***Monday, February 17, 2014, Commissioners did not meet due to the President’s Day Holiday.

 

***Tuesday, February 18, 2014, Commissioners met in regular session with Chairman Dan Dinning, Commissioner LeAlan Pinkerton, Commissioner Walt Kirby, Clerk Glenda Poston, and Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser.

 

9:00 a.m., Commissioners held an elected officials/department heads meeting. Present were: Commissioners, Clerk Glenda Poston, Assessor Dave Ryals, Treasurer Jenny Fessler, Courthouse Maintenance Jerry Kothe, Solid Waste Superintendent Claine Skeen, Planning and Zoning Administrator Dan Studer, Chief Deputy Clerk Tracie Isaac, Noxious Weeds Superintendent Duke Guthrie, Extension Office Educator Jennifer Jensen, and Restorium Administrator Karlene Magee. 

 

County resident Terry Capurso joined the meeting.

 

Chairman Dinning said Clerk Poston has been made aware that any county employee who drives a county vehicle home will have to consider that mileage as income earned on their tax return. There is a daily figure that will need to be added to the employees’ taxes as income. Clerk Poston said this matter has been mentioned at the last few Idaho Association of counties conferences so the county would be remiss if it didn’t act on this. It was said that certain aspects of law enforcement are exempt.

 

Courthouse Custodian Jim Thompson will retire on February 25, 2014. Commissioners are seeking requests for proposals to contract janitorial services, but it isn’t yet known how or if that will fit into the schedule. In the meantime, starting a week from today, courthouse employees need to pitch in and keep their offices clean such as empty garbage cans, dust their own areas and vacuum, if needed. One quote for janitorial services has come in so far. Chairman Dinning asked those present to think about employees cleaning their own offices long term as that would reduce the cost of a janitor or contractor. Mr. Kothe said he wouldn’t be certain about not having any custodian at all as that person who works in the evening can catch a lot of things that are going on such as snowy or icy sidewalks and possible furnace issues during winter. Chairman Dinning said that is a good point so that would be one consideration. Chairman Dinning questioned how difficult would it be to keep our own offices clean.

 

It was said in the past there have been concerns about the county’s medical insurance being a “Cadillac plan”, but the county’s plan is not considered that type of plan even though the deductible is low. The condition is based on the premium, not what the plan covers. Chairman Dinning said the concern had been that in 2015 if the plan had been a “Cadillac plan”, the county would have to pay up to a 40% surcharge. Clerk Poston sits on the GEM Plan Board and this information comes from the GEM Plan.

 

Chairman Dinning asked everyone present to revisit the county’s Computer Use Policy with their employees and he advised not streaming music as it slows the system.

 

Chairman Dinning asked Assessor Ryals to explain the lease of a new AS400 server that is used by the Clerk, Treasurer and Assessor’s offices. Assessor Ryals said the AS400 is the primary server for valuation and the tax drive system, which is the bulk of the revenue source for the county. The current server is old and tired, and the operating system is obsolete. This server is still functioning, but its capacity is basically at its limit. The county entered into an agreement with Miicorp to lease a new server for 60 months at $500 per month, which is more advantageous. There is also a $1.00 buyout at the end of the lease. The State Tax Commission is going to move to a PC based system at one point, but if that happens soon, the county can also move to a PC system during the lease. Chairman Dinning asked what happens if the current system overloads. Assessor Ryals said the current system would quit and shut down if it becomes overloaded. Assessor Ryals said the existing system is currently being backed up, but current backup systems would not be compatible so they would have to be converted if the AS400 were to quit working.

 

Commissioners went around the room and asked for office and department updates. Mr. Kothe talked about holding the county’s surplus property auction, and the fact that he is retiring soon so his job has been posted.

 

Mr. Skeen said recycling is increasing; he is staying busy; and looking at avenues for Styrofoam. Mr. Skeen said he has had some equipment breakdowns, but is fixing them. The landfill is still maintaining 12 to 13 tons of garbage in the hole per day.

 

Mr. Studer said Planning and Zoning is busy. Last Thursday during the Planning and Zoning Commission’s regular meeting, the Commission recommended approval of the Comprehensive Plan, which will be forwarded to Commissioners for final decision. Mr. Studer said he will also forward the Planning and Zoning Commission’s recommendation for a replacement as a result of Mike Weland’s resignation. March is already booked up with Planning and Zoning public hearings and the number of building permits is steady.

 

Treasurer Fessler said her office is gearing up for property tax deeding on March 18th. Treasurer Fessler said she is also searching for a part-time employee.

 

Assessor Ryals said he is busy trying to keep up with computers and keep the networks running.

 

Clerk Poston said the county’s audit is done and there weren’t any findings or issues. The federal government is having issues with their audit clearing house and Boundary County is not the only one having issues with the government’s website. Clerk Poston said the Idaho Association of Counties’ scholarships are due by February 28, 2014 and this applies to kids and grandkids of full time county employees. The filing period is coming up for candidates running for offices. Chief Deputy Clerk Isaac said she hasn’t sent out W4’s, but occasionally she gets a notice from Public Employees Retirement System (PERSI) for current addresses so she will send those forms out for that purpose. NW Medstar’s annual renewal is coming up. The cost is $48 for county employees as opposed to $59 if an employee signed up separately from the county.

Ms. Jensen said Extension Educator Carol Hampton will retire at the end of March so elected officials and department heads will see more of her instead once Ms. Ms. Hampton retires. There are currently no plans for Ms. Hampton’s replacement, but more will be heard on that as the date gets closer. The Master Gardener Program starts next week, according to Ms. Jensen.

 

Mr. Guthrie said matters are pretty quiet in the weed world and if he updated Commissioners on anything else, he wouldn’t have anything new to report to Commissioners during his department report, which starts after this meeting is over.

 

Mr. Studer asked Clerk Poston about carry over and how it is used as it pertains to the budget. Mr. Studer asked about revenues coming in such as if revenues are up or down or if there is any concern. Clerk Poston said she knows the county will receive payment in lieu of taxes (PILT), but she doesn’t know how much even though she has budgeted $100,000. Clerk Poston said on the same hand, she also expected to receive money from drug seizures, which helps to fund an office position. Clerk Poston said each and every category has specialties and it’s currently too early to tell, but funding seems to be coming in as it should.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton asked about Mr. Weland’s vacated position on the Planning and Zoning Commission. Mr. Studer said he has approximately five applicants for this position.

 

Chairman Dinning thanked everyone for the good working relationships even though there is not always an agreement.

 

The elected officials/department heads meeting ended at 9:30 a.m.

 

9:30 a.m., Noxious Weeds Superintendent Duke Guthrie joined the meeting to provide his department report. Mr. Guthrie said he was also in Boise during the week of the Idaho Association of Counties meeting as he was attending a cost share review with Matt Voile with the Department of Agriculture and receiving updates on funding. It looks as if the county will receive full funding for what it had requested. The median is $53,000 for the Cooperative Weed Association (CWA) as last year funding was $44,000 or $45,000. The Selkirk Weed Management Area requested a little over $53,000 so 97% or 98% of that should be received. This is the program the county will do the administrative work for. Mr. Guthrie said usually 400 to 700 acres are treated and for the most part it’s been 100% funded. Those present discussed reviewing Idaho Code statutes to see if there are term limits for the Weed Advisory Board.

 

The meeting with Mr. Guthrie ended at 9:37 a.m.

 

Commissioner Kirby moved to grant an extension of time to pay year 2013 taxes on parcel #MH61N01W256150A until April 15, 2014. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.  

 

Arnold and Lisa Tuttle stopped by Commissioners’ Office briefly to ask some questions about the janitorial contract. Mr. and Ms. Tuttle left the meeting at 9:50 a.m.

 

Deputy Clerk Nancy Ryals joined the meeting at 9:50 a.m.

 

Commissioner Kirby moved to adopt Resolution 2014-13. A resolution to increase the Airport budget due to receipt of unanticipated funds. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously. Resolution 2014-13 reads as follows:

 

RESOLUTION 2014-13

 

INCREASE AIRPORT BUDGET

DUE TO RECEIPT OF UNANTICIPATED FUNDS

 

WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners, County of Boundary, State of Idaho, did establish an operating budget for the Airport Fund for fiscal year 2013-2014, and

 

WHEREAS, $1,350.00 has been received from J-U-B Engineers, Inc. as payment for the appraisal fee on the Dinning and Merrifield properties, and

 

WHEREAS, the Airport Fund for fiscal year 2013-2014 is in need of this additional revenue to reimburse Eunice Dinning and Tom and Robin Merrifield for their property appraisal fees, and

 

WHEREAS, the addition of this revenue does not affect the tax levy for Boundary County; and

 

WHEREAS, it is appropriate to increase the Airport Fund Revenue Account Number 03-00-391-21 in the amount of $1,350.00 and the Airport Expense Account Number 03-00-489-00, Professional Services-Other, in the amount of $1,350.00.

 

NOW THEREFORE, upon motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried,

 

IT IS RESOLVED that the increase in the Airport Fund Revenue Account Number 03-00-391-21 in the amount of $1,350.00 and the Airport Expense Account Number 03-00-489-00, Professional Services-Other, in the amount of $1,350.00 is hereby authorized and ordered; and

 

IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that the Clerk is instructed to deliver certified copies of this resolution to the Boundary County Treasurer and the Boundary County Auditor.

 

DATED this 18th day of February, 2014

COUNTY OF BOUNDARY

BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

s/_________________________________

Dan R. Dinning, Chairman

s/_________________________________

LeAlan L. Pinkerton, Commissioner

s/_________________________________

Walt Kirby, Commissioner

ATTEST:

s/____________________________________________________

GLENDA POSTON, Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners

Recorded as instrument 260008

 

Mr. Capurso left the meeting due to the closed session.

9:55 a.m., Commissioner Kirby moved to go into closed session under Idaho Code 31-874. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously. 9:57 a.m., Commissioner Kirby moved to go out of closed session. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to write off 46¢ for indigent account 2010-32. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to deny indigent application 2014-18. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to approve indigent application 2014-15. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

Deputy Clerk Ryals left the meeting at 9:58 a.m.

 

Those present discussed Economic Development Council (EDC) meetings. Chairman Dinning said EDC was created by a memorandum of understanding and at times there is a lot of confidential information so he doesn’t know if there is always an open meeting.

 

10:00 a.m., Treasurer Jenny Fessler joined the meeting.

 

Those present discussed drainage districts in relation to closing roads, etc. Chairman Dinning said it’s not the county’s decision to close gates. Treasurer Fessler said the cost is on the tax bills, but it’s a fee not a tax.

 

10:30 a.m., Commissioners considered a request for a hardship exemption application filed by Cynthia Williams for parcel #MH65N01W350752A. Present were: Chairman Dan Dinning, Commissioner LeAlan Pinkerton, Commissioner Walt Kirby, Clerk Glenda Poston, Treasurer Jenny Fessler, Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser, and Terry Capurso. Applicant Cynthia Williams participated via telephone. The meeting was recorded.

 

Chairman Dinning administered the oath to Ms. Williams. The parcel in question is a mobile home, and the tax amount owing for year 2013 is $154.85. A hardship exemption had been requested by Ms. Williams in year 2013 for year 2012 taxes, but she was given an extension instead. Treasurer Fessler informed Commissioners that year 2012 taxes have been paid. Ms. Williams said she has been very sick and can hardly breathe. Commissioner verified that Ms. Williams is still paying $300 per month in rent space to her brother. The request for this hardship is to cancel year 2013 taxes. Chairman Dinning asked Ms. Williams if her brother could give her a break on rent. Ms. Williams said no as he has helped her with firewood and he also has two kids to take care of. Ms. Williams said she is on social security disability. Commissioners reviewed Ms. Williams’ income information. Ms. Williams said she is fearful that she will end up in the hospital soon as her pneumonia is not clearing up. The amount of tax owing is $154.85.

Commissioner Kirby moved to grant a hardship exemption for parcel #MH65N01W350752A owned by Cynthia Williams to cancel year 2013 taxes. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

The meeting to consider the hardship ended at 10:35 a.m.

 

10:40 a.m., Boundary Economic Development Specialist David Sims joined the meeting to inform Commissioners of the City of Bonners Ferry’s grant for sidewalks on Augusta Street.

 

Mr. Sims said the City of Bonners Ferry is applying for a grant to help build a sidewalk along Augusta Street. The grant is through the Idaho Transportation Department and it has replaced the Enhanced Dollars Program. If awarded, one improvement would be a sidewalk along the east side of the street. Other elements of this grant would be to install an underground storm drain and to improve the crosswalk in front of Valley View Elementary. Commissioner Pinkerton said Valley View had wanted to close that road so what are the City of Bonners Ferry’s thoughts. Mr. Sims said the paperwork on this project had listed some ideas. Clerk Poston asked how this project would affect elections as Valley View Elementary is a polling site. Mr. Sims said that should be considered and no decisions have been made on what to do right in front of the school as of yet. Commissioner Pinkerton mentioned discussion that took place during the Idaho Association of Counties (IAC) conference with regard to polling sites within schools. Clerk Poston said that is a question she wanted to raise. It was said if the City of Bonners Ferry gets this grant, a decision will have to be made on that.

 

The project cost is almost $500,000 and the grant match is 7.4%, although the City will match 23% as they are also looking into two sets of arms for a crossing. The school wants to close the road, but there are other options such as flashing lights to stop cars. Commissioner Pinkerton said he has often seen kids almost get hit when he has been there picking up his kids from school. It was said there are approximately 1,000 cars per day that drive through that area during school hours.   

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to sign a letter of support for the City of Bonners Ferry in applying for the Choices of Idaho Grant for the Augusta Street Project. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously. 

 

Commissioners and Mr. Sims discussed the role of the Economic Development Specialist. Mr. Sims said in the past the Economic Development Committee had also helped work on grants for the city and in looking back to a prior EDC Specialist, Robin Ponsness had also applied for grants. Commissioner Pinkerton said as he sees it, it does not promote expansion so why is Mr. Sims doing this. Mr. Sims said he would guess that economic development overlaps with community development, but that is a valid concern. Commissioner Pinkerton asked if there is a page on the EDC website that could list the EDC accomplishments as he does get approached by people asking if any work is being done for the community. Mr. Sims said he could do that. Commissioner Pinkerton said he does feel Mr. Sims is working on things and he asked what kind of work is done to recruit businesses. Mr. Sims said one area he is involved in is reaching out to area businesses such as retail, which is different than industry. Mr. Sims referred to trying to find someone to move into a building at the airport. Mr. Sims said if you listen at the state level, recruitment has a very low success rate so if time is spent doing that, chances of success are pretty small. Commissioner Pinkerton asked if Mr. Sims is having trouble going out and finding businesses or if he has budget issues as the EDC Specialist position is vital and Mr. Sims has the mind for the job. Commissioner Dinning said if Mr. Sims had the ability and had a travel budget, that would be one thing, but he doesn’t have budget to visit out of state companies. Commissioner Pinkerton said contact gathering is the first step, not visiting them. Commissioner Pinkerton questioned what we have as a state and county as an incentive to offer someone as that is something the county, along with other partnerships, should work to find a way to get Mr. Sims to where he needs to go. Mr. Sims said historically Idaho has been very conservative with incentives for businesses and he mentioned the Workforce Training Program offered through the Department of Labor that provides training to employees. In other states cash payments are given. The Congressional Director is looking at a rebate for property taxes if businesses meet certain requirements and that is just general, not in the urban renewal district. Commissioner Pinkerton said if you were to look at the website for the Chamber of Commerce, it didn’t offer much for a business to be coaxed in. Commissioner Pinkerton asked if Mr. Sims knew the rate for workers compensation is in Idaho as opposed to other states. Mr. Sims said Idaho fairs favorably in those areas. Commissioner Pinkerton said this is something he feels Mr. Sims’ position should address.

 

Mr. Sims said Idaho Department of Commerce Program Director Jeff Sayers is addressing some of these matters and if it goes forward, it will be helpful. Incentive-wise, Idaho doesn’t stack up, but there are some pretty stringent rules, according to Mr. Sims.

 

Commissioner Kirby said he’s been looking at this issue since before becoming a Commissioner. Commissioner Kirby said as you try to get a business to come in Boundary County doesn’t have a lot to sell as far as real estate. The county needs to have 24/7 roads for trucks, three phase electric, water, sewer and three or four acre sites. There is precious little ground that meets this criteria. Schools and/or hospitals are also considerations for someone finding a place to live. The community, through the EDC, has attempted to find answers. We need to show the workforce, but can’t as there is none. Mr. Sims has been working on those problems. Commissioner Pinkerton said those are the exact same things North Dakota has had issues with until they found something they had. Mr. Sims has been working with the Boundary County Library on their program and workforce. Commissioner Kirby said we’re doing the best we can with what he have.

 

Chairman Dinning said a mistake has already been made such as the sewer system that could have been installed allowing a whole large area in the county be ready for future growth. Now we need to refocus and work toward the infrastructure that is needed. It was asked how we are to help the private landowner.

 

Mr. Sims said he had talked to Greg Seibert with the Idaho Department of Commerce about recruiting and he mentioned the upcoming Shot Show to be held in Moscow as a number of EDC members are going. Mr. Sims said if there is a larger business looking to get set up, the state will come in and help. Mr. Sims said one area that would be great for Bonners Ferry is energy for biomass. Mr. Sims said he has been working with Rick Fawcett and Mr. Fawcett has been working on a project in another county using wood chips and straw. This particular project is a plant that is small enough that Boundary County could supply the woods chips fairly easily and they are also working on their next location in Idaho and seem to be interested in Boundary County. Mr. Sims said the property tax rebate would apply for this business. Chairman Dinning said if there is anything Commissioners can do, to let them know. Commissioners said they do not want funding to be the issue.

 

Clerk Poston said maybe another area to consider is having the county and the Kootenai Tribe adjust their contributions for the EDC position as they have not looked at that in years. Clerk Poston mentioned that grant funding for this position has also decreased by $5,000. Chairman Dinning said just living in this area is an asset and also included are two railways and relatively low property taxes. Mr. Sims said the best opportunity to attract is the small businesses with a handful of employees. Commissioner Pinkerton questioned if he was a private business, where would access to rail services be available as they cannot be accessed at the Brinkmeyer property. It was said Naples would be the other option for access to railway.

 

The meeting with Mr. Sims ended at 11:20 a.m.

 

Commissioners mentioned receiving the Airport Advisory Board minutes which included the Board’s motion to reappoint board members Pat Gardiner and Kristi Kline as their terms had expired.

 

Chairman Dinning said an individual had approached him to voice concerns about an airport board member and this person was going to send a letter about the concern, but as of today, no letter has been received. Commissioner Pinkerton said it is his perception in going through all this airport business that it is becoming heavy for the county. With the current Airport Board members the direction will just continue in that same fashion. The board members all have an endgame and the county’s perspective is missing. Not that these board members are not doing a stellar job, but there are personal interests that are detracting. Chairman Dinning said if this is talking about expansion, there are only two more parcels involved. It was said Boundary County can’t afford to spend much more to protect the airport as it’s costing a lot of out budgets that the county has not gotten back, let alone the personal relationships that are affected and Chairman Dinning said he does put a value on that. The revenue generated from the airport is minor. Clerk Poston said revenue is in the form of hangar leases and fuel. Commissioner Pinkerton asked what the county gets out of this. Chairman Dinning said the county pays the airport manager. Commissioner Kirby said the county pays the airport manager to manage the airport and he feels the county is getting its money out of him. Commissioner Kirby mentioned expanding the airport project until the airport cannot go any further.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to reappoint Kristi Kline and Patrick Gardiner to the Airport Board with terms to expire February 2017. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

11:40 a.m., Boundary Community Hospital CEO/CFO Craig Johnson and Hospital Board of Trustees Chairman Elden Koon joined the meeting to provide an update on Hospital matters.

 

Mr. Johnson said the Hospital ended up in the black for year 2013 and that continues into January, which includes funding depreciation. The first half of February has been busy, according to Mr. Johnson. The Health Fair will be held on May 12th and the pie sale will be held this Friday, February 21st.

 

11:41 a.m., Commissioners spoke to County Civil Attorney Tevis via telephone.

 

Commissioner Kirby moved to go into executive session under Idaho Code 67-2345(1)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. 11:50 a.m., Commissioner Pinkerton moved to go out of executive session. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously. No action was taken.

 

The meeting with Mr. Johnson and Mr. Koon ended at 11:55 a.m.

 

Commissioners recessed for lunch at 12:00 p.m.   

 

1:30 p.m., Commissioners reconvened for the afternoon session with Commissioner LeAlan Pinkerton, Commissioner Walt Kirby and Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser. Chairman Dinning was out of the office tending to other business matters.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to appoint Commissioner Kirby Acting Chairman in the absence of Chairman Dan Dinning. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

1:30 p.m., Commissioners continued the public hearing to consider the County’s Subdivision Ordinance amendments. Present were: Acting Chairman Walt Kirby, Commissioner LeAlan Pinkerton, Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser, Planning & Zoning Administrator Dan Studer, and Terry Capurso. The public hearing was recorded.      

 

Acting Chairman Kirby reopened the public hearing for application #13-075, the County Subdivision Ordinance amendment. Acting Chairman Kirby said all public comments and discussion have been received and taken place, and Commissioners will continue the discussion amongst themselves. Acting Chairman Kirby reviewed in detail the options for this application, which is to approve, approve as amended, disapprove, or table the proposal. Acting Chairman Kirby requested a motion to deny Application #13-075 and that Commissioners would supply written findings to support their discussion at the appropriate time.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton said it was Commissioners’ intent during the prior public hearing to send the application back to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

 

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to deny Planning and Zoning Application #13-075 for the request for an amendment to the County’s Subdivision Ordinance and to provide written findings to support the decision. Acting Chairman Kirby yield the chair to second. Motion passed unanimously.

 

The public hearing ended at 1:40 p.m.

 

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 1:40 p.m.

 

 

           

 

                                                            ________________________________

                                                            Dan R. Dinning, Chairman

 

ATTEST:

 

_____________________________

GLENDA POSTON, Clerk

By: Michelle Rohrwasser, Deputy Clerk