The regular meeting of the Riggins City Council was called to order by Mayor Crump. Council present were Anderson, Harper and McClure. Councilor Underwood was absent. Guests present included Julie Hofflander, Id Co Deputy Jon Wilson, and Richelle Barger.
The Council were 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 presented. The financial statement was read detailing $13,935.99 bills paid after the July meeting, bringing the total July 2007 disbursement to $42,979.77. Bills in the amount of $24,444.71 were then presented for payment. It was noted that the bill submitted by Big Iron Motel exceeded the recommendation of the Clergy Voucher form, but had been approved by Ann Wilson. It was suggested that either the voucher should be changed, or the motels contacted to see who would provide the service at the voucher’s stated rate of $35. After discussion, motion was made by Harper, seconded by McClure, to approve the bills. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper and McClure. No nays. A copy of the financial statement is attached and hereby made a part of this record.
Julie Hofflander visited with the Council about the City Resort Tax. T&Js Espresso was originally set up with a Resort Tax permit, and she questioned if their business qualified. She reported that they only sold coffee and muffins, with no meal preparation. They also no longer had vacation rentals, since their duplex units were rented out by the month. She questioned why their business would qualify, if others selling coffee, etc., such as the Chevron and Riggins One Stop did not. The Clerk clarified that although T&Js had been set up with a Resort Tax permit, they had not collected, nor remitted any municipal tax to-date. The Resort Tax ordinance was reviewed, and incidental sale of coffee, etc., in connection with a service station or store, such as the Chevron or One Stop, was specifically exempt. Also, if prepackaged food were offered, those sales were exempt. After consideration, motion was made by McClure, seconded by Anderson, that the sale of coffee and muffins did not qualify as prepared meals, and that T&J’s Espresso would not be subject to the Resort Tax ordinance. Voting yea, Anderson, McClure and Harper. No nays.
The subject of the sale of prepared foods and sandwiches at the Riggins One Stop was brought up. It was agreed that those sales were not really incidental to that business, and maybe should be considered as prepared meal sales, subject to the tax. The Clerk reported that Kim Zolman, from Riggins One Stop, had asked to be present when the Council discussed their business operation and the collection of the tax. Further discussion of the matter was tabled until the next regular meeting, and Zolman will be advised that it will be on the agenda and invited to attend that meeting.
Idaho County Deputy Jon Wilson gave the monthly police report for July. There were 96 calls for the Riggins office, with 37 of those being in city. There were many for domestic disputes, disorderly conduct and fights. There were 24 citations issued, with 17 of those within the city including 3 DUIs, two of which were in the city.
Jon Wilson also gave the monthly report of the CCC’s activity.
(1) Recycle Center – They had met with New Meadows officials about the possibility of placing a recycle trailer in a monitored area, open a couple of days a week. Further discussion on this issue continues.
(2) Senior Van/Bus – A meeting was scheduled with ITD officials about obtaining a vehicle, with he, Marv Mortenson and Doug Crump attending.
(3) Shooting Range – The first meeting is scheduled for Wednesday. He reported that BLM was on board with the project, and it was hoped that the group could sponsor invitational shoots for bows, skeet and rifle.
(4) Farmer Market – Richelle Barger reported that it has been held each Thursday for the last two weeks, and was off to a good start. She reported that the parking lot was really in need of grading, and she would try to get a local company to donate their time to grade the area.
It was reported that a garbage meeting was scheduled with Idaho County on October 27, and Councilor McClure agreed to attend on behalf of the City.
Mayor Crump reported on a garbage meeting held earlier in the day with Idaho County Commissioners. He reported that the Commissioners are considering asking the cities to get out of the garbage business, and allow the County to administer garbage regulations countywide. They suggested that they could locate five transfer stations throughout the County, with provisions for garbage separation and recycling. They were also considering partnering with adjacent counties to build a five county inert landfill. Mayor reported that Idaho Code mandates counties with the responsibility for sanitation, and the Commissioners indicated that a countywide system may be necessary to properly fund and administer the department. Crump reported that most of the Mayors present indicated agreement with Commissioners ideas. Jon Wilson requested that the CCC’s be notified and invited to attend future garbage planning meetings, to incorporate their recycle projects in the process.
Charlie Amell reported on the following projects:
(1) A permanent easement for the six-inch waterline extension, recently installed on Gruell’s property to service their subdivision meters, is needed. The Council agreed, and Amell will draw up a map showing the location, and an easement form will be prepared for their signature.
(2) Amell inquired about the status of the sewer facility study. It has been put on hold until a decision was made concerning the addition of a water system study. JUB and DEQ had recommended that the water study, which is required for approval of additional development and water system expansion, be incorporated into the sewer study now in progress. This comprehensive utility plan could be done at a lesser cost than doing two stand-alone studies. The water study is necessary for development and water expansion only and the developer is responsible for the costs. However, Brown’s Industries officials have declined to pursue the water study, at this time as recommended, so there is no immediate need for the City to add it to the sewer study now in progress. After discussion, motion was made by McClure, seconded by Anderson, to proceed with the completion of the sewer study, without the water information, as originally planned. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper and McClure. No nays.
(3) Amell reported that DJ&A, the engineering firm for the new bridge and Salmon River Road Project, has prepared the engineering plan for the water and sewer line bridge crossing, as requested by Bill Spickelmire. Amell recommended that the City have JUB review the plans for the bridge connections. JUB’s review is estimated to be $1500, and these costs should be repaid by Spickelmires. After discussion, motion was made by McClure, seconded by Anderson, to have JUB review the plans as recommended, with the $1500 expense billed to Bill Spickelmire. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper and McClure. No nays.
(4) Due to the recent fires, the Forest Service has contracted with the City for potable water and the disposal of gray water. The Council agreed with the rate of 8¢ per gallon for gray water, and $20 per load, up to 8,000 gallons for potable water. Amell estimated that the City’s revenue from the nearby fire camps to be $14,000-$15,000 this year. The Council suggested that these funds be used towards the purchase of a Bobcat or similar equipment needed at the sewer plant and the irrigation ditch. Since the equipment may exceed $25,000, the Clerk will check competitive bidding requirements and look into lease option proposals for equipment.
(5) Amell reported that they are installing the new water meters on a routine basis, and requested a news article in the Current and City newsletter explaining the reoccurring water shutoffs.
(6) Charlie reported that he had found a supplier, Tencate, for the mud bags recommended by JUB for the sludge dewatering. He recommended that we try the 22’ 20 cubic yard bags. The cost, per bag, is $1200, FOB Georgia. After discussion, motion was made by Harper, seconded by Anderson to authorize Amell to purchase two mud bags to prepare the system for winter. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper and McClure. No nays.
(7) The float on the water storage tank is still not working properly. The electricians are working on the problem, but it continues to short out. They have been unable to locate the problem, which may be in the line to the tank. They are continuing to work on the problem, but for the interim, he and Robert Ader are manually turning the pump on and off each day as needed.
(8) He reported that the work on the clarifier is on hold until the volume of influent decreases. The plant’s volume is too high at this busy time in the summer to try to drain the basin. Amell reported that there were three days in July that the flow exceeded 107,000 gallons per day.
SEWER PLANT PROBLEMS
At this time the Council discussed the sewer plant problems as explained by JUB during the special URA meeting 8/9/07. At that meeting, Engr Brett Converse reported that the solids removal and handling was a critical concern. The sludge is a problem in that it cannot be disposed of properly in the winter, and must be held in the system. This build up of sludge makes the operation difficult, makes operation of the plant extremely difficult for treatment plant personnel, and will eventually cause a violation of the EPA permit. There is an immediate need to address the problem, and to implement a method of disposing the solids before the cold weather of winter. He suggested two solutions the Council might consider: (1) Haul the sludge offsite. He reported that this is a very expensive option, in that without a dewatering process, an enormous amount of liquid must be hauled on a continuing basis. (2) Geo-tubes or Mud Bags could be used. These are filtering bags that could be placed in the drying bed area, with the sludge pumped in, and the liquid filtered out. The bags reduce the liquid 15-17%, and then can be redone to reach 89-90% reduction. The drier sludge can then be transported to a certified landfill or disposal site. Converse strongly recommended that the Council address the solids issue immediately. He indicated that he would recommend a moratorium on any additional hookups to the sewer system, if this issue is not addressed. He indicated that any additional volume will compound the problem that now exists. He reported that the two items listed are only stopgap measures to buy time, that the Council should address the solids problem by a system upgrade. He indicated that, at a minimum, the headworks should be upgraded to address the grit and ragging problem, and a filter press, or some other dewatering system installed to reduce the volume of sludge. The facility study estimated the cost of these repairs to be $1.6M. He repeatedly stressed the urgency of the problem, and the need for action.
The Council agreed that a permanent solution for the solids handling problem would have to be addressed immediately to prevent a moratorium on new hookups. The Clerk reported that she had contacted CEDA, and an ICDBG Block Grant application could be prepared to meet the November filing, but the approval of a bond election for the grant match would be required in order to make the grant application competitive. USDA-Rural Development had been contacted, and they had loan funds available with a 20% matching grant, but suggested that the City contact bond counsel immediately if the bond election is required to be held in November. The Council agreed that the condition of the sewer plant must be addressed, as indicated by JUB. It was understood that this renovation would not expand the capacity of the plant, but would provide a more efficient operation and allow for the use of the plant’s remaining capacity.
The Clerk reported that Rural Development officials indicated that there are two types of bonds available: (1) Revenue Bonds, which require a 51% voter approval and are repaid from revenue from the sewer system, and (2) General Obligation Bonds, which require a 66% approval and can be repaid from taxes or other city revenue. Since RD officials have previously indicated that Revenue Bonding would increase the residential sewer rate to a minimum of $36 per month, the community passed the Resort Tax to be used for infrastructure repair. In order to use that funding for the bond repayment, it was anticipated that a General Obligation Bond would be required, even if it takes a 66% majority vote. The Council agreed that it may be easier to pass a General Obligation Bond, using the Resort Tax to repay the loan, than to try to pass a 51% Revenue Bond, and increasing the sewer rates.
After discussion, motion was made by Anderson, seconded by Harper, to proceed with a permanent solution to the sewer treatment plant problems, to contact the bond counsel to see if an election could be held, and to arrange a meeting with those attorneys, USDA-RD, CEDA, JUB and any others involved in the process. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper and McClure. No nays.
At this time the subject of joining Public Employee Retirement System was brought up.
Motion was made by Harper, seconded by McClure, to pursue PERSI, presenting it to all eligible employees and offer them the opportunity for a hearing on the issue. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper, and McClure. No nays.
The Clerk certified that all eligible employees had been give written notification of the City’s intent to pursue PERSI retirement, and invited to attend this City Council meeting for a hearing on the matter, if they so chose. Since there were no employees appearing requesting to be heard on the matter, motion was made by Anderson, seconded by Harper, to pass Resolution 07-06 authorizing and approving participation in the Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho and make application for admission, to be effective September 1, 2007, and authorize the signature of the Mayor on all related documents. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper and McClure. No nays. A copy of the resolution is attached and hereby made a part of this record.
ASK-HERITAGE CENTER EXCHANGE
It was reported that the Council and School Board members had toured the ASK building and the Heritage Center last month, but the results of that meeting had not been discussed. It was the general agreement of the Council and the School Board members that the ASK building was in great need of repair. After discussion, it was generally agreed that the City did not have sufficient funds to take on the building renovation, so the property trade would not be pursued.
WHITE WATER PARK
The two proposals received in response to the White Water Park Study were reviewed. The firms responding to the RFP were Recreation Engineering and Planning from Colorado and Bruce Anderson, from PBSJ of Montana. It was reported that the URA had reviewed the proposals and recommended that the Council consider the firm of Recreation Engineering and Planning for the study. After review, motion was made by Anderson, seconded by McClure, to contact Recreation Engineering and Planning to advise them of their selection for the work, provided the contract price for the study could be negotiated to the $7500 price range available for the study. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper and McClure. No nays.
The Clerk reported that there were several houses in town that were used for part time residency, as second homes. The houses were not entirely vacant, just being used periodically on weekends, etc. This part time use is not specifically addressed in the garbage ordinance, and normally garbage charges are waived only when the house is vacant. The Clerk inquired if the Council would like to consider a half-time garbage charge for those cases. After discussion, the Council agreed to postpone the discussion at this time until the ordinance could be reviewed more thoroughly.
TIME LIMITS – GUEST SPEAKERS
At this time Councilor Harper brought up the subject of visiting guests. The Council always allows guests to address the Council, but recently some guests have taken the floor for almost an hour, on issues not under the Council’s control. In the interest of time, he suggested that, in the future, guest speakers be limited to 10 minutes. The Council agreed, and a resolution will be prepared to limit guests to 10 minutes unless specifically approved for longer presentations.
WHITE WATER PARK
Richelle Barger inquired about the White Water Park Study, and the Council explained the RFP process. She requested a copy of Recreation Engineering and Planning response, and since it is a 48-page document, it will be e-mailed to her.
CURB PAINTING REQUEST
A request has been received from Exodus, to paint the 12’section of curb between their two driveways white, with no parking stenciled. They reported that it is a safety issue, and they would do the work at their expense. After discussion, the Council agreed to the request.
PARK USE APPLICATION
An application to use the Park on August 8/l8/07, from Dan Catherman, for a 30-year class reunion was read. Motion was made by Harper, seconded by Anderson, to approve the use, provided that the $100 deposit is paid. Voting yea, Anderson, Harper and McClure. No nays.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.