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Top tags: City Officials' Day at the Capitol 

November 7, 2017 Post Election Wrap-Up

Posted By Justin Ruen, Thursday, November 9, 2017

There were several bonds, levies and other questions on the November 7, 2017 election ballot and we will quickly recap the results of those elections.

·    Voters in Sun Valley approved a $17.5 million general obligation bond for improvements to roads, paths and bridges with 67% of the vote.

·    A two-year override levy for preserving open space and enhancing the Boise River passed overwhelmingly with 83% of the vote in Boise.

·    Two citizen initiatives in Hailey on repealing and refunding development impact fees and eliminating annual business licensing both failed by wide margins.

·    A proposed $5 million general obligation bond for rebuilding Blackfoot’s city swimming pool failed narrowly to reach the required two-thirds threshold for approval.

·    A $3.2 million bond for a joint fire station serving the City of Genesee and Genesee Rural Fire Department passed with over 70% of the vote in both the city and the district.

·    A $2.8 million revenue bond for improving and updating Deary’s aging water infrastructure passed with 79% of the vote.

·    A proposed 2% increase in the power and natural gas franchise fee to fund street and sidewalk improvements in Lewiston failed to reach the required simple majority threshold. 

·    A $3.9 million revenue bond to fund a new water tank, well and other water system improvements in Iona for future growth passed with 56% of the vote.

·    Voters in New Meadows narrowly approved a $3.4 million revenue bond for a new well, booster station, reservoir, and other water system improvements.

·    An override levy in Mountain Home to pay for a new roof and remodeling of the city library passed with 57% of the vote.  

·    Voters in Culdesac approved issuing $1.5 million in revenue bonds to finance wastewater collection and treatment facility improvements with over 90% of the vote.

·    Voters in the City of Lava Hot Springs approved extending the city’s local option taxes (LOT), but did not approve using LOT revenue to finance construction of city buildings. 

·    A proposed $3.7 million revenue bond to finance improvements to the water system in Sugar City passed narrowly.

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Half Staff Notice

Posted By Justin Ruen, Monday, November 6, 2017
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
 

Presidential Proclamation Honoring the Victims of the Sutherland Springs, Texas Shooting

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

We are deeply saddened by the shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, which took the lives of more than 25 innocent victims while they were attending church. As we mourn the victims of this unprovoked act of violence, we pray for healing and comfort for all the family members and loved ones who are grieving.

As a mark of respect for the victims of this senseless act of violence perpetrated on November 5, 2017, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, November 9, 2017. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.

DONALD J. TRUMP

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Register Today for AIC Regional Academies in November & December

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The 2017 AIC Academies will be held in November and December at six locations throughout the state.  You can register for the Academies on the AIC website.

These daylong workshops will provide excellent training for new and veteran city elected officials and staff on the basics of city government, roles and responsibilities, personnel management basics, Idaho’s Open Meetings Law, ethics and conflict of interest, Idaho’s Public Records Law, liability protection for city officials, and much more.

The Academies are a great way for newly elected mayors and councilors to get up to speed on the most important issues that city officials face, helping them to understand where they fit in the puzzle of city government, and how to avoid potentially serious pitfalls.

The Academies will run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and will be held at the following locations:

·         Monday, November 27: Chubbuck at Idaho Central Credit Union Headquarters

·         Tuesday, November 28: Idaho Falls at Hilton Garden Inn

·         Wednesday, November 29: Twin Falls at Canyon Crest Event Center

·         Monday, December 4: Lewiston at Red Lion Hotel

·         Tuesday, December 5: Coeur d’Alene at Best Western Plus CDA Inn

·         Wednesday, December 13: Nampa at Nampa Civic Center

We hope you can join us!

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AIC Board Appoints Jessica "Jess" Harrison as Executive Director

Posted By Justin Ruen, Thursday, October 26, 2017

The AIC Board of Directors appointed Jessica “Jess” Harrison as Executive Director at a meeting on October 25.  Harrison will succeed Seth Grigg, who is leaving AIC to take the reins as Executive Director of the Idaho Association of Counties.

Harrison serves as Director of Government Affairs and Communication for the Idaho School Boards Association (ISBA) where she has focused on legislative advocacy, technical assistance and coordinating communication for the organization.

“Jessica has proven herself to be a strong advocate, a skilled communicator and a talented coalition builder during her time at ISBA,” said AIC President Jeri DeLange, Councilor from Hayden, Idaho.  “She brings the best possible combination of knowledge, skills and experience to the job.”

Harrison has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Masters of Public Administration from Boise State University.  She is also a graduate of the Leadership Boise program and was recognized as an “Accomplished Under 40” by the Idaho Business Review.

“I am passionate about helping Idaho communities thrive,” Harrison said.  “I am honored to serve as AIC’s Executive Director and recognize the vital role the association plays as the voice for Idaho cities.  I look forward to meeting city officials at the upcoming regional Academies and hearing your priorities for how AIC can best serve you.”    

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ICCTFOA Board Members Elected at 2017 Institute

Posted By Justin Ruen, Thursday, October 19, 2017
Members of the Idaho City Clerks, Treasurers and Finance Officers Association (ICCTFOA) elected the association's board of directors at the recent Institute in Boise, September 20-22.  

BessieJo Wagner, City Clerk of McCall, will serve as ICCTFOA President for 2017-18.  

“BessieJo has a very deep understanding of Idaho city government and she will be an excellent President for ICCTFOA,” said Seth Grigg, Executive Director of the Association of Idaho Cities.  “We look forward to a very productive year under her leadership.”

Congratulations to those elected to the ICCTFOA Board and thanks for your service to the city clerks and treasurers of Idaho!  The board members for 2017-18 are listed below.

Executive Officers
President: BessieJo Wagner, City Clerk, McCall
1st Vice President: Tonya Kennedy, City Clerk-Treasurer, Grangeville
2nd Vice President: Jennifer Belfield, City Treasurer, Ammon
Immediate Past Pres.: Blair Kay, City Clerk, Rexburg
Secretary: Nila Jurkovich, City Clerk-Treasurer, Kellogg

District Directors
District 1: Lori Yarbrough, City Clerk-Treasurer, Athol & Renata McLeod, City Clerk & Municipal Services Director, Coeur d'Alene 

District 2: Christina Bartlett, Deputy City Clerk, Elk River & Wendy Sandino, City Clerk, Juliaetta

District 3: Cami Hedges, City Clerk-Treasurer, Donnelly & Mac Qualls, City Clerk-Treasurer, New Meadows 

District 4: Lorna West, City Clerk-Treasurer, Hazelton & Emily Daubner, Deputy City Clerk, Filer 

District 5: Holly Powell, City Treasurer, Blackfoot & Ruth Whitworth, City Clerk, Pocatello 

District 6: Kathy Lehmann, Deputy Treasurer, St. Anthony & Kathy Hampton, City Clerk, Idaho Falls 

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Robbin Finch Retires

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Idaho Cities & Public Works Professionals,

There are people in Idaho that have had profound impacts on where we’ve been and where we’re going.  And then there’s Robbin Finch; whose contributions to Idaho communities and Public Works cannot be adequately described.  For those that may not have heard of Robbin, many of us and our fellow community members have benefitted from reading Robbin's excellent "AIC Water Quality Updates" over these many years.
 
Robbin has been with Boise City for over 30 years and his trailblazing work has fundamentally changed the way our nation manages water quality.  This is not hyperbole.  Robbin has been on the forefront of innovative Clean Water Act implementation strategies ranging from the Snake River-Hells Canyon TMDL to the Dixie Drain project and almost everything in between.  His counsel has been sought by everyone from national water quality experts to local municipalities trying to navigate a confusing regulatory framework.  His legacy will be lasting, as his groundbreaking ideas relating to pollutant trading, mercury minimization planning, and temperature compliance demonstrate.  Temperature compliance, for example, will continue to be the foundation of Boise's ongoing negotiations with EPA and shall likely set a precedent for how our nation manages temperature issues.  But perhaps most importantly, Robbin accomplished all this while being one of the kindest and hardworking people we have known.    
 
On a personal note, as his wife I am blessed to have him as my most trusted confidante and friend.  Robbin’s encyclopedic knowledge of the Clean Water Act, climate change issues, renewable energy, and generally anything related to sustainability has helped many of us navigate a challenging landscape ... and kept us out of trouble on more than one occasion!         
 
Please join us at the Association of Idaho Cities in wishing Robbin the very best in a well-deserved retirement!  Robbin can be reached through his email robbinfinch@gmail.com

A link to Robbin's retirement announcement can be found HERE.  

 

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Groundwater Foundation: 2017 National Conference and Resources

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A unique opportunity to learn more about groundwater and ways to protect and conserve this critical local resource is being provided next week in Boise.  On October 24 - 26, 2017 the Groundwater Foundation will hold their 2017 National Confernence at the Grove Hotel in downtown Boise.  Applications for CLE and continuing education credits are planned. 

Background:

Groundwater - it may be hidden from view, but it is a critical resource in meeting  the growing demands for drinking water, agriculture, and industry in communities across the United States and around the globe. Overuse, depletion, and contamination threaten groundwater every day. It’s up to all of us to lead the way in identifying and implementing solutions to  protect and conserve groundwater.

The Groundwater Foundation’s National Conference has a track record of showcasing real-world solutions to groundwater management, and the 2017 Conference will be no different. 

The 2017 conference will take advantage of many of the great things Boise has to offer to provide a fun and meaningful experience for conference attendees.  This includes educational presentations, case-studies, targeted networking sessions, recognition of outstanding efforts, team-building activities, and local site visits and tours.

For those that can't attend but are interensted in learning more about groundwater protection, please take advantage of the Groundwater Foundation's "on demand webinars" and "water1der" smart phone application.

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Solid Waste: Idaho Cities "Talk Trash"

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Solid waste collection within Idaho is characterized by waste collection within cities for delivery to county-owned and operated landfills.  Waste collection may be conducted by public or private entities, such as under a sole source contract, with a city-owned fleet, or by private haulers.

In the spring of 2017 the Association of Idaho Cities (AIC) surveyed its member cities to obtain information about city solid waste services, utility rates and other issues.  This was followed by an additional, more informal, survey of City Clerks attending the fall 2017 Idaho City Clerks, Treasurers and Finance Officers Association (ICCTFOA) Institute.

Results from these kinds of surveys can be used to compare cities’ current policies and practices to other cities, and highlight common issues present throughout the State.  Survey results are also used by AIC to advocate for cities at the State level. AIC gives cities access to the aggregated results so they can use it as a reference and for comparison to other cities’ rates and data.

The responses to both of these surveys were voluntary and do not represent a statistically significant data set.  For example, it is not possible to draw conclusions about similar cities that did not participate. Information for individual cities should be carefully assessed in light of individual solid waste facility and utility planning needs.

Summary: Spring 2017 Solid Waste Survey

Participation: Response to Spring 2017 Solid Waste Survey

Services

<1,000

1,000-4,999

5,000-14,999

15,000-49,999

>50,000

Total

# Solid Waste

37

27

11

7

7

89

# Cities by Population (Idaho)

118

49

18

8

7

200

% Represented (Idaho)

31%

55%

61%

88%

100%

54%

 

The spring 2017 survey asked cities what a residential solid waste customer would be charged for an example 65-gallon trash bin (i.e., as a way to provide a comparison among cities).   The relative rates across the State, and among various city sizes, was found to be quite similar.

Table 5.1: Average Solid Waste Collection Rates – Responding Cities

Population

Monthly Rate

n

Standard Deviation

<1,000

$ 16.91

20

$ 5.67

1,000-4,999

$ 14.62

15

$ 6.93

5,000-14,999

$ 15.33

6

$ 2.82

15,000-49,999

$ 18.41

5

$ 6.02

>50,000

$ 13.98

5

$ 3.47

Statewide Average

$ 15.85

51

$ 4.98

 

When adjusted for a cost of living increase, the average 2010 rate of cities is generally $2.14 lower than the 2017 average.  However, 10 out of the 33 responding cities showed the 2017 rates were less than the adjusted 2010 rates.  It is possible that these rates do not reflect cost of living increases.

Solid Waste Collection Rate Comparisons for Responding Cities

2010

2010 Low

2010 High

2017

2017 Low

2017 High

Average Increase

n

$ 14.19

$ 5.21

$ 20.04

$ 16.32

$ 8.00

$ 28.49

$ 2.14

33

 

Most cities have increased their solid waste collection rates within the last three years.  The most common year for rate changes for all city sizes was 2016. Only 2 out of the 41 cities that responded have not adjusted their rates within the last 3 years; and almost all cities increased their rates.

Average Rate Update and Percent Change for Responding Cities – Solid Waste Collections

Year

Mode

% Change

n

Comments

2015

2016

7.4%

41

Note: 1 decreased rates

 

The spring 2017 survey asked respondents to elaborate on why their solid waste collection rates increased and were provided the option to select multiple reasons. For solid waste collection the top reasons for rate changes included inflation or CPI, contract negotiations, and labor costs.

Catalysts for Solid Waste Rate Changes – Responding Cities

Inflation or CPI: 81%

Contract Negotiated Increases: 81%

Labor Costs: 71%Capital Improvements: 39%

State of Federal Mandates: 33%

Treatment Costs: 23%

Other: 3%

n: 31

 

Cities were asked about the solid waste collection rate structures.  The majority of the responding cities charge a flat monthly rate with a volume limit.

Solid Waste Collection Rate Structures – Responding Cities

Flat Rate – No Volume Limit

Flat Rate – Volume Limit

Per Service*

n

21%

69%

8%

51

* Includes trash, recycling, hazardous waste, and large object collections.

Supplemental services that divert waste into other programs (i.e., recycling, hazardous waste collections, and compost) are provided to residents within 47% of the responding cities with populations greater than 5,000, and 9% of those with populations less than 5,000.  Large object collection services are provided by roughly two-thirds of those cities that responded to the survey.

Supplemental Solid Waste Services – Responding Cities

Population

Additional Trash/Large Object

Waste Diversion*

n

<5,000

60%

9%

35

>5,000

79%

47%

19

Total

67%

22%

54

* Recycling and hazardous waste collections.

Cities were asked about the most challenging issues they faced as they provided solid waste collection services.  Similar to other utility services, challenges relating to a small customer base impacted many of the responding cities, followed by inadequate or aging infrastructure.

Solid Waste Collection – Most Challenging Issues for Responding Cities

Small Customer Base: 69%

Aging or Inadequate Infrastructure: 47%

Inadequate Funding: 24%

Challenging Regulatory Requirements: 18%

Limited Access to Operations and/or Maintenance Staff: 15%

Limited Access to Landfill Facilities: 12%

Limited Access to Additional Funding for Reserves: 9%

Small Pool of Governing Officials: 3%

Other: 24%

n: 34

 

Summary: Fall 2017 ICCTFOA Solid Waste Survey

Participation: Friday Morning Round Table

Services

<1,100

1,100-4,999

>5,000

Total

# Participating Cities

16

21

23

60

# Cities by Population (Idaho)

118

49

33

200

% Represented (Idaho)

14%

43%

70%

30%

 

The fall 2017 survey inquired about how the solid waste collection services were provided, and what are the pressing solid waste issues facing the participating cities.  For the limited sub-set of Idaho cities (60 out of 200), it appears as though slightly more than half of Idaho cities develop sole source contracts for city-wide collection services.  Also, the apparent trend is that slightly more than half of the larger cities provide their own collection services.

Solid Waste Collection – Service Framework (% of Participating Cities)

< 1,100

1,100 - 5,000

> 5,000

Total

City-Provided Collection

13%

24%

52%

32%

Sole Source Contract, City-Wide

75%

62%

30%

53%

Multiple Private Collectors

13%

14%

17%

15%

 

Diversion services can prolong the life of landfills, while establishing means to reclaim waste for additional re-purposing and raw material conservation.  These efforts, coupled with an active asset management program, can help avoid dramatic rate increases (a.k.a., rate shock).  Results of the fall survey show that slightly more than half of participating cities support some kind of waste diversion programs, but that active collaboration between Idaho cities and counties is limited.

Solid Waste Collection – Diversion Services (% of Participating Cities)

< 1,100

1,100 - 5,000

> 5,000

Total

Recycling or Green Waste Diversion?

25%

76%

52%

53%

Actively Working with Counties for Diversion?

13%

33%

22%

23%

% Idaho City Represented

14%

43%

70%

30%

 

Pressing solid waste issues facing the fall 2017 ICCTFOA round table participants were discussed and are listed here.  Please note that this list is not prioritized or comprehensive.  Further, the listed issues may or may not have statewide implications.

Solid Waste Issues Facing ICCTFOA Participants

Issue

Comments

Sole Source Contracting

Best management practices for contract development and elements are needed.

Glass Recycling is Costly & Difficult

Ground glass is used for road bed material in Idaho only; no other industrial uses exist.

High Cost of New Landfills

This has prompted regional landfill planning for Lewis, Idaho, Adams Counties.

Local Landfill Availability

Example: Freemont County relies on a transfer station to the Jefferson County landfill.

Contamination in Collected Recycling

Excessive contamination prevents diversion and causes additional costs to the program.

 

For questions or further discussion, please contact AIC Environmental Policy Analyst, Johanna Bell at jbell@idahocities.org

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Dr. Stephanie Witt Receives Award for Service to Idaho City Clerks, Treasurers and Finance Officers Association

Posted By Justin Ruen, Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Idaho City Clerks, Treasurers and Finance Officers Association (ICCTFOA) honored Dr. Stephanie Witt of Boise State University (BSU) with the 2017 Dr. James B. Weatherby Award at the association’s annual Institute in Boise on September 21.

The Dr. James B. Weatherby Award is given annually by the ICCTFOA to individuals who have served the city clerks, treasurers and finance officers in their pursuit of excellence, effectiveness and efficiency in municipal government.  The award is named after Dr. James B. Weatherby, former Director of the Public Policy Center at Boise State University and a past executive director of the Association of Idaho Cities.

Dr. Witt currently serves as a professor in the School of Public Service and as director of the Masters of Public Administration program at BSU. 

Stephanie received her B.A., Masters and Doctoral degrees from Washington State University.  She began her career at BSU in 1989 as a political science professor, and chaired the Political Science Department for four years.  Stephanie served as director of the Public Policy Center at BSU for five years.   She has co-authored several books on the urban west, human resource management and intergovernmental relations.

Stephanie managed the Mountain West Municipal Clerks and Treasurers Institute for several years, providing outstanding training for city clerks and treasurers.  She is also a frequent presenter at the Association of Idaho Cities Annual Conference, ICCTFOA Institute and other local government association meetings in Idaho. 

“We greatly appreciate Dr. Witt’s outstanding service to the city clerks, treasurers and finance officers of Idaho and we are pleased to present her with this very well-deserved recognition,” said ICCTFOA President Blair Kay, City Clerk from Rexburg. 

  

 Attached Thumbnails:

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Protect Reclaimed/Wastewater Treatment Works with an Industrial Users Survey

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Sunday, September 24, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Idaho cities with publicly owned waste/reclaimed water treatment works (POTWs) recently received an email with a link to the new Idaho Industrial Users Survey Guidance.  This guidance is one of a number of important resources developed in preparation for the phase-in of Idaho’s authority to issue POTW and Pretreatment program permits next July (2018).  

The primary purpose of an industrial users survey is to protect your city’s waste/reclaimed water treatment system.  By regularly interacting with industrial customers you will know what is being discharged to your waste collection system so you can ensure your city’s treatment process and facilities are not harmed or out of compliance with your discharge permit. The survey can also be used to help evaluate the impact of new customers. For example, if a small metal finisher wants to begin operating in your town it’s important to understand the possible impacts of this new customer to your treatment system and whether a Pretreatment program is required.  

The templates in the new IDEQ Guidance lists the minimum information needed and can be used ‘as is’ or adapted to your city’s existing survey - provided it sufficiently characterizes the nature and volume of the discharge from each user. Providing industrial user information to the IDEQ will allow staff to better assist your city when a Pretreatment program is required.

Please alert your city's POTW Operations staff to the upcoming December deadline.

Whether your POTW already has a program, needs a program now, or needs a program in the future, IDEQ is asking each POTW to complete an industrial user survey to gather signed, certified information from each non-domestic user by December 31st, 2017.  If your city already has a Pretreatment program, simply send the current industrial user survey in its entirety from your most recent Pretreatment Annual Report.  For those cities that are not required to have a Pretreatment program, your POTW permits require that an industrial user survey be completed every 5 years.

For more information, please contact Brynn Lacabanne, IDEQ Pretreatment and Biosolids Coordinator at (208) 373-0289 or brynn.lacabanne@deq.idaho.gov

 

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