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 Susan Long, Officer Doug Giddings, Michelle Simpson, Karen Mechling, Roy Akin, and Richelle Barger.
The Council was polled and individually confirmed that they had read the minutes of the previous meeting, and offered no changes or corrections. The minutes were approved as presented.
The financial statement was read detailing $15,692.94 bills paid after the April meeting, bringing the April 2007 disbursements to $42,013.12. Bills in the amount of $26,215.85 were then presented for payment. Motion was made by Harper, seconded by Anderson, to approve the statement and allow the bills. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nays. A copy of the financial statement is attached and hereby made a part of this record. To provide the Council with the amount of Resort Tax and license fee revenue being collected, the format of future monthly financial statements will be modified to include a more detailed breakdown of monthly receipts.
Michelle Simpson, Karen Mechling, and Roy Akin visited with the Council about the upcoming Big Water BlowOut. They have submitted a park use application for the event, for Saturday, June 2nd, with activities beginning at 7:00am until midnight, including raft trips, vendors, Dutch-oven cooking contests, kids games, live music and a beer garden. They indicated that they planned alcohol sales, through a Chamber of Commerce State Beer & Wine Permit, beginning at 3:00pm after the raft trips were concluded, until midnight. After discussion, motion was made by Underwood, seconded by McClure, to approve the park use as presented. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nays. It was also reported that the committee planned to donate the $100 park use deposit to the City, rather than requesting its return.
Refund of the Resort Tax Deposit now required for Temporary Vendors was discussed. Temporary Vendors are licensed for a specific event, and if they are selling food, are required to submit the Municipal Tax Return within 10 days of the close of that event. In order to provide a timely return of any unused portion of the $100 Resort Tax Deposit that may be due to the Vendor, motion was made by Harper, seconded by Anderson, to authorize the Clerk to issue the refund upon the Vendor’s proper submission of the Tax Return. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nays.
Idaho County Officer Doug Giddings gave the monthly police report for April, indicating there were 82 calls handled, with 30 of those being within the City. There were 50 citations issued by the Riggins officers, with 20 of those being issued within the City.
Charlie reported on the following projects:
(1) Rapid River Water Sewer District has requested the City’s assistance in solids disposal. They have been having the sludge hauled to Grangeville, but that option is no longer available to them. Amell indicated that the City drying beds could handle the additional sludge at this time and recommended that the City assist them. It was reported that Rapid River paid Grangeville 12¢ per gallon in addition to the hauling costs. After discussion, motion was made to haul and dry the sludge for Rapid River, at a cost of 15¢ per gallon. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nays.
(2) Amell also reported that the sludge truck needed repair of the front end, which he estimated to cost $1,000. The Council agreed, and suggested that the extra money received from Rapid River could be used for the repair.
(3) The Council agreed to Amell’s request to continue Mike Kennedy’s employment to help with meter replacements and other various work.
(4) Amell requested the Clerk’s notes from the meeting held recently with Tom Moore, DEQ. The Clerk reported that no formal minutes had been taken, since it was not a City Council meeting, but her notes were available, as was the audio tape of the meeting.
(5) Because water and sewer lines to provide future service to the Spickelmire properties are being proposed in connection with the construction of the new Little Salmon River Bridge, Amell advised the Council that the lines through the Walters property should be checked for proper elevation. He reported that regulation for utility lines from a river crossing require a 2% fall from the pipe to an 8” line. After discussion, it was agreed that DJ&A, the engineering firm for the Road and Bridge project, be contacted for the elevation changes planned.
Richelle Barger visited with the Council, to verify that no fireworks were planned for 2007. The Council confirmed that they had taken the Fire Department’s recommendation that they not be held, due to the unsafe conditions experienced the past few years. Because of the unsuitable launching site and hot dry conditions, there have been wildfires started the last two years, which have the potential for major property damage. There was also a fireman hurt during the 2006 event, requiring ambulance transportation to the hospital. It was also reported that the launch site could not meet the required separation from the spectators, buildings and parking lots for a safe event. The Council regretted the decision, but it was being made in regards for the safety of the community and the volunteer firemen. It was reported that a celebration may be planned in the park, with music and hot-dogs or BBQ, but without the fireworks display.
Tim McGowan did not attend the Council meeting, as scheduled on the agenda. The Clerk reported McGowans had called, and would submit written response to the City review of their subdivision application.
Three agenda items: PERSI, Rivervillage Easement Encroachment, and the Cemetery Road maintenance request were not discussed, but will be placed on the June agenda.
The Mayor and Council offered their appreciation for the help received during the Clean-up Day. The Mayor reported Robert Ader and John had been especially helpful and work was completed quickly. Councilor McClure reported that the Arbor Day Celebration had been held in the Park following the cleanup, and a Blazing Maple tree planted in the south end of the park.
Charlie Amell visited with the Council about changing the water meter system over to remote read. He suggested that as meters are replaced, the remote reads be installed, as well as on all new hookups. He reported that they spend one-two days reading meters now, and with the addition of 300 units, the time will double. The remote read meters are a little more expensive, but by replacing a few each year, we could accomplish a gradual upgrade of the system. Eventually he would like to see the purchase of the hand-held reader and software that allows the meter to be scanned with the equipment, with the information stored, and downloaded directly to the computer. The estimated cost of this system is $6,000 for the equipment and $9000 for the software. The Council agreed that he should begin the replacement project, installing the remote reads as meters are replaced and on new hookups, and that the software and equipment costs could be considered during the budget process. It was also suggested that the equipment and software expense could be included in the water system expansion costs being developed for the URA.
It was reported that the Zatica lot, the location of the Visitor Center, might have been sold. ITD has given permission for the Visitor Center to be placed next to the SCOW, above the park, and preparations should be made to have it moved. Mayor Crump reported that the Visitor Center is a cooperative project between the City, the Chamber, BLM, Forest Service and the NRA. After discussion, Councilor McClure agreed to talk to Jim Ormsby about the possibility of getting it moved.
A question regarding the City Parking Ordinance has been brought up, concerning the parking of vehicles with “For Sale” signs on them. It has been questioned if the ordinance, which prohibits parking on curbed streets and public parking areas, applies to private property, if that property is used regularly by the public. Idaho County Deputies indicated that the Ordinance could be interpreted either way, and asked for the Council’s direction in the matter. After discussion, the Council agreed that the intent of the law was to regulate parking on streets and publicly owned parking areas only, such as US#95, the Park Parking area, the Heritage Center Lot, etc., and was not meant to restrict activities on any private property. It was the Council’s opinion that the parking ordinance did not apply to privately owned parcels such as the Zatica Lot, the Post Office Lot, the School, etc. Regulation of the parking on privately owned parcels would be the responsibility of that particular property owner.
Mayor Crump brought up an issue about dog problems. There have been reports of several dog bites recently, as well as small dogs and pets being attacked. It was also reported there are several pit-bulls in town, that if not properly confined, could be a problem also. He suggested that the Council consider an ordinance that restricts some breeds known for their vicious propensities, such as pit-bulls, rottweilers, wolf hybrids, etc. There was considerable discussion about dog breeds, and it was pointed out that the dog reported in the recent biting incident was a yellow lab, a breed not normally considered vicious. The owner of that dog had been contacted, and the problem was being addressed. There were questions about the liability of not restricting the breeds commonly known to have vicious propensities or the liability the Council would have if they passed an ordinance restricting certain breeds from the City and did not enforce it. The question of mixed breeds was also brought up. It is common to see dogs with pit-bull mix, rottweiler mix, etc., and was unknown how the actual breed could be determined. After discussion, it was agreed that the subject should be tabled for more research. The Council will visit with city residents for their input, and the City Atty will be contacted for his advise in the matter.
It was reported that the school might be interested in a property exchange with the City, trading the historic old high school building (now used by ASK) for the City’s Heritage Center building. Mayor Crump indicated that originally, the City tried to acquire the old high school building to be used for the museum, but when they were unable to obtain that property, purchased the building and lot now restored as the Heritage Center. School officials have indicated interest in the Heritage Center building for use as their District Office. The City’s advantage in the trade would be the preservation of the community’s old historic building and the possible acquisition of much needed off-street parking. However, reservations were expressed about the old building’s lack of ADA access or security system and the cost of any needed repair. Other items of concern included possible requirement to repay the USDA-RD grant that funded the Heritage Center improvements and a municipal lease-purchase agreement/loan against the property. It was agreed that it was an interesting proposal but would need further research.
The new Salmon River School District is holding a “Dream Big” school board meeting inviting citizens to come and share their dreams for the new district with them on May 29th. They are seeking input and direction from their patrons.
It was reported that the Forest Service and Idaho County Commissioners are still considering placing dumpsters on the property acquired by Idaho County for the eastside approach of the new Little Salmon Bridge planned as a part of the Salmon River Road Project. The dumpsters are proposed there as a collection site for garbage from river trips, including human waste. The City has previously expressed opposition to this location due to the extreme wind currents in that area, the close proximity of the high-end development being planned, and the nature of the dumpster waste. It was suggested that the City contact the Commissioners again, expressing the City opposition, suggesting other more suitable sites such as the NRA property, the Lake Creek site used last year or Shorts Bar.
Governor Butch Otter will be working in Kooskia “Idaho’s Capitol for the Day” on May 18th, and the City Council and Clerk have been invited to have lunch with the Governor at the GrapeVine Café.
Councilor Underwood reported that the commercial bus does not stop in Riggins anymore, for passengers or packages. Since many citizens depend on this service, it was suggested that the City write Northwest Trailways, requesting that the company add the Riggins bus stop back into their schedule. Several locations for the bus stop were also discussed.
A park reservation application was read for the American Legion Auxiliary picnic planned for June 16, 2007, 2:00-8:00pm with no alcohol planned. Motion was made by McClure, seconded by Underwood, to approve the application as presented. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nays.
Councilor McClure reported that the Chamber had donated $150 towards the dumpster placed at the Rodeo Grounds for excess garbage produced by community businesses during rodeo weekend.
Application has been received from Mike Blimka for a new residential water and sewer hookup on his property on the north edge of town. It was reported that since the hookup will require the utility lines to be installed within ITD right-of-way, ITD requires the City to obtain the right-of-way use permit and accept all responsibility for the line. After discussion, motion was made by Anderson, seconded by Harper, to approve the hookup, provided that ITD approve the right-of-way use, and that the utility line installation meet the specific conditions which were required by the City for the previous hookup providing service to the property. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nays.
A request has been received from Ida-Lew for a cash pledge of support to be used for grant match for their organization. They requested that the amount be pledged for the next three fiscal years. After discussion, motion was made by Anderson, seconded by Underwood, to pledge $150 for 2008. Voting yea Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nays. The pledge was made for 2008 only, since the Council did not wish to bind the future Council to the pledge or promise of funding in future years.
The Council authorized the Clerk to open a URD bank account, using the City’s Federal Tax ID Number, with Robert Crump, Tom Anderson, Bob Harper and June Whitten as authorized signers of the account. The Council also agreed to open a City credit card account to be used for Internet purchases. The card will be kept in the City Hall and used only when conventional billing is not possible.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
CLERKS NOTE ONLY:
A meeting was held with John Austin, PAC, concerning various financial procedures available to the City Council and URA in funding the projects listed in the Urban Renewal Plan. The meeting was attended by Mayor Crump and members of the Council/URA Board, Idaho County Commissioner Jim Reyder, Charlie Amell and June Whitten.
The meeting was an informal information session only, with no formal action taken, nor official City or URA business conducted.
June Whitten, City Clerk
A special joint meeting of the Riggins City Council and Riggins Urban Renewal Agency was called to order by Mayor/URA Board Chairman Crump. Councilors/URA Board Members present were Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. URA Board Member Larry Barnard and Charlie Amell were also present
The purpose of the special meeting was to
(1) Review the Master Owner Participation Agreement (MOPA) draft
(2) Discuss the Water Study proposal submitted by JUB
(3) Consider USDA-RD Grant Application for White Water Park
(4) To review and discuss the recent water line break and resulting damage
The Council and URA Board reviewed the MOPA draft, provided by John Austin, PAC, for the purpose of funding the URD improvements. According to Austin, the MOPA provides the least expensive method of funding the improvements, if approved by the developer. Rather than the URA seeking project funding, or proceeding with the sale of bonds, the developer can use private funding for the necessary improvements, with the MOPA agreement executed for repayment by URD tax increment. The development of Exhibits A & B, which list the projects, estimated costs and timeline was discussed. The costs for the sewer upgrade identified in the preliminary Sewer Facility Study have substantially increased from the amount shown in the URD Plan. It was questioned if the MOPA can cover costs in excess of the Plan, or will the Plan have to be amended to show the new project estimates. After review, the Council and URA Board agreed that the MOPA Exhibit A & B should show the most recent cost estimates available for the sewer and water improvements, and the estimated costs shown in the Plan for the other improvements including the park, off-street parking, fire truck, etc. It was agreed to use the $3M+ figure shown for the treatment plant upgrade to MBR treatment, using the existing facilities, if possible as well as the costs shown for the lift station and collection system improvements. It was also agreed that the MOPA include $750,000 water improvements, as indicated in the preliminary water study information. The Clerk was requested to contact John Austin about the identified increased improvement costs, since they exceed the amount shown in the original URD Plan.
The MOPA draft will be corrected with minor changes, and the Exhibits A&B attached for presentation at the regular June URD meeting.
Charlie Amell reported that Tom Moore, DEQ, had advised the Council that their office cannot approve the addition of the 300-unit development until the City has completed an in-depth water study to show that the City’s water system has the capability and capacity to provide adequate service to the proposed development. Moore indicated that the City could incorporate the water study into the sewer study now being undertaken, to provide a comprehensive, and less expensive, complete facility plan to meet DEQ’s requirements.
JUB had been contacted to provide an estimate of the job and related costs, and submitted a proposal for $43,648 to complete the water study. Since it appeared that JUB proposal may include information not needed by the City, nor required by DEQ, the Council requested Amell to review it with DEQ and JUB to see if the scope of the study, and costs, could be reduced. It was noted that the study will be required before the Millsite development can be approved, but the City does not have water funds available for the study. It was agreed that these costs should be included in the MOPA being prepared for the June meeting.
Mayor Crump reported that Rural Development may have grant funds available to help fund a feasibility study for the development of a White Water Park, which has been proposed for the Little Salmon River. It was noted that the initial contact to USDA-RD for the grant was made by Gil Bates from the Ida-Lew organization. The grant application had been e-mailed to the City, and must be submitted within one week. The grant maximum was $5,000, with a 30% grant match required. The Clerk reported that the Colorado recreation developer identified in Devon Barkers presentation had been contacted, and feasibility study costs were estimated to be $6500-$9500. Browns Industries had been contacted about providing the cash match required, and a letter of their commitment for $2500 cash match received. The Clerk reported that the grant application had been prepared for $5,000 USDA-RD grant, $2500 cash match from Browns Industries and $500 City in-kind match for grant and contract administration.
After discussion, motion was made by Harper, seconded by Anderson, to approve the USDA-RD grant application, as presented for the White Water Park Feasibility Study, and to authorize the Mayor to sign all grant documents on behalf of the City. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nays.
At this time the water line break and resulting damage was discussed. On Friday May 18th, 4T Construction (an Idaho Power contractor) was working on the south end of town at the site of the new bridge construction, moving power poles. Digline had notified the City of the project, and the city water and sewer line locations had been marked. Charlie Amell reported the sewer line had been located by the manholes, and the water lines marked 10’ west, as indicated on the water installation map. Amell reported that 4T had drilled approximately six foot outside of the water line location mark, but apparently the water pipe was actually curved out in that particular area, and the City’s 10” main line was broke. Since he was out of town on City business at the time, and Robert Ader’s truck broke down, out of town, there was no one available to immediately shut off the water. The 10” main, under 80-90 psi pressure ran for approximately 30-45 minutes, causing flood damage to the highway and properties of Ken Walters, Harvey Whitten and Sam Whitten. ICRMP had been notified of the damages, and had instructed that a liability claim be completed by the City, with claims for damages from all parties submitted to them. They would review the information and proceed with contact to the power pole contractor, if necessary. Claims for damage have been submitted by Ken Walter and Bill Shrum for erosion damage to their driveway, and from Sam and Harvey Whitten for driveway cleanup, mud removal, and landscape repair. It was also noted the Harvey Whitten’s cabin crawlspace had been completely filled with water, with water approximately six inches deep surrounding it. The standing water drained from the property within one day, and the City crew placed large fans in the cabin crawlspace to help dry it out. However, the Whittens were concerned about mold, since despite the continuing use of the fan, the cabin was beginning to smell like mold. It was also reported that ITD had originally asked the property owners to get bids for the highway repair along with their property repair, but now indicated that ITD may do the highway repairs themselves. It was unclear if they would be filing a claim for damages at this time. The Clerk will be in contact with them about the issue.
After review of the incident, the Council agreed that several changes should be made to reduce the liability of the City in future events:
(1) Since available utility maps may not (and do not) provide the accurate information needed to avoid these events, Amell recommended the purchase of water line locating equipment, which would locate wire lines installed along side the pipe at a cost of $2700, and a metal pipe locator for $1000.
(2) Repair material, couplings, valves, pipe and sleeves should be on-hand for all sizes of pipe, due to the City’s distant location to suppliers.
(3) An emergency manual has been placed in City Hall detailing people to call, names of suppliers, etc., for emergency repairs
(4) A map is needed detailing locations of lines, shut-offs, etc. Amell reported that JUB’s water study should include this information
(5) The City Council, Fire Department, and all City Employees should be made aware of the location of shut-off valves, equipment needed, and other pertinent information necessary to deal with such emergencies.
It was agreed that the incident could have been much worse, with more damage incurred, if the event had happened in a location that affected more properties. After discussion, motion was made by Harper, seconded by Anderson, to purchase the equipment at the estimated cost of $3700, and the 10” sleeves and pipe necessary to have on hand for future repair. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper, McClure and Underwood. No nays.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.