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County commission minutes, December 17-18

January 11, 2013

***Monday, December 17, 2012, Commissioners met in regular session with Chairman Ron Smith, Commissioner Dan Dinning, Commissioner Walt Kirby, and Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser.


Blue Sky Broadcasting Reporter Mike Brown was in attendance of the meetings throughout the morning.


The Road and Bridge Department Report was cancelled in order for Road and Bridge Superintendent Jeff Gutshall to help plow snow on county roads.


Commissioners tended to administrative duties.


9:30 a.m., Commissioners met with Don Gunter and Mike Wolcott of Inland Forest Management to discuss the Fire Safe Program. Deputy Clerk Nancy Ryals also joined the meeting.


Mr. Gunter reviewed the status report with Commissioners. Four different sources of funding have been awarded to the county as follows: Fuels Amplification Project, Community Fire Protection, Stimulus Funding (SPII), and Community Protection Plan. Chairman Smith mentioned the Western States Grant had been turned down. Mr. Gunter said there is a little over $20,000 left from the Fuels Amplification Project and the amount of acreage treated will exceed the 116 acres listed in the report.


Boundary County was notified it will receive the Community Fire Protection grant with a target of 83 acres. As of today 70 acres have been completed, according to Mr. Gunter. Mr. Gunter explained this project is in the Meadow Creek area adjacent to the Forest Service’s East Fork Meadow Creek timber sale. Mr. Gunter said the target has been met and the funds expended. Mr. Gunter said there are 13 more acres to finish.


In March 2012, Boundary County’s Fire Safe Program received $46,500. The target area is the south end of Boundary County and west of Naples. This work has been completed.


In August 2012, Boundary County was notified it would receive $75,000 in fuels treatment work in areas adjacent to Forest Service fuel reduction projects. This money became available for use in late November with a target of 52 acres to be treated. Inland Forest Management has made two contracts with landowners totaling 12 acres, and additional contracts will be made next spring.


Those present discussed the Western States Grant and Mr. Gunter said it doesn’t look like a few counties in District 1 will receive this grant.


Mr. Gunter said there are funds available that will carry over into this next year. Chairman Smith informed Mr. Gunter and Mr. Wolcott that Commissioner Dinning will take his place at the Wildland Urban Interface meetings after he leaves.


Commissioners questioned when the Fire Safe Program was started and Mr. Wolcott said the project started in year 2003.


Those present reviewed the proposed rates in Inland Forest Management’s contract. Mr. Wolcott said the contact lists one dollar more per hour over last year, but overhead costs have decreased. The contract only involves funds that are committed and received. Mr. Wolcott said Inland Forest Management will probably spend more time than the “not to exceed amount” will allow, but he understands he will absorb that cost.


Commissioner Dinning moved to sign the Amended Inland Forest Management Contract for 2013 as represented by Mr. Wolcott. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.


The meeting with Mr. Wolcott, Mr. Gunter and Deputy Clerk Ryals ended at 9:55 a.m.


Boundary Volunteer Ambulance President Ken Baker joined the meeting.


Commissioner Kirby moved to sign the letter to Boundary Volunteer Ambulance regarding contract negotiations. Commissioner Dinning second. Motion passed unanimously.


10:00 a.m., Commissioner Dinning moved to recess as the Board of County Commissioners and convene as the Governing Board of the Boundary County Ambulance Service District. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.


10:02 a.m., Commissioner Dinning moved to adjourn as the Governing Board of the Boundary County Ambulance Service District and reconvene as the Board of County Commissioners. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.


Commissioners mentioned to President Baker the need to sit down and begin negotiations and President Baker said he would like the new board members to participate in that with Commissioners. The new board members will attend a Boundary Volunteer Ambulance meeting this Thursday with the prior board members, according to President Baker.


Chairman Smith and Commissioners discussed asking the various offices within the Courthouse to provide them with a list of maintenance issues that need to be taken care of in their offices. Chairman Smith said a list of these tasks should be presented to Mr. Kothe when he comes in for his department report.


President Baker and Commissioners briefly discussed work involved with the portion of the county’s maintenance shop being utilized by Boundary Volunteer Ambulance. President Baker said a man door has been installed in between the two garage doors and a garage door opener has been installed on the bay door Boundary Volunteer Ambulance uses.


President Baker left the meeting.

Commissioners answered Mr. Brown’s questions pertaining to future negotiations with Boundary Volunteer Ambulance.


Commissioners tended to administrative duties.


Commissioner Dinning moved to adopt Resolution #2013-10. A resolution increasing the Restorium Fund Budget due to contribution from the Memorial Fund for the Restorium Elevator Project. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously. Resolution #2013-10 reads as follows:






               WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners, County of Boundary, State of Idaho, did establish an operating budget for the Boundary County Restorium for fiscal year 2012-2013; and

               WHEREAS, the Restorium Advisory Board has agreed to contribute $8,900.00 from the Restorium Memorial Fund to help fund the Restorium Elevator Project; and


               WHEREAS, it is appropriate to transfer cash out of the Restorium Memorial Fund Revenue Account Number 9125-00-100-00 in the amount of $8,900.00 and increase the Restorium Budget Revenue Account Number 36-00-100-00 and the Restorium Budget Expense Account Number 36-00-558-00, Reserve, in the amount of $8,900.00; and


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

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


               IT IS RESOLVED that the transfer of cash from the Restorium Memorial Fund Revenue Account Number 9125-00-100-00 in the amount of $8,900.00 and the increase to the Restorium Budget Revenue Account Number 36-00-100-00 and the Restorium Budget Expense Account Number 36-00-558-00, Reserve, in the amount of $8,900.00 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 17th day of December, 2012

                                                                                          COUNTY OF BOUNDARY

                                                                                          BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS


                                                                                          RONALD R. SMITH, Chairman


                                                                                          DAN R. DINNING, Commissioner


                                                                                          WALT KIRBY, Commissioner



GLENDA POSTON, Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners

Recorded as instrument #255998


Commissioners tended to administrative duties.


11:30 a.m., Boundary Community Hospital CEO/CFO Craig Johnson and Hospital Board of Trustees Chairman Elden Koon joined the meeting to update Commissioners on Hospital matters.


Mr. Koon submitted a letter requesting reappointment of Hospital board members. Commissioner Dinning mentioned that Jim Paulus is now a member on the Ambulance Association and didn’t know if that could be a conflict.


Commissioner Dinning moved to reappoint Elden Koon, Geri Garten and Jim Paulus to the Hospital Board of Trustees with a term to expire January 1, 2016. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.


Mr. Johnson said the Hospital sustained a loss of $14,000 in November. Overall there was a loss for the year as the Hospital didn’t bring in depreciation and bad debt. Mr. Johnson said there is a lot of indecision in regards to the Hospital’s budget due to upcoming changes and you can’t predict what will happen.


Chairman Smith said he attended the GEM Plan meeting where the President’s health care plan was discussed. Chairman Smith said employees will be taxed on their W2’s starting year 2014 on the amount their employer paid for medical insurance on their behalf and there will also be a $63 fee per person for their insurance plan. Chairman Smith said due to a grandfather clause it’s possible the county won’t have to pay the $63. Mr. Johnson said there will also be an excise tax on medical supplies.


Those present continued the discussion on President Obama’s healthcare plan. Chairman Smith said he has been able to get the GEM Plan to issue no more than a 5% increase in health care costs and if more money was needed, it came out of surplus. Chairman Smith said even though the increase was kept at 5%, the surplus funds increased.


Those present discussed local physician related matters.


Mr. Johnson said the Festival of Trees raised $45,000 to $46,000 gross and netted approximately $34,000, which are good numbers. Linda Hiatt was a driving force this year for the Festival of Trees, according to Mr. Johnson.


Those present briefly discussed the Hospital’s representative that is to sit on the new Ambulance District Board as per the agreement between the county and Boundary Volunteer Ambulance. Mr. Johnson confirmed that he is willing to sit on the new board when it’s formed.


The meeting with Mr. Koon and Mr. Johnson ended at 12:00 p.m.   


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


***Tuesday, December 18, 2012, Commissioners met in regular session with Chairman Ron Smith, Commissioner Dan Dinning, Commissioner Walt Kirby, and Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser. 


9:00 a.m., Commissioners held an elected officials/department heads meeting. Present were: Chairman Smith, Commissioner Dinning, Commissioner Kirby, Clerk Glenda Poston, Chief Deputy Clerk Tracie Isaac, Treasurer Jenny Fessler, Assessor Dave Ryals, Solid Waste Superintendent Claine Skeen, Extension Office Educator Jennifer Jensen, Prosecutor’s Office Manager Tammie Goggia, Planning and Zoning Administrator Dan Studer, Noxious Weeds Superintendent Duke Guthrie, Chief Probation Officer Stacy Brown, and Road and Bridge Office Manager Renee Nelson.


Chairman Smith brought up the subject of computer use. Commissioner Dinning asked those present to watch the amount of unnecessary internet use at work and explained having issues when he had tried to participate in a webinar, but kept getting kicked off due to high internet usage already going on.


The possibility of improving the internet service was questioned and Assessor Ryals said this issue came up not too long ago and the ability to improve service wasn’t there. Chairman Smith asked Mr. Studer about internet services. Mr. Studer said in the school district the schools have various band widths. Mr. Studer said he is not aware of the Courthouse’s current band width, but at the schools 30 students can be on internet working and there aren’t any problems. Assessor Ryals reiterated that he had done some investigations into expanding band width and the matter pretty much went nowhere.


Government Employee Medical (GEM) Plan update. Chairman Smith informed those present that he had attended a GEM Plan meeting last week and details are still unknown as it pertains to President Obama’s health care plan. Chairman Smith brought up issues regarding insurance and cities. Chairman Smith said Boundary County’s insurance claims are still higher than its contributions although Boundary County is doing better. Something will probably happen in the next year as far as changes to insurance as a result of Obamacare, according to Chairman Smith. It will be in year 2014 that employees will have to report to the IRS how much money for insurance coverage was paid out on their behalf. A $63 fee per employee with coverage was also discussed at the GEM Plan meeting, but it’s likely that will be waived for Boundary County due to a grandfather clause. Boundary County is considered a small business so it will have to furnish health insurance otherwise the county will have to pay a fine if the county chooses not to provide insurance. The GEM Plan has about 5 to 6 million dollars in reserves, according to Chairman Smith.


Commissioner Dinning said in the upcoming year there is going to be legislation to try to eliminate personal property taxes at the personal level. That is about 10% of county revenue. Assessor Ryals said locally assessed it is less than 4% for personal property, but it’s 17% at the state level including operating property. Assessor Ryals said it is not necessarily a loss of revenue depending on levy rates; it just depends on the shift. Commissioner Dinning said it was stated there cannot be a shift. Commissioner Dinning said all county departments are already conservative, but he doesn’t have a clue as to what will come out of this.


Chairman Smith said this is the last year for Secure Rural Schools (SRS) funding received by the county and he knows the county doesn’t levy for Road and Bridge. When the county no longer receives SRS funds the county will have to begin levying for Road and Bridge. It was said even levying 1% will not make up the loss of SRS funds. Chairman Smith compared Boundary County to other counties and said if we’re going to be hit hard; Shoshone County is going to be hit even harder.


Chairman Smith said this is his last elected officials meeting. Chairman Smith said he has been asked to remain on the Commission on Children and Youth, which he’s been a part of for two years. Chairman Smith said he is also involved with the Counties and Courts Commission and they have asked him to sit on the training council. Chairman Smith mentioned interest in another position within the county and also added that he leave’s the Commissioners’ Office with no regrets.


Commissioners reminded those present about providing them with a list of courthouse maintenance and janitorial maintenance issues that need tending to.


The elected officials/department heads meeting ended at 9:35 a.m.


Commissioner Dinning mentioned to Commissioners that there is to be a public hearing held by the City of Bonners Ferry on their zone ordinance and he had heard that all areas to be annexed are to be rezoned. Commissioner Dinning said he wants clarity because there has been more than one person who attended the hearing on annexation when this came up. Commissioner Dinning said he would like to see a map of the area to make sure the information is correct. Commissioners said they would request that the City of Bonners Ferry not rezone anything in the area of impact until the county and city have had their negotiations.


9:40 a.m., Boundary County Noxious Weeds Superintendent Duke Guthrie met with Commissioners to provide a departmental report. Mr. Guthrie said he had put together a report of spraying for this year for the Selkirk Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA). Mr. Guthrie said this is the first time Bonners Ferry contracted to have nine acres of the sewer lagoon treated. Mr. Guthrie reviewed his list of areas sprayed this year to include nine acres for the City of Bonners Ferry, two acres at the Moyie Substation and power plant, six miles of streets for the City of Moyie Springs, 22 acres for the Parks and Recreation Department, 15 acres for the Solid Waste Department, 25 acres for the Road and Bridge Department, a total of five miles of runways and 15 acres surrounding the County Airport, two acres for the Snowmobile City of Moyie Springs, two acres at the snowmobile park and 700 miles/approximately 1,000 acres county road rights of way.


Mr. Guthrie also provided a Bio Control Report, Small Infestations Report, Mapping Report, Boundary County Neighborhood Co-op Report and Selkirk Cooperative Weed Management Area Year end Report for 2012.

The meeting with Mr. Guthrie ended at 9:55 a.m.


9:55 a.m., Clif Warren with Community Transportation Association of Idaho, Barbara Kovacs with the Seniors Hospitality Center and Boundary County Economic Development Specialist David Sims joined the meeting to discuss the Senior Center’s transportation program.


Mr. Warren explained the efforts to raise grant match money to operate the senior bus. The Senior Center had been paying the match out of their reserve account, but the board of directors for the local senior center said that can no longer be done. The Senior Hospitality Center will give up the operating grant and the bus. The bus is county owned and Mr. Warren asked about the county maintaining the bus.


10:01 a.m., City of Bonners Ferry Stephen Boorman, Mayor Dave Anderson and City of Bonners Ferry Assistant Administrator Andrakay Pluid joined the meeting.


Mr. Sims said the bus is local now, but at this point he doesn’t see a good way to have a route service in the county. Commissioners were asked if the Restorium would benefit from using the bus. Commissioners asked if there was an obligation to have a route and Mr. Warren said no although, the state would like to see a plan for how the bus would be used and the expected ridership. Chairman Smith questioned what use the Restorium would have for the bus and Commissioner Kirby said the residents have been given rides to the fair and parades. Ms. Kovacs said this bus has a wheel chair ramp and holds 12 people.


Mr. Sims said he is going to attend the Restorium Board meeting this Friday and he could also help put together a plan. It was said for clarity that the Restorium would be responsible for fuel and maintenance. Mr. Warren said the board of directors for the Senior Center has put in a lot of money toward the grant match and they have questioned how to possibly receive some of that match back. The match was under $4,000, according to Ms. Kovacs. Commissioner Dinning said the county has paid insurance on the bus. Mr. Warren said there is time to think about it.


Ms. Kovacs said the Senior Center still has a van and a 16 passenger bus and they would like to know if Boundary County can keep insurance on these vehicles as they will still try to pick up the seniors who need rides. Mr. Warren said there is an issue maybe that the county requires the drivers be paid under insurance and workers compensation. Commissioner Dinning suggested Ms. Kovacs speak with Chief Deputy Clerk Tracie Isaac about what is required for drivers under the county’s insurance.


Meeting with Mr. Warren and Ms. Kovacs ended at 10:05 a.m.


Commissioner Dinning moved to amend the agenda for today at 10:08 a.m., to add a matter that is time sensitive regarding the City of Bonners Ferry’s Comprehensive Plan. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.


10:08 a.m., Commissioner Dinning informed Commissioners and the City of Bonners Ferry representatives that he had received a telephone call regarding the City of Bonners Ferry’s Comprehensive Plan. Commissioner Dinning said he had gone online to view the map, but couldn’t tell anything from it. Commissioner Dinning asked if there are areas outside of the existing limits that the City of Bonners Ferry is going to consider. Mr. Boorman said the Comprehensive Plan to be discussed at tonight’s hearing will include a map that lists general land use areas and only looks at the areas of annexation or inside city limits. Commissioner Dinning said for clarity that this matter does not pertain to the area of impact and Mr. Boorman agreed. Mr. Boorman said this pertains to just the city limits and areas of annexation. Chairman Smith said anything in the area of impact is still county property so the city wouldn’t be able to make any designations to that area.


Chairman Smith said some time back when properties were taken into the area of impact, property owners were allowed to do things to their property as it was now within the city limits as opposed to being in the county. Mr. Boorman said that is a county decision so as he understands it if there is an area of impact, it will allow a higher impact, but that is a county decision not the city’s decision. Mr. Boorman said the area of impact is a planning tool. If the city got to the point of annexing an area, this is what the city would expect those areas to be, such as commercial. Commissioner Dinning said in what information he read, it indicated future annexation. Mr. Boorman said he would bring to Commissioners what is to be on the agenda.


Mr. Boorman asked what the county’s goals are in regards to renegotiations of the area of impact and he mentioned he thought 30 days was the magic number for discussion once the letter requesting negotiations was received. Commissioner Dinning said he didn’t know about a certain number of days, but it is just to review the areas.


The meeting with Mr. Sims, Mr. Boorman, Mayor Anderson and Ms. Pluid ended at 10:25 a.m.


There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 10:25 a.m.




                                                            RONALD R. SMITH, Chairman







By:  Michelle Rohrwasser, Deputy Clerk

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