A special joint meeting of the Riggins City Council and Riggins Urban Renewal Agency was called to order by Mayor Crump. Councilors Harper, McClure and Underwood were present as well as URA Board member Larry Barnard. Councilor Anderson was absent. Also present were Brian O’Morrow of Browns Industries, Gil Bates of Ida-Lew, and Tim Haener, Paul Stevens and Brett Converse from JUB. Charlie Amell was also present.
The purpose of the special joint meeting was to meet with Browns Industries and JUB officials to review the draft of the sewer facility plan and water study.
JUB officials reviewed the preliminary draft of the sewer facility plan, which included the following:
Collection System – The report, explained by Tim Haener, indicated that the collection system line size was adequate, with good hydraulic capacity and slope, with no increase in size anticipated. The report indicated that several broken sewer pipes were identified when the lines were previously inspected, but PWD Charlie Amell reported that the repairs had been made 1999 prior to the reconstruction of US #95 through town. The importance of cleaning and camera inspection of the lines was stressed. This important monitoring and maintenance should be scheduled every 2-3 years, to protect the concrete lines from corrosion by the buildup of H2S.
Haener reported that some upgrade of the sewer lift stations would be required. Both the Well Street and South Lift Stations needed alarms and sensor phones. The mill site development would require a lift station and piping across the river to reach the Well Street Lift Station, and it would have to be modified and enlarged to handle the additional flow. The report indicated that the South and North Riggins lift stations were adequately sized to handle the projected flow.
Treatment Plant – Brett Converse gave a brief overview of the present system. He recommended that the Council consider the following immediate actions: (1) complete a rate study. He indicated that both the monthly rates and connection fees should be reviewed to assure that adequate revenue is being collected to finance the system. He stressed that connection fees should be high enough to fund future expansion and capital improvements. (2) Since the plant is operating at near capacity, and the system’s sludge removal and disposal is inadequate, he recommended that a building moratorium be implemented until this critical problem is resolved. He recommended that the Council consider a filter-press system for the sludge, which is a dewatering process, and to apply for a field application permit for disposal. He stressed that this problem should be addressed as soon as possible. (3) Aeration and ragging are a problem at the plant. The system is plugging with debris, reducing the effectiveness of the process, and should be repaired. (4) The grit removal is inadequate, abrading the impellors. An automatic cleaning system is needed for the grit chambers.
Converse reviewed the various alternatives for repair and reconstruction of the treatment plant, and recommended that the Council consider upgrading the existing facility’s headworks, dewatering system, aeration, screen and grit removal as described previously, and to convert it to a membrane plant. This would address the deficiencies of the plant, and would nearly double the capacity to accommodate the projected development. JUB estimated the cost of this alternative to be $3,124,200, if the concrete of the existing basins is good.
He explained that the biological process was the same for both the present aerobic digester and membrane. The difference is in how the liquid is separated from the bacteria. The present clarifier system allows the bacteria to settle to the bottom, and the membrane system separates the bacteria by physical barrier. The membrane system is less labor intensive, but would require a higher operator certification.
In addition to the treatment plant modifications, a cost of $400,000 was estimated for the upgrades to Well Street Lift Station, and the mill site lift station and line construction.
When questioned about a time frame for the mill site development, Brian O’Morrow indicated that the timetable was not yet defined, but he indicated that late 2008 might be estimated as an aggressive date.
Converse requested that the Council review the sewer facility study draft carefully and provide JUB with their preferred alternative for improvements.
Paul Stevens then reviewed the water study with the Council. He reported that the study indicated that the water system was adequate and good for the present use as well as the sixty-four additional hookups approved for sewer. New hookups beyond those would require construction of a new well and water storage tank. However, he indicated that the present water lines were adequately sized to handle the additional flow. He reported that the Council needed to pursue the water rights for Well #2, and to encourage alternate irrigation means when available. Costs associated with the water improvements were $247,000 for the well construction and an additional $400,000 for water storage. It was also recommended that the Mill site development be required to provide alternate irrigation water, with the potable well water not used for irrigation or fire protection. It was also questioned if additional storage would be required if alternative irrigation was provided, and JUB indicated it would depend on the type of construction and development planned.
Brian O’Morrow indicated that better development plans may be available by the end of May, and maybe could be presented at the June URA meeting.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
The regular meeting of the Riggins City Council was called to order by Mayor Crump. Councilors present included Harper, McClure, and Underwood. Councilor Anderson was absent. Guests present included Linda Heiter, Sandi Larson, Josh Hawks, Janeen Eggebrecht, George Fisher, Mark O’Clair, Tom Harris, Matt Sinclair, Ron Bowman, Tim McGowan, Joe Roener, and Ray Payton.
The Council was individually polled and all confirmed that they had read the minutes of the previous meetings. There were no alterations or corrections, and the minutes were approved as read.
The financial statement was read detailing $118,388.31 bills paid after the March meeting, which after voiding the original ambulance check issued in the amount of $95,082.00, brought the total March 2007 actual disbursements to $137,175.61. Bills in the amount of $26,320.18 were then presented for payment. Motion was made by Harper, seconded by Underwood, to approve the statement and allow the bills. Voting yea, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nays. A copy of the financial statement is attached and hereby made a part of this record.
Linda Heiter, Sandi Larson and Josh Hawks visited with the Council about the new Horizons program. Heiter explained that Horizons was a community leadership program aimed at reducing poverty in small towns and is sponsored by Idaho Rural Partnerships.
The main components of the group are community conversation and action planning, leadership development and community visioning. Their group includes all types of community members, including the youth. She reported that they will be starting an aggressive leadership training course soon. Josh Hawks presented the youth programs which included “Gitt-Fitt” sports programs, Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring, and a Junior Council. Sandi Larson reported that 50% of the community is poverty level, and Horizons will work with Dept of Commerce and other agencies to develop jobs and economic development. She cited Council as an example of a community successful in job creation by attracting manufacturing facilities to their area. The Council thanked them for their efforts in the community and will work with them as their program develops.
IDAHO F&G HUNTER SAFETY
George Fisher, from Idaho Fish & Game, reported on the hunter education classes currently being held in Riggins. He reported that those young hunters born after 1975 are required to complete a 20-hour hunter education course, and it was being held at the high school. He reported that the course requires firearms safety and shooting, and requested that the Council consider waiver of the ordinance banning the discharge of firearms in the City, to allow the Fish & Game to conduct the class. After discussion, motion was made by Harper to waive the ordinance restriction prohibiting the discharge of firearms within the City, as needed now and for future hunter education classes, to allow Idaho Fish & Game officials to conduct the required safety courses. Voting yea, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nays.
RIVER ROCK CAFÉ ABL
Janeen Eggebrecht visited with the Council about the River Rock Café, which she and Kim Olson would soon be opening. They would like to serve beer and wine on the premise and requested the approval of the City Council. She reported that they were in the process of getting their Idaho state license, and requested that the City license be issued upon State and County approval. After discussion, motion was made by Underwood, seconded by Harper, to approve the request and issue the new City beer and wine license to River Rock Café upon the proper application, approval of State and County, and payment of fees. Voting yea, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nays.
SEVEN DEVILS ABL TRANSFER
Mark O’Clair, the new owner of Seven Devils Steakhouse & Saloon, visited with the Council requesting the transfer of their Beer and Liquor License to them from Peggy Boldman. He reported that a temporary transfer had been approved, and the actual transfer of the State license was in progress. After discussion, motion was made by McClure, seconded by Underwood, to transfer the alcohol beverage license, as requested, upon the proper application and State and County approval. It was noted that there was no City charges for a license transfer. Voting yea, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nays.
ORDINANCE #53 WAIVER REQUEST
Representing the business community, O’Clair also requested that the Council consider the waiver of Ordinance #53, which prohibits the drinking of alcohol on the streets, during the Jet Boat Race and Rodeo weekends. The Council took his request under advisement.
McGOWAN SUBDIVISION PLAN
At this time Tim McGowan and Joe Roener made the preliminary application for the proposed subdivision, Salmon River Townhomes, Inc. It was noted that the Council had received copies of the application 10-days in advance of the meeting, as required by the subdivision regulation. Roener explained the project, which divides Lot B and the existing 16-unit Riverview Motel into four townhouses, with a common area lot owned jointly by the four property owners for parking and open space. McGowan will retain a portion of Lot A of the property, currently being used as his office/residence. It was proposed to use McArthur and Dalton Street for access and egress to the townhomes, with the US#95 access open only to serve McGowan’s residence on Lot A. They reported that the building’s electric wiring will be separated for each townhouse, as well as the water. Four new water hookups will be made and individual meters installed. It was unclear, at this time, if the sewer will have to be separated for each townhouse. Charlie Amell will contact the Idaho plumbing inspector about the requirements, and the sewer will be modified, as necessary to meet Idaho Code requirements. The application contained requests for various waivers of the subdivision requirements, citing that since no new construction or streets were planned, much of the code did not apply. The application also addressed several issues brought up by the Council in previous correspondence with McGowan, such as street signs, garbage receptacles and street access to the townhomes.
Several members of the North Riggins neighborhood were present at the meeting with questions and concerns about the subdivision proposal. Tom Harris inquired if a road was planned for the common area on the riverside of the motel building. He expressed concern about the river view now enjoyed by North Riggins residents. McGowan responded that no road is planned for that area. The individual townhome lots extend from the existing building to allow for construction of decks, if desired, but no additional buildings or roads were planned. Matt Sinclair and Ron Bowman, who both reside on Dalton Street expressed concern about any increased traffic on the narrow one-way Dalton “alley”. They felt that the narrow roadway could not safely handle more traffic. Roener and McGowan reported that the access to Lot B has historically been on Dalton and McArthur, and that if future access is not allowed, the lot would be landlocked. McGowan indicated that he planned to discontinue the right-of-way access from US#95 For Lot B because he felt that it would devalue the property of Lot A. There was considerable discussion of the historical use and proposed use of Dalton and McArthur Street.
After discussion, McGowan and Roener requested the City’s conditional approval of the proposal and requested waivers. Mayor Crump thanked McGowan and Roener for their presentation, and advised them that the Council will take the application and waiver requests under advisement. The subdivision regulation allows for a review period, with formal action required within thirty days, so the Council will review the lengthy material thoroughly and notify McGowan of their decision within that time. The community members present requested that they be given copies of the Council’s decision regarding the application, and the Council agreed.
At this time Ray Payton gave his monthly police report. There were 63 calls in the Riggins office in March, 27 of those being in-City. There were 47 citations issued, 13 within the City, with five being over-length. Payton reported on the recent vandalism at the park with graffiti being painted. He also reported that in regards to the Shorts Bar lunch patrol, he had found that the high school does have a closed campus during lunch break, but it is not enforced.
Charlie Amell reported on the following projects:
(1) The irrigation ditch is being cleaned, and they plan to have it through to Squaw Creek this week, and on thru town next Monday. Notices will be posted of the anticipated date.
(2) The trailer has not been removed from the City’s sewer easement at the RiverVillage RV Park, and no response has been received from the last letter sent to Folwell. After discussion, motion was made by McClure, seconded by Underwood to write another letter, requesting that the trailer be removed from the easement within 30 days. Rather than being sent certified mail, it was suggested that the letter be delivered by the Sheriff’s Office. Officer Payton advised that Cathy Ackerman in the Id County office should be contacted for delivery.
The Council agreed to further review McGowan’s subdivision application and have comments back to the Clerk within a week. The Clerk was requested to resend the outline of the Council’s recommendations to all Council members to help with their review. A special meeting will be planned between April 19 and May 3 to formally act on the subdivision request.
SEWER AND WATER SYSTEM STUDY
The draft of the Sewer Facility Plan and Water Study were reviewed by the Council. Any additional comments should be forwarded to the Clerk by April 14th to be compiled for JUB. The comments, along with the Council’s preferred alternative plan will be forwarded after the special meeting. Charlie Amell indicated that he would like DEQ to review the studies also, and meet with the Council in May. He would like to hear their input on the sewer facility plan and talk to the Council about new land application regulations. Amell also thought that the sewer line crossing the Little Salmon may be complicated, as it was his understanding that the pipe had to be supported by a concrete structure. He felt that more research should be done in that area, and DEQ may have input to add on those regulations also. It was also suggested that the estimated $12,000 cost of a Land Application Plan, now required for sewer treatment facilities, should be considered as a part of the proposed sewer project.
The question of maintenance of the Cemetery Road has been brought up by some of the newly annexed residents of that area, asking if the City would take over the care of the road. It was reported that the road, although now located in the City, is actually a private road, with no formal public right-of-way granted. Historically, the City has never expended public funds for the maintenance of private roads, and the Riggins Manor Road was cited as an example. However, it was agreed that Cemetery Road was a problem, and used heavily by the community due to the Cemetery. After discussion, it was agreed that Harts could be contacted about the road and the possibility of obtaining public right-of-way.
ITD RESPONSE – SPEED ZONE CHANGE
A response from ITD has been received concerning the City’s request to extend the 25 mph speed limit to the new extended boundaries of the City. ITD has confirmed that the City no longer has the authority to establish the speed limits, since US#95 is a controlled access highway. They indicated that the speed limit can be changed only after an engineering speed study has been completed, and those results indicate the necessity. ITD did indicate that they would begin a speed study in Riggins in the near future, as a result of our request.
Id Dept of Commerce GEM Grant contracts have been received for the $10,000 GEM grant to assist with the Sewer Facility Plan. After review, motion was made by McClure, seconded by Harper, to approve the grant application and authorize the Mayor to sign on behalf of the City. Voting year, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nays.
WAIVER OF ORD #53 – RESOLUTION 07-02
At this time, the request to waive Ordinance #53, and allow outside drinking in designated areas was discussed. After discussion, motion was made by Harper, seconded by Underwood, to pass and approve Resolution #07-02, which would waive Ordinance #53, in specific areas designated by barriers, during the hours from 5:00pm Friday until 5:00pm Sunday on Jet Boat Race and Rodeo weekends. Voting yea, Harper, McClure, and Underwood. No nays. A copy of Resolution #07-02 is attached and hereby made a part of this record. A letter will be written to the Sheriff’s Office thanking them for their method of patrol last year with more time spent on foot, with a request for that same spirit of cooperation again this year during these large events.
At this time, the Public Employee Retirement System (PERSI) was discussed. The Clerk explained the program, in that it would apply only to Council members and employees working 20 hours or more a week, and that employees must be in the system five years before they are vested and eligible for retirement benefits. The City’s contribution is 10.39% of covered salaries, and the employee contributes an additional 6%+ to the plan. And it was noted also that the current SEP/IRA contribution could not be made if the City joined PERSI, since SEP/IRA cannot be offered if there is another retirement benefit in place. After review of the plan, the Clerk recommended that the Council seriously consider joining PERSI. It is an outstanding retirement for public employees and would be an excellent tool for attracting and retaining long-term employees, which is so important for city operation. However, there were two concerns expressed about the City joining PERSI: (1) Two employees with over 20 years service to the City will lose retirement benefits unless they continue to work beyond their desired retirement dates and (2) Employees and EMTs working less than 20 hours per week will lose the IRA retirement benefit they now receive. To compensate for this loss, the Clerk suggested that if the City does join PERSI, that the Council consider offering a 10% salary bonus to the two long term employees that may lose benefits for the last years of their service, and 5% (?) to the other employees and EMTs, as a way to offset the loss of the current IRA program. The Clerk reported that joining PERSI had been discussed a few times in previous years, but all of the employees were not supportive, due to the required employee contribution. After discussion, it was suggested that all employees be provided information about PERSI, and be given the opportunity to offer their input on the issue at a future meeting.
The 2007 Fireworks were discussed. It was reported that the Fire Department was reluctant to sponsor the event this year, citing concern for the safety of the firemen and the city liability if a major fire was started. It was reported that the shoot-off site does not meet the 1600’ safety radius required, and in the previous two years, we have experienced strong winds and the hillside has been set on fire. And last year, a fireman was injured during the event. Mayor Crump reported that Chief Dan Catherman has concerns about the safety of the event, considering the dry steep terrain and close proximity of structures along the river bank, as well as the wind and dry grassy hillside across the river. After discussion, the Council agreed they would take the Fire Department recommendation that the fireworks display be discontinued because of the safety concerns for the community, the liability risk, and the welfare of the volunteer firemen. The Council agreed that discontinuing the event would be disappointing to the community, and requested that residents be advised of their decision in the City Newsletter. The Clerk reported that there is approximately $1200 in the fireworks fund remaining from 2006. It was suggested that the donated monies be used for a 4th of July celebration other than fireworks or used as match funds for the FEMA equipment grant. No decision was made concerning the fireworks fund balance.
The Council authorized the placement of 2 portable toilets at the Zatica lot for Jet Boat Race Weekend, and on Rodeo weekend, three located at the Zatica lot and one at the Post Office lot.
REMOTE READ METER PURCHASE
Charlie Amell visited with the Council about starting to replace non-working water meters with remote read. He indicated that remote read meters were a little more costly, but considering the increasing number of meters anticipated, the remote read would save many hours of meter reading time in the future. He reported that in the future, a software package can also be obtained to work in connection with the meters, so the meter readings can be transferred directly to the City computers for bill preparation. The Council agreed that all meters, both for new installation and routine replacement, should be remote read.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.