The regular meeting of the Riggins City Council was called to order by Mayor Crump. Council present were Anderson, McClure and Underwood. Councilor Harper was absent. Guests present included Walco officials, Marietta and Pat Holman, Judy Oatman and Justin Gould along with several other Nez Perce tribe members, Tim Rubio from CEDA, Larry Barnard, Skip Shoemaker, Richelle Barger, Robert Ader, Susan Long, and Id. County Deputy Ray Payton.
The minutes of the previous meetings were presented. The Council was individually polled and all confirmed there were no changes or correction needed. Motion was made by Underwood, seconded by McClure, to approve the minutes as presented. Voting yea, Anderson, McClure and Underwood. No nays.
The financial statement was read detailing $15,929.50 bills paid after the May meeting, bringing the total May 2007 disbursements to $42,145.35. A corrected April 2007 financial statement was also presented. June 2007 bills in the amount of $17,322.81 were presented for payment. Motion was made by Underwood, seconded by Anderson, to approve the statement and allow the bills. Voting yea, Anderson, McClure and Underwood. No nays. A complete copy of the financial report, including the corrected April statement, are attached and hereby made a part of this record.
Judy Oatman, Nez Perce tribal member, visited with the Council about a recent incident in Riggins, stating that she felt she was treated with disrespect by Idaho County Deputy Payton. She stated her son had been taken to jail, and she came to Riggins to retrieve a cooler of fish. The fish were in a cooler owned by her son’s friend, and when they wanted the cooler back, a dispute began. Deputy Payton was contacted to assist, and eventually the cooler was emptied and the fish put in Oatman’s truck. Mrs. Oatman said the fish, which are sacred to the Nez Perce, were thrown in the truck on top of garbage. She felt helpless to intervene and indicated that she was not treated with respect by the officer. She wanted the Council to be aware of this incident, and had also contacted Senator Craig, Idaho Fish & Game, the Nez Perce Tribe and the Idaho County Sheriff. Officer Ray Payton, who was also present at the meeting, declined to comment on the ongoing investigation. He indicated that copies of the report can be obtained from the Grangeville Sheriff’s Office.
Marietta and Pat Holman, from Walco, Inc., visited with the Council, requesting a 10% increase in their sanitation fees for the upcoming budget year. They cited the increased fuel prices and the long haul from Grangeville to Payette landfill. They presented a written proposal for the increase, along with documentation supporting their request. They also asked about a meeting to discuss the commercial accounts. They indicated that some of the commercial customers are canceling their dumpsters, choosing to use the green carts. Because they are commercial accounts, it is Walco’s position that the garbage fees associated with those carts should be higher than those for residential customers. In regards to Walco’s additional commercial billing for dumpsters, the Clerk reported that have been several complaints that the fees collected by the City are not being properly credited on their Walco dumpster bills. She gave them another copy of the commercial rates being charged after the increase in December, and requested that they check to be sure that the commercial fees, which are collected by the City and remitted to Walco, are being properly applied to those individual commercial accounts. Holmans indicated that their office may be adjusting the commercial rates somehow, and that may be the reason the correct credit is not being shown. The Clerk stressed that the City is collecting a specific fee for each commercial account, and that fee is being remitted to Walco. That specific amount should be shown as paid toward any additional billing being generated by Walco.
Skip Shoemaker visited with the Council on several issues: (1) He questioned the irrigation fee increase for the Aitken property. He reported that Aitkens have their own irrigation ditch from Squaw Creek, and actually send their excess flow into the City ditch as it crosses their property. He requested that the charges for the city ditch be waived, and removed from the Ben Aitken water bill. (2) The park dumpster is not being emptied on a regular basis. Since it has not been dumped since mid-May, Walco will be contacted in the upcoming meetings. (3) The City Hall and Library carpet needs to be cleaned, and Skip bought a carpet cleaning machine and offered to do it for $125-$150. The Council will take up his requests during new business.
Tim Rubio, from CEDA, presented the City with a 40-year continued service plaque. He made a presentation on their telecommunication project. CEDA has joined in the project since all their economic development studies indicated that telecommunication upgrades are needed desperately in our region. He cited public safety, health and hospital file transfers, education purposes and economic development, along with Idaho County 911 service as the major needs. They are trying to bring political interests in, bring telephone companies together, etc. to address the problem. He left a pledge form and asked that the Council consider an annual $500 contribution to CEDA to further their efforts.
Robert Ader reported on the following in Charlie Amell’s absence: (1) He has received requests that the City install benches around town, maybe located near the walking museum signs. (2) The truck parked in front of the Salmon River Motel should be moved. It has been parked for months and presents a traffic hazard to the neighbors trying to enter the highway. (3) Charlie has suggested the Council consider Alternate Day watering for both the well and irrigation water. (4) Charlie had received the information on the Neptune meter reading system, which will total approximately $15,000. The system will also require an upgraded computer in the Clerk’s office and software costs to make it compatible with the City’s HIT municipal financial software system. (5) The City truck needs brake repair, U-joint, tires and tune-up. The Council authorized the repairs needed (6) Charlie is having Auto Salvage shop pickup and repair the sewer sludge truck.
Librarian Susan Long reported that she has received a “Read to Me” book grant, which will provide 46 children (birth to Kindergarten age) one book each month for a year. She reported that the grant provides for the books to be given directly to the children, rather than the library.
At this time Officer Ray Payton gave his monthly police report. He commented on Mrs. Oatmans complaint, reporting to the Council that he tried to assist in that incident, and tried to help her take care of the fish, offering to get a box with ice, etc. He said it was an unfortunate incident, that was escalating quickly, and he just tried to resolve it before the dispute between her and the owners of the cooler got out of hand. He gave the Council a copy of the incident report. The regular police report for May was 87 calls for the Riggins office, with 41 of those being City. There were 39 citations issued, and 18 of those were in the City, 2 driving without privilege, 3 DUI, 3 driving while suspended and 2 accidents.
Justin Gould, Nez Perce tribal fisherman, visited with the Council about the Oatman incident. He thanked the officer for the good work they do, but thought that in this case, the tribal member may have been left in need. He also questioned the arrest of the tribal member, admitting there was alcohol use and reported that the Tribe needed to address alcohol abuse. He stressed the need for fellowship between the two communities, rather than victimization.
The Council has received a letter of appeal from Tim McGowan in regards to the conditional approval of his subdivision request. Since several issues were just listed as NA, with no indication of waiver request, a letter will be written back, specifically asking if waivers of those sections are being requested. It was reported that the areas have to be addressed in the subdivision application, and the Council cannot waive the regulation without request. The Council reviewed the appeal, and a letter of response will be prepared, clarifying several issues and asking if waivers are being requested for every section that has not been properly addressed.
The subject of the proposed dog ordinance was brought up. The subject was tabled for more discussion with City Atty Albers, citizens and public input. Richelle Barger visited with the Council about dog trainers in the area who work with “bad” dogs. She indicated that that might be one option to help socialize those problem animals.
The idea of exchanging properties with the new school district has been brought up, trading the Heritage Center for the Old ASK building. The old school building has long been desired to house the Riggins museum, because of its historical significance in the community. Since most members of the Council had not been in the building recently, and some School Board members had not seen the Heritage Center, a walk-thru of both buildings will be scheduled.
Councilor McClure reported she had contacted Jim Ormsby, and he could move the Visitor Center for $100. It will be relocated to the area above the park, next to the SCOW. The Chamber of Commerce will be contacted to purchase ornate cement blocks for the buildings foundation.
It was also suggested that the old jail be located in this same area. Since it is also a part of the walking museum, and was approved to be placed in the lower park area, ITD will be contacted about its suggested relocation to the area above.
It was reported that attendance to Fire Dept training had fallen recently. Mayor Crump and Councilor Anderson will meet with Fire Chief Dan Catherman to offer their help.
The Council discussed the Skip Shoemaker’s proposal for carpet cleaning. After discussion, they agreed to have Shoemaker clean the Library, Clerk’s Office and Council Room, but to hire Pim’s professional service to clean the heavy traffic area in lobby and hallway.
The Clerk reported on the 5/18/07 water line break damage. ICRMP had authorized a house inspection on the Whitten cabin for mold and damage, and inspectors had found the walls of the cabin to be 35% saturated with water. Apparently the standing water had wicked up in the interior of the walls, which would now require that the inside paneling be removed so that the walls could be dried and the area assessed for mold. ICRMP requested an estimate for the remediation and repair from the Boise company doing the inspection.
The Clerk was requested to contact Northwest Trailways to inquire about the bus no longer stopping in Riggins.
The Council tentatively scheduled a meeting for Walco on June 26th, 1:00pm. Walco will be contacted to see if they are available. It was also suggested that the overflowing park dumpster be mentioned when contacting Walco.
The following requests for irrigation charge changes were discussed: (1) Skip Shoemaker’s request to remove all irrigation charges from the Aiken bill, because of Aitken’s private Squaw Creek ditch. After discussion, motion was made by Anderson, seconded by McClure, to remove the charges as requested. Voting yea, Anderson, McClure and Underwood. No nays. (2) Margaret Fessenden requested that her irrigation charge be reduced from $45 acre rate to the $37.50 lot rate, since her North Riggins lot was small, and just over 50X100. After discussion, motion was made by Anderson, seconded by Underwood to reduce the rate to $37.50. Voting yea, Anderson, McClure and Underwood. No nays. (3) Sam Stokes requested that they be refunded for five years of irrigation fees, since they had paid the fee each year, and received no water. When notified that they were not receiving irrigation water this year, City crews opened a valve to their ditch and they were now receiving water. After discussion, the Council agreed that Stokes be issued a credit for 2006 irrigation fees, rather than the five year period as requested.
A complaint has been received about private individuals removing public sidewalks, and not replacing them after their construction. Travis Hollon and Chuck Wunsch will be contacted to replace the sidewalks removed in front of their properties.
The Fourth of July Celebration was discussed. It was agreed that a free community Bar-B-Que would be provided from the remaining Fireworks Fund, and that our local Emergency Service Volunteers would be honored at the event. Councilor McClure will contact Tim Heath about roasting two pigs. Beans, green salad and soft drinks will also be served. McClure will order the food and supplies from Sysco. Susan Long offered to talk to Josh Hawks about DJ music, and will try to get pictures of the Emergency Service volunteers to make up a poster. Posters announcing the event will be made and lists of the honored volunteers will be gathered with personal invitations sent to each family. Richelle Barger offered to make snow cones at the park, using the Chamber’s equipment.
A park use application was read from Vicky LaFay, for a birthday party 7/l/07, 1:00-4:00pm, no alcohol planned. After discussion, motion was made by Underwood, seconded by Anderson, to approve the application. Voting yea, Anderson, McClure and Underwood. No nays.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.