***Monday, August 12, 2013, Commissioners met in regular session with Chairman Dan Dinning, Commissioner LeAlan Pinkerton, Commissioner Walt Kirby, Clerk Glenda Poston, and Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser.


Commissioners gave the opening invocation and said the Pledge of Allegiance.


9:00 a.m., Road and Bridge Superintendent Jeff Gutshall joined the meeting to give his departmental report. Mr. Gutshall presented a written report.


Commissioner Kirby moved to amend the agenda for today at 1:30 p.m., for discussion on airport matters to include the county attorney as it is time sensitive. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.


Mr. Gutshall said he has applied glycerin to roads using the Road and Bridge truck so he will see how it works out. Commissioner Pinkerton said it has worked wonderful for him. Commissioners and Mr. Gutshall discussed the glycerin for dust abatement. The weight of one gallon of this material is 10.35 pounds. Mr. Gutshall said he has a slip tank on board for the new diesel so he will try that. Chairman Dinning asked if glycerin will have any affect on the ground for the ability of the pavement to bind. Mr. Gutshall said this is a binder so if it actually repelled the asphalt, he doesn’t know, but he would tend to be a bit careful with that. Copeland Road may be a good road to experiment with glycerol since it is a short section. Mr. Gutshall said he doesn’t expect problems.


Mr. Gutshall said District 5 Road has been graded and Road and Bridge has re-watered areas around the county. Mr. Gutshall discussed catching up on sign work and brushing on various roads. Road and Bridge has worked to clean up the boat launch at Deep Creek to open up the launch area. Mr. Gutshall said the Copeland boat launch looked okay, but he would be up there today and will take a look.


Mr. Gutshall said he got the navigation lights working underneath the Copeland Bridge. This week Road and Bridge will be working on Copeland Road to lay fabric and rock and build it up. Mr. Gutshall said there is still some potential roadside mowing. Mr. Gutshall reviewed more details of his department report.   


Chairman Dinning said since harvest is coming would Mr. Gutshall have time to grade the roads that would be used.


Mr. Gutshall said he had left a message for Larry Vandenberg to help answer questions about Wheatland Road. Mr. Gutshall explained to Commissioners what information he told Mr. Vandenberg in that the county cannot do the research and that Mr. Vandenberg needs to contact a title company.


Chairman Dinning asked Mr. Gutshall where he’s at if there is no Secure Rural Schools funding coming in. Mr. Gutshall said he could get through another budget year such as through October 2015. Half of the funds needed to operate at current levels would no longer be coming in. Mr. Gutshall mentioned operating at bare bones at this point as he needs to make sure dust abatement gets done. Mr. Gutshall spoke of the graders and he said the appropriation clause can always be utilized if the county can no longer pay for the equipment. Mr. Gutshall said he’s laid off two positions and gotten rid of one machine at this point. In the upcoming years, his department could see a couple retirements, etc., so he could look at cutting in certain areas.


Mr. Gutshall said there hadn’t been a 3% cost of living increase for a few years, but the county’s revenue has increased and he questioned how the county has survived. Mr. Gutshall discussed the difference in the amount of miles that used to be chipsealed compared to now. Mr. Gutshall said he feels the county is way ahead in this matter by staying caught up in chipsealing, etc. The cost is approximately $16,000 for one tanker of oil to chipseal, plus rock, which is made by Road and Bridge, according to Mr. Gutshall.


Commissioner Pinkerton asked if the mud bog had any affect on Highland Flats Road. Mr. Gutshall said what affects the road more are the trucks hauling snowmobiles.   


The meeting with Mr. Gutshall ended at 9:35 a.m.


9:35a.m., Courthouse Maintenance Jerry Kothe joined the meeting to give his departmental report. Mr. Gutshall presented a written report. Mr. Gutshall has patched the RV dump site, according to Mr. Kothe. Mr. Kothe said he has worked on the soccer goals, mowed the goal sites, gone through the filters for the air conditions, changed the oil in his department pickup, put in a new washer in the other pickup truck, worked on County GIS Mapper Gary Falcon’s air conditioner, and unloaded the paper bins.


Mr. Kothe said Parks and Recreation Board member Rob Tompkins inquired about the whereabouts of the drag and screen and it turns out the equipment was found somewhere else, but has since been retrieved.


Mr. Kothe said a person from Libby, Montana was recommended to him to work on the roof of the Courthouse.


County residents Larry DeVore and Dave Jurgensen joined the meeting at 9:40 a.m.


The meeting with Mr. Kothe ended at 9:41 a.m.  


Mr. Jurgensen said he wanted to revisit the speed limit through the intersection at Three Mile. Mr. Jurgensen said there had been other attempts to write letters to reduce the speed limit, but they were encumbered by other issues such as the speed limit at the golf course. There are enough safety reasons at the Three Mile location to justify a reduction. Mr. Jurgensen said he wants to request a letter be sent to the State of Idaho that only references the Three Mile location this time and to reference the fire department, Border Patrol Station, weigh station and church as examples as they are all in close proximity to this intersection.


Bonners Ferry Herald Reporter Laura Roady joined the meeting at 9:43 a.m.

Mr. Jurgensen said the local people know what they’re getting into as they approach that intersection, but other travelers just blow through it so why not be proactive. Mr. Jurgensen said if that intersection is addressed specifically, he feels it’s a no brainer. This is a request to send another letter to the state and to exclude other locations as they can be addressed as they come up. Mr. Jurgensen said he would let the state be the decision maker as to where to put the speed limit sign. Chairman Dinning mentioned Damon Allen, Idaho Transportation Director Neff at the state level, District One representative Jim Copeland, senators, and representatives as people to contact. The last two letters sent indicated the state had studies done every so often, and the last study done was 16 years ago, according to Mr. Devore.


Chairman Dinning said Commissioners will put a letter together.


The meeting with Mr. Jurgensen and Mr. DeVore ended at 9:49 a.m.


Commissioners tended to administrative duties.


Deputy Clerk Nancy Ryals joined the meeting at 9:55 a.m.


Commissioner Pinkerton moved to go into closed session under Idaho Code 31-874. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously. 9:56 a.m., Commissioner Kirby moved to go out of closed session. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.   


Commission Pinkerton moved to deny indigent applications 2013-21 and 2013-27. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.


Commissioner Pinkerton moved to approve indigent application 2013-28. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.


Deputy Clerk Ryals left the meeting at 9:56 a.m.


Commissioners tended to administrative duties.


10:00 a.m., Kyle Flory and Rob Tenas of Kyle and Rob Productions joined the meeting.


Mr. Tenas said he and Mr. Flory are just chugging along and now have footage of the Neumeyer Mill. The next step is to speak with Tom Foust to get more information on logging and other than that Mr. Flory and Mr. Tenas said they are just keeping on track and maintaining the concept. Mr. Tenas said he and Mr. Flory will get to the hatchery this week. Chairman Dinning said Bob Blanford would be a good contact as he is a retired resource planner at the mill for about 20 years.


Mr. Tenas said he and Mr. Flory are receiving comments on what is good and what is bad about timber related regulations. Chairman Dinning said Region 1 is the most litigated area in the United States pertaining to timber related issues. Half of the cost of timber and land management goes into litigation.


Chairman Dinning asked how funding is going. The full contract is for $20,000 and $10,000 has been given to Kyle and Rob Productions at this point. It was suggested that Mr. Flory and Mr. Tenas look into asking for donations. Clerk Poston suggested Mr. Flory and Mr. Tenas attend a Rotary meeting and ask for donations.


The meeting with Mr. Tenas and Mr. Flory ended at 10:15 a.m.


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


Current Expense                                   $36,899.28

Road & Bridge                                    261,407.94

Airport                                                     3,054.14

Ambulance                                                   169.54

District Court                                           6,615.68

Justice Fund                                            47,253.86

911 Funds                                                 5,650.30

Indigent & Charity                                 16,954.93

Parks and Recreation                              19,496.34

Revaluation                                                  961.06

Solid Waste                                               6,906.45

Tort                                                           1,930.00

Veterans Memorial                                    3,450.05

Weeds                                                          633.51

County EMS                                                797.25

Restorium                                                12,364.88

Waterways                                                   101.58

Grant, Emergency Communication               45.42

Grant, Fire Mitigation                               9,055.00


                          TOTAL                    $363,575.69


Auditor’s Trust                                         3,450.97

Sales Tax Collected                                     308.55

Drivers License                                       15,675.00

Magistrate Trust                                      50,451.08

Motor Vehicle Trust                              192,782.01

Sheriff’s Fund                                           2,125.09


                        TOTAL                      $133,491.37


                        GRAND TOTAL     $497,067.06


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


10:30 a.m., South Boundary Fire Protection District Chief Tony Rohrwasser joined the meeting to discuss details of a countywide communications grant.


Chief Rohrwasser said he wanted to give Commissioners a heads up about a communications grant and maybe request Commissioners fill a position on a panel when going out for bids.


Boundary Volunteer Ambulance President Ken Baker joined the meeting at 10:25 a.m.


Chief Rohrwasser spoke of working with the Bureau of Homeland Security to obtain funding so all local agencies can work as a group to improve communication shortfalls. The Fire Chief’s Association is working to meet mandates for narrow band and is way ahead of the crowd thanks to Boundary County Emergency Services Director Dave Kramer and the Bureau of Homeland Security. One issue is now that there is narrow band a lot of communication has been lost with the portable radios. For fire departments and emergency services and with everyone being a volunteer, the portable radios are necessary. There are a lot of holes in communications due to the mountainous area.


Chief Rohrwasser discussed working on a simulcast system called Fire 1 for fire departments and emergency services and the main reason being so communications don’t get dropped here or there. Chief Rohrwasser explained the way the repeater works with frequencies, but there are some holes throughout the county. Chief Rohrwasser also explained how the simulcast system would work. South Boundary Fire District applied for a regional grant for the local fire department and the grant was funded. Right now the channel will be for the Fire 1 frequency for fire departments and ambulance. Putting in this new simulcast system also creates infrastructure such as if the Sheriff’s Office wanted to put in a channel frequency, they could. The Wildlife Refuge is also showing interest.


Chief Rohrwasser said putting a site on Dawson Ridge, towers in Bonners Ferry, a site in the Mt. Hall area, and the South Boundary Fire District station at Fall Creek will cover a lot of the holes. The initial feedback from the grant is that the construction of towers wouldn’t qualify, but the rest of the grant request would. Chief Rohrwasser said Mr. Kramer was approached about using this year’s Bureau of Homeland Security funds, which is year 2012 or 2011 for approximately $18,000. Those funds could be used to build a tower as it’s not connected to a federal grant. A bid from Day Wireless just came in for tower construction. Mr. Kramer said he is looking into combining funding years. It was said Deanna Galbraith at Boundary Community Hospital could assist Boundary Volunteer Ambulance in writing for an Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response ASPR Grant for improved communications for fire and ambulance in areas near the Canadian border. The Hospital has turned the grant over to Boundary Volunteer Ambulance who is working on that now. President Baker said he is waiting for some information from Mr. Kramer.

Chief Rohrwasser discussed going out for bid, and he said he has talked to Mr. Kramer and the Sheriff about sitting on a panel and now he would like to know if a Commissioner wanted to sit on the panel to give input. Chairman Dinning said he feels it would be more appropriate to have someone from the Sheriff’s Office on the panel.


Commissioner Pinkerton asked questions about frequencies. The grant will be for one frequency, but if the Sheriff’s Office wanted to improve their communications, they could reapply for their license and tie into the one frequency. Commissioner Pinkerton asked about bouncing off repeaters and asked if there is still a local frequency if communications do go down. Chief Rohrwasser said there is the Fire 1 and Fire 2 channel and Fire 1 bounces off a repeater and Fire 2 is from car to car without a repeater. Chairman Dinning asked what the costs are if the Sheriff’s Office wanted a whole new repeater. Chief Rohrwasser said only a repeater would have to be purchased for each site.


Chief Rohrwasser said he just wanted to bring Commissioners up to speed. Commissioner Pinkerton mentioned P25 compatibility and asked if the City of Bonners Ferry is also P25 compatible. Commissioner Pinkerton said he or Commissioner Kirby would sit on the panel. Chief Rohrwasser explained that the tower is 100 feet tall with guide wires and that he had checked with the County’s Planning and Zoning Administrator to learn that no permit is required.  


The meeting with Chief Rohrwasser ended at 10:50 a.m.


County resident Larry Vandenberg stopped by Commissioners’ Office at 10:50 a.m.


Mr. Vandenberg informed Commissioners that a neighbor of his trespasses on his property and over the fence line, which has been there for 70 years. Mr. Vandenberg said he doesn’t care if the surveyor has moved the lines, because they would be wrong. Chairman Dinning asked Mr. Vandenberg if he has contacted the Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Vandenberg mentioned the neighbor had a shot gun. Chairman Dinning said the survey is not anything the county can deal with. It was said there are five to seven years to dispute a fence line and that time has passed. Chairman Dinning suggested Mr. Vandenberg check on a title report to see if the property has a county easement.


Mr. Vandenberg left at 10:55 a.m.


Commissioners tended to administrative duties.


11:40 a.m., Commissioners spoke to County Public Information Officer Mike Meier via telephone regarding various matters. The call ended at 11:42 p.m.


Commissioners recessed for lunch at 11:55 a.m.


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


1:30 p.m., Airport Board members Pat Gardiner, Don Jordan, Kristi Kline, Mark Weber, and Jay Wages; and JUB Engineer Brad Niemeyer met with Commissioners to discuss airport issues. Also present was County Civil Attorney Tevis Hull who participated via telephone.


Attorney Hull brought those present up to speed on his conversation with Mr. Niemeyer. Attorney Hull said JUB has to get a grant offer from the federal government and that is done by Mr. Niemeyer sending the application for the grant and an email that Attorney Hull has reviewed title reports and there is no issue. This documentation is then sent to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and in approximately one to two weeks, the FAA responds with a grant offer to sign by Commissioners who then send it back. The properties to be acquired will go through the closing process and in about two weeks, money from the federal government will be in an account.


Once the grant offer is signed by Commissioners those monies in a general account would be line items to a specific sponsor account and then the process of issuing payments would occur. Attorney Hull said as far as timing, it may be two to three weeks out, which is the critical issue he had discussed with Mr. Niemeyer. The county would have to cut a check for approximately $600,000 and carry that check for approximately two to three weeks until the FAA can send reimbursement. Discussion also took place on ways to write a contract to not fund the project until money is received from the federal government. Attorney Hull said the county has to show the FAA the check listing who is getting paid and the date, but it doesn’t sound like a cash check has to be shown.


Mr. Niemeyer mentioned getting Roxanne Grimm on board to discuss her experience. Ms. Grimm is a sub-consultant with Epic Land Solutions working with JUB on relocation. Mr. Niemeyer said most of the information Attorney Hull provided is what they had discussed.


Mr. Niemeyer said he was going to talk to the FAA about this issue, but he is not getting farther in that process. The FAA is still sticking with certificates of title to be signed off by the county’s attorney and of their review of the entire package. The certificate of title is the document that Attorney Hull signs off on stating the county owns the property free and clear and that the properties wouldn’t impact the operation of the airport. Attorney Hull said when he went through that form, it was really the sticky issue as it’s one thing to go through the title report, but another to put his name on a certificate of title and that is the big issue he and Mr. Niemeyer talked about. At this point, there has been no cash exchange or transfer until closing and that coincides with a money exchange, which is the issue Attorney Hull and Mr. Niemeyer got stuck on.


Chairman Dinning asked if the FAA would be satisfied if the county was to enter into an agreement, give the property owner a deed of trust and the county would have title subject to a lien. Mr. Niemeyer said yes.


Mr. Niemeyer said he had the sample contract sent to Attorney Hull. Basically the contract would be used to purchase property, put that owner in a lease agreement and receive title of the property so the process could go forward. That grant didn’t exist for that situation so that is how that arrangement was processed to get a title prior to actually paying off that landowner. Attorney Hull said the transaction had a $5,000 down payment and then the title was transferred and there was a lease agreement that the former property owner could stay on property for 24 months and only have to pay some excise payments. Chairman Dinning said that would show as a lien for that kind of deed of trust, but that is different than a lease. Attorney Hull said there had actually been a rental agreement and deed of trust. Mr. Niemeyer said this is a sample of what can be done for at least a deed of trust.


Attorney Hull asked who would work with the relocation money for the property owners and if the property owners are relocated prior or after sale. The relocation money is separate from the purchase money, but this funding typically comes at the same time, according to Mr. Niemeyer. For this situation the title would be obtained and someone would work with the landowner as to when they need relocation money for a down payment on a house. Then a check could be cut in the future based on a deed of trust per that agreement.


Attorney Hull gave an example of having a closing date of September 1st and a purchase price of $100,000. An agreement could be written that funding would be received at closing and there would be a deed of trust for the purchase price with a lease for approximately 90 days. Mr. Niemeyer said we would want to cater to the sellers on the conditions and that is where Ms. Grimm comes in. Chairman Dinning said even the relocation money is covered by the grant and application. Mr. Niemeyer said we will want to shorten that time as much as possible. The certificate of title is the key. It was asked if Attorney Hull would sign a certificate of title with a deed of trust on it. Attorney Hull said he could explain that there was a deed of trust and he could sign a certificate of title because he could show unencumbrance on the county, but he doesn’t see how that handles relocation money. Attorney Hull said he would be more willing to do that under the circumstance. The only other thing brought up this morning was if title insurance is preferred on the property as that is not a reimbursable expense through the grant, but is an out of pocket expense the county would have. Attorney Hull said if we were to increase the purchase price by the amount of title insurance, would the county be able to get the expense back. Mr. Niemeyer said on the side of caution he would have to say no, as for the grant he would probably have to itemize and if there is a paper trail, the FAA will say that cost cannot be included and will have to be broken down. If the county wants title insurance, it will have to be at their cost. Attorney Hull recommended title insurance.


Commissioner Pinkerton said Mr. Gardiner had a question on interfund borrowing. It was said Idaho Code Statute #31-1508 prohibits the county from transferring from one fund to another. Mr. Gardiner said while reading this he came up with another Idaho Code section that states the county can borrow money in anticipation of income, and he discussed the a Boise County case. It was said there is no closing date for the Merrifield property, but there may be some for the other properties.


The call with Attorney Hull ended at 2:15 p.m.


The FAA is very clear on where the county is at. Mr. Niemeyer said there was one possibility, but the other matters need to get dealt with and it would have to be a very quick turn-a-round, but that is something he is still working on with the FAA. Mr. Niemeyer said he would write a letter and run it by the airport board. Mr. Gardiner said he feels it would be wise to have a paper trail and in case the county has to talk to their congressmen.


Those present discussed contacting the Attorney General’s Office. Mr. Gardiner said Attorney Wasden didn’t sign off on the letter regarding borrowing so it’s not an official opinion.


Those present discussed the prior matter regarding the proposed Howard easement adjustment. Mr. Niemeyer said he would have to discuss his role in that with the FAA and the justification of the purchase of the Howard property. There is a bottle neck that will be more of an issue for the FAA. That is a discussion that will have to occur with the FAA. The FAA extension of regulations seems to grow with this and it will get to the point there is no way the county can do it, according to Chairman Dinning.


Mr. Gardiner said we need to think about how to resolve that issue as far as extending the runway. Mr. Niemeyer said the FAA will require planning before extension of the runway. As this comes down the FAA will see issues with roads at both ends. Chairman Dinning said that would be the state highway at one end. It was said the big picture is that there is a runway that serves a certain size aircraft and to expand means to increase the runway and the FAA will help, but the airport needs to get rid of the encumbrances. The FAA’s stance is ground control regardless of grade. The property owner, airport and FAA want to get the easement addressed and the FAA said not to buy the property for approach protection. The FAA needs to study that property as to what to purchase. Mr. Gardiner mentioned being shut down by the FAA if that cannot be resolved.


Chairman Dinning said if the airport just protected the existing approaches, we could still be dealing with the properties we are dealing with. Chairman Dinning asked if the county would still be dealing with Mr. Wheatley as far as expansion. Mr. Niemeyer said yes. The issue with the Howard property is the trees, according to Mr. Niemeyer. Chairman Dinning said if it’s just trees, would the FAA allow the county to buy the avigation easement. Mr. Niemeyer said the FAA has done that and has talked about that with the board. The county could get an easement to cut trees and that may work with the Howards now, but maybe not in five years or maybe not for the people the Howards want to sell to in five years. That is why avigation easement becomes less than ideal. Mr. Wages said enforcing avigation easements is hard. Commissioner Pinkerton said if the county doesn’t get properties purchased, the function of the airport would stop. Mr. Wages said the airport would have to back track. Chairman Dinning asked what the consequences are. Commissioner Pinkerton said if purchasing of the properties doesn’t get the 1,200 foot extension, what is the purpose of the project? Mr. Niemeyer said the protection of the approaches is the project. In 2009 the FAA issued a letter regarding the obstructions and gave the airport three years to resolve that in some fashion. It was determined to purchase those properties and then the county could cut down trees as it sees fit. Mr. Niemeyer has issued a letter to the FAA regarding being actively involved in acquiring properties to deal with the obstruction and to request extension on the three year limit. If not, the FAA will remove the instrument approach and the airport won’t be able to operate at the level it’s operating at now.


Ms. Kline left the meeting.


Mr. Weber said the airport will have to put in a landing point farther down the road, which will reduce the runway and that reduces the types of planes that could use the airport such as jets.


Commissioner Kirby discussed having to cut trees and in doing that the properties can be purchased. Commissioner Kirby said it will come to a point where we will talk to the FAA about them doing this to the county, but that the FAA obviously likes our little airport. Mr. Gardiner said if you talk to congressmen and senators about this, you can really get a lot of action.


Commissioner Pinkerton said the county needs to purchase properties to keep the process going. The extension of the runway is down the road. It ought to be made known that the extension of the runway is not a part of this project. Commissioner Pinkerton said the whole time he thought this was to extend the runway, but it’s not, it’s just to keep the airport at its current operation. Mr. Gardiner said last year the airport got the instrument approach and it’s trying to protect these issues and the approach. Mr. Wheatley is still a part of this process for the instrument approach, according to Commissioner Pinkerton and Mr. Gardiner. Commissioner Pinkerton said we will have to see if we can go forward, but if things don’t work, what is the plan?


Commissioner Kirby said no one here is going to write a check and sink the whole county. Mr. Gardiner dissected the letter from the Attorney General’s Office and he said he thinks there is wiggle room. Clerk Poston said she would also check with the county’s outside auditor as well.


Chairman Dinning said going forward there are steps, but what concerns him is how long the property owners can wait.


It was said the 1,200 foot runway expansion has been in the works since 1986 and is a public record. This isn’t just something that’s come up. Commissioner Pinkerton said even so, the current FAA regulations won’t let it happen. Mr. Wages said the Airport Master Plan shows it.


The meeting with Mr. Niemeyer and the Airport Board ended at 3:00 p.m.


There being no further business, the meeting ended at 3:32 p.m.


                                                                        DAN R. DINNING, Chairman







By: Michelle Rohrwasser, Deputy Clerk