***Monday, March 11, 2013, Commissioners met in regular session with Chairman Dan Dinning, Commissioner LeAlan Pinkerton, Commissioner Walt Kirby, and Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser.

 

9:00 a.m., The Road and Bridge department report was cancelled as Superintendent Jeff Gutshall was unable to make the meeting.

 

Commissioners tended to administrative duties.

 

Commissioners reviewed the quotes for baling metal at the landfill. Five quotes were received and after review of the quotes Glen McClellan with L & S Enterprises was the apparent high quote for baling metal at $186 per ton owed to Boundary County.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to accept the quote from L & S Enterprises for baling metal for the Solid Waste Department at a total of $186 per ton owed to Boundary County. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to reappoint Phil Allegretti to the Boundary County Noxious Weeds Advisory Board with a term to expire August 2014. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to reappoint Larry Hall to the Restorium Board with a term to expire January 2016. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to reappoint Jay Wages to the Airport Board with a term to expire February 2016. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to reappoint Don Jordan to the Airport Board with a term to expire February 2016. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

Deputy Clerk Nancy Ryals joined the meeting at 9:15 a.m.

 

Commissioner Kirby moved to go into closed session under Idaho Code #31-874. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously. 9:20 a.m., Commissioner Kirby moved to go out of closed session. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to deny indigent application 2013-9. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to deny on appeal indigent application 2013-6. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously. ††

 

Commissioner Kirby moved to sign the contract with L & S Enterprises for baling metal at the landfill. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

Commissioners reviewed claims for payment. Fund totals are as follows:

 

Current Expense ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† $69,532.67

Road & Bridge††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 126,568.63

Airport†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 11,343.60

District Court†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 25,444.08

Justice Fund††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 64,643.58

911 Funds†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 8,980.06

Historical Society & Museum†††††††††††††††††† 7,000.00

Indigent and Charity††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5,516.79

Parks and Recreation††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3,089.44

Revaluation†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2,821.04

Solid Waste†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 94,424.95

Veterans Memorial†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 184.07

Weeds†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1,661.93

Restorium††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 81,035.46

Waterways†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 211.14

Juvenile Probation, Lottery††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 47.99

Grant, Boat Safety†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 49.68

Grant, Emergency Communication†††††††††††† 270.07

 

†††† †††††††††††††††††††††TOTAL††††††††††††††††††† $502,825.18

Trusts

Auditorís Trust††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 195.09

Drivers License†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7,166.00

Magistrate Trust††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 31,238.68

Motor Vehicle Trust †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 64,892.10

Workmans Comp.-Youth†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 108.73

Sheriffís Fund††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 562.21

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† TOTAL††††††††††††††††††††† $104,162.81

†††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††† GRAND TOTAL†††† $606,987.99

 

Citizens are invited to inspect detailed records on file in the Courthouse (individual claims & Commissionersí allowance & warrant register record 2013).

 

Commissioners tended to administrative duties.

 

11:00 a.m., There being no further business for the morning session, Commissioners recessed until the afternoon session at 1:30 p.m.

 

1:30 p.m., Commissioners reconvened for the afternoon session with Chairman Dinning, Commissioner Pinkerton, Commissioner Kirby, and Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser.

 

1:30 p.m., Commissioners held a bid opening for the 2013 asphalt petroleum products for the Road and Bridge Department. Present were Chairman Dinning, Commissioner Pinkerton, Commissioner Kirby, Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser and Stephen Van De Bogert with Western States Asphalt. The bid opening was recorded.

 

Two sealed bids were opened. The first bid opened was from Western States Asphalt. Chairman Dinning reviewed the bid documents provided to include a bid bond for 5% of the total amount bid. The total bid from Western States Asphalt is $288,820.00.

 

The second bid opened was from Idaho Asphalt. Documents also included was a bid bond totaling 5% of the total amount bid and a letter discussing unloading times, etc. The bid from Idaho Asphalt is $302,500.00

 

Chairman Dinning said since the Countyís Road and Bridge Superintendent is not present the bid decision will be postponed until tomorrow at 10:30 a.m.

 

Commissioner Kirby moved to postpone the bid decision until Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. in order to allow the Road and Bridge Superintendent a chance to review the documents. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

The bid opening for asphalt petroleum products ended at 1:40 p.m.

 

Commissioners tended to administrative duties.

 

2:10 p.m., Road and Bridge Superintendent Jeff Gutshall stopped by Commissionersí Office briefly to review the bid documents.

 

3:00 p.m., Commissioners attended an informational briefing hosted by Customs and Border Patrol staff members at the new Customs and Border Patrol facility with Bonner County Commissioners Cary Kelly and Mike Nielsen. Blue Sky Broadcasting Reporter Mike Brown was also present.

 

Maps of the area to be discussed were presented for viewing. Agent Barry Woelfel informed Commissioners how the Border Patrol has moved east, which incorporates the Bog Creek area and how agents have to travel from Metaline Falls, Washington through areas in Priest Lake and Bog Creek to their destinations. During the winter the agents have to travel down through Sandpoint, etc. and their drive can take approximately four hours.

 

The Border Patrol has approached the Forest Service about Bog Creek Road in that they would like to improve the road for travel and safety reasons. Agent Woelfel said it has been approximately four years now so they would like to move forward and they had wanted to give Commissioners an idea of what the Border Patrol was doing.

 

Agent Woelfel said the number of trips allowed for this road is 57. This road would still remain an administrative road and Customs and Border Patrol will clear the road. Agent Woelfel said he hopes Commissioners understand. Agent Woelfel said some environmental groups havenít asked what is going on and so they have misinterpretations. There will not be increased traffic. Agent Woelfel explained that there could be four agents on four ATVís and that is considered four trips so if the road could be cleared, one truck could carry those four people and be considered one trip. Agent Woelfel said this is in bear management area so the issue is touchy.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton said the Border Patrol is not trying to change the application that is already on the road and Agent Woelfel said that was correct. Commissioner Pinkerton asked what the Border Patrolís nature is and the reply was not administrative.

 

Agent Woelfel said Canada has an extensive road system and has had a large drug bust in the Salmo area so those are routes that are used. Bog Creek may be core habitat for bear, according to Agent Woelfel. Chairman Dinning said this area has been referred to that way, but the Department of Fish and Game said it is not core, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants it to be. Chairman Dinning said he had thought that area was core habitat until he had attended that one meeting. That had been the communityís concern, according to Chairman Dinning.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton said it is not the Border Patrolís intention to close roads. Agent Woelfel said the Border Patrolís Sector Chief has no interest in closing the road.††††

 

Bonner County Commissioner Mike Nielsen said there needs to be a public hearing so the public can be aware. Agent Woelfel said the Border Patrol has a good relationship with the Continental Mine representatives, but their legal counsel has advised them against divulging their number of trips. Chairman Dinning said heís concerned about an animal taking importance over national security even though he is in favor of the bearsí recovery. It was said the Border Patrol has also met with the Kootenai Tribe on the matter.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton said this all surrounds the amount of use per year and he said the Border Patrol is not changing anything, but land management will try to use the number of trips in closing the road. Bonner County Commissioner Nielsen suggested possibly invoking coordination. Commissioner Pinkerton said the Border Patrol is not in the position of changing the application. Chairman Dinning asked if the Border Patrol would care if the road was opened to the public if Grizzly bears were recovered in the future. Agent Woelfel said no, the Border Patrol is actively helping to update the numbers for Grizzly bear. Bonner County Commissioner Nielsen said he thinks the number of bears is well past the point of recovery.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton asked how much funding will the Border Patrol contribute to this issue and Agent Woelfel said $250,000 will be contributed for road reconstruction by the Border Patrol. The Border Patrol Spokane Sector has approximately $500,000 for roads and the Bog Creek Road could ultimately run close to $500,000.

 

Agent Daniel McElheran said the Border Patrol just wants to be transparent with Commissioners and they do not wish to close anything. Agent James Frackelton said the Border Patrol has taken annual courses and training on environmental issues so agents can do patrols, be aware and know enough to report potential environmental issues. It was said this shows the Border Patrol is going over and beyond. Agent McElheran spoke briefly of the differences between road systems in Canada and the United States.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton asked about training and Agent Frackelton spoke of being able to respond with remote technology in order of reducing to what has been agreed so they can still be effective. Agent Woelfel said the Border Patrol has vehicles with a lot of wear and tear as a result of something that could be a simple project. The length of Bog Creek Road is 5.6 miles.

 

Bonner County Commission Chairman Cary Kelly asked about the time frame for the Border Patrol and the difference between an environmental assessment (EA) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) such as one year. Agent Woelfel said that was correct as it would be year 2014 for an environmental assessment.

 

Agent McElheran said the longer this process takes the longer the vehicles are traveling and they need to reduce costs. Agent Woelfel added that the Border Patrol is just trying to make it safer for their agents and are not harming bears, etc.††

††††

Commissioner Pinkerton said in his opinion he would like to see more roads opened than closed. Commissioner Pinkerton asked about the size of the recovery zone and Chairman Dinning said he believes it is 50% on each side of the United States and Canada.

 

The meeting portion ended and Commissioners were given a tour of the new Border Patrol facility.

 

The meeting with the Border Patrol ended 4:30 p.m.

 

There being no further business, the meeting recessed until the joint city/county meeting to be held at the Bonners Ferry City Hall at 5:00 p.m., along with the City of Bonners Ferry and City of Moyie Springs.

 

Clerkís Note: City of Bonners Ferry Clerk/Treasurer Kris Larson to provide minutes from this meeting.

 

There being no further business, the meeting recessed until tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.

 

***Tuesday, March 12, 2013, Commissionersí meetings were canceled due to lack of a quorum with the exception of the bid decision scheduled for 10:30 a.m.

 

10:30 a.m., Commissioner Walt Kirby, via telephone, and Chairman Dinning met for the purpose of making a motion to accept the bid for asphalt petroleum products for year 2013.

Road and Bridge Superintendent Jeff Gutshall joined the meeting.

 

Chairman Dinning said the apparent low bidder for the 2013 asphalt petroleum products bid is Western States Asphalt who has a bid of $288,820 versus the bid of $302,500 from Idaho Asphalt. Both bids contained a bid bond totaling 5% of the amounts bid.

 

Mr. Gutshall said he recommended the low bidder, which appears to be Western States Asphalt with a bid of $288,820.

 

Commissioner Kirby moved to accept the bid of $288,820 from Western States Asphalt for asphalt petroleum products for year 2013 for the Road and Bridge Department. Chairman Dinning yielded the chair to second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

The meeting for the bid decision ended at 10:35 a.m.

 

10:40 a.m., There being no further business, the meeting recessed until 6:00 p.m., for the meeting with the Boundary Volunteer Ambulance Board.

 

6:00 p.m., Commissioners met in special session at the County Extension Annex Building with Chairman Dinning, Commissioner Pinkerton and Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser; and Boundary Volunteer Ambulance (BVA) Board members Jim Paulus, Erika Denning, Dan Moore and Brian Strong. Also present were: Bonners Ferry Herald Reporter Laura Roady, Vickie Hamilton, Peach Baker, Teresa Baker, BVA President Kenneth Baker, BVA Attorney Brian Woods, David Sims, Alan Hamilton, Jacob Bushnell, Dave Wenk, Georgia Earley, Mary Matthews, and Earl Matthews. The meeting was recorded.

 

Introductions were given. Chairman Dinning said Commissioners in January had requested that negotiations for a new contract begin and recently President Baker brought in BVAís historical budget. In regards to how much BVA expects to receive in taxes, Chairman Dinning informed BVA board members that the county borrowed $80,000 from the Solid Waste Department budget and that amount needs to be paid back. Legally the Ambulance Taxing District is unable to enter into a contract; only the county can, according to Chairman Dinning. Commissioners asked for an explanation of the BVA Projected Operational Budget Plan. President Baker said this was the information that was requested by Commissioners. Chairman Dinning asked BVA to remember that the county only collects approximately 90% of tax in a one year period. Commissioners will not know what that amount will be until budgets have been set and the countyís value is determined.

 

BVA Board Chairman Jim Paulus determined the budget information presented by President Baker wasnít the most current information. Chairman Dinning said if the budget presented is obsolete, the county would like to see a plan for various levels and options for service. BVA Chairman Paulus said BVA tried to provide the best information they had at that point.

 

BVA Attorney Woods said BVA had put together a five year plan in executive session approximately one year ago and there had been a presentation on that showing how funds would be spent if received. There was also the wild card, which is the pitch for the .04% levy to advance the level of ambulance service to advance life support (ALS), which generates revenue, according to Attorney Woods.

 

Chairman Dinning asked what the costs are to maintain various levels of service and he said once that information is determined we can go in the direction we need to go. Commissioners would like to know the alternatives.

 

Chairman Dinning informed BVAís board about the funds received from Secure Rural Schools program that equates to half of the Road and Bridge budget and how that may no longer be authorized. Chairman Dinning explained that the county cannot create a new levy for the Road and Bridge Department so if Secure Rural Schools funding is no longer reauthorized, the county will have to use funds currently designated to other departments to help fund Road and Bridge.

 

BVA Chairman Paulus said he can see BVAís needs such as the need to buy new equipment. The volunteer system is declining and there are six to twelve volunteers. Those volunteers need to be compensated and new equipment is needed. The CPR mannequins are falling apart. BVA Chairman Paulus said the outlook is to have an ALS system for the community.

 

Chairman Dinning said he understands the needs of both sides. This is a tough time for the community and taxpayers. Chairman Dinning questioned what the least amount of money BVA could get by on? The county will levy the full amount the first year and then will not levy over the next two years, but will levy that fourth year. Chairman Dinning asked if that would be too difficult to operate on now such as a three step plan.

 

BVA board member Brian Strong informed those present of his experience in the emergency medical service field and he discussed operating on a basic service as opposed to an enhanced service.

 

BVA Chairman Paulus said Boundary County is a retirement community and those residents look to what kind of hospital and medical service is available. BVA wants to provide a top notch service. Chairman Paulus spoke of BVA taking calls to transport a patient back home after receiving care because itís something law enforcement doesnít want to do. If BVA responds to a call and the person in need doesnít want to be transported, BVA is not compensated for those calls. Chairman Paulus explained that calls will often come from the Kootenai River Inn for people who are having issues. Commissioner Pinkerton suggested BVA take that issue up with the Inn if that is something that is happening. Commissioner Pinkerton said as a county, we are not Donald Trump so they canít start out at the top. The amount should increase over time and if there are only two advanced life support (ALS) calls, does that really substantiate the need for that amount. Commissioner Pinkerton said you canít start at the finish line. BVA Chairman Paulus said this ambulance service has really been taken advantage of. Chairman Paulus mentioned that he is also on the Boundary Community Hospital Board of Trustees and the Hospital does have a van in relation to transporting a patient back home.

 

Chairman Dinning explained that the Kootenai River Inn is a part of a sovereign nation and the Tribe contracts with the county for law enforcement services. It was suggested that BVA sign a contract for calls to the Inn as somebody has to be responsible as they donít pay property taxes and they are a separate government.

 

Attorney Woods said BVA could contract around that as when people go to the Inn to gamble or eat, etc., they do not know theyíre leaving Boundary County. Mr. Strong asked about a contract between the county and the Kootenai Tribe. Chairman Dinning said that contract is for patrol and housing inmates. Chairman Dinning said this is good discussion, but the county is not the provider of the service.

 

Dave Wenk asked about the minimum amount BVA could function on and if the county has to borrows funds, would BVA funds be borrowed against? Chairman Dinning said no. BVA Chairman Paulus said BVA has had to borrow funds to operate. Chairman Dinning asked if BVA is in the hole after borrowing $80,000. President Baker said the $80,000 keeps BVA afloat.

 

Chairman Dinning said the Commissioners need to look at real alternatives from minimal, medium and maximum service so they can see what can be done. If the county was flush, it would be different, but that isnít likely to happen. BVA Chairman Paulus said he also has things to discuss pertaining to the contract. President Baker mentioned other bids.

 

Attorney Woods recapped budget issues and mentioned BVA could probably write a contractual proposal. Attorney Woods said if the .04% levy goes away, it could be written in the contract that BVA could state they donít wish to provide the service so a contract could probably be written around that. Chairman Dinning said the current board of commissioners cannot bind future boards.

 

BVA Chairman Paulus said he is also a business owner and he explained that he wouldnít be able to make purchases if he didnít have a projected budget. Chairman Dinning said he understands, but from year to year the county doesnít know what the needs are. If BVAís runs decrease or reimbursements increase, that isnít known, but there needs to be the ability to change.††

 

Mr. Wenk asked if the county could purchase equipment and lease back to BVA. Chairman Dinning said there could be all kinds of options. Chairman Paulus said Commissioners can see what BVA is up against and he doesnít see it being a big deal to meet once per month to discuss needs.

 

Alan Hamilton said BVA wonít have to buy an ambulance unit every year, but there are supplies that expire and that is what BVA gets hit with. Mr. Hamilton also explained issues with getting supplies from the current ambulance units to a car that has gone over a bank in an accident and the need to update to new auto materials.

 

Chairman Dinning asked what the absolute priority list for the first year. Attorney Woods said to understand the history, we only got to this point by wanting the .04% levy. The needs are there to justify more than $300,000. BVA still isnít properly paying volunteers for their work as the fee they were getting paid had to be reduced from the $55 they had been splitting. Chairman Dinning said whether Commissioners like it or not they are accountable to the public. If someone comes up and asks where the money BVA is getting is going to, he will not know. Commissioner Pinkerton said itís hard to go to the public and say this is the only option. Commissioner Pinkerton said the ambulance service is remarkable and shouldnít have gotten to this place, but it did.

 

BVA Chairman Paulus said Libby, Montana pays its EMS service $500,000 and that is a small town. Chairman Paulus spoke of the cost of supplies to include $1,800 for mannequins. Commissioner Pinkerton said having some outlines and plans would go a long way. Chairman Paulus explained that BVA is a 501© 3.

 

Chairman Dinning said one thing the public wants to know is why the county doesnít seek bids for ambulance service. BVA Board member Dan Moore said he wishes the county would seek bids so Commissioners could see what the service actually costs. It was said BVA wants to do this right. BVA Chairman Paulus said Bonner County EMS receives 3.2 million dollars for their service. President Baker said BVA also provides rescue. Mr. Hamilton said he believes Bonner County is the second highest paid EMS service in the state. Chairman Paulus reiterated itís a good idea to seek other bids.

 

Dave Wenk said as a taxpayer he would appreciate seeing a breakdown of costs, payments, insurance, etc. Teresa Baker said that is not public information.

 

Attorney Woods said this has been a year long process. There is the .04%, then initially $80,000 and having a county commissioner on the board, and BVA went along with that due to the .04%. Once the .04% was established and the County Commissioners were on board, then there would be checks and balances although not to the public.

 

BVA Board Chairman Paulus said the volunteers are getting burned out.

 

Chairman Dinning said he hasnít spoken to Commissioner Pinkerton about this matter as he wants a fresh pair of eyes. BVA Chairman Paulus said he would like a multi-year contract. BVA Chairman Paulus mentioned not hiring an outside firm or a fire department to provide the service. Dave Wenk questioned if the .04% levy would be every year. BVA Chairman Paulus read aloud a portion of the agreement. Chairman Dinning said the county agreed to levy the .04% in order to maintain the levy ability. The contract amount for year 2013-2014 is what will be determined today. The future years will be determined by the needs of Commissioners and BVA so there will be ongoing dialogue with the county.

 

Attorney Woods said BVA could provide ALS service and raise revenue to wean themselves, etc, but they cannot do that without financial resources for a foundation. Chairman Dinning asked what it will take for the next year assuming no ALS. Chairman Dinning asked if it is prudent to make changes before the new health care system. That is what the structure is trying to do, but also look at the needs of EMS as it evolves. Chairman Dinning said to him this provides trust. BVA Chairman Paulus said he is an open book. It was said proprietary, not public, but open to Commissioners as a board member. BVA Chairman Paulus said BVA has nothing to hide. Mr. Strong said if the public was aware of the costs, the heat may be placed on Commissioners. Mr. Hamilton said he doesnít want his taxes to raise either. Mr. Strong said having been an EMT, firefighter and working on helicopters, he understands. Attorney Woods said the publicís expectations are so much greater and the lawsuits wonít be in Boundary County, they will be in federal court. These gracious board members have to be aware of that. Attorney Woods said the budget shouldíve been building from the point of $8,000 to $300,000, but now itís playing catch up. This should have been further along. It was mentioned that volunteers are covering the entire county.

 

Georgia Earley said EMS is required to increase its service, but they donít have the resources to educate the EMTís and they are paying them. EMS in Boundary County is not what is known in the nation and the county could be judged. Ms. Earley spoke of the possibility of having to go to court as an example due to not providing the standard level of care. Ms. Earley said itís not that BVA doesnít want to improve, but they donít have the funds to proceed. The attrition rate of volunteers is phenomenal. Volunteers are overworked and frazzled. Chairman Dinning said he doesnít disagree. Boundary County wants a plan that will be determined every year. Chairman Dinning said BVA knows what their needs are and what the countyís restrictions are. Chairman Dinning said itís good for the community to have consistency.

 

Those present agreed to hold another meeting to review and understand a plan. BVA Chairman Paulus said he would like to see the .04% levy especially is $80,000 comes out of that. Chairman Paulus said he would also like to update BVAís equipment to where it shouldíve been 10 years ago.

 

The next meeting will be held in the County Extension annex on Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.

 

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m.

 

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ________________________________

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† DAN R. DINNING, Chairman

Attest:

 

___________________________________

GLENDA POSTON, Clerk

By: Michelle Rohrwasser, Deputy