County commission minutes, July 22-23 & 25
August 12, 2013
***Monday, July 22, 2013, Commissioners met in
regular session with Chairman Dan Dinning,
Commissioner LeAlan Pinkerton, Commissioner Walt
Kirby, Clerk Glenda Poston, and Deputy Clerk
Restorium Board members Larry Dirks, Peach
Baker, Jeanne Robinson and Larry Hall stopped by
Commissioners’ Office. Restorium Board Chairman
Larry Dirks said the Restorium Board understands
the hearing date Commissioners have set to
consider a fee increase for Restorium room rates
is August 19, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. Mr. Dirks asked
if the time of the public hearing can be changed
to 7:00 p.m. so the people who work during the
day can attend. Mr. Dirks said he doesn’t have
anyone specific in mind, but it’s just for those
who may not be able to attend during the day.
Chairman Dinning said Commissioners would
consider the Restorium Board’s request. Mr.
Dirks inquired about the date and time of the
Commissioners’ town hall meeting scheduled for
this Thursday and asked if the topic of the
Restorium will be discussed. It was said there
has been a request to discuss the Restorium as
it relates to the concern of privatization, but
that the topic of the Restorium would be added.
The town hall meeting is this Thursday, July 25,
2013 at 7:00 p.m., and it will be held in the
Boundary County Middle School cafeteria.
The Restorium Board members left at 9:02 a.m.
Commissioners gave the opening invocation and
said the Pledge of Allegiance.
9:03 a.m., Road and Bridge Superintendent Jeff
Gutshall joined the meeting to give the
departmental report. Mr. Gutshall presented a
written report. Mr. Gutshall informed
Commissioners there is no one in the Road and
Bridge Office currently as the department is
short staffed and Office Manager Renee Nelson is
helping flag. Road and Bridge has finished
paving Moon Shadow Road and it came out well,
according to Mr. Gutshall. The next two days
have been spent leveling and grader patching.
Road and Bridge will go back to Moon Shadow Road
to restore the shoulders along the asphalt as
well as chipsealing the areas patched beyond the
new pavement near the Hofer property. It should
come out pretty good, according to Mr. Gutshall.
Mr. Gutshall said Road and Bridge staff is busy
working underneath the Copeland Bridge to finish
work on the navigation lights and crews are
using harnesses and tag lines. Mr. Gutshall said
chipsealing is to begin. The top of Paradise
Valley Hill near Shamrock Road has been repaired
and Road and Bridge will bill Cabinet Mountains
Water District for approximately $1,000 worth of
asphalt. The work came out pretty well and Mr.
Gutshall said he feels the issue has been
Mr. Gutshall said he returned a call to county
resident, Mr. Vandenberg in regards to Wheatland
Road. Mr. Gutshall said he had heard there was
state right-of-way beyond Wheatland Road and
told Mr. Vandenberg in a voice message that
determining the state’s right-of-way would need
to be determined by Mr. Vandenberg himself.
Mr. Gutshall said a complaint he had received
about Meadow Creek Road has been taken care of.
Road and Bridge has relocated a guide sign for
Blume Hill Road.
The meeting with Mr. Gutshall ended at 9:25 a.m.
9:26 a.m., Courthouse Maintenance Jerry Kothe
joined the meeting to give the departmental
report. Mr. Kothe presented a written report.
Mr. Kothe’s reported included: ordering more
paper supplies, re-plumbing the irrigation pits
for the new water cannon, completion of staining
the wall at Memorial Hall by Fulton
Construction, and Dirks Tree Service stopping by
to prune a tree at the parks and hauling away
branches that were too big for the chipper.
The meeting with Mr. Kothe ended at 9:30 a.m.
Deputy Clerk Nancy Ryals joined the meeting at
Commissioner Pinkerton moved to approve indigent
application 2013-23 as per the Clerk’s
recommendation. Commissioner Kirby second.
Motion passed unanimously.
Deputy Clerk Ryals left the meeting at 9:40 a.m.
Commissioners tended to administrative duties.
Commissioner Pinkerton moved to reimburse County
GIS Mapper Gary Falcon for the cost of a data
package as it pertains to helping the State of
Idaho’s broadband team in locating cellular
phone dead zones in rural Idaho. Commissioner
Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.
10:00 a.m., County GIS Mapper Gary Falcon joined
Chairman Dinning informed Mr. Falcon that
Commissioners have made a motion authorizing him
to sign up for the program to assist the State
of Idaho’s broadband team in locating dead zones
for cell service. Mr. Falcon said he would look
into adding the program to his iphone.
Chairman Dinning mentioned that he had attended
the most recent wildland urban interface (WUI)
meeting and an inquiry was made to obtain a map
of just the plots of structures in the county so
they could be added to an aerial map for WUI
planning purposes. Mr. Falcon said the only
structures he would have are the ones that have
an address. Chairman Dinning asked if there is a
newer version of aerial maps that would be
available for this purpose. Mr. Falcon said he
would see what program the person who made the
request is running.
Mr. Falcon left the meeting at 10:05 a.m.
Bonners Ferry Herald Reporter Laura Roady and
Blue Sky Broadcasting News Reporter Mike Brown
joined the meeting.
10:08 a.m., Commissioner Kirby moved to recess
as the Board of County Commissioners and convene
as the Governing Board of the Boundary County
Ambulance Service District. Commissioner
Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Kirby moved to adjourn as the
Governing Board of the Ambulance Service
District and to reconvene as the Boundary County
Board of Commissioners. Commissioner Pinkerton
second. Motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Brown and Ms. Roady left the meeting at
Commissioner Kirby moved to go into executive
session under Idaho Code #67-2345(1)b, to
consider the evaluation, dismissal or
disciplining of, or to hear complaints or
charges brought against, a public officer,
employee, staff member or individual agent, or
public school student. Commissioner Pinkerton
second. Commissioners voted as follows: Chairman
Dinning “aye”, Commissioner Pinkerton “aye” and
Commissioner Kirby “aye”. Motion passed
unanimously. 10:35 a.m., Commissioner Pinkerton
moved to go out of executive session.
Commissioner Kirby seconded. Motion passed
Commissioner Pinkerton moved to leave the time
set for the public hearing for the proposed
Restorium room rate increase at 1:30 p.m.
Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed
Commissioners said another reason not to change
the date of the public hearing is that the
Restorium rate increase will not be the only
matter of business discussed.
10:36 a.m., Commissioners and Clerk Poston
conducted a budget workshop for the proposed
11:45 a.m., Commissioners received a telephone
call from Restorium Administrator Karlene Magee
regarding tires for the passenger van recently
offered to them by the Seniors Hospitality
Center. Restorium board members had gone to pick
up the set of tires, but Barbara Kovacs with the
Seniors Hospitality Center had requested
reimbursement of $1,000 for that set of six
tires with rims. Chairman Dinning said the tires
have been talked about, but Commissioners don’t
recall these tires and wheels had been a part of
the arrangement concerning the passenger van.
Commissioners gave approval to purchase the
tires and wheels.
The call with Ms. Magee ended at 11:45 a.m.
12:30 p.m., There being no further business, the
meeting recessed until tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.
***Tuesday, July 23, 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., Commissioners held an elected
officials/department heads meeting. Present
were: Chief Deputy Clerk Tracie Isaac, Solid
Waste Superintendent Claine Skeen, Extension
Educator Carol Hampton, Prosecutor’s Office
Manager Tammie Goggia, Planning and Zoning
Administrator Dan Studer, Courthouse Maintenance
Jerry Kothe, Noxious Weeds Superintendent Duke
Guthrie, Road and Bridge Superintendent Jeff
Gutshall, Assessor Dave Ryals, and Restorium
Administrator Karlene Magee.
Chairman Dinning said when offices need to use
Computer Arts for issues that arise it costs the
county for those hours so please use that time
Chief Deputy Clerk Isaac said she had given out
updated personnel policies some time ago and she
asked if anyone had any questions. Chief Deputy
Clerk Isaac said Idaho Counties Risk Management
Program (ICRMP) is having another online
training session for employees, one being a
harassment course and the other a safe driving
Boundary County Economic Development Specialist
David Sims joined the meeting at 9:03 a.m.
Chief Deputy Clerk Isaac said the county can
save 5%, which equates to $9,000 to $10,000 on
insurance premiums per year once employees
complete the courses.
Chairman Dinning said the County’s Title VI
Coordinator Renee Nelson had passed out Title VI
forms for each department to complete so please
be sure to get those done and turned in to Ms.
Commissioners introduced David Sims as one of
the county’s public information officers (PIO).
Mr. Sims said Michael Meier is the county’s main
PIO and he is back up. The PIO’s can be
contacted for any county press releases. In the
past the PIO’s only dealt with emergencies, but
if there is other positive information, Mr.
Meier or Mr. Sims can also send out that
information. It was said the primary PIO, Mr.
Meier has extensive background in this field.
Sheriff Greg Sprungl joined the meeting at 9:10
Chairman Dinning said the county has finally
worked out the budget and unless something comes
up, all county employees will receive a 2%
increase. The extra holiday days are gone.
Commissioners said they have included a night
shift additional wage increase of $.30 per hour
for normal work schedules. Commissioner
Pinkerton added that this pertains to a
regularly scheduled shift. Commissioners gave an
example that if a blizzard hit after the normal
scheduled hours for Road and Bridge employees,
those employees working would not receive an
additional $.30. Chairman Dinning said the
additional $.30 is for hours between 6:00 p.m.
and 6:00 a.m., and if this happens in the middle
of the shift, the differential is only for those
hours during that time frame. Commissioner
Pinkerton mentioned there will be overlapping
times for the Restorium, Road and Bridge and
Sheriff’s Office employees so a new time sheet
will have to be developed to make it easier.
Chief Deputy Clerk Isaac clarified that this
shift differential of $.30 doesn’t apply while
an employee is on vacation as it is only for the
Chairman Dinning informed Sheriff Sprungl that
Commissioners also added an additional 2%
increase for a certain class of deputy. Sheriff
Sprungl said the increase is appreciated.
Assessor Ryals asked for the status of ambulance
service. Chairman Dinning said an agreement has
not yet been reached with Boundary Volunteer
Ambulance (BVA). Commissioners have sent a
letter to Bonner County Commissioners requesting
to renew a proposed agreement if something is
not worked out with BVA. The current agreement
with BVA expires September 30, 2013 so
Commissioners said they would see where that
Mr. Gutshall provided an update on the Deep
Creek Bridge replacement project. The bridge is
officially closed although it was open last
night, according to Mr. Gutshall. Apollo Inc.
has placed their excavators and office at the
site. By the end of the week this bridge, which
is approximately two miles north of Naples,
should be closed until sometime in October.
There may be an issue with the emergency
projects south of the train trestle as that will
also result in a road closure of about three
weeks, but it’s not yet known when that will
happen. This project should be bid any time and
it should be completed sometime in September,
according to Mr. Gutshall. Traffic can get
around via Lion’s Den until that project starts
and then travelers will have to take the detour
through Pleasant Valley, which is now a fairly
good route. Assessor Ryals agreed that the
detour does look good. Mr. Gutshall said since
he is not certain when these projects will line
up, people may not be limited to that one
access, but if they are, it should only last
approximately three weeks. Mr. Gutshall said
people won’t experience the kind of delays that
are happening on Highway 95 currently.
Mr. Skeen said the Solid Waste Department will
have to pay $25 per ton to dispose of co-mingled
recycled material, but it’s still a plus
compared to putting 440 tons of recycled
material into the landfill’s hole as that was
how much co-mingled material was recycled last
year. Ms. Goggia asked if the county could set
out recycle bins at the local events. Mr. Skeen
clarified that recycled materials are being
shipped out and not buried as some rumors have
Ms. Hampton said the Extension Office is getting
ready for fair week, which will start
mid-August. There is also free movie night at
the fair grounds.
Mr. Studer said Planning and Zoning has been
The elected officials/department heads meeting
ended at 9:30 a.m.
9:30 a.m., County Noxious Weeds Superintendent
Duke Guthrie stayed after the elected
officials/department heads meeting to present
his department report. Mr. Guthrie said he has
treated most of the roads for weeds. Mr. Guthrie
said he has filled out paperwork for the
agreement for a vehicle so it should happen
soon. Commissioners briefly reviewed the budget
for Mr. Guthrie’s department in relation to a
new vehicle and purchasing chemicals. The cost
for chemicals increases approximately 5% each
year. There is $17,000 listed under
Capital-Other, according to Mr. Guthrie.
Chairman Dinning said it’s in the current
budget, but not the budget for next year so it
has to be spent. Mr. Guthrie said those funds
should’ve gone back into the chemical budget,
and after checking Chairman Dinning said it has.
Chairman Dinning suggested Mr. Guthrie speak
with Clerk Poston about budget. Chairman Dinning
questioned who would be responsible for the
weeds in Pacific Gas’ right-of-way.
The meeting with Mr. Guthrie ended at 9:45 a.m.
Commissioner Pinkerton moved to sign the
Assignment of Interest and Dissolution of Joint
Powers Agreement-District I Juvenile Detention
Center. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed
Commissioner Pinkerton moved to sign the
Memorandum of Agreement with the Kootenai County
District I Juvenile Detention Center.
Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed
Commissioners tended to administrative duties.
10:00 a.m., Joe Farrell and Darlene Schneider
with Pace-Kerby Real Estate, Planning and Zoning
Administrator Dan Studer and property owner
Deborah Davis joined the meeting to discuss a
property matter. Ms. Davis said she had moved to
Bonners Ferry approximately 30 years ago with
her husband and they had bought a piece of
property with a shell of a log cabin and
utilities for two homes on it. Ms. Davis said
she and her husband had wanted to divide the
property in order to sell a parcel. Ms. Davis
said her mother has passed away and her husband
has had some medical issues in the meantime. The
county has since adopted a new Planning and
Zoning Ordinance and Ms. Davis is no longer able
to divide per property into smaller parcels as
she had been given permission to do before. Ms.
Davis said she had last worked with former
Planning and Zoning Administrator Mike Weland on
her matter and had thought that everything was
fine. Ms. Davis said she has had her property
listed and now has a buyer, but she’s finding
out she is not able to sell the smaller parcel.
Mr. Farrell said Mr. Weland had informed them of
the family hardship that was involved. Mr.
Farrell said Ms. Davis has lost her mother and
her husband has suffered an illness, and Mr.
Weland had informed them the split would be
allowed so that process was started.
The survey of the property was done after
talking to Mr. Weland, which was approximately
four years ago, but the process of splitting the
property wasn’t completed. The County now has a
different Ordinance and Mr. Studer said the
issue is beyond his ability to fix so he had
suggested Ms. Davis talk to Commissioners. The
size of the parcel in question is 2.5 acres,
which is what is wished to be sold and the other
piece is approximately 21 acres. This is an area
just past Hermann Lake. Commissioners reviewed
an aerial map. The smaller parcel does have
county road frontage, power, a water hook up,
and access road. Chairman Dinning asked if there
is a hardship provision in the current Planning
and Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Studer said no, but
there is a family split provision. It was said
there is an exemption for financial reasons, but
that isn’t the case here.
Chairman Dinning said four years ago, the
current Ordinance was not yet in place. The
property owner was told they could split the
property, but the execution of the deed was not
done. Chairman Dinning asked how this is any
different than the last matter Commissioners
addressed that was similar in nature. Mr. Studer
said this situation is different in that the
previous matter had gone through two public
hearings for a long plat and in this case, he
would have to say it is similar in that regard
as it’s a matter of setting up what had been
discussed, but the property owner just didn’t
complete the process. Mr. Studer said in his
previous discussion, there is a possibility of
applying for a variance as there is 23.5 acres.
With the current Planning and Zoning Commission,
Mr. Studer said it is his personal observation
that Planning and Zoning is looking at a
variance to divide property in half. If the
division of property was in half, there is no
variance, but a simple subdivision. It was said
that Ms. Davis hadn’t wanted to split the
property in half, and Ms. Davis said it’s also a
matter of not having funds to pay for a survey
Commissioner Kirby said his thought is if the
process had been completed four years ago, the
parties wouldn’t be sitting here today and it’s
a simple oversight. Commissioner Kirby said he
personally doesn’t feel the applicant should be
punished for that oversight. Ms. Davis would
probably lose the ability to sell the parcel in
today’s market by having to sell in a larger
piece and in this case nobody gets hurt. There
are hundreds and hundreds of properties that are
substandard in size so what is one more,
according to Commissioner Kirby. The applicant
used the process provided, but unfortunately due
to oversight, didn’t complete the process. Mr.
Farrell said in hind sight he could take some of
the blame as when the new Ordinance was adopted
he didn’t red flag the property as he had it
Commissioner Pinkerton said the process has
already been started, three-quarters of the work
has been done, and the survey has been paid for
so that should also be considered, but then you
also have to think that there are other property
owners who would like to have smaller acreage.
Commissioner Pinkerton said at one point the
county has got to start following its own
guidelines. Chairman Dinning said in this case
there had been communication and intent, but due
to circumstances whatever happened, happened.
There is no intent to deceive, according to
Chairman Dinning. Mr. Studer said he would issue
a simple subdivision and would sign off on a
development permit for this discussion, and that
is it. Mr. Studer said he is just waiting for
Commissioner Kirby moved to approve the simple
subdivision documents for Deborah Davis.
Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed
The meeting with Mr. Studer, Mr. Farrell, Ms.
Schneider, and Ms. Davis ended at 10:20 a.m.
10:30 a.m., Commissioners spoke to Brad Niemeyer
with JUB Engineering (JUB) via telephone.
Chairman Dinning said he was told how the
process would work to purchase the properties as
it pertains to the airport’s expansion. Mr.
Niemeyer said the question was a concern over
the amount of money the county would have to
expend on the property purchases before the
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
reimbursement comes in and how long before it
comes in as the process for the FAA is a
reimbursement program. Mr. Niemeyer said he has
worked with the FAA on coordinating in the past
and one thing needed for the properties is a
Certificate of Title that the county attorney
signs and submits to the FAA before the FAA
makes a payout. Mr. Niemeyer said he will
coordinate that with the county’s civil
attorney. When that is done, Mr. Niemeyer will
also coordinate timing on the closing of the
properties, their purchase with an amount of
funds for escrow with a request for
reimbursement from the FAA. All that paperwork
will be ready for signature and for submittal at
the same time. Once submitted to the FAA there
will be notification to the FAA that payment is
coming and everyone will work closely and not be
blindsided. The FAA will get the finalized
paperwork and get it turned around in a day or
two with a wire transfer. There are three or
four different things to coordinate in order to
run smoothly, according to Mr. Niemeyer. That is
how JUB sees this going forward to limit the
amount of time the county has to carry a large
balance on this project.
Mr. Niemeyer said the other matter discussed was
relocation housing, which is a dollar value the
county would pay to escrow for individuals who
are getting relocated, or a down payment on new
home. That would be coordinated closely with the
FAA so when the county writes the check a
request for reimbursement from the FAA will also
be written up. Mr. Niemeyer mentioned smaller
miscellaneous items the county would also have
to cover. Invoices would be provided to JUB to
verify compliance with the law and JUB would
forward those invoices to the county for
Chairman Dinning asked for a general idea of how
it went for each offer. Mr. Niemeyer said the
property owners were contacted personally on
July 3rd, so the offers were made the first week
of July. Since then there has been communication
with all four property owners for the 2013
cycle. Mr. Niemeyer said there is a signed
purchase and sale agreement from the Dinning’s,
an understanding agreement with the Bylers for
fair market value determined, the process is
still ongoing with the Merrifield’s and the FAA
for their property, and there has been contact
with the Speed’s who is still considering the
Mr. Niemeyer said the 2014 projects include the
Howard and Wheatley properties. There has been
conversation with the FAA regarding the Howard
property regarding access to his property as the
existing 60 foot easement that crosses Highway 2
to the north needs to be eliminated. The review
of this property was completed in the Seattle
FAA Office. Mr. Niemeyer said there has been
conversation with Gary Gates out of the Helena,
Montana FAA Office and parties will need to
discuss what opportunities and options are out
there for the FAA, County and property owner.
Mr. Niemeyer said he is to meet with Mr. Howard
tomorrow. Information will be presented to the
Airport Board during their normal board meeting
and we’ll have to look at the overall project
and development alternatives, etc., and to
coordinate with the FAA, according to Mr.
Those present discussed the Wheatley property.
Mr. Niemeyer said he’s received an initial
response from the FAA regarding the FAA’s 7460-1
Form request for some level of development. The
FAA said the 35 foot building Mr. Wheatley would
like to build will not be allowed in the areas
proposed. Mr. Niemeyer reviewed the letter with
Commissioners over the phone, and he said it was
determined that the FAA had combined JUB’s
airport 7460-1 request and Mr. Wheatley’s
request into one. Mr. Niemeyer said he’s asked
the FAA to break their response into two since
the requests came from two separate individuals
so he’s waiting for that in order to make a
final recommendation to the Airport Board on the
amount of property that Board is looking to
acquire from Mr. Wheatley. Commissioner
Pinkerton questioned if the Helena, Montana FAA
Office would allow the construction of a 35 foot
tall building. Mr. Niemeyer said he needed to
look more into that. The FAA didn’t find issue
with JUB’s request, but did find issue with Mr.
Wheatley’s request so JUB will ask the FAA to
respond to the issues separately. Commissioner
Pinkerton questioned what it is that JUB has
submitted that the FAA says won’t work. Mr.
Niemeyer said if the FAA doesn’t approve JUB’s
request, he would meet with the Airport Board to
see what land to acquire. Mr. Whatley has
combined two parcels into one so JUB would have
to look into that. Chairman Dinning said
Commissioners can go to the Airport Board
meeting as minutes will be taken so he will see
if a Commissioner can attend.
Commissioner Pinkerton said right now three
separate parcel options for Mr. Wheatley have
been submitted for review. Mr. Niemeyer said
what JUB has prepared is an exhibit and a
request to have a property of air space and that
was just one submittal. It was a worst case
scenario for airspace. The location used in the
FAA’s response wasn’t necessarily the most
extreme location, according to Mr. Niemeyer. The
other three requests were from Mr. Wheatley so
only one combined response came back from the
The telephone call with Mr. Niemeyer ended at
Commissioners tended to administrative duties.
12:00 p.m., There being no further business, the
meeting adjourned until the town hall meeting
held on Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. in
the Boundary County Middle School cafeteria.
***Thursday, July 25, 2013, 7:00 p.m.,
Commissioners met at the Boundary County Middle
School cafeteria for the purpose of holding a
town hall meeting to discuss specific requested
topics. Present were: Chairman Dan Dinning,
Commissioner Walt Kirby, Commissioner LeAlan
Pinkerton, Clerk Glenda Poston, Deputy Clerk
Michelle Rohrwasser, Charlene Wells, Eldora
Gatchell, Wilma DeVore, John Alt, Frank
McCormick, Charles Fox, Cindy Atkins, Alice
Hendrickson, Steve Tanner, Ken Irons, Bonners
Ferry Herald Reporter Laura Roady, Damon
Severson, Krystal Gordillo, Barbara Castellan,
Delores Jantz, Jenny Brown, Roy Hale, Mary
Voglewede, Audrey Byrer, Richard Hollenbeck,
Fred Hendrickson, Don Jordan, Donna Thomas,
Elsie Hollenbeck, Boundary Economic Development
Specialist David Sims, Sharon Fitzgerald,
Restorium Assistant Administrator Jeri Witt,
Restorium Administrator Karlene Magee, Judy
Lyle, George Hopkins, Dennis Johnson, Robert
DelGrosso, Ray Olson, Linda Endow Hall, Shelby
Cowley, Larry Hall, Peach Baker, Larry Dirks,
Judy Dirks, Janet Sapp, Rod Robinson, Jeannie
Robinson, Lois Weakly, Laurie Lowther, Robert
Weakly, and Terry Capurso.
Chairman Dinning described the evening’s
proceedings. A sign in sheet was passed around
and Commissioners gave introductions. Chairman
Dinning said he wanted to address the rumors
about the Restorium, and that there is no
validity in the rumors about the Restorium being
sold. The budget for the Restorium consists of
levying $391,000, which is double the amount
from five years ago. Commissioners are looking
at increasing room rents by 5 percent this year
and next year for existing residents and
charging new incoming residents $2,500 for a
certain size room as of October 1, 2013, and
there are two rooms that will have a higher rate
due to their set up.
Commissioner Pinkerton said Commissioners want
to hear the concerns, but to also stay on topic
so the various issues can be addressed as these
town hall meetings are held.
Denise Thompson said she is speaking in support
of the Restorium and was disturbed by a
newspaper article about the Restorium. Ms.
Thompson briefly reviewed a list of her concerns
and comments. Ms. Thompson’s concern is that the
Restorium remain in county ownership and not
become privately owned. Ms. Thompson questioned
the connection to Valley Vista, the assisted
living facility that conducted a report on the
Restorium at Commissioners’ request. Chairman
Dinning said Valley Vista Care Center has many
facilities and they were contacted to provide a
financial analysis as they have more expertise
in this field than Commissioners. Ms. Thompson
said that raises a red flag as when financial
matters come up usually a certified public
accountant comes in and they don’t care to see
the outcome. Commissioner Kirby said
Commissioners are not going to do that to the
Restorium. Commissioner Kirby said the county is
not going to sell, lease or have someone else
run the Restorium, and Chairman Dinning assured
him of that when having the analysis done.
Commissioner Kirby informed Ms. Thompson the
county is not going to sell the Restorium, and
as long as he is involved the Restorium will use
Ms. Thompson asked if there is an agenda for the
Restorium and its well being. Chairman Dinning
said the county budget is getting to the point
where it can’t sustain. Idaho Code has limits
and the county is starting to stretch the
limits. If the Restorium is to expand, the
budget can’t continue in this fashion. Ms.
Thompson asked if the levy amount of $391,000
would alleviate this burden. Chairman Dinning
said that is the issue and the county had to
forego employee benefits.
Commissioner Pinkerton said a business is being
run by the county. The Restorium budget is over
$1,000,000 and $391,000 is county tax for the
Restorium, but the Restorium is losing and it
needs to start paying for itself. There are
approximately 10,000 residents in the county and
$391,000 is going to the Restorium for a total
of 35 beds. A lot of people could use that
benefit as well. People are getting older and
the Restorium may need additional rooms in the
Larry Dirks introduced the Restorium Board
members and informed those present that the
Restorium Board members are to act as the
advisory board to the Commissioners. Mr. Dirks
referenced the newspaper article on the
Restorium and said Restorium Administrator
Karlene Magee is great and operates under
budget. A fee of $2,000 will be paid by the
taxpayers for the report done by Valley Vista,
according to Mr. Dirks. The Restorium was built
many years ago for the elderly. Mr. Dirks said
the levy amount of $312,146 is 7 percent of the
levy tax funds of $100,000 assessed value. That
is approximately $30 per year in taxes or one
half tank of gas. Mr. Dirks said he has asked
large landowners how they feel about supporting
the Restorium. One Commissioner said he’s
irritated that his tax dollars go to the
Restorium, according to Mr. Dirks. The Restorium
is the jewel of the county and has received
improvements. All but one room has been
Mr. Dirks reviewed a list of room increases from
year 2004 to October 1, 2012. This is a 60
percent increase over six years. Some staff at
the Restorium work for less than $8.00 per hour
with no benefits. The Restorium has received an
Outstanding Recognition Award, and he is proud
that his tax dollars supports the Restorium.
Commissioner Pinkerton said he agrees that the
Restorium is a jewel and Commissioners do want
to keep it. Mr. Dirks asked how the levy amount
is known if the proposed room rates haven’t been
determined yet. Chairman Dinning said the
Restorium provided a budget request and the
county came up with the preliminary budget that
included the recommended rates submitted by the
Restorium. Chairman Dinning said there would be
a public hearing on the budget.
Jeannie Robinson said she is a member of the
Friends of the Restorium and their concerns are
cuts to the number of employees; one being the
food service manager position. The person who
fills this position has to be trained, know the
menus and know the answers to questions the
state may have. The Friends of the Restorium are
also concerned over the loss of the position of
activities director who is helpful to the
Linda Hall said she is the high school Spanish
teacher and a business owner. Ms. Hall asked
Commissioners if they’ve ever had friends,
neighbors, or family who have utilized the
Restorium. Ms. Hall said if the entire county
was surveyed there are probably a lot of people
who have had someone in the Restorium. Ms. Hall
said she works with kids and volunteers at the
Restorium and the community’s young kids and
seniors are the most disadvantaged in the
county. Ms. Hall said she has done her research
on the county’s budget. Ms. Hall asked if
Commissioners have spent time at the Restorium
and watched the employees. Of the 25 employees
14 are full time and the benefit package stood
out to her as it’s a larger benefit package than
other similar facilities have. Ms. Hall asked if
any other county department has been considered
as there are a lot of different options to
balance the budget so why have seniors been
singled out. Ms. Hall asked about forming a
taxing district to take care of seniors who once
took care of them.
Chairman Dinning reviewed what departments are
mandatory for the county to have as per Idaho
Code statutes and he said to keep in mind that
people chose to have the Restorium. Chairman
Dinning responded to Ms. Hall’s questions that
every department is considered when looking at
the budget. The Solid Waste Department also has
a good portion of part time employees. Chairman
Dinning said for clarification that there are
other part time employees.
Steve Tanner mentioned the Restorium has been
running in the red since the beginning. Chairman
Dinning said it has since the new facility had
been built. There is a report showing the amount
of loss, but that was made up with the county
subsidy. Mr. Tanner said the Restorium is well
run, has a great atmosphere and it’s been well
done, but he doesn’t believe it’s proper for
government to house anyone. Government has not
been instituted to care of us from cradle to
grave. Mr. Tanner said we take care of our
family. It’s not the state and the county is a
form of the state. Government is not here to
house us. It cannot and will not otherwise it is
just takes by force to pay for it. Our
Constitution is instituted with preamble. God is
the lawgiver, not man. Mr. Tanner said if God
doesn’t have authority to take money, does man
by force? It’s not an issue of the Restorium
being a nice building, according to Mr. Tanner.
The Restorium needs to be sold to the private
sector to operate much more efficiently than
Mr. Tanner said he also had on the agenda the
topic of the bailiff/court security position.
This position used to be part time. Now there
are less jury trials and the position is full
time. Why is this position full time if there is
the same number of jury trials or less? Mr.
Tanner said he can understand the security issue
so let people pack a gun. Chairman Dinning said
the bailiff is a county employee funded by the
county, but under the control of the
Administrative Judge in Coeur d’ Alene. The
courts ands judges have control of the person in
this position and the county has to provide this
in some fashion. The Sheriff would have to take
one of his deputies to provide this function if
there was no bailiff. Chairman Dinning said the
county just went through the process of hiring
the new bailiff and it’s a catch 22 as the
position is a county employee only in name.
Mr. Tanner said he feels there should be term
limits for advisory board members and he
referred to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
The intent of the term limit is to keep one
person from being on a board for too long. Mr.
Tanner referenced former Planning and Zoning
Administrator Mike Weland sitting on the
Planning and Zoning Board. Mr. Tanner said this
is not a personal issue, but that is too much
time on that board. Commissioners informed Mr.
Tanner that Mr. Weland had actually resigned
from the Planning and Zoning Commission not too
Barbara Castellan said she is a new resident to
the area and she has heard the conflicting
information in this meeting such as the
Restorium is operating at a loss, but then it’s
within budget and in the black. Ms. Castellan
asked if these statements have to do with
subsidy. Commissioner Kirby explained how the
budget is produced by the Restorium
Administrator and how the Clerk reviews the
budget information and compares it to the prior
year’s information. Commissioner Kirby said for
the longest time the request has been for tax
dollars because not enough funding is generated
from Restorium rents. The county has to levy the
taxpayer to make up that difference. Ms.
Castellan asked if this is not a philosophical
issue as opposed to financial. Commissioner
Kirby said he’s the one who wants to pay. It’s
not fair to have residents in the Restorium
paying 1950’s rent prices in the 2000’s. The
county is determined to pay its share and wants
the residents to pay their share as well. The
Restorium is a jewel and it’s been done right,
according to Commissioner Kirby.
Charlene Wells said she is Vice President for
the Friends of the Restorium. Ms. Wells asked if
the Restorium would be in the black financially
if all residents paid $2,000 per month.
Commissioner Kirby said no, but the county would
only have to levy approximately $70,000. Ms.
Wells asked if the levy would then decrease or
would it just get absorbed into the county
budget. Ms. Wells asked if there would be a
Chairman Dinning said with the new residents
this will be a five plus year process.
Commissioners have looked at there being a
minimum amount in the reserve and Chairman
Dinning mentioned the concerns of the reserve as
it pertains to a potential catastrophe so
Commissioners can’t guarantee anything today.
Mr. Dirks and Ms. Wells both mentioned the
donation of funds for projects. Mr. Dirks said
the Friends of the Restorium have been
indispensable. It used to be that when the
budget was set it was “here’s the budget, but
please don’t spend it, according to Mr. Dirks.
There are a lot of improvements to be made at
Dennis Johnson said his mother has been a
resident of the Restorium and he has had to
subsidize and he voiced concerns of a rent
Larry Hall said a part of Commissioners’ job is
to be innovative and to have ideas so what have
Commissioners done to bring in business to help
the community as far as people and their taxes.
Chairman Dinning said the Cities, County and
Tribe employ an economic development specialist
to research business. One issue this area has is
a real lack of infrastructure to attract new
businesses. Chairman Dinning introduced David
Sims as the Boundary County Economic Development
Mr. Sims said his position is funded by the
State of Idaho, City of Moyie Springs, City of
Bonners Ferry, Boundary County, and Kootenai
Tribe of Idaho, and he is working to bring in
new businesses, etc. Mr. Sims spoke of a feed
stock company out of Oregon that is looking to
possibly relocate to this area, the library
expansion project, and looking for an alternate
internet service provider. Mr. Sims said more
businesses would relocate to this area if there
is faster internet service so he is looking into
that. There are monthly Economic Development
Committee meetings and if interested, people can
get on the advisory board’s mailing list.
Mr. Sims asked Chairman Dinning to explain
Secure Rural Schools (SRS) funding. Chairman
Dinning said before year 2000 or 2001, 25% of
gross receipts off the national forest came to
the county with 70% going to the county and 30%
going toward schools. The amounts got too low so
the SRS program was started to help with
funding. This project may be extended one more
year or it may expire. One half of the Road and
Bridge Department budget comes from this funding
and that is why the county has to look at the
big picture. The county has never levied taxes
for the Road and Bridge Department. Health and
safety is the county’s responsibility and
Commissioners have to prepare as if the SRS
program expires next year. It was asked if the
county has an audit for Road and Bridge.
Chairman Dinning said the county is audited
The town hall meeting ended at 8:40 p.m.
DAN R. DINNING, Chairman
GLENDA POSTON, Clerk
By: Michelle Rohrwasser, Deputy Clerk
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