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Commissioners minutes

May 17, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011, Commissioners met in regular session with Chairman Ron Smith, Commissioner Dan Dinning, Commissioner Walt Kirby, and Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser.


9:14 a.m., Clerk Glenda Poston and Mike Weland briefly joined the meeting to discuss issues the Courthouse is having with the ability to send outgoing emails.


Mr. Weland left the meeting.


9:16 a.m., Commissioner Dinning moved to go into closed session under Idaho Code #31-874. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously. 9:17 a.m., Commissioner Dinning moved to go out of closed session. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously. 


Commissioner Dinning moved to deny indigent application #2011-32 as per the Clerk’s recommendation. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.


Clerk Poston left the meeting.


Commissioners tended to administrative duties.


Commissioner Dinning moved to authorize the Chairman to sign the Intent to Use Allocation for the fiscal year 2010 Juvenile Accountability Block Grant. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.


9:30 a.m., Bill Hayes and Shane Robinson with the USDA Wildlife Services joined the meeting to update Commissioners on the status of coyote, wolf, and mountain lion sightings and the affects they have on livestock.


Mr. Robinson briefly explained budget cuts for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Mr. Robinson informed Commissioners the coyote numbers are down. Commissioner Dinning asked if that is due to wolves and Mr. Robinson said he doesn’t know. The numbers are down, but people are still having problems with them in certain areas, according to Mr. Robinson. Mr. Hayes spoke of how he has been having problems with coyotes as well. Mr. Robinson spoke of wolves being de-listed from the Endangered Species Act and once that happens wolves will be managed by the Department of Fish and Game. There will be a hunting season for wolves and if a farmer sees them in with their livestock, farmers will be able to shoot the wolves. Mr. Robinson said he hasn’t had any cougar problems in Boundary County although incidents have been increasing in other areas.


Chairman Smith asked about budget for the USDA Wildlife Services and Mr. Hayes said the County budgets $5,000 for that.


More of the northeastern part of Boundary County is having wolf problems, according to Mr. Robinson. Mr. Robinson said he has seen a few wolves in Kootenai County this spring. Mr. Robinson said he expects to see problems with bears this spring.


Mr. Hayes and Mr. Robinson left the meeting at 9:55 a.m.


10:00 a.m., Noxious Weeds Superintendent Duke Guthrie joined the meeting. Mr. Guthrie presented Commissioners with minutes from the County Noxious Weed Board’s monthly meeting. Mr. Guthrie said he has 101 applications for the Neighborhood Cooperative and the Selkirk Weed Group was awarded a total of $60,000 for this group, which also includes Bonner County and the Department of Fish and Game. This is a cost share fund and it is separate from the Resource Advisory Committee (RAC). Mr. Guthrie said there is $6,000 in federal funds.


Mr. Guthrie spoke of an insect that eats knapweed. The cost is $1 per beetle and someone would need a minimum of five acres that is fairly dense with knapweed. 


Commissioner Dinning moved to approve the 2011 Cooperative Weed list applications to include: Gary Ashdown, Tom Steinbaugh, Gaylen Schirado, Kevin Callos, Ron Frederickson, Robert Anderson, Robert Martin, Gary Martin, Rob Tweedy, Steve Moyer, Allen Riffle, Edward Swor, Dave Pfenning, Debby Ackley, Brandon Glaza, Steve Allman, Russ Maas, Gerhart Maas, Mary Lutes, North Idaho Energy Logs, John Lierman, Rob Pluid, Stan Pruitt, Rick Dinning, John Taft, William Berry, Jim Berry, Lowell Carlson, Josh Figgins, Bill Poulton, Mike Glazier, Dan Myers, Rick Haag, John Aaron, Vance Jones, Lori Kelso, Steve Nelson, Michael Stevens, Robert Sanders, Peter Schaffer, Cheryl Kline, Dave Winfield, Bob Hall, Ken Robertson, Anthony Dinsmore, Art Larson, Ralph Bowie, Dave Wenk, Kevin Greenleaf, Dale Marcy, Merrill Marcy, Tim Tucker, Jeff Taylor, Hudlow Family, John Madden, Kambiz Kamiab, Wayne Nishek, John Neumeyer, Jim Neumeyer, Wendy Brophy, Dick Odmark, Joe Neumeyer, Doug Nishek, David Bean, Pam Ponsness, Jim White, Gerald Marker, Sandra Ennis, Bob Moon, Troy Geyman, Gregg Botkin, Scott Nelsen, Dan Altice, Marty Silvestri, Lori Mason, Bob Wyman, Camilo Lopez, Sam Wray, Bruce Whittaker, Dorine Doyle, Ken Carpenter, Issac Robinson, Pat Turley, John Hannigan, Stephanie Tucker, Jean Hawkes, Robert Dante, Doug Flory, Kermit Bandimere, Kathleen Phillio, Glenn Fodge, Lisa Robbe, John Winneford, Keith Carter, Jim Huntley, Phil Beachy, Mike Cochran, Walt Neu, Sheldon Ashdown, Ray Schave, Mike Kent, H & H Farms, Sharon Hood, Jeff Perkins, Ken Comer, Ron Bennett, Ryan Comer, Ken Comer, John Cook, Dale Sargent, Jock Johnson, Ben Mitchell, Michael Smith, Randy Burney, Kristie Mendenhall, Glenda Poston, Donna Strangio, Bud Ross, Becky Peterson, Steve Olson, Dean Peterson, Janice Rudeen, Stephen Ackers, Steve Winneger, Steve Ballard, Johnathon Holdeman, Jim Wadel, Julie Colson, Jim Hubbell, Colet Allen, Robert Nissen, Dennis Coleman, Ken Veltri, Steve Garwick, Jim Dahlberg, Gary Neumeyer, Ryan Comer, Paul Wells, Robert Wells, Mike Karnes, Norm Meindl, Bruce Merrifield, Liz Wood, Jim Brooks, Ron McDonald, David Jorgensen, Gordon Stanley, Debbie Woods, Bruce Behrman, Bradford Orndorff, Spike Maas, Larry Wages, Larry Hosterman, Roger Morter, Maureen Hooten, Loren Peycke, Dan Tucker, Erv Madson, Tom Roy Cowley, Phil Allegretti, Gary Regehr, Scott Bremer, Bethany Graupner, Leah Meister, Lynn Aldridge, and Deborah Jordan. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.    


Chairman Smith spoke of the county having to treat a property for knapweed because the homeowner could not be located after multiple notices had been returned.


Mr. Guthrie informed Commissioners he received Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) funding totaling $7,000 to purchase weed spraying equipment. Mr. Guthrie said he needs to replace the existing four wheeler and would use it as a trade in. The Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) doesn’t require quotes if the cost is under $25,000, according to Mr. Guthrie.  


Commissioner Dinning moved to authorize the County Noxious Weed Superintendent to procure a four wheeler using the existing four wheeler as trade in. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.


Mr. Guthrie spoke of bills in the House pertaining to herbicides. Mr. Guthrie said the bills passed the House and are now in the Senate. Mr. Guthrie said funding to treat milfoil is just about gone. It was thought milfoil would be hard to treat because of the flow of the river and that is probably correct. Mussels are now a problem, according to Mr. Guthrie. 


Mr. Guthrie left the meeting at 10:25 a.m.


10:30 a.m., Airport Board Chairman Jay Wages, Airport Manager Dave Parker, Economic Development Specialist Mike Sloan, and Dave Darrow with the Department of Commerce joined the meeting to discuss the request of hangar owner, Joseph Lapham.


Chairman Smith said the purpose of the meeting is due to a letter Commissioners received from hangar owner Joseph Lapham. Mr. Lapham would like to lease out hangar space to a company called Answering Specialists that operates as a call center. The matter is whether this company is considered aviation related as that is an FAA requirement for airport funding. Chairman Smith said he spoke to Mr. Darrow a bit about this business. Chairman Smith said where he is coming from is the county has been through this situation before, but it involved the Border Patrol. The Border Patrol requested space at the airport and Chairman Smith said early on he tried to get the Border Patrol to construct a helicopter pad so the use of the space was more aviation related, but even that didn’t satisfy the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Chairman Smith said he doesn’t want to do anything that will jeopardize funding for the airport for future projects. Mr. Parker said he contacted Sandy Simmons with the FAA last Friday and she reminded him of the matter involving the Border Patrol. It was said the FAA was against the Border Patrol occupying space at the airport and talking about this company isn’t any better. The idea of providing 125 jobs is great, but factor in 125 cars and traffic in and out of airport property. Mr. Parker said Ms. Simmons informed him that she wouldn’t be the person with the FAA to decide whether or not this company qualifies as aviation related.


Commissioner Dinning said evidently there is a process in which to ask and maybe we should follow that process and if the FAA says no than that is it. Mr. Sloan said there will not be 125 cars at one time and it may be more like one-third as this company works in shifts. Mr. Darrow said there are three or four aviation related companies this business contracts with, but it sounds like there is a need to go through this process. The jobs would be nice, but the future of the airport can’t be put in jeopardy. 


Mr. Wages said he does see a problem in going through the process and there are probably logistical things to work out as far as access. Mr. Parker said everyone that gets to that site has to go through a locked gate.


Mr. Sloan said the business owner’s wish is to use the center section of the hangar and he wondered if there is a way to qualify. Mr. Sloan said he doesn’t want to jeopardize anything for the airport and that comes first, but is there something that would work. Mr. Parker said Ms. Simmons said even if it involved a flight school, those classrooms could be located off the airport property. Even being primarily aviation related doesn’t necessarily fly, according to Mr. Parker.


Commissioner Kirby reviewed information on what is and what is not allowed on airport property. Mr. Darrow said he doesn’t know of any other office location for this company. Mr. Sloan said Mr. Harlan wants space that is almost double what he currently has, which is 5,000 square feet so he is looking at approximately 7,500 square feet to expand. Commissioner Dinning said from his perspective the FAA needs to be consulted and it would be good to get their response in writing. Commissioner Kirby said he doesn’t want to upset the FAA. Commissioner Dinning said he just wants to ask the FAA these questions. Mr. Wages said Ms. Simmons gives very good recommendations on what should be done at the airport and with the Border Patrol and Mr. Lederhos wanting to build parts for airplanes, the FAA said no to those projects. Mr. Wages said he thinks it will be an exercise in futility. Mr. Parker said rather than going through the County, he would approach the FAA as a business and he mentioned not wanting to bother the FAA with frivolous issues. Chairman Smith said he doesn’t think it would hurt to speak with Ms. Simmons to find out if she thought there was any value to the process. Mr. Darrow said at least it is giving Mr. Harlan’s business due diligence. Commissioner Dinning said we should do anything we can to keep businesses here, but if an agency beyond the county’s control said no, that has to be accepted. Mr. Sloan said right now time is of the essence for this company as they have outgrown the business.


The discussion ended and Mr. Darrow, Mr. Sloan, and Mr. Wages left the meeting.


Mr. Parker said the airport has an Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS) for instrument approach and the Airport Board didn’t anticipate needing a separate telephone line. The system has to have a dedicated phone line and a dedicated internet service as well. Mr. Parker said there will be expenses that weren’t specifically budgeted for in the amount of approximately $700, but there are funds in the budget that will cover that cost. Since the land issue is not going quickly, there is still money in the budget for engineering and the land issue probably won’t go anywhere this year, according to Mr. Parker. Mr. Parker suggested getting rid of Northern Air’s existing service and share the new line and that would cut costs in half. The camera that has been on the roof at the airport is a county camera and Northern Air is providing the internet service currently, according to Mr. Parker.


The meeting with Mr. Parker ended at 11:00 a.m.


11:06 a.m., Commissioners considered a 2011 County Alcohol Beverage License for Linsit LLC dba Wild Horse Mercantile and Saloon. Present were: Chairman Smith, Commissioner Dinning, Commissioner Kirby, and Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser. The meeting was recorded.  


The completed application and required fee has been received. The 2011 State of Idaho Retail Alcohol Beverage License and the 2011 Panhandle Health District Permit have yet to be received. The establishment will not be authorized to serve prepared food until a copy of the Panhandle Health District Permit is received.


Commissioner Kirby moved to approve the 2011 County Alcohol Beverage License for Linsit LLC dba Wild Horse Mercantile and Saloon to sell draft, canned, or bottled beer to be consumed on or off premises and retail wine pending receipt of the 2011 State of Idaho Liquor License. Once the Panhandle Health District permit is received, this establishment will be allowed to sell wine by the drink.   


Planning and Zoning Administrator Mike Weland briefly joined the meeting to answer questions pertaining to the zoning of the Wild Horse Mercantile and Bistro. Mr. Weland said this area is zoned commercial and the business does not fall under a special use or conditional use. Mr. Weland left the meeting.


The meeting to consider the 2011 County Alcohol Beverage License application for Linsit LLC dba Wild Horse Mercantile and Saloon ended at 11:10 a.m.


11:13 a.m., City of Bonners Ferry City Council member Mike Klaus met with Commissioners to provide an update on recycling. Also present were: Ron Frederickson of Frederickson’s Bonners Ferry Garbage, City of Bonners Ferry Assistant Administrator David Sims, and Bonners Ferry City Council member Tom Mayo.


11:20 a.m., Chairman Smith said before getting started with the discussion on recycling, another matter on the agenda needs to be addressed. Chairman Smith said the county tax deed auction was held on April 11, 2011. The paperwork listed $7,968.88 as the opening bid, which consists of taxes for years 2006 through 2010. Taxes for year 2011 should have also been included so the original opening bid amount was $1,263.48 less than what it should have been. Although the correct opening bid amount should have been $9,232.36, there will be no affect or changes in the results of the bidding process. 


11:30 a.m., Mr. Klaus said the City of Bonners Ferry is trying to come up with the best cost effective game plan to capture recyclables in the City. Mr. Klaus questioned if there is something that could be done as a tentative plan as this dilemma has gone on for years and he would like to see it concluded. Mr. Klaus said his own idea is to get bins similar to what sits on the Solid Waste Department’s trailer and placing them in front of the Middle School. Mr. Klaus said Kootenai County had recycling bins at the schools and there is a lot of traffic at those locations. The middle school could be a centrally located place for little expense. Chairman Smith said the concern he would have is if bins were placed there, people would also dump their garbage in the recycle bins. Mr. Klaus said he never had noticed a problem with people putting garbage in them when he lived in Coeur d’ Alene. Mr. Klaus said he contacted Kootenai County and that occurrence hasn’t been a problem for them. Mr. Klaus suggested at least trying his idea for awhile to see how it works.


Commissioner Dinning said his thought is to wait until the co-mingling starts so only one bin is needed. Mr. Klaus said he doesn’t want to speak for the City Council, but he thinks it would be a good idea. Chairman Smith said Commissioners had a thorough conversation about proposing Mr. Frederickson alternate his pick up routes. Chairman Smith questioned if large families could stand to leave their garbage for longer periods of time if the pick up schedule changed.


Chairman Smith said there is a manned site in Naples, Paradise Valley, Mt. Hall and the landfill. There is also the temporary site at Safeway. It was questioned why not have a fifth manned site at the fairgrounds to eliminate the Safeway location and still have Mr. Frederickson make sure garbage is separated from recyclables. Commissioner Kirby said the alternate pick up schedule appeals to him and from a fuel and time standpoint it shouldn’t trouble Mr. Frederickson. Mr. Sims said from a customer’s standpoint that may not work. Mr. Frederickson said anything is doable, but he questioned how many cans a residence will go through. Mr. Frederickson said he tries to keep the public happy and this is going the other direction. Mr. Frederickson said without a mandate people will still mix recyclables with garbage. Mr. Frederickson said he has also sent out flyers, but it doesn’t work. Commissioner Dinning said it is easy to sit here and not be the person to run it and you have to defer to the guy on the ground. Commissioner Dinning said currently other than driving recycling to the landfill, there is absolutely no recycling going on in the City. Commissioner Dinning said almost half of the number of homes is a huge thing and we need to do something and whatever that is, we need to at least start it. Commissioner Dinning said it isn’t fair for the county resident to drive farther to deal with garbage and recycling and he mentioned the distance people using the Highway 1/95 manned site have to drive. Commissioner Kirby said the manned sites have employees to direct its users as to where they place their recyclables. Mr. Sims said City residents do recycle so it wouldn’t be fair to say “all”.         


Mr. Klaus mentioned the School District and Mr. Frederickson said he already went through this with the School District and there has to be someone to help place materials in the bins because the bins are on a trailer and they sit higher. Mr. Frederickson said it is a liability, but if you were to place the bins right on the ground, extra equipment such as fork lifts would be needed. Mr. Sims said if a dumpster system is used, what happens if there is contamination. Mr. Klaus said he would just like to get something started and he questioned if Commissioners would be open to having volunteers man the trailers when the landfill employee is not manning them.


Commissioner Dinning said maybe we’re looking at this from the wrong perspective. Commissioner Dinning asked if it is feasible for Mr. Frederickson to make a route to pick up recyclables every other week. Mr. Frederickson said that is still looking at two more trips around the City. Mr. Sims said he felt participation would be higher with curbside pickup. Mr. Frederickson said he contemplated a recycle pick up day on Thursdays, which is the day he does commercial garbage pickup. Mr. Frederickson said when co-mingling starts it would be more doable. Mr. Sims asked Commissioners if the Solid Waste Superintendent would be willing to sort. Commissioner Dinning suggested one section of the Panhandle Health District parking lot as a location for recycle bins. Chairman Smith said he is finding out that the community wants to work on recycling and he thinks it is well worth the try.


Mr. Klaus said he personally and other people can’t seem to find out when the recycling trailer will be at Safeway and he asked if there is any way to get that trailer in town five days per week. Commissioners said they could speak to Mr. Skeen about that. Mr. Frederickson said the conversation is turning contradictory as discussion was about his route changing to every other week and now the discussion is about dumpsters being placed at Safeway on a consistent day to make it easier. Mr. Klaus said whatever can be done will be helpful.


Chairman Smith said it is the County attorney’s opinion that the franchise agreement is still valid. The agreement is still in the name of Wilbur Frederickson, Bonners Ferry Garbage, LLC., and it states the agreement will be in affect until a majority of the Commissioners stop it. Chairman Smith said the County’s attorney doesn’t see a problem with the new contract that Ron Frederickson presented to Commissioners, but he recommended taking out the term “exclusive”.


The meeting with Mr. Frederickson, Mr. Klaus, Mr. Mayo, and Mr. Sims ended at 12:10 p.m.


12:10 p.m., Commissioners recessed for lunch.


2:00 p.m., Commissioners reconvened for the afternoon session with Chairman Smith, Commissioner Dinning, Commissioner Kirby, and Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser.


2:00 p.m., Boundary Volunteer Ambulance Association Chief Ken Baker joined the meeting. Clerk Glenda Poston also joined the meeting.


Commissioners said they are just wondering what is needed to be able to release the funds to the Ambulance Association and one requirement they were aware of was to have a copy of the Ambulance Association’s audit. The Ambulance Association owes the County a copy of its 2008 and 2009 audits, and now the 2010 audit will be due soon. Clerk Poston said it is stated in the minutes or the agreement that an audit from the Ambulance Association is to be received by the County in order to release County funds. Chairman Smith suggested providing the Ambulance Association the check for year 2009 and having them contact their accountant in regards to the audits. Clerk Poston asked if it is a requirement to be audited every single year or every other year and Chairman Smith said that was a good question. Clerk Poston said the Fair Board’s auditor also advised the Fair Board they didn’t need to have an audit done every year due to the size of the organization.  


Commissioners authorized the check for year 2009 to be given to the Ambulance Association and advised Mr. Baker to contact the Ambulance Association’s auditor to inform him the Ambulance Association needs the audits in order to receive the funds for 2010.  


The meeting with Mr. Baker and Clerk Poston ended at 2:18 p.m.


Commissioner Dinning moved to sign the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Coalition Steering Committee (CFLR) letter of support when it is received. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.


Commissioners received a telephone call from Boundary County Emergency Services Incident Commander Bob Graham regarding funding in relation to the roads that have sustained damage and that are associated with the emergency declaration.


Clerk Glenda Poston joined the meeting at 2:40 p.m.


Those present resumed the discussion to clarify matters.


The call with Mr. Graham ended at 3:00 p.m.  


Commissioner Kirby moved to approve the minutes of April 18 & 19, 2011. Commissioner Dinning second. Motion passed unanimously.


There being no further business, the meeting recessed until Friday, April 29, 2011 at 12:30 p.m., for a meeting with Senator Jim Risch.


Friday, April 29, 2011, Commissioners met in special session with Chairman Ron Smith, Commissioner Dan Dinning, Commissioner Walt Kirby, and Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser.   


9:00 a.m., Senator Jim Risch stopped by to visit with Commissioners while he was in Bonners Ferry. Chairman Smith informed Senator Risch the last time Commissioners had met with him was in year 2006 during the Kootenai River flood incident.


Commissioner Dinning shared information about budgets. Senator Risch said most everyone has the feeling there are financial problems, but no one knows how bad it really is. The Federal Government spent 8.3 trillion dollars. This is the third year in a row and the Federal Government is 40% short of that. The Federal Government is borrowing 40 cents out of every dollar so it is going upside down every day. There are 12 hours of new debt for the Federal Government and they borrow funds every day, according to Senator Risch. The Federal Government is borrowing in order to pay others back. Senator Risch said the United States is the most powerful country, but we are no longer the masters of our own destiny as we have to borrow from other countries to pay people back. Senator Risch said we did this to ourselves and he is truly concerned. There are three ways to fix this financial situation and they are to stop spending, create a straight jacket on spending, and there is creating a balanced budget. The only way to balance the budget is an amendment to the Constitution to balance the budget. Chairman Smith asked Senator Risch if he sees protests in Washington as they saw in Wyoming. Senator Risch said he already sees that. Commissioners thanked Senator Risch for coming by the Courthouse. Senator Risch said he is glad to be in his position, but it is a scary time.


Commissioner Dinning asked about Secure Rural Schools funding. Senator Risch said he is trying to make the program work again. All those from the west understand that Federal policies have pinched the counties. It is a bipartisan effort, according to Senator Risch. Chairman Smith questioned how many years of reauthorization are being discussed and Senator Risch said he has heard it all as there is no consensus right now. Commissioner Kirby said if by magic we could log tomorrow, no one wants the timber so we’re coming at it from the wrong direction. Commissioner Kirby said when talking about the Forest Service logging, it doesn’t help as no one wants the timber. It was said it will take years for the housing market to straight up. Senator Risch said Mark Brinkmeyer says his mill has done very well offshore. Commissioner Dinning said that is because of the dollar. Commissioner Kirby said the mill could add another shift if they had the timber. Chairman Smith said Boundary County is not the only county that will suffer if Secure Rural Schools funding is not reauthorized.


Chairman Smith asked about states operating Medicaid. Social Security is not a problem, but Medicare and Medicaid are murdering us, according to Senator Risch. It was said the States would do so much better operating Medicaid than the Federal Government. Senator Risch said too much money is being dropped in Iraq and Afghanistan.


The meeting with Senator Risch ended at 1:10 p.m.     





                                                RONALD R. SMITH, Chairman







By: Michelle Rohrwasser, Deputy

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