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The AIC Blog connects the association staff to our membership, provides informative updates on state and federal policy issues, and spotlights upcoming AIC training, conferences and events.

 

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Top tags: City Officials' Day at the Capitol 

AIC Regional Academies Coming in December!

Posted By Justin Ruen, Friday, November 15, 2019

With the city candidate election over, it is a good time to remind folks about the upcoming AIC Regional Academies that will be held in December in six locations around the state.

You can register for the Academies via the AIC website.

These daylong workshops will provide excellent training for new and veteran city elected officials and staff on:

  • Roles & Responsibilities
  • Basics of Open Meetings
  • Personnel Management Fundamentals
  • Ethical Leadership
  • Liability Protection
  • Legislative Hot Topics, 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.

AIC will not be having a standalone Fall/Winter Legislative Committee meeting this year (as we normally have in Boise), so the legislative issues discussion will be incorporated as part of the Academies agenda. 

The Academies will run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and will be held at the following locations.  We hope you can join us!

 

 

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Free Webinar: Firefighting Foams - Practical Considerations to Going Flourine-free

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Tuesday, November 12, 2019

PLEASE SHARE WIDELY - THIS IS AN IMPORTANT POLLUTION PREVENTION EFFORT FOR AIC MEMBERS AND OUR OTHER FIRE FIGHTING COALITION PARTNERS

 

Join the Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse (IC2) for a *FREE* webinar on transitioning away from firefighting foams that contain fluorinated chemicals.


Tuesday, November 19, 12:00 - 1:30pm Pacific / 3:00 - 4:30pm Eastern / 8:00 - 9:30pm UTC

 

Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5173109152592025101

 

Please feel free to share this with your networks!

 

Learn about:

• Why fluorine-based firefighting foams are a concern

• Regulatory scan – global, US

• Alternatives – performance and their environmental profiles

• Practical considerations - training, equipment, and costs

• Cleanout and disposal methods for fluorinated foams

 

Speakers:

• Ian Ross, Arcadis (UK)

• Nigel Holmes, Queensland (Australia) Department of Environment & Science

• Captain Kurt Plunkett, Seattle Fire Department

• Niall Ramsden, LASTFIRE (UK)

• Peter Storch, Arcadis (Australia)

• Jen Jackson, San Francisco Department of the Environment (Moderator)

 

Webinar hosted by the Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse (IC2).

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AIC Publishes IPDES Monte Carlo Guidance

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Association of Idaho Cities (AIC) is providing a guidance on the application of Monte Carlo to develop water quality-based effluent limits (WQBELs) for the benefit of our members with publicly owned treatment works (POTWs). An analysis of potential WQBELs may include Monte Carlo when data are available and when limits needing to reflect the receiving water’s load carrying capacity are preferred. 

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) lists the use of Monte Carlo as an example of a probabilistic approach in the development of a Reasonable Potential Analysis (RPA, DEQ 2017). AIC encourages those wishing to apply Monte Carlo work closely with their DEQ permit writer for a common understanding and to ensure the regulatory support necessary for a successful outcome.

Implementing the Monte Carlo method to develop receiving water appropriate limits should only occur after other methods have indicated that site conditions warrant this detailed analysis. The historical use of Monte Carlo for assessing effluent limits (i.e., permissible discharges) is not well documented. The use may only be documented in individual permit fact sheets. Not only are these information sources difficult to locate, but they are also not permanent and may be lost during the renewal of the permit.  

It is highly recommended to discuss a possible Monte Carlo analysis with DEQ prior to initiating this analysis.  There are data quality objectives, quality assurance and control concerns, and general “appropriateness” issues to discuss and agree upon prior to a POTW expending their limited resources on an effort the DEQ cannot support.  For example, many receiving water bodies in Idaho have established TMDLs with waste load allocations for POTWs.  In these cases, and for these parameters, there is no assimilative capacity to allow adjustments to the WQBELs.

The Association of Idaho Cities would like to thank HDR staff Michael Kasch, Allison Tyner Hornak, Tom Dupuis, and Dave Clark; Boise City staff Kate Harris; Idaho Department of Environmental Quality staff Mary Anne Nelson, Troy Smith, A.J. Maupin, and Matt Stutzman.

An overview presentation on the AIC "Data Analysis for Effluent Limitations using Monte Carlo" is available HERE.

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2020 Census Update

Posted By Justin Ruen, Friday, November 8, 2019

The 2020 Census is right around the corner and by April 1, 2020, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census.

The 2020 Census is the first time you can respond online, however you have three other options for responding in person, by phone, and by mail. If responding online you can do that from your home computer, laptop, or even respond on your mobile device. We are partnering with Idaho’s Libraries to help provide wi-fi access to rural locations throughout the state to accommodate folks who don’t have wi-fi access at home.

The Census Bureau will be providing 2020 Census Questionnaire Assistance in 12 non-English languages; enumerator instrument, bilingual paper questionnaire, bilingual mailing, and field enumeration materials in Spanish; and language guides, language glossaries, and language identification card in 59 non-English languages.

The decennial census was first taken in 1790, as mandated by the Constitution, and counts our population and households. In turn it provides the basis for reapportioning congressional seats, redistricting, and distributing more than $675 billion in federal funds annually to support states, counties and communities’ like yours. These funds provide support to vital programs impacting services like highways and roads, housing, education, transportation, employment, health care and public policy.

Pop quiz: Did you know that in 2017 Idaho was the nation's fastest-growing state? Idaho's population grew by 2.2 percent from July 1, 2016 to July 1, 2017.  To help us reach our communities the Census Bureau is currently hiring for temporary, part-time positions. Check out www.2020census.gov/jobs to apply. Shape your future. Start here.

Carolina Valderrama-Echavarria M.A

Partnership Specialist (Idaho)

carolina.valderrama.echava@2020census.gov 

 

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November 2019 Post-Election Wrap-Up

Posted By Justin Ruen, Thursday, November 7, 2019

In addition to city candidate elections, there were quite a few bonds, levies and other ballot issues decided at the November 5, 2019 election.  We will quickly cover those results.

·         Voters in Ponderay passed a five-year 1% local option sales tax that excludes lodging and sales of $1,000 or more.  The revenue will be used to fund safe public access to Lake Pend Oreille and the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail with a railroad underpass, and development of the local “Field of Dreams” recreation facility.  

·         Genesee voters overwhelmingly approved a $7 million revenue bond for improvements to the city’s wastewater treatment and collection system. 

·         The City of Fruitland’s proposed $2.6 million general obligation bond for a new police station and renovations to city hall narrowly failed to pass. 

·         Voters in the City of Cascade did not pass a proposed two-year local option tax of 1% on all purchases of $1,000 and less, which would have been used to fund street and sidewalk improvements, and parks maintenance.

·         The City of Lava Hot Springs approved a ballot measure allowing the city to use local option tax revenue for acquiring land and constructing municipal buildings with 74% of the vote.

·         Voters in the City of Ketchum approved a $11.5 million general obligation bond for a new fire station with at least four drive-through bays and an adjoining firehouse with sleeping quarters.

·         City of Boise voters approved two ballot initiatives that require library projects of $25 million or more and stadium projects of $5 million or more to be approved by voters prior to the city appropriating or spending money or incurring debt on such projects.

·         The Cities of Kooskia and Stites both passed sewer revenue bonds with strong support that will fund improvements to the collection and treatment system that serves both cities.

·         Voters in Menan approved a two-year override levy to raise $40,000 annually to fund street construction and maintenance.

·         A proposed permanent property tax levy override in Hayden to provide an additional $400,000 annually for law enforcement fell short of the required 60% approval threshold.

·         Voters in Salmon reauthorized a 10-year local option tax that will fund recreational facilities and opportunities, as well as special events and economic development projects.   

There were also a few major ballot measures proposed by counties on the ballot.

·         A proposal by Valley County for a permanent property tax levy override to fund maintenance and construction of local roads and bridges fell short of the required two-thirds supermajority for passage.  The levy was an attempt to replace upwards of $3 million of federal funding that used to be received for road maintenance.  County officials have indicated that they will be forced to cut their road budget significantly“Our hands are tied,” said Valley County Commissioner Sherry Maupin. “We have no other funding source in order to do this.”

·         A general obligation bond to finance a new jail in Twin Falls County had strong support, but failed to hit the required two thirds supermajority for approval. 

·         Voters in Gooding County rejected a proposed $16 million general obligation bond to build a new jail and renovate the county courthouse.  

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Congratulations to the 2019 Leadership in Energy Efficiency Awards Winners & Nominees!

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Thursday, October 31, 2019
Updated: Friday, November 1, 2019

 

The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance judges have selected winners for the 2019 Leadership in Energy Efficiency awards.

Congratulations to those representing Idaho's efforts!  It is an honor to be chosen by your colleagues for this recognition. 

On behalf of AIC, NEEA, and the region, we thank you for your leadership in energy efficiency!

 Todd Greenwell, Idaho Power for the AWARD in  "Leadership in Energy Efficiency for Collaboration" through his contributions to the Consumer Products Regional Steering Committee;

and,

Ken Baker, K Energy, a for his nomination in "Leadership in Energy Efficiency Award for Collaboration."

Cathy Anderson (Snohomish PUD), Dave Murphy (Bonneville Power Administration) Hillary Olson (Snohomish PUD), Jeff Mitchell (NEEA staff), Jeff Tripp (Puget Sound Energy), Josh Mitchell (Chelan PUD), Lis Saunders (Tacoma Power), Matt Babbitts (Clark PUD), Patrick Weaver (Puget Sound Energy), Thad Roth (Energy Trust of Oregon), Tina Jayaweera (Northwest Power and Conservation Council), Todd Greenwell (Idaho Power), Victor Couto (Seattle City Light)

"The Consumer Products Steering Committee (CPSC) is a coordinated effort among Northwest utilities, NEEA and other regional energy efficiency organizations to establish shared regional strategies in selected strategic markets. With a shared vision and strategy, the CPSC strives to maximize cost-effective, long-term energy efficiency opportunities, prevent conflicting overlap of roles, and improve coordination in the region.

A recent area of focus for the CPSC has been Smart Thermostats. Smart Thermostats have been an important measure for the region, however the RTF Smart Thermostat measure is set to sun-set in November 2019. Members of the CPSC wanted to keep the measure alive so they worked directly with the RTF to see what could be done. The proposed solution was to create a research plan based on an existing RTF outline and implement the research. This plan was developed and approved by the RTF. Implementing this research would keep the Smart Thermostat measure alive. Given budget constraints no individual organization or utility had the ability to field the research plan. Given this reality, the CPSC undertook an innovative solution and proposed a ‘co-sponsorship’ approach to funding. The CPSC developed funding guidelines based on an organization’s size and ability to pay. The result of this effort produced over $400K in funding commitments for the research.”

 

 

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Plan to Attend: Free Regional Idaho Building Code Luncheons

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The Association of Idaho Cities Legislative Committee is pleased to alert you to a great opportunity to reach out to your State District Representatives and invite them to join you for a free lunch in your AIC District to discuss the adoption of the 2018 Idaho Building Codes, and the value of energy conservation in Idaho.

The over-arching goal for these luncheons are to provide forums for our members and Legislators to better understand Idaho’s local building code resources.  During lunch, there will be a short, informative presentation on the 2018 update to the Idaho Building Codes including the 2018 Energy Conservation Code. Additionally, the role that building codes play in protecting consumers will be discussed, as well as how the suggested changes to the energy codes might positively impact both contractors and consumers. 

We believe this event provides a great opportunity for you to get to know your local State Representatives, while gaining a greater understanding your local building code resources.  Please reach out to your local State Representatives, RSVP to IDABO, and plan to attend! 

RSVPs can be made by either calling the IDABO office at 208-321-9182 or by email at tottens@amsidaho.com.

Sincerely yours,

 
John Evans
Mayor of Garden City, Idaho 
AIC Legislative Committee Chair


Suzanne Hawkins
City Councilwoman. Twin Falls, Idaho
AIC President
 

Building Code Legislative Luncheons

Dates and Locations – Fall, 2019

 

Coeur d’Alene: Wednesday, November 6, at the Best Western Plus Coeur d’ Alene Inn from noon to 1:00 PM.  The Coeur d’Alene Inn is located at 506 W Appleway Ave, in Coeur d'Alene. 

 

Lewiston: Thursday, November 7, at the Red Lion Hotel from noon to 1:00 PM. The Red Lion Hotel is located at 621 21st Street, Lewiston.

 

Boise: Friday, November 15 in Boise at the Crystal Ballroom from noon to 1:00 PM.  The Crystal Ballroom is located in the Hoff Building at 802 W Bannock St, Boise. 

 

Twin Falls: Tuesday, November 12 in Twin Falls at Milner’s Gate from noon to 1:00 PM.  Milner’s Gate is located at 205 Shoshone Street North, Twin Falls.

 

Idaho Falls: Wednesday, November 13, in Idaho Falls at the Hilton Garden Inn from noon to 1:00.  The hotel is located at 700 Lindsay Blvd, Idaho Falls.

 




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Register Today for AIC Regional Academies in December!

Posted By Justin Ruen, Monday, October 28, 2019

The 2019 AIC Academies will be held in 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:

  • Roles & Responsibilities
  • Basics of Open Meetings
  • Personnel Management Fundamentals
  • Ethical Leadership
  • Liability Protection
  • Legislative Hot Topics, 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.

AIC will not be having a stand alone Fall/Winter Legislative Committee meeting this year (as we normally have in Boise), so the legislative issues discussion will be incorporated as part of the Academies agenda.  

The Academies will run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and will be held at the following locations.  We hope you can join us! 

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AIC Testifies Before State Property Tax Working Group

Posted By Justin Ruen, Monday, October 28, 2019

The first meeting of a state Property Tax Working Group was held Monday, October 21 and the cities’ perspective was represented by Garden City Mayor and AIC Legislative Chair John Evans.  The panel also heard from Seth Grigg of the Idaho Association of Counties, Kathlynn Ireland of the Idaho Tax Commission, Dr. Allan Walburger of BYU-Idaho, and Keith Bybee of the Legislative Services Office.

The meeting revealed a clear divergence between legislators like Rep. Mike Moyle, R-Star, who want to cut local government property taxing authority through restricting the new construction roll, and legislators like Rep. Mat Erpelding, D-Boise and Sen. Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise, who want to return the indexing of the homeowner’s exemption, which the Legislature capped at $100,000 in 2016 and increase relief for low income elderly and disabled homeowners under the circuit breaker.

You can find the Working Group presentations hereYou can watch a video of the meeting here, by clicking the link to “Download Audio/Video.”

Kathlynn Ireland of the Idaho Tax Commission provided a primer on the fundamentals of Idaho’s property tax system.  The presentation confirmed that Idaho’s property taxes compare favorably relative to other states.  Ireland noted that Idaho’s property taxes rank 38th highest in the nation on the basis of personal income and that our property taxes are lower than all but one of our neighboring states (Nevada) on the basis of personal income.

Rep. Moyle challenged the characterization of Idaho’s property taxes as low, saying “…some parts of the state don’t have a problem right now, and others do.”  He said that it was a disservice to reduce these things to statewide averages. 

Ireland said that schools levy the most property taxes in Idaho at 30.5%, with counties coming in second at 26.7% and cities coming in third at 26.5%, with the remainder made up of various special districts like community colleges, fire districts, highway districts, etc.  She noted that voter approved supplemental levies for school districts have skyrocketed since 2007, and now about 90 school districts have supplemental levies.

Seth Grigg reported that counties face a number of budget pressures that are funded with property taxes, including overcrowded jails, meeting new public defense standards, mental health commitments, indigent medical care, aging infrastructure, and loss of SRS funding for roads.

Mayor Evans noted that of Idaho’s 200 incorporated cities, 167 have populations of 5,000 or less.  “The message I want to send is that there’s the law of unintended consequences.  Our request is that you don’t focus more acutely on seven or eight cities in Idaho at the expense of the other 190 or so that are basically small towns.”

In response to a question about the new construction roll from Rep. Moyle, Evans said “Many times the service load associated with new construction is immediate.  But the property tax revenue for new construction is delayed a year.  So, we incur the service loading before the corresponding property tax revenue comes in to support that, particularly on the residential side.”

Evans said that if the Legislature were to cut local government revenues, the result will be “The cities will reduce services.  If we can’t keep up with the cost of doing business, then we do less business.”

The Working Group also heard a presentation from Dr. Allan Walburger, a BYU-Idaho Economics Professor hired by the Idaho Farm Bureau, correlating the cost of community services to residential, commercial and agricultural properties; as well as a presentation on state and local government funding by Keith Bybee of the Legislative Services Office.

Working Group Co-Chair Sen. Kelly Anthon, R-Burley, said that “I think what today demonstrates is the complexity of the issues that we face.  I think what we’ve done is at least set the table to take the next step in understanding what’s best for Idaho.”

The Working Group’s next meeting will be Monday, November 18.

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Ammon City Treasurer Jennifer Belfield Takes the Reins as ICCTFOA President

Posted By Payton Grover, Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Ammon City Treasurer Jennifer Belfield was sworn in as the incoming President of the Idaho City Clerks, Treasurers and Finance Officers Association (ICCTFOA) at the September ICCTFOA Institute in Nampa.

 

The ICCTFOA Board of Directors for 2019-20 is listed below.

 

Executive Officers

President                      Jennifer Belfield, Treasurer, Ammon

1st Vice President         Tami Testa, Clerk/Treasurer, Council

2nd Vice President       Laurie Hopkins, Clerk, Moscow

Immediate Past Pres.     Tonya Kennedy, Clerk-Treasurer, Grangeville

Secretary                      Marianna Gonzalez, Deputy Clerk, Rexburg

 

District Directors

District 1          Abbi Sanchez, Clerk, Hayden (1)

                        Jenna Arthun, Deputy Clerk, Osburn (2)

 

District 2          Donna Wilson, Treasurer, Orofino (1)

                        Rhonda Case, Clerk/Treasurer, Troy (2)

 

District 3          Holly Csencsits, Admin Clerk II, Eagle (1)

                        Joy Hall, Clerks Specialist, Nampa (2)

 

District 4          Roxanne (Roxie) Bymun, Clerk/Treasurer, Kimberly (1)

                        Hollye Lierman, Clerk, Gooding  (2)

 

District 5          Shelley Reeves, Clerk/Treasurer, Grace (1)

                        Debbie Swensen, Clerk/Treasurer, Bancroft (2)

 

District 6          Josh Roos, Treasurer, Idaho Falls (1)

                        Keri West, Clerk, Iona (2)

 

 

 Attached Thumbnails:

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