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Idaho Enterprise

County Commission Oneida 6/10

BLM/Forest Service

Kim Oblee, Mike Johnston, Blaine Newman, and Clint Bastian from various agencies spoke to the commission.  Kim from the Forest Service explained that they were visiting counties as part of the pre-season planning for the fire season.  All signs point to a very active wildfire season.  Decisions are made with a risk-informed response.

Blaine is the fire coordinator for BLM.  Communication should go through Blaine as the agency administrator for the BLM.  Commissioner Brian Jeppsen was appointed to be the primary contact person for the commission.  

Clint Bastian shared on the preparation side of things.  This year, BLM and the Forest Service went through a regional review recently.  In East Idaho, the Forest Service will be staffing 12 engines, and the BLM will staff 9 engines.  2 crews are out of Island Park.  Another out of the Bear River Zone near Soda/Montpelier.  BLM has a national hotshot crew stationed out of Pocatello.  BLM will have three dozers.  Aviation support will come in the form of two type three helicopters.  14 individuals will be on the crew in Pocatello and Swan Valley.  There will also be a type 1 (Blackhawk, skycrane) stationed in Pocatello.  No set aircraft assigned to the region.  Nationally there are a number of them available, though they will be located strategically throughout the west.  IDL (Idaho Department of Lands) is starting to make a stronger presence to protect state lands, with a program featuring a fire warden and assistants, as well as some additional engines.  The national situation will affect what is available at any given time.  One Wildfire engine and another Forest Service engine will be stationed in Malad.

Mike Johnston shared the fire season outlook.  “We have pretty good predictive services” in SLC, he said.   Factors include grass, snowfall, vegetation, etc.  “There is a lot of grass out there”.  The weather forecast suggests it will be warm and dry all year.  Southern Utah and Nevada have been cited as likely to have higher than average fire seasons.  Monsoons might be drier than they have been lately.  A little bit of precipitation once a week or so would keep fires at bay.  “It takes all of us working together to make it work,” Johnston said. Usually, the fires come two or three at a time.  Agreements between 38 fire departments, the BLM and Forest service, and IDL, should allow for a lot of mutual aid situations across
the state.  

Chairman Lewis asked about the potential for a public meeting for neighbors on the Malad/Downey slope area to discuss fire abatement and mediation strategies for the neighborhood.  The potential to hold such a meeting within the next 30-60 days was considered likely by Clint Bastian, who suggested he would help coordinate it.  

Commissioner Jeppsen inquired about water storage tanks, which were planned to be located on the summit.  Such tanks would not be located on public property, but the expense would most likely need to be covered by grants for location on private property. Assessor

The software system that the Assessor’s Office uses is no longer being supported.  A one year extension with the AS-400 system with software and hardware support for just over $3,684 can be obtained.

Alternately, a new system for generating assessment and taxes will cost over $35,145.  This would be a new IBM system, 3 year subscription, and conversion to the new system.  Kathleen contacted Janet James at the state office, and found out that another option would be a third party, who would provide them with access to a new system, UAD Web, which is the state program.  The only issue is that this will take until every other county is switched over.  The process will require a one year extension to fill the gap in the meantime at a cost of $3,684.  

Assessment corrections

More than 2000 parcels will need to be corrected as a result of non-irrigated ag assessments which were assessed at a value slightly higher per acre than they should have been.  Posting and printing of revised assessments will need to be paid for.  Revised assessments will be sent out to those on ownership of such property.  A motion to fund that mail was approved.  

PZ Department Status

Rhonda Neal spoke to the commissioners about the status of the PZ department.  7 conditional use permits are actively being processed.  2 minor subdivisions, and 1 major subdivision.  One large-scale subdivision is under review.  

Building permits are required to inhabit any building, including small mobile structures.

Opioid Settlement

Another opportunity to receive funds from a class action lawsuit involving Kroger related to negligence in the opioid over-prescribing epidemic was available.  A motion to authorize participation in the Kroger settlement was approved.

Board of Equalization

The county is required to schedule meeting time for a Board of Equalization in order to meet the requirements of the state statute.  This will require the commissioners to place the board on its agenda once a month, regardless of whether there is any business before it.  When there is no business before the board, it does not need to fully convene.

Town Hall Meeting

Commissioner Jeppsen suggested that the topic for the next Town Hall meeting should be emergency preparedness.  This will allow the county to prompt residents to pursue CERT training, which will provide people with basic skills in the areas of disaster preparation, triage, and other safety and response knowledge.  The more individuals and families are prepared for an emergency, the less the strain on the larger emergency response system.  

Chairman Lewis suggested that for the next two or three months, budget allocation would be consuming a lot of time.  October or November were considered to be good possible months for the next town hall.

The first town hall featured a presentation by Kathleen Atkinson, who spoke to residents about the assessment process.

IAC Conference Report

House Bill 425 is a state disaster response bill.  Cities do not need to identify counties when they are annexing property.  Senate Bill eliminates the committee of nine that was required to oversee the impact zone.  Jeppsen was not sure what that committee was replaced with.  

AARP Meeting  

Commissioner Jeppsen reported on the Livable cities meeting hosted by AARP.  The organization advocated the construction of structures for accommodating senior citizens in terms of user-friendly homes.  Although the concept was considered useful, methods for implementing the program were not necessarily clear, as the cost of constructing new homes is generally greater than the value of existing homes which would be sold.  A housing complex which was catered toward older residents was considered necessary before developers would be likely to begin constructing such homes.

LEPC Meeting

The LEPC meeting was recently held to discuss emergency planning issues.  One of the primary topics was the Emergency Power Shutoff plans from Idaho Power, which they indicated should be similar to Rocky Mountain Power’s plan for a similar emergency response.  Brian Jeppsen took on an assignment to communicate with Rocky Mountain Power.  Anecdotally, members in attendance suggested that they had received such notification.

New Vehicle Use policy

A new vehicle use policy for county vehicles was approved by the county after some minor changes to the proposed copy.  The policy lays out usage guidelines for vehicle use.  

Public Hearings—Development Code Amendments

A public hearing was held to discuss amendments to the PZ Development Code.  Rhonda Neal introduced the hearing by explaining the process, which involved the PZ commission suggesting amendments to the Development Code in response to public input and the function of the code in its first year.

Density requirements for quarter section have been proposed to be done away with.  Also, the PZ Commission has identified that original acres need to be at least 10 acres in an Ag zone before they can be split, owing to state ag requirements.  


--Confined Animal Feeding Operation was defined more clearly to mirror the kinds of situations that exist in the county.  Small less than 300, and Large 300-999 language is being used in place of “feed lot” language, as permitted used in Ag, and Conditional in Rural Residential.  

--Spelling clarifications

--Changes to schedule of zones.  Some conditional use changes.      

--Schedule of height, density regs.  R1 is one acre lots.  R2 are less than acre lots.  C1, I1, and Public.  An original parcel is anything that was created before 1/1/2000, which is when the Dev Code was adopted.  

--The 40 acre rule has been changed somewhat to eliminate density requirements.  This will be further discussed and clarified.

--Accessory building regulation has been changed to be more specific.

--Public comments were taken.  Kelly Anderson from Hwy 38 addressed the commission about the location of his property in the middle of Pleasantview.  He raised the point that the Feedlot definition in the code would allow for a 300 cow lot to be established near residences without any public conversation.  

Issues of splits dominated most of the public discussion.  

Density requirements have been removed as a result of the amendment changes.  There is no longer a density requirement in Ag Zones.  

Chairman Lewis and the other commissioners suggested that the permitted feedlot designation should be changed to conditional use, which would require an approved permit.  Changes to the code were approved, other than those dealing with animal feeding areas, which the commissioners would like to clarify.

Airport Overlay Zone

A second hearing was then held, dealing with the Airport Overlay Zone.  The airport overlay district creates building specifications that regulate the height of buildings that can be built within the approaches to the airport.  

It was reported that the airport’s beacon light was pilot-controlled so that it only runs when it is needed.

The airport overlay district was approved.

Gamble Rezone 

The final hearing of the afternoon involved a rezone request for property owned by the Gambles.  

Because the density requirement for Ag lots was eliminated, the purpose for which the hearing was called was no longer necessary, as the Gambles will be able to move forward with their development without requiring a rezone.  

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