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Idaho Enterprise

County Commissioners Meeting 3/13

Schedule Canvass

The results of the election for the school bond need to be certified by next week.  The Commissioners settled on Monday of next week to finalize the bond canvass on March 20 at 9:00 a.m. in the Commissioners room at the courthouse.

Opioid Setlement

The Board of County Commissioners is required to sign documents in order to participate in the national opioid settlement resulting from a class action lawsuit.  The document details the ways in which the money from the settlement that are paid out to the county.  Five opioid manufacturers have agreed to the settlement, but have made minor, non-substantive changes to the documents, which require new signatures from county officials. The commission moved to sign the documents and asked County Clerk Lon Colton to advise on the proper ways to dispense those funds in the future.  The funds can only be used for training, education, and opioid remediation purposes.

Property Tax Exemption

A request form to maintain tax exempt status in the county has been received from the local LDS church authorities.  All tax exempt entities who own property in the county are required to file such a request by April.  A motion to approve the property tax exemption for parcels owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in compliance with state code was passed.

Medical indigent letters of assignment

The county is responsible for the first $11K of any indigent medical claims filed.  The program has been discontinued, but there are several outstanding cases that need to be resolved.  A motion to sign the letters of assignment to the state for a range of CAT numbers was made and approved.

State Animal Damage Control Board Report

The State Animal Damage Control board is primarily called upon in Oneida county to trap/eliminate animals in the county that predate local livestock.  This mostly concerns coyotes (99), and raccoons (6) over the last year.  The control is done for the most part from a fixed wing plane.  The bill to the county for services was $2,000 for 2022.  

Emergency Services Office

Emergency Planner Dan Williams spoke to the commission about a number of topics related to emergency services.  Burlap sacks are available through the department for filling with pumice or sand in the event of flooding.  Williams suggested that the county should plan to acquire more bags for the upcoming thaw.  Bags can be filled with waste perlite from Hess Pumice.  There are currently 1,000 poly bags, and around 5,000 burlap bags, though some may not be in good shape due to the way they had been stored in Bear Lake County.  Additional bags can be purchased through EMPG funds.  Bags and filler material will be available at the Fire Station.  People can bring a shovel to fill bags, which will be available.  They will be available in Holbrook soon.

Williams explained that an Idaho Office of Emergency Management team from Boise will be visiting to perform an earthquake assessment on local buildings, along with those in several surrounding counties.  The team is requesting a list of buildings in Malad for assessment purposes.  The Assessors Office will need to coordinate with the county’s insurance company for building values, after the buildings are selected.  The Event Center, the Courthouse, the schools, the county annex, church houses, and other structures were suggested as potential emergency buildings of note.  The commissioners determined to begin work on a list.  

Crisis Center Letter of Thanks

Holly Llewellyn of the Oneida Crisis Center sent a letter to the Board of County Commissioners thanking it for support in the recent budget year.  The letter was read into the record.

Historical Signs

The museum board has identified 20 different locations, mostly downtown, as features in a walking tour.  The buildings have been chosen for their historic value and community interest.  Two of the locations—the LaGrande Dance Hall (currently the pool facility) and Courthouse—are county buildings.  The museum board requested permission to post the signs at those locations.  The commissioners motioned to give the museum board permission by unanimous approval.

County Goals

Commissioner Lewis expressed an interest in increasing the regularity of reporting from the various county departments, potentially on a quarterly basis.  This might potentially also involve a town hall meeting format which would involve all county departments.  Bannock county has undertaken this process in order to increase community awareness and involvement.

Finishing the Impact Zone ordinance, the comprehensive plan, a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis for the county, the creation of a quarterly newsletter, reviewing ordinances and codifying them, improving the county website, and instituting more frequent reporting from departments were noted as the primary goals, and each was assigned to a specific person.

Town Hall Meeting

Continuing on the topic of a town hall meeting, Chairman Lewis discussed the potential for local town hall meetings, which would include as many elected officials and department heads were available to interact and engage with citizens.  Commissioners Eliason and Jeppsen were both very favorable to the suggestion.  A date for April 12 was tentatively set by the commission for a public meeting involving elected officials and department heads.  County Assessor Kathleen Atkinson suggested that beginning such meetings with some form of informative session would be a good idea.  She suggested that a session which featured an explanatory element about something such as the application of property taxes might be a useful way to provide information to the community.  This would also serve as a chance to potentially hear from state senators and representatives, to introduce the community to the county’s new website, and raise other points of public interest.

TV Translator Fees

Leigh Love spoke to the commission on behalf of the Treasurer’s office about the TV translator board.  Two instances of people who were charged through the TV translator taxing authority petitioned to have their TV taxes exempted, as they are unable to receive TV signals in the county.  The two requests were granted by the commission.

County Website

Lon Colton updated the commission on the progress of the county’s interactive website.  The website is currently running, but it was expressed that a single website administrator to regulate and control the content was necessary.  The county is working at training a point person, Rachel Clark for the position.  The county’s website is

Emergency Kit for Cars

Kathleen Atkinson spoke to the commissioners about the lack of emergency kits in the county cars.  Several people have elected not to take the county cars in lieu of reimbursement as a result of the lack of emergency kits.  These would include roadside flashers, shovels, flashlights, seatbelt cutters and glass breakers, jumper cables, first aid materials, fireproof matches, water, etc.  In addition, a discussion of providing first aid training to county employees was discussed.  A budget of up to $100 per car to purchase emergency roadside kits was approved through a motion.  

Development Code Recommendations

The Commission spoke about recommended changes for the Development Code.  Attorney Cody Brower joined on the phone.  Brower reported on a recent meeting with Commission Chair Josh Paskett, the state engineer, and the code writers from Boise.  It was determined that the current code has potentially prohibited some things that were not intended to be prohibited.  The committee agreed on several of the sections that need to be changed to address those concerns.  The next step will be to remand the changes back to the PZ commission, or to make those changes and hold a public hearing on them.  The changes have been designed to make some of the clauses less restrictive than they were in their original form.

Comp Plan Review

The need to review, update and clarify the comprehensive plan for the county was discussed.  The Comp Plan has not been updated since 2017.  It is currently being discussed within the Planning and Zoning Commission as an ongoing issue, which is inextricably tied to the new Development Code.  Kathleen Atkinson from the Assessor’s office suggested that a flood plain map is something that needs to be added to the plan and updated.  The Impact Zone is also a major issue with regard to the Comprehensive Plan. 

The commission discussed a variety of approached to expediting the finalization of the plan.  

The comprehensive plan sets the county’s largest scale goals for development, such as “maintain the value of agricultural land” or “manage growth effectively to meet the community’s needs.”  The comprehensive plan helps to guide to application and formation of planning and zoning issues throughout the county, as well as inform decisions going forward.

The commissioners set the discussion for future meetings.

Road Ownership Question

DelMar Williams, Jayden Earl, Lex Firth, spoke to the commission about two spots on 191 where the county roads overlap with private roads around 7500 S.  The county determined that the roads were not technically under their control at present, so there was nothing the commission could do to arbitrate the situation.

County Policies

As part of an ongoing attempt to examine, revise and update county policies, the commissioners looked at policies regarding vehicle usage.  The regulations against non-county employees riding in county cars was discussed.  The distinction between “agents of the county” and other passengers was delineated.  On some occasions, county employees transport other stakeholding individuals to county events, which the commission felt should be covered.  Commissioner Jeppsen stressed to the commission that any designations of individuals would need to be authorized by the insurance holder.  

The lack of a drug test for accident reporting was also noted.  Currently, the county drug policy holds that any accident requires a timely drug test as a component of the investigation.

The Event Center policy was also discussed.  Rental fees of a $300 full day rental fee were clarified, or $50/hr up to four hours.  Payment is required at time of request, along with a deposit.  The specifics of the deposit and payment system were discussed.  Making rental payment possible through the county website was mentioned as a way to make arrangements easier for people interested in renting the facility.


The commission has received more bids for an extra storage tank for fuel.  A 12,000 gallon tank, with installation was bid at $45K.  Including the dispensing system, the final bid for the tank was around $80K.  Commissioner Eliason is continuing to work on bids for the potential project to install a reserve fuel tank for county use.    

Groundskeeper Position


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