Skip to main content

Idaho Enterprise

City Council Meeting 1/11

The City Council met with Casey Jones to discuss the annexation of property south of town into the city

Annexation—Casey Jones

Casey Jones spoke to the council about property on 100 W and 710 S/888 S. Jones is interested in having the properties annexed into the city. The properties are a few hundred feet south of the city limits. The property would be used to create residential lots. The development would take place in phases. The mayor asked Jones whether any neighbors in the area had been consulted. They had not. The mayor indicated that she would like to hear back from city engineers about the results of water and sewer studies. Because the property would not be contiguous with current city property, the question of the intervening properties’ consent will be an important element of any decision. Jones expressed interest in creating a 55+ community development.


Brad and Melanie Coleman

Melanie and Brad Coleman spoke to the City Council about the light show, which the

two were primarily responsible for over the holiday season. The council was curious about

what the Colemans would like to do with the light show moving forward. Brad expressed the

sentiment that the Colemans would like to donate the display to the city for a yearly display.

Mayor Hawkins mentioned that many people in the community had expressed interest in

donating to the project. Some discussion of a potential committee to oversee the setup and

programming of the show was had. A committee of around four or five people was suggested

for the initial year. The mayor requested an upkeep budget for the Colemans as a starting

point. A starting range of up to $5000 was mentioned, though the Colemans were interested in

keeping it at around the same size as the display in 2022.

Brad mentioned that the ground near two of the trees was extremely hard, due to the

sprinklers having not been run beforehand.

Melanie also raised the issue of the Co-op windows, which she had decorated for 2022.

Melanie wondered whether it would be possible to use music in conjunction with the window

displays for upcoming displays.


Jon Abrams

Superintendent Jon Abrams and Brandon spoke to the council about the upcoming bond

election for the new elementary school. Abrams was clear to emphasize that the upcoming

bond will not result in any change to taxes in the city or county. The bond is designed to allow

the School District to qualify for state bond equilization, which will account for almost 40% of the total cost.

The School District already has resources on hand to fund the remaining amount, but will not be able to complete a new school without the bond equilization from the state, which requires a 66.66% majority from voters for passage.

The bond will not allow for the building of additional facilities such as an auditorium,

etc., as the building capacity for funding would not allow for it in the same cycle. The bond will

be paid off in three years.  After two years of the bond are paid off, the School District would begin bonding for the auditorium component.  The city council was asked whether they would be able to come out in support of the project.

The exact location will essentially be on the footprint of the recently demolished high

school.

Terrell raised the point of the likely savings in utility costs , considering the high

efficiency design of the new building, and the aging infrastructure of the current elementary.

Utility savings will affect taxes to the positive.

The council expressed support for the new elementary school, and taking advantage of

the opportunity the bond.

Lance Tripp motioned to support the new school, and a motion to do so was approved

unanimously.


Talje Hoene—University of Idaho

The University of Idaho is interested in providing more mental health resources to rural

communities. Talje explained that the project would involve a partnership with Malad City.

Weiser is one of the current collaborators, and has recently benefitted from resulting community initiatives that have resulted from it. The partnership would come with $3,000 of funding

to be used according to whatever plans were developed in conversation between the UI group

and the community. The project would involve a series of 6 sessions, which would involve

communication between the group and whoever the city decides to establish as the community

representatives. An introductory meeting, sometime in February, would be the first step in

setting up the process.


Planning and Zoning Board Appointment

Brandon Extrum has accepted a position on the Planning and Zoning Board to fill a

vacancy. A motion to officially appoint him was approved.


Updates on Present Projects

Mayor Hawkins updated the council on current projects. The county has decided to

retain the roads in question that it had considered turning over to the city. The lift station

building for the sewer is under remodeling. The issue of impact fees was discussed. Currently,

there are no specific impact fees in place in the city. Impact fees generally apply to developers

to cover the costs to the city of installing infrastructure.

The city has come to an agreement with the county to make Bannock street the detour

route for the period of construction.

Lance Tripp updated the council on the progress of the pickle ball courts. Nucor is

donating rebar to the project, which the city hopes will result in eight courts. Donations have

been received from Ace hardware, and a grant has been applied for through Maverick. The

project is hoped to begin construction in the spring.

Quotes for a new shed for storage in the park have been received. A 30’ by 50’ with a

12 by 12 door came in at $36,931.


Set Goals

The council discussed its goals for the upcoming year.

Several of the council members, the City Superintendent and the mayor as designated work on the water system as a major priority. A possible grant from Bureau of Reclamation was discussed as a potential means to defray costs on the project. DEQ has advised that Gov Little added water as a priority to Idaho First! Plan. This would hopefully allow for updated water meters to be purchased under new state funding.

Painting the outside of the Co-op bldg. is the first major step toward the longterm Co-op project. According to the mayor, there are grants available for community buildings with historic importance that the Co-op building should qualify for.

Grants are also being sought for new playground equipment in the city park.  The current equipment is certainly showing some signs of wear, and the ground cover is in need of replacement.

The City Council would also like to finish the horsehoe pits.

Councilman Larry Thomas discussed the need for new siding on restroom building, and possibly a pavilion over the speaking platform at the City Cemetery.

Tyrell Neal discussed possibilities for a new City recreation building/field house for the park’s athletic fields.  The idea of forming a committee to start working on it was raised.

Jaime Olsen raised the issue of the lights on North Main, in addition to reaffirming the importance of the water metering system.  The lights on North Main have been struck by vehicles several times, and various possibilities for creating a concrete base to prevent damage to the light poles themselves were raised.

Lance Tripp identified the creation of a pickle ball court as an important goal for the year.  An active group of citizens have been lobbying for a set of pickle ball courts near the City Park facility. Tripp also mentioned the need to laser level the park’s baseball facilities, as well as running sprinkler lines throughout to keep the green space green throughout the summer.

Tyler Webster again reiterated the need for a plan to replace water meters across the city, to allow for more efficient water management. He would also like to see a project to uncover at least a quarter of city manholes and run a camera through them. He would like to identify them all, and if necessary raise them to grade with the street surface. Webster woul also like to try to get employees certified for water and wastewater management, as well as the Road Scholar for LHTAC.

A range of policies related to city employees for things like ipad ownership were discussed.  The general issue was that the city had no policies related to ipads, which required the purchasing of new ones to replace those taken by former city employees after their employment had ended.  A two year term of service before the devices were considered outdated was discussed, but not formalized.

Webster also mentioned his desire to clarify the existing School Zone signage, and paint crosswalks to reinforce the existing street level indicators.

The council were instructed to read through the Comprehensive plan, with an eye toward seeing what needs to be changed or updated.

Mayor Hawkins herself is in the last year of her current term. She has not decided whether or not to run again.  Susan Wittman is planning on retiring in the next three years. Mayor Hawkins has looked into creating a City Administrator position, which is an administrative role within the city government that would create a second line of continuity for administrative functions for the future.  Many Idaho cities use a City Administrator position, alongside a mayor, to support the administrative functions of city government.  The council will be meeting with Senator Kelly Anthon, who has served in the role, in order to get a better sense of what the job title would entail and how it would affect city government.


Advisory Reports

Shelly Williams of Planning and Zoning reported that her committee is trying to update/go over ordinances, with an eye toward having the revisions done by spring. She noted a number of redundancies and inconsistencies in the current code, which makes the current ordinance hard to use, and leads to some confusion about policy implications.

Tyler Webster explained that the city crew have started plowing the park parking lot, but that backing up is a problem in a large vehicle, and that the ATV isn’t working, as the blade is not designed for dealing with snow of that size and weight.  Webster requested a blade to be attached to a pickup, rather than an ATV. He explained that such a blade would allow for easier plowing of a number of places, including cemetery, walking path, field of dreams, etc. The cost would be around $10K installed. A bid will be sought. The possibility of a used blade was raised, which both Webster and others agreed would likely come with quality and upkeep complications.  A motion to approve up to 10K for a truck snowplow was passed.

The council then discussed a number of place around town that they had observed or been informed about that required pothole filling.  As a result of winter weather, plowing, and other factors, potholes are often at their worst during the winter and spring months.  Several immediate locations were noted, as well as those to be attended to as soon as weather permitted.