposal. She also expressed concern about the use of firearms in town and questioned the information given on the exotic louse. In response, it was noted that the information had also been posted on the city website and that if a City-sponsored hunt was conducted, it would be done only in safe areas, by trained agents selected by the City. Cory also indicated that she would like to see more public notice given on the issue, with more public input received before further action was taken. She also indicated that she would like the Council to consider a more middle-ground approach in dealing with the issue.
Charlie Amell – Indicated that the city deer have no natural enemies and should be controlled. It is difficult to grow a garden in town and now that the deer were no longer afraid of human contact, it was a safety issue that the aggressive deer could be a threat to children and pets.
Gale Larson – Expressed his desire to see the deer remain in town, that they enjoy seeing them.
Mr. & Mrs. Vaughn – Reported that they live out of town, but also enjoy seeing the deer when they visit Riggins.
Carolyn Friend – Indicated that the more aggressive deer could pose a safety problem for the school children.
Peter Raquet – Questioned who would pay for the butchering, if there was a City-sponsored hunt in town, and how many deer would be taken. He felt that the information provided was misleading and not clear. In response, it was reported that the City also questioned the butchering costs, etc., but had not received a response back from F&G on that question. The Council also indicated that only a specified number of deer would be taken, that they did not anticipate that the deer would be completely eliminated.
Tom Anderson – Felt that the extreme louse cases should be eliminated from town, and that deer crossing signs be put up throughout the community to give safety warnings. He indicated that most of his motel customers visiting Riggins enjoyed the deer in town, taking pictures, etc.
Marvin Thach – Thinks that it is a Fish & Game problem, and that they should take care of it.
Mayor Crump thanked the group for the comments and indicated that the City did not want to go against public opinion on the matter, but stressed the need to address the deer health issue of the louse infestation before it spreads into the surrounding deer population.
At this time Jay Mentzer, from Treasure Valley Transit, addressed the Council about CABS and the public transportation system. He indicated that there was a name change, with it now being called “Mountain Community Transit” to better describe the local nature of the transportation, with the Blue Line being the Riggins route. As a result of grant funding, they are running twice daily to McCall, once in the morning and then in the evening, to provide free transportation for McCall workers. He reported that the Riggins route had had 700 riders in the past 2½ months, and the plan is to go forward with increasing numbers. Mentzer reported that in April 2012, there was an option to transfer the service from Mountain Community Transit back to CABS, Inc.
Heather Wheeler, the Executive Director of CTAI, visited with the Council explaining their organization as a non-profit organization to provide statewide transportation planning and coordination, working from grants and contracts with ITD. Brook Green is the District 3 Manager, working with Deb Smith from District 2, to provide assistance to CABS and other public transportation systems in the area. When questioned about the rumor that the daily bus service from Boise to Lewiston would be discontinued, she indicated that Northwest Trailways will continue to operate in this area until another transportation system is in place.
Curt Brimacomb gave the following EMS report:
(1) Ambulance runs are increasing, and 2010 runs may exceed 2006, which was the record year.
(2) He will be attending LCSC for nursing training, and will not be able to attend the McCall Wilderness EMT training in McCall beginning March 1st. He reported that Jeff Joyce and Gordon Keyes may attend, at a cost of $620 per person.
(3) We have received a $600 grant from McCall Hospital Aux to purchase a training dummy.
(4) Currently we have received $4050 in donations for the power cot, and he has applied for a $5000 grant from the Idaho Community Foundation, which comes out in March 2011. There has also been $2200 raised through the sale of ambulance memberships.
Deputy Jonny Wilson introduced Id County Deputy Steve Whipple to the Council. Steve is the new Idaho County officer working in Riggins, and is looking for a rental house.
Wilson then gave the following police report: Calls: City 22, Area 52; and Citations: City 6, Area 16 with most being speeding tickets.
PWD Charlie Amell gave the following project report:
(1) He requested that the previous Council meeting minutes be clarified to indicate that the pump replacement project will tie the existing generator into the system on-demand.
(2) The sewer plant renovation is nearly complete, with the new system working almost too good for low flow periods. We may need to increase the filter size to allow more organic food matter to enter into the system to increase productivity of the plant.
(3) A new flow meter will be required at a cost of approximately $1400, which will require another change order.
(4) In regards to the flume project, their inspection revealed bedrock under the concrete that supports the flume. He thought that they could drill into the bedrock and put steel in to support the flume. They also needed to measure for structure supports and he will get JUB’s structure engineer’s review and recommendations, as well as cost estimates for the Council’s review.
(5) The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Idaho Dept of Labor for the Work Investment Agreement (WAI) was presented. The agreement is that the City will provide the workplace training site for one person, employed by the State of Idaho through the WAI program, to work and accumulate the hours needed for that person to be eligible for water/wastewater certification. The State of Idaho will pay all wages directly to the employee, providing all employer benefits, workman’s comp, etc. The City provides the worksite and completes the employee’s timesheet information. After discussion, motion was made by McClure, seconded by Akins, to enter into to MOA with the State of Idaho, and authorize the Mayor’s signature. Voting yea, Akins, Friend and McClure. No nays, motion carried. Amell indicated that conversations with Idaho Dept of Labor indicated that similar work programs for students may also be available.
The following items with the sewer renovation project were then discussed:
(1) Change Order #6 in the amount of $40,615, for the sludge building enclosure, additional sludge removal and relocation of the beam over the Salsenes filter was presented. After discussion, motion was made by Friend, seconded by McClure, to approve Change Order #6 in the amount of $40,615. Voting yea, Akins, Friend and McClure. No nays, motion carried.
(2) JUB PPE#13 in the amount of $2,687.50 and JC Constructors PPE#10 in the amount of $39,978 were presented. After review, motion was made by McClure, seconded by Friend, to approve the pay requests as presented and authorize their payment from the GO BAB Bond funding. Voting yea, Akins, Friend and McClure. No nays, motion carried.
The EECBG City Hall Lighting project was discussed. It was reported that they may use T-5 rather than T-8 in the project, and are now working with electrician Scott Medley. It was reported that the EECBG project contract expires December 31st, so a letter of request for contract extension should be submitted before that date. After discussion, motion was made by Friend, seconded by Akins, to request that the project be extended to April 30, 2011 (or June 30, 2011 if allowed) to allow for completion of the project. Voting yea, Akins, Friend and McClure. No nays, motion carried.
At this time, the Council revisited the town deer problem. The results of the recent survey indicated that the community is fairly evenly split on the issue. Due to the concerns expressed at the meeting, and the questions raised by the community, the Council agreed that more public information and input is required before a course of action is determined. It was agreed that a meeting will be scheduled after the first of the year, to have the Idaho Fish & Game present to address the community’s questions and concerns.
At this time the Council discussed the pending ordinance review.
(1) The Vendor ordinance has been reviewed, with several changes proposed. It will be retyped with the changes made and emailed to the Council for their review and comment back for the January meeting. Notices will be posted and Vendors and citizens notified that it will be addressed at the January meeting. A public hearing will be necessary to increase the fees, as proposed, but the Council indicated that they would like to see the changes complete in time for the beginning of the vending season in April.
(2) The revised version of the Sewer Ordinance will be emailed to the Council after the Clerk’s review.
(3) The Dog Ordinance will be retyped, as revised, and emailed to the Council for their review.
The Clerk reported that the State of Idaho had curtailed payment of Medicaid ambulance bills for a several month period, and then submitted a lump sum payment of $1541 based on the City’s average billing. The $1541 payment was not tied to direct customer billings, but was submitted as a partial payment of an estimated number of bills submitted to help keep the ambulance service operating until the actual payment could be processed. The Medicaid division was now offering a payback option for the $1541. The City could either lump sum the $1541 back to Medicaid, or they would reduce each Medicaid payment by 25% until the amount was paid back. After discussion, motion was made by McClure, seconded by Friend, to have Medicaid withhold 25% of each bill submitted to repay the $1541 payment. Voting yea, Akins, Friend and McClure. No nays, motion carried.
The EMS Bonus and Salary Adjustments, as proposed in the 2010-2011 budget were discussed. After discussion, motion was made by McClure, seconded by Friend, to authorize the $2500 EMS bonus, to be paid to EMS volunteers prorated according to their shifts spent on-call, and to pay a one time $500 salary adjustment each to four employees (Amell, Ader, Hollenbeak and Whitten) with the December payroll. Voting yea, Akins, Friend and McClure. No nays, motion carried.
It has been suggested that US#95 should be officially designated as “Main Street” throughout the city limits. Google maps now indicated that it is called “Marx Street” which has made it difficult to locate local business addresses through Internet mapping. This change would also bring the city addresses into better agreement with Idaho County’s 911 system, which already refers to the highway as ‘Main Street’ through town, in order to identify and separate those addresses from the rural US#95 locations. Mayor Crump reported that he had contacted ITD, and they had no objection to the name change. After discussion, motion was made by McClure, seconded by Friend, to officially designate Marx Street and that portion of US#95 that is included in the Riggins city limits as “Main Street”. Voting yea, Akins, Friend and McClure. No nays, motion carried. Mayor Crump will notify Google mapping, and the Clerk will contact Idaho 911 and the Assessor’s Office.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
A special meeting of the Riggins City Council was called to order by Mayor Crump. Council present were Friend and Akins. Councilors McClure and Barnard were absent, and there was not a quorum present. Librarian Susan Hollenbeak was also present.
The special meeting was scheduled to consider a Library grant proposal contract, which was required to be completed by January 1, 2011.
Librarian Susan Hollenbeak explained the grant, which was being funded by ARRA BTOP Federal stimulus funds for broadband and computers, with Idaho receiving $2,850,000. Riggins had been selected for funding, which would expand broadband access, provide 15 new computers, provide computer training and on-line tools. It would also require the City to participate in E-Rate for telephone access.
She explained that the grant would pay three years of bandwidth, the computers would be ours with all programs included for the first three years, with the E-Rate of $1200 per month discounted 90%. The grant would then require that the City continue on with the program an additional two years.
There were several concerns expressed about the E-Rate program, citing the school district’s problem of submitting a report one day late and now being required to pay $48,000. After discussion, it was agreed that the Council present had serious concerns about E-Rate and the grant requirements at this time.
It was suggested that other grant sources be considered for computer purchases and Frontier be contacted about costs to increase bandwidth.
Because there was not a quorum present to execute the grant contract, there was no action taken at this time and the meeting was adjourned.