***Monday, April 8, 2013, Commissioners met in regular session with Chairman Dan Dinning, Commissioner LeAlan Pinkerton, Commissioner Walt Kirby, and Deputy Clerk Nancy Ryals.
Mike Brown, Blue Sky Broadcasting Reporter, joined the meeting.
a.m., Road and Bridge Superintendent Jeff Gutshall joined the meeting to give
the departmental report. A written report was presented. Mr. Gutshall reported
that roads were graded last week and most roads are open with the exception of
Katka, the north end of
Commissioner Kirby commented that there are a lot of signs in the Moyie area that look like they have been pushed over. Mr. Gutshall stated that vandals have been pushing signs over.
Mr. Gutshall reported that the Road and Bridge Department is hauling rock, grading and re-grading, and clearing right of way.
Mr. Gutshall informed Commissioners that a Parks and Recreation Department board member called him and requested that Road and Bridge roll the ball field. Mr. Gutshall stated that the Road and Bridge Department did that last year also. Chairman Dinning stated that he thinks the ball field needs harrowed first and then rolled out.
Mr. Gutshall reported that he has two crew members who will attend the Panhandle Stormwater and Erosion Education Program (SEEP) certification training.
Mr. Gutshall further reported that the Road & Bridge crew is doing culvert work on Pleasant Valley Loop, Old Highway Two Loop and Copeland along with ditch cleaning on Pleasant Valley Loop and Lookout View roads.
Chairman Dinning informed Mr. Gutshall that the Deep Creek Loop road slough got worse over the weekend. Chairman Dinning asked Mr. Gutshall to look at that area.
Commissioner Kirby commented that the Paradise Valley Hill looks nice now.
Mr. Gutshall spoke of the two pickups the Road and Bridge Department wants to surplus. He commented that the Ford pickup has an electrical problem and the Chevy pickup has about 360 thousand miles on it. According to Mr. Gutshall, it isn’t worth it to put time into these vehicles to repair them. Mr. Gutshall informed Commissioners that the Road and Bridge Department will go through sealed bid process to sell the pickups.
Mr. Gutshall left the meeting at 9:17 a.m. Mike Brown also left the meeting.
Chairman Dinning reported that former Weed Superintendent Ron Cushman has a private weed spraying business and is going out of the business. The Noxious Weed Superintendent would like to purchase Mr. Cushman’s supply of weed chemicals. The Weed Advisory Board has agreed that it would be a good purchase. Commissioners reviewed the prices and did not have a problem with the purchase.
Jerry Kothe gave a departmental report for the Courthouse Maintenance Department. Mr. Kothe submitted a written report. Mr. Kothe reported that he did obtain a quote on the trees around the courthouse. Commissioners reviewed the quote.
Mr. Kothe stated that he received notice that Judge Julian brought up the fact that the benches in the courtroom need to be re-glued and refinished. Mr. Kothe said he doesn’t know if there will be enough budget to take care of the trees and refurbish the benches. Chairman Dinning indicated that it is a priority to remove the dead material from the trees for liability reasons. Chairman Dinning stated that Mr. Kothe should check on the quote that was received to re-glue and refinish the benches. Chairman Dinning suggested that it might be cheaper to purchase new seating commenting that chairs might be cheaper than pews. Chairman Dinning asked that Mr. Kothe obtain the cost of new chairs, cost of new pews and the cost of re-gluing and refinishing the current benches. Commissioner Pinkerton stated that the cost of re-gluing and cost of refinishing can be separated and it can be done over a few years.
9:32 a.m., Rick Dinning joined the meeting.
Mr. Kothe inquired if there is a problem with worker’s compensation if someone were to take the benches to their own shop to work on them. Commissioner Kirby said no.
Mr. Kothe reported that he helped with the plumbing in the new restroom at the Fair Board office. The Maintenance Department removed the snowplow and chains from the dump truck. According to Mr. Kothe, three ballasts went out in the courthouse lighting on the top floor. Mike’s Electric changed a motion sensor in the ambulance barn and a dusk to dawn sensor above the GIS Mapper’s office. Mr. Kothe reported that he has been getting the water system ready to go at the parks. The Maintenance Department has been picking up leaves and fixed two picnic tables and stained them. Some of the planks on the bleachers need to be replaced so those were primed.
Chairman Dinning stated that the Parks and Recreation Board wants Road & Bridge to roll the ball field again this year. Chairman Dinning stated that the field needs to be harrowed first and asked Mr. Kothe to see what he can come up with to get the field harrowed.
Chairman Dinning told Mr. Kothe not to forget to finish painting the women’s restroom on the main floor of the courthouse. Mr. Kothe asked if Commissioners were aware that the postage meter was being moved to the break room. Chairman Dinning said yes.
Mr. Kothe left the meeting at 9:38 a.m.
Rick Dinning stated that he just dropped by to wish his brother happy birthday. Rick Dinning left the meeting at 9:41 a.m.
9:44 a.m., Commissioner Kirby moved to go into executive session under Idaho Code #67-2345(f), to communicate with legal counsel for the public agency to discuss the legal ramifications of and legal options for pending litigation, or controversies not yet being litigated but imminently likely to be litigated. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Commissioners voted as follows: Chairman Dinning “aye”, Commissioner Pinkerton “aye”, and Commissioner Kirby “aye”. Motion passed unanimously. 10:20 a.m., Commissioner Kirby moved to go out of executive session. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.
10:30 a.m., Mike Klaus and John Martling with Cabinet Mountain Water District met with Commissioners to discuss a possible site for a backup well on county property in Paradise Valley. Commissioners reviewed maps of the area. Mr. Klaus gave Commissioners a drawing showing the District’s proposal. The District needs to make sure they have enough space for Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) requirements, according to Mr. Klaus. Chairman Dinning stated that the District will have to make sure they meet DEQ requirements and then drill for water. Chairman Dinning asked what the District needs from the county to go forward. Mr. Klaus suggested that the District could put together an agreement but the question would be the future tank size if they hit water. Mr. Klaus stated that they have to project the tank size based on estimated population growth. Commissioner Pinkerton asked what the projected cost savings would be to the District to have the tank up there now. Mr. Martling stated that the tank site would be something they would like to have there even if they don’t hit water. Commissioner Pinkerton inquired if the well or the tank site is more important now. The well is something they would want immediately but the tank they would have to prepare for, according to Mr. Martling. Mr. Martling stated they might as well deal with both now because the door may close in the future. The current tank elevation is too low and the new tank would be located at a higher elevation. Commissioner Pinkerton said regardless of the well, the county should look at doing a long term lease now because circumstances may change later making it difficult for the District to get what they need. Mr. Klaus stated that the District would want the proposed location surveyed. Commissioners instructed Cabinet Mountain Water District representatives to get the lease prepared and the property surveyed. Chairman Dinning asked if the District has an easement to the property. Mr. Klaus said yes. Chairman Dinning stated that the county would like an easement in there too. The proposed 200’ X 400’ area is acceptable to the county as long as the county has the right to take the trees off that property and drive across it, according to Commissioners. Mr. Klaus stated that he wants to make sure that the dimensions he came up with will work. Mr. Klaus stated that he did flag the area in with blue and white flagging to the pin if Commissioners wish to visit the site again.
Mr. Klaus and Mr. Martling left the meeting at 10:47 a.m.
Ed Robbins dropped by at 10:47 a.m. to inform Commissioners that a large tree has fallen on the restroom at the snowmobile warming hut located at the west end of Highland Flats Road.
10:49 a.m., Blue Sky Broadcasting Reporter Mike Brown joined the meeting.
Commissioners thanked Mr. Robbins for informing them. Mr. Robbins left the meeting at 10:52 a.m.
Dottie Gray from the Historical Society dropped by with an invitation to a dedication of the Kootenai Exhibit followed by a presentation in the Portrait Hall entitled “Kootenai Tribe – Our Heritage and Future” at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday April 23, 2013 at the Museum. Ms. Gray left the meeting at 10:54 a.m.
Clerk Glenda Poston and Bonners Ferry Herald Reporter Laura Roady joined the meeting at 10:55 a.m.
Chairman Dinning spoke about the Pacific Northwest Trail which he believes runs from the Continental Divide to the west coast. In a lot of places there is no trail into the mountains, according to Chairman Dinning, and the trail takes people into areas that conflict with certain animals. The trail is generally located in the northern portion of the county. Chairman Dinning stated that he wanted to look at the possibility of getting the route changed to where it would be of economic benefit to the county by bringing it through Bonners Ferry and then more toward the southern part of the county so it has less of an impact. This would be a hiking trail. Commissioner Pinkerton stated that he wouldn’t think it would have any impact on animals if it is a hiking trail. Commissioner Dinning stated that a line was drawn for the trail and there was no forethought given as to its location. Commissioner Pinkerton stated that the trail could be brought to town and then head out towards the Wildlife Refuge. Chairman Dinning stated that the maps are online but he didn’t get a chance to print them off. Chairman Dinning stated that he would get more information on the issue.
Chairman Dinning stated that there may be a request to use the barn that is located on county property west of the landfill for a wedding but there is someone who leases the property for agricultural purposes. If the lessee is agreeable to having a wedding held in the barn, they would still have to get the county’s permission because the lease is for agricultural purposes only. Chairman Dinning stated that he just wanted to make Commissioners aware in case they were approached about the subject.
was held regarding the 5% holdback on SRS funds. Chairman Dinning reported that
he read that the governor is going to recommend the holdback come out of the
Title II money so the county won’t lose the Road & Bridge and
Commissioner Kirby moved to support that the hold back of 5% from SRS funds be funded out of the Title II money. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.
Brown asked how much money was set aside in Title II for
Clerk Glenda Poston, Laura Roady, and Mike Brown left the meeting at 11:11 a.m.
11:11 a.m., Commissioner Kirby moved to go into closed session per I.C. 31-874. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.
11:18 a.m., Commissioner Kirby moved to go out of closed session. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Kirby moved to set monthly reimbursement payments at a minimum of $100.00 per month for the months of April through October on indigent account #2012-18. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Kirby moved to deny indigent application #2013-11 and approve indigent applications #2013-12, #2013-14, and #2013-15 based on the Clerk’s recommendation. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.
Commissioners reviewed claims for payment. Fund totals are as follows:
Current Expense $24,786.77
Road & Bridge 72,686.76
District Court 4,798.89
Justice Fund 72,139.69
911 Funds 4,319.98
Hospital, Operation 65,000.00
Indigent & Charity 11,236.11
Junior College Tuition 33,033.00
Parks and Recreation 5,838.54
Solid Waste 19,339.51
Veterans Memorial 142.99
Juvenile Probation, Lottery 139.99
Hospital Supplemental Levy 5,620.72
Grant, Fire Mitigation 21,089.72
Citizens are invited to inspect detailed records on file in the Courthouse (individual claims & Commissioners’ allowance & warrant register record 2013).
11:22 a.m., Chief Deputy Clerk Tracie Isaac dropped by at Commissioners’ request to discuss personnel matters. Chief Deputy Clerk Isaac informed Commissioners that there has been a request from the Sheriff’s Office to reclassify deputy positions. The Deputy Clerk further informed Commissioners that the positions were last classified in 2005. Chairman Dinning commented that the Classification Committee is there to initially classify job positions. Chairman Dinning stated that reclassifying is not the job of the Classification Committee; their purpose is to classify new job descriptions only.
Blue Sky Broadcasting Reporter Mike Brown joined the meeting.
Discussion was held regarding a request by the Sheriff’s Office pertaining to wages and advancement in pay due to achieving certifications. The written request comments that the Sheriff’s Office falls short of what many neighboring counties pay their employees and suggests that offering an incentive for advance certification would encourage experienced employees to stay with the county. Chairman Dinning asked the Chief Deputy Clerk to analyze the county’s benefit package and compare that and the rate of pay with what Benewah, Shoshone and Bonner counties offer.
11:30 a.m., Chief Deputy Clerk Tracie Isaac left the meeting.
Mike Brown left the meeting at 11:33 a.m.
Parks & Recreation board member Lisa Carle called at 11:43 a.m. for clarification on the Concession Manager position. Ms. Carle told Commissioners the Parks & Recreation Department had planned to fund that position this year out of the summer help line item ($2,700.00). Commissioners had no problem with that.
Commissioners attended to administrative duties.
12:02 p.m., there being no further business the meeting was recessed until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow.
Tuesday, April 09, 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., Clerk Glenda Poston joined the meeting. County residents Connie DeCoe-Munier, Kim Peterson and Billie Krause also joined the meeting.
Commissioner Pinkerton moved to approve the minutes of April 1, 2013 and March 11 & 12, 2013. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.
9:30 a.m., Restorium Board Administrator Karlene Magee; Assistant Administrator Jeri Witt; Restorium board members: Peach Baker, Wilma DeVore, Larry Dirks, Larry Hall and Jeanne Robinson; and Kris Larson, Rod Robinson, Delores Jantz, Cindy Atkins, Don Alexander and Gayle Alexander joined the meeting. Clerk Poston, Ms. DeCoe-Munier, Ms. Peterson and Ms. Krause were also present.
Mr. Dirks said there is a need for clarification on the status of the Restorium as it’s been heard that rates need to be increased and people have been assured that rates would not rise. Commissioners were requested to comment separately.
Chairman Dinning said Commissioners have discussed looking at adjusting room rates for new residents coming in, not raising the rates significantly for the current residents. There has been discussion about having an assisted living facility representative come to take a look at the Restorium in order to analyze the facility and consider the cost of receiving advice for what can and cannot be done for the Restorium. Chairman Dinning said Commissioners and the Restorium Board members do not run the Restorium so he had spoken to a person who does run a facility in Sandpoint and asked them to tour the Restorium. There is a lot of information coming from someone that Commissioners are selling the Restorium and that is false, according to Chairman Dinning. Commissioners don’t know what will come down the road in the future, but they do want someone in that field to provide their thoughts. Commissioners will look at significantly raising rates for new residents coming in, but other than that Commissioners aren’t looking at anything else.
Mr. Hall said the Restorium Board is going to have a meeting on April 17th to work on next year’s budget and this issue will be discussed in that setting as well. If a rent increase over 4.9% is proposed, there will have to be a public hearing, according to Mr. Dirks. Chairman Dinning said having a public hearing does not bother Commissioners. The intent is not to harm any existing residents and this is talking about over time such as six or so years to bring the cost of rent up without hurting the current residents, according to Chairman Dinning. Over that last 10 years 3.2 million levy dollars has been provided to the Restorium. The county is getting squeezed by state and federal government and the budget needs to get closer.
Commissioner Pinkerton said he would like to echo Chairman Dinning’s comments and he added that on behalf of the public, Commissioners would be remiss if they didn’t review how money is spent. It’s not about running the Restorium, it’s about running the county and Commissioners need to look at ways to not drive further into debt, according to Commissioner Pinkerton. Commissioners have to explore avenues such as raising the amount of money. Commissioner Pinkerton said the residents moved into the Restorium thinking they will pay a certain amount of money to live there and it would be terrible to raise rates significantly to where these residents couldn’t afford to live there. But for new residents a line could be drawn in the sand on the rates to help pay for the Restorium and down the road residents can pay what is needed to keep the Restorium afloat. Commissioner Pinkerton said Commissioners have to explore ways to keep the Restorium afloat just as with Road and Bridge and other departments. If Commissioners fail, it won’t cost Commissioners more than heartache, but it will cost the residents living there and there has to be assurance those residents have a place to live.
Mr. Dirks said the Restorium had not been kept up as it should’ve been over the last few years. Personal contributions from the Friends of Restorium and other sponsorships have helped make improvements at the facility. Mr. Dirks said we should beat ourselves on the chest as to what we can do for the Restorium and we are proud of that.
Commissioner Kirby said the first thing that always comes up at the meetings is privatization of the Restorium, but that is not in the book. Commissioner Kirby said Commissioners will keep doing what they’re doing. The Restorium is a business and there is a nice advisory board offering good information. The Restorium has improved very much, it’s working well, but room rates need to be raised. Mr. Dirks said rates have been raised. Commissioner Kirby said the rates have not been raised to be able to keep up with inflation. There will always be a tax burden, but it should go toward maintenance and operation, according to Commissioner Kirby. Commissioner Kirby said the rates can be bumped up for the new residents annually. An increase wouldn’t be done all at once as it has to be done gently, according to Commissioner Kirby.
Mr. Dirks said Commissioners have to remember that the Restorium is a home to approximately 35 residents and it also employs people and that has to be remembered. Mr. Dirks said 33 out of 35 rooms have been remodeled and the thought of expanding should be considered. Commissioner Pinkerton asked how expansion is going to be accomplished because if you look at the deficit, how can the Restorium ever expand to a larger facility. There are 35 people, but there over 10,000 people in the county, according to Commissioner Pinkerton. How can rooms be expanded? The costs and rates have to get to a more even level to be able to expand.
Ms. Krause said the Restorium has to be looked at business-wise, but the people who have worked in the community over time did not have high paying jobs. Ms. Krause said she doesn’t have kids, but she pays taxes to the school district and she is fine with that. The Restorium is for people to have when they’re old.
Ms. Baker asked how lower income people are going to be able to stay at the Restorium if the cost of rent is raised. Chairman Dinning said there may be some re-evaluation at the state level that will allow the rate for Medicaid reimbursement to increase. Chairman Dinning said Valley Vista’s assisted living facility representative had learned that other similar facilities had not delved into the Medicaid issue as much. Chairman Dinning said until Commissioners hear back from Valley Vista’s representative, who toured the Restorium, nothing is changing.
Atkins asked about increasing the levy for the Restorium so more taxes could be
received for it. Clerk Poston explained that the Restorium has its own levy rate.
The Restorium is the only county-owned facility and it is almost up against its
own limit. Clerk Poston explained that the Restorium and
Robinson said the fact is that the community has the Restorium and a levy for
schools that has passed. Ms. Robinson questioned what the levy ceiling is and
she mentioned that people come to this community with their businesses and can
see the community cares about their elderly and kids and it’s positive. Ms.
Robinson asked who the consulting firm is and Chairman Dinning said no one has
been hired. Chairman Dinning said the ladies who had toured the Restorium also run
five facilities in other parts of
Mr. Hall asked what the can of worms would be on raising rates for new residents versus the existing residents who have the same size room. Chairman Dinning said he has already run that by the county attorney and the Valley Vista representatives and it is perfectly legal and appropriate to raise rates for new residents. Ms. Baker asked if the rate increase will affect the waiting list for new residents and Chairman Dinning said Commissioners will have to take a look into these questions.
Commissioner Pinkerton said costs for things are not going down and people need to ask what will be done in the future. The cost has to go up somewhere down the road.
Commissioner Pinkerton questioned how Commissioners could raise room rates on the current residents now as that is raising the finish line and Commissioners just can’t do that. New residents coming in will have the same opportunity to plan for this cost. Costs will have increased since the residents before them came in and people will understand that.
Commissioner Kirby spoke of budgeting and levy limits and he said the county is there or almost against limits so then where do we go? Commissioner Kirby said the Restorium pretty much has to take care of itself. Commissioner Kirby said if grandma is at the Restorium and rates are raised, she won’t have to move out. The county won’t let that happen. Mr. Dirks said it’s not necessarily the room itself; it’s the service that’s provided. Mr. Dirks said we’re forgetting that we all want to pay our way. A family member of a resident had concerns as to whether or not they had enough money to pay their own way. Mr. Dirks said we don’t want someone to lose their dignity.
Robinson said to help alleviate resident concerns could a board member be
present at the meetings on the Restorium. Chairman Dinning said he doesn’t
understand where the breakdown in communication is as a
Ms. Larson said the Restorium is a gem for the community and she doesn’t mind paying taxes, but she understands the issue of the levy limit. The Restorium is a nice place people know they can go to. Commissioner Kirby said he will probably never be there, but it’s a nice place to know is there.
Mr. Dirks spoke of the Restorium budget. People will pay taxes of $38 for $100,000 of assessed value for the Restorium. That is a very little amount for what is being received. Mr. Dirks said he has never heard anyone say that they don’t want to pay taxes for the Restorium.
Chairman Dinning said Commissioners are just going to look at the analysis.
The length of time a person has lived in this community was brought up. Mr. Alexander said people have moved to this community because of how low the rates are. Look at how much those newer property owners have paid in taxes. It was said the Restorium is a gem, but yes the Restorium could fill up with residents that are newer to the community. Chairman Dinning said there can’t be differentiation between long term and short term residents.
The meeting with the Restorium Board members, Ms. Magee and Ms. Witt ended at 10:10 a.m.
10:10 a.m., Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and Boundary Soil Conservation District members Dave Wattenbarger, Tom Daniel, Rene Riddle and Ree Brannon joined the meeting to discuss NRCS programs and to request the county to draft the annual letter of intent pertaining to budget.
Those present discussed various NRCS programs to include youth education and farm tours. Ms. Riddle informed Commissioners there will be a farm tour on May 24, 2013. Ms. Riddle mentioned annual funding from the county and requested the annual letter of intent for the NRCS budget.
Commissioner Kirby moved for Commissioners to write a letter of intent for the Boundary Soil Conservation District for $9,000 for the year 2014 Soil District budget. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.
Pinkerton asked about the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative
Program (CCPI). Ms. Brannon explained the CCPI Program in that it’s a special
initiative and the Kootenai Tribe is in part and parcel with projects for the
The meeting with members of the Boundary Soil Conservation District and NRCS ended at 10:25 a.m.
Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tevis Hull joined the meeting.
Commissioner Pinkerton moved to go into executive session under Idaho Code #67-2345-1(f) to communicate with legal counsel for the agency to discuss the legal ramifications of and legal options for pending litigation, or controversies not yet being litigated but imminently likely to be litigated. Commissioner Kirby second. Commissioners voted as follows: Chairman Dinning “aye”, Commissioner Pinkerton “aye” and Commissioner Kirby “aye”. Motion passed unanimously. 10:35 a.m., Commissioner Kirby moved to go out of executive session. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.
Commissioners tended to administrative duties.
Commissioner Pinkerton moved to approve the minutes of March 25 & 26, 2013. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.
10:40 a.m., Restorium Administrator Karlene Magee and Assistant Administrator Jeri Witt joined the meeting at Commissioners’ request. Chairman Dinning asked Ms. Magee and Ms. Witt if they had any questions or concerns about the morning’s earlier meeting.
Ms. Magee mentioned her concern is raising the room rates so high that more and more residents get on Medicaid, which only funds a certain amount. Chairman Dinning explained the representative from the Valley Vista Facility is involved with rewriting information on Medicare and that she discovered resolutions as far as Medicare is concerned.
Ms. Magee and Ms. Witt discussed a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Restorium elevator and a dedication for J.T. Osborn.
Ms. Magee said the flooring in the hallway has been repaired and the wood transition strip has been changed. The strip is now made of rubber and it has to be there, according to the flooring instructions. This strip is much better than before and it’s no longer a tripping hazard.
Commissioners asked Ms. Magee about her progress on the QuickBooks Program. Ms. Magee said she hasn’t gotten much farther as her computer is fried. Ms. Magee said she has Mike Cox looking into a new computer for her. Commissioners urged Ms. Magee to get a new computer as soon as possible since the bookkeeping issue needs to be taken care of promptly. Clerk Poston reiterated that it is not only the Restorium, but the entire county that could lose the ability to apply for grants if this bookkeeping issue for the Restorium is not resolved.
Ms. Magee and Ms. Witt left the meeting at 10:55 a.m.
Clerk Poston left the meeting at 11:05 a.m.
Commissioners tended to administrative duties.
11:25 a.m., There being no further business, the meeting recessed until tonight at 6:00 p.m., in the Extension Office for the purpose of holding a special meeting to discuss ambulance services with the Boundary Volunteer Ambulance Board.
6:00 p.m., Commissioners met in special session for the purpose of discussing future contract negotiations with the Boundary Volunteer Ambulance Board. Present were: Chairman Dan Dinning, Commissioner LeAlan Pinkerton, Commissioner Walt Kirby, Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser, Willa Unruh, David Sims, Gene Dinning, Teresa Baker, Edna Runyan, Georgia Earley, Tony Shope, Gus Jackson, Andrew Barckley, Alva Baker, Kim Peterson, Connie DeCoe-Munier, Pam Stout, Carl Stout, Vickie Hamilton, Alan Hamilton, Dustin Kralik, Ken Baker, Boundary Volunteer Ambulance Attorney Brian Woods; and Boundary Volunteer Ambulance Board members: Brian Strong, Jim Paulus, Patrick Warkentin, Erica Denning, and Dan Moore.
The meeting started with introductions around the room.
Dinning provided a recap of the contract between
Chairman Dinning said he’s had discussions with former BVA Board Chairman John Youngwirth, etc., about repayment of the promissory note of $80,000 to the Boundary County Ambulance Service District, and Chairman Dinning clarified that BVA is to reimburse the Ambulance Service District.
Chairman Dinning asked if there were any questions so far.
Attorney Woods said the sticky point is reimbursing the $80,000, but that just needs to be worked through and he feels it is a workable issue. Chairman Dinning provided a copy of the promissory note to Attorney Woods.
Chairman Dinning reminded those present that Boundary County never receives the full levy amount and both the County’s Clerk and Treasurer echoed approximately 90% of the levy amount is received.
Woods said he would like to make it clear when the new contract is signed and
there is a new board structure, the best way to allocate those funds will be
determined by that new BVA board. Attorney Woods said most important is the new
board, the .04% levy and designated spending, then to decide what’s appropriate
for the upcoming year. A
Dinning said to estimate, a .04% is approximately $330,000 to $340,000 so 90%
is approximately $297,000 and with BVA providing reimbursement of $80,000 what
remains is approximately $217,000. Attorney Woods said BVA would like
Woods spoke of the sensitivity of paying or having the funds to pay volunteers.
People may no longer wish to volunteer so something may need to be inserted
into the new contract pertaining to that. Mr. Paulus mentioned
Commissioner Pinkerton questioned the .04% and Chairman Dinning said whatever amount the first levy rate is is what the future 3% cap is based on. If the .04% is not used that first year, that rate cannot be levied subsequently. The highest levy rate of a three year period is the guideline so BVA could levy the full amount the first year and then the fourth year, according to Chairman Dinning. Mr. Paulus asked if that rate could be levied the first and second year. Chairman Dinning said yes.
Attorney Woods said former BVA Board Chairman John Youngwirth, County Attorney Phil Robinson, Chairman Dinning and himself have all said that communication has lacked before, but now there will be a new structure with a Commissioner designee so that will hopefully help with communication, understanding, etc.
Attorney Woods said he is very impressed by how much the volunteers have done on basically vapor.
Pinkerton said he has concerns about the current contract having a
Chairman Dinning said earlier he mentioned the figure of $217,000, but a specific figure cannot be listed in the new contract as the amount is whatever is received from tax payments.
Commissioner Kirby said the major business is BVA needing more funds. The process is in place to do that so it’s just a matter of more money. Commissioner Kirby said the current contract didn’t mention the reimbursement of $80,000 unfortunately, but it has to be done, and if there wasn’t the issue with the Attorney General on borrowing, he wouldn’t have a problem doing it again. Mr. Paulus said the levy pattern needs to change because BVA needs to know how much money is coming in.
Commissioner Pinkerton said it is not unreasonable to ask what these funds are getting spent on such as if it were a bank loan. Attorney Woods said legally BVA is a non-profit and the 990 form and 1023 application is available. As far as other proprietary information that will be shared by the BVA Board as it is more private, but it will be used to determine the budget and the Commissioners’ designee will be a part of that. Commissioner Kirby said he’s not used to working with confidentiality as it pertains to budgets.
Mr. Paulus referred to Commissioner Pinkerton’s comment about a bank loan and said BVA is not borrowing the funds. Mr. Paulus likened the situation to a homeowner asking their painter how much is spent on brushes, etc. Commissioner Pinkerton said he would tell that painter to pack it up and go if he wouldn’t provide that information. Commissioner Pinkerton said the County is responsible to the public and he will be accountable for the decisions he makes. Commissioner Pinkerton questioned how he can make a sound decision if only half of the information is given. Attorney Woods said both sides have made valid points.
Woods said a portion of the $80,000 is going to the volunteers. Chairman
Dinning said Commissioners just don’t want to create a runaway freight train.
Attorney Woods said the new board will fix that and will also figure out how to
retain volunteers. Attorney Woods said Bonner County EMS has come to Boundary
County approximately 49 times for transports and that is revenue that could
help increase the level of service in Boundary County to provide help to its
citizens. The time it takes for
Chairman Dinning asked if there were any questions. There were none.
The meeting between BVA and Commissioners ended at 6:45 p.m.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 6:45 p.m.
DAN R. DINNING, Chairman
GLENDA POSTON, Clerk
By: Michelle Rohrwasser, Deputy Clerk