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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 

Idaho Draft Statewide Water Quality Status Report: Comments Due August 22, 2020

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Thursday, July 23, 2020

Water shapes economic growth, the environment, and the very social fabric of our communities.  Ensuring that Idaho's communities have access to safe, reliable, and affordable water and water treatment is the cornerstone of a sustainable and prosperous Idaho. 

The manner in which the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) assesses the quality of Idaho's streams, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs is one of a number of important programs implemented to comply with the federal Clean Water Act.  When surface waters of Idaho are found to be out of compliance with the water quality criteria necessary to support the designated uses, these water bodies must be reported to the US Environmental Protection Agency; followed by the development of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL; i.e., pollutant budget) and implementation plan in order to bring the water quality back into compliance.

The draft 2018/2020 Integrated Report has been developed in order to meet these environmental and public health needs. Public comments on the draft 2018/2020 Integrated Report are being invited by the IDEQ by August 22, 2020. 

The 2018/2020 Integrated Report provides background information on the state's water resources, including DEQ’s water pollution control program and special concerns affecting water quality; an overview of DEQ’s surface water monitoring and assessment program, including attainment status results for all state surface waters and a discussion about public health issues; an overview of Idaho’s ground water monitoring and assessment efforts; and a summary of public participation in the development of the Integrated Report.

The following highlights are discussed in more detail in the draft Report:

  • Since the 2016 Integrated Report, the extent of stream and river miles fully supporting beneficial uses has increased from 31,398 miles to 31,923 miles, and the extent of stream and river miles not supporting beneficial uses has decreased from 34,404 miles to 33,021 miles.

  • DEQ de-listed (removed) 146 assessment unit-cause combinations from Categories 4 or 5 (impaired waters).

  • The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) highlighted a Non-point Source Management Program success story for Lost Creek and Falls Creek in northern Idaho.

  • Restoration efforts resulted in sediment reductions and improved aquatic habitat conditions in both water bodies. As a result, DEQ removed Lost Creek and Falls Creek from the state’s 2016 list of impaired waters for sediment.

Sufficient water quality data and supporting analysis, coupled with public confidence that the pollutant targets will eventually be achieved, helps provide important justifications for revised management practices and the significant water infrastructure investments expected of municipal and industrial wastewater facilities.

The draft report provides background information on the state's water resources, including DEQ’s water pollution control program and special concerns affecting water quality; an overview of DEQ’s surface water monitoring and assessment program, including assessment results for all state surface waters and a discussion on public health issues; an overview of Idaho’s ground water monitoring and assessment efforts; and a summary of how the public can participate in the development of the Integrated Report. The draft report was developed using DEQ data and other readily available data collected within the last five years (2014–2018).

The following materials are available for review:

  • Draft 2018/2020 Integrated Report (PDF)
  • Draft 2018/2020 Integrated Report Appendix A: Clean Water Act Section 305(b) List and 303(d) List (PDF)
  • Draft 2018/2020 Integrated Report map of water bodies in the state (32 inches x 42 inches) (PDF)
  • Draft 2018/2020 Integrated Report Interactive Mapper (Online)


Written comments will be accepted through August 22 at 5 p.m. MDT.

Submit comments electronically on DEQ’s website or by mail or email to:

Robert Esquivel
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
Water Quality Division
1410 N. Hilton
Boise, ID 83706
Email: robert.esquivel@deq.idaho.gov

 

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Idaho Sustainable Materials Management Grants: Applications Due August 28, 2020

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Friday, July 10, 2020

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is accepting applications for funding to implement or enhance sustainable materials management projects in Idaho.

DEQ is interested in projects from local governments and nonprofits across Idaho that implement, enhance, or support innovative recycling programs, develop markets for recyclables, or reduce food waste.

Applicants can apply for up to $30,000 for sustainable materials management projects. The full application package, including eligibility and ranking criteria, is available on DEQ’s website. Applications are due August 28, 2020, at 5 p.m. MDT.

For more information or questions about the application package, contact Ben Jarvis at (208) 373-0146 or ben.jarvis@deq.idaho.gov.

Resources:

LEED for Cities and Communities

How This Town Produces No Trash

You Can Live Without Producing Trash

"Getting to Zero Waste: Cities, Communities & the Circular Economy, April 2020" webinar & slides 

 

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Cities Dodge Severe Decline in Highway Distribution Account Revenue for Last Quarter, But Still See Meaningful Reduction

Posted By Justin Ruen, Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is projecting that revenue to the Highway Distribution Account for the last quarter (April 1 through June 30, 2020) will decline 5.7%, which is a meaningful decrease, but not nearly as bad as ITD and AIC feared with projections of a much more severe reduction. 

The Highway Distribution Account revenue is allocated based on city population, so cities that are not growing will experience more of a decline relative to growing cities.

The severe projections were the result of traffic counts that dropped dramatically during the Stay-Home Order, and while there was a decline in gas tax revenue, there was still decent revenue generated from diesel and other non-fuel tax components of the Highway Distribution Account (vehicle registrations, etc.). 

What does this mean for Highway Distribution Account revenues for the state 2021 Fiscal Year, which started July 1, 2020?  That is still largely up in the air, but it seems likely that there will be an ongoing decrease in gas tax revenue from people continuing to work from home and reduced travel and vacations. 

Based on what we saw last quarter, AIC’s original projection of a 15% decrease for the state FY 2021 is likely too pessimistic.  A reduction in the range of 5 to 10% from the city’s state FY 2020 numbers (July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020) is probably more realistic.  But, the situation continues to evolve and we will provide updates as new information becomes available. 

 

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Process for Submitting AIC Member Initiated Legislative Proposals

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, July 7, 2020

AIC has a process for members to submit legislative proposals for consideration as AIC priority legislation. Members can submit proposals to AIC staff at any time; however, in order to prepare for the upcoming session, the Bylaws do contain a deadline of Wednesday, September 30, 2020.

This post is to serve as a resource for those interested in submitting legislative proposals to AIC for possible inclusion in the AIC priority legislative package. Please feel free to contact AIC Executive Director Kelley Packer (kpacker@idahocities.org) or AIC Policy Analyst Justin Ruen (jruen@idahocities.org) with any questions.

The process for submitting member initiated legislative proposals, as well as basic FAQs are outlined below. 

Who can propose AIC sponsored priority legislation?

Proposals for AIC sponsored priority legislation may be brought forward by any of the following association members and groups:

·       AIC Board of Directors,

·       AIC Legislative Committee,

·       AIC Committees, or

·       Elected Officials from One or More Member City.

The Bylaws also allow AIC staff to bring legislative proposals to the Board of Directors at any time. 

When is the deadline to submit a proposal for AIC sponsored priority legislation for consideration?

All policy proposals must be submitted to AIC staff by the close of business on Wednesday, September 30, 2020, in order to be considered as part of the AIC Priority Legislative Package. Please submit all legislative proposals via email to Kelley Packer (kpacker@idahocities.org) or Justin Ruen (jruen@idahocities.org).  

What information must be included with member submitted proposals for AIC sponsored priority legislation?

Legislative proposals submitted to AIC for consideration by an approved sponsor must include the following information:

·       The sponsor (either the name, title, and city of the sponsor or the name of the AIC committee)

·       A brief summary of the proposed legislation in sufficient detail to evaluate the proposal

·       A simple statement of the fiscal impact of the proposed legislation on the state and local governments

·       Draft legislative language

Will AIC staff review membership submitted proposals for AIC sponsored priority legislation?

The Bylaws require association staff to prepare a staff report to assist the Board of Directors in reviewing priority legislation. The staff report will include the following items:

·       A list of Idaho statutes affected by the proposed legislation,

·       A list of city departments and city officials affected by the proposed legislation,

·       A list of legislative stakeholders both likely to support and likely to oppose the proposed legislation,

·       A statement of the reasons to support the proposed legislation,

·       A statement of the reasons not to support the legislation, including unintended consequences,

·       A brief fiscal analysis of the proposed legislation, and

·       An analysis of the political feasibility of the proposed legislation (likelihood of passage).

Who will review membership submitted proposals for AIC sponsored priority legislation?

The Board of Directors is authorized by the Bylaws to review and evaluate all legislative proposals submitted by the membership for consideration.

When will the Board of Directors meet to review membership submitted proposals for AIC sponsored priority legislation?

The Board of Directors will meet no later than November to consider member submitted legislative proposals.

How will the Board of Directors review membership submitted proposals for AIC sponsored priority legislation?

The Bylaws require the Board of Directors to take the following information into consideration when reviewing legislative proposals:

·       The proposed legislation should affect more than one member city,

·       The proposed legislation should benefit more than one member city,

·       The proposed legislation should be within the general realm and scope of city government, and

·       The proposed legislation should be politically feasible.

What is the voting threshold for the Board of Directors to adopt membership submitted proposals for AIC sponsored priority legislation?

The Bylaws require an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Board of Directors in order to support member initiated legislative proposals.

Why is the approval threshold so high?

Having a two-thirds threshold ensures that only near consensus legislation is advanced, thus preventing major divisions within the membership.

For how long is legislation adopted by the Board of Directors the policy position of the association?

Member initiated priority legislation adopted by the Board of Directors will remain the policy position of the association for one year; however, nothing will preclude unsuccessful legislation from being reconsidered in subsequent years.

When will the membership have the opportunity to review AIC sponsored priority legislation adopted by the Board of Directors?

Association membership will have an opportunity to review and comment on AIC sponsored priority legislation at the fall Legislative Committee meeting. Members will also have the opportunity to review AIC sponsored priority legislation during the AIC Legislative Committee meeting held in conjunction with the AIC City Officials Day at the Capitol in late January.

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ID State Tax Commission Withholding Tables Updated

Posted By Dara Von Lossberg, Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Idaho State Tax Commission has updated the income tax withholding tables for 2020. Withholding does NOT need to be adjusted back to the beginning of the year, but please use the revised tables going forward: 

Table for Percentage Computation Method of Withholding

Table for Wage Bracket Method of Withholding

 

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AIC Updates Procurement Manual

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The newly updated AIC Procurement Manual, which covers state laws on purchasing of public works construction, as well as goods and services, is now available and can be downloaded by clicking the link at the bottom of this blog post.

Thanks to AIC Financial Coordinator Dara Von Lossberg and AIC Counsel Jerry Mason for their great work on this project!

 Attached Files:

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Cities Now Required to Pass Annual Resolution to Accrue Forgone — AIC Shares Model Resolution

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, June 30, 2020

One of the most significant pieces of legislation on property taxes to take effect this year requires cities to pass an annual resolution, starting July 1, 2020, to accrue forgone for the year that the city is filing the L-2 property tax levy form.

AIC has developed a model forgone accrual resolution that you can find as a link at the bottom of this post.  We extend our appreciation to the City of Twin Falls for sharing their resolution with us. 

House Bill 354 requires cities to pass a resolution every year to accrue forgone property tax levying authority to be used in a future year.  If the city fails to pass the resolution, that year’s forgone amount would be forfeited permanently, but the city would still retain previous forgone levying authority already accrued. 

House Bill 354 would eliminate the current process for disclaiming forgone, so cities would not need to pass a resolution to disclaim forgone in the future, it would just be done by not passing a resolution to accrue forgone.

The process to pass the forgone accrual resolution includes notice published in the official newspaper twice, at least seven days apart and there must be a public hearing.  The process for the forgone resolution is the same as, and can be done together with, the city’s budget notice and hearing. 

Once passed by the city council, the resolution must be filed with the county with the L-2 property tax levy form.  The forgone reserved can only be for the year that the city is filing the L-2 levy form, and you can’t accrue multiple years of forgone in one resolution.  The resolution must specify the exact dollar amount of forgone being reserved. 

 Attached Files:

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Source Water Protection Grants for Idaho Communities: August 7, 2020 Deadline

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Thursday, June 25, 2020

Idaho Department of Environmental Quality is pleased to announce the availability of grant funding for source water protection. Eligible applicants include public water systems, state and local government agencies, tribes, special districts (such as soil conservation districts), associations, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions in Idaho.

 

Grants up to $10,000 are available to implement projects to protect sources of public drinking water including:

         Contaminant source identification (research)

         Contaminant pathway removal (closure of abandoned or unused wells)

         Contaminant removal (hazardous waste collection, pollution prevention, and waste reduction)

         Contaminant management (implementation of best management practices (BMPs) and implementation of a source water protection plan)

         Education and information sharing (brochures, workshops, media campaigns)

 

Additional information and grant applications are available at www.deq.idaho.gov/swpGrant/

 

 Please note that the application deadline is August 7, 2020.

Staff Contact: Rachael Smith, REHS, Source Water Coordinator

 

 


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Sen. Maryanne Jordan and AIC Counsel Jerry Mason receive Ken Harward Award for exceptional service to Idaho and its communities

Posted By Justin Ruen, Monday, June 22, 2020

AIC honored Idaho State Senator Maryanne Jordan and AIC Counsel Jerry Mason with the Ken Harward Award on June 11 during the AIC Virtual Annual Conference June 10-12, 2020.

The Ken Harward Award was established by AIC to recognize exceptional contributions benefiting the State of Idaho and its communities. Harward was City Administrator and Finance Director for the City of Nampa, Idaho, for 24 years and his visionary planning was integral to the development of the Nampa Recreation Center, the Centennial-Ridgecrest golf complex, the Nampa Civic Center and the Idaho Center. Harward was also AIC’s longest serving Executive Director and worked tirelessly to build the credibility and effectiveness of AIC.

Maryanne Jordan served on the Boise City Council from 2003 to 2017 and served as Council President from 2005-06 and 2010-2015.  She co-sponsored Boise’s non-discrimination ordinance and was active in the Boise Foothills Open Space campaign.  She was also actively engaged on the AIC Legislative Committee and as a district director on the AIC Board.

Maryanne was appointed by Governor Otter to fill a State Senate seat vacated when Boise Sen. Elliot Werk was appointed to the State Tax Commission. 

Maryanne is a former President of the West Valley Neighborhood Association and spent five years on Boise’s Planning and Zoning Commission. 

“As a policymaker at the state and local level, Maryanne has distinguished herself by having a phenomenal grasp of complex issues, a willingness to work with others of differing philosophical perspectives, and for treating everyone with respect,” said AIC Executive Director Kelley Packer.  “Congratulations to Maryanne on this very well-deserved recognition!”

Jerry Mason serves as AIC’s Legal Counsel and as Board Counsel for ICRMP.  His work with AIC involves training, technical assistance and advocacy in the subject areas of planning and zoning, annexation, procurement, open meetings, public records, ethics, personnel, and liability.  

With his longtime law partner Nancy Stricklin, the Mason & Stricklin firm provided legal counsel to cities in North Idaho.

One of Jerry’s greatest highlights in advocating for cities was the Plummer v. Fruitland case, which was reheard before the Idaho Supreme Court and Jerry’s argument and amicus brief were instrumental in convincing the court to unanimously overturn their earlier decision and rule in favor of the city’s power to have an exclusive solid waste collection franchise.  It was an impressive and well-deserved result of Jerry’s hard work.

He has been an articulate and persuasive advocate for fair procedures to govern decisionmaking and his vision for procedural fairness is enshrined in state laws governing local government procurement, land use, and annexation.   

“Jerry’s 45 years of experience in local government provides him with a valuable and unequalled perspective,” said Kelley Packer.  “The AIC Board and staff have the greatest appreciation for Jerry’s dedicated service.”

 

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Twin Falls Mayor & AIC President Suzanne Hawkins receives Harold Hurst Award for outstanding contributions to Idaho cities

Posted By Justin Ruen, Monday, June 22, 2020

Twin Falls Mayor and AIC President Suzanne Hawkins was honored with the Harold Hurst Award for her outstanding contributions to the association on June 11 during the AIC Virtual Annual Conference June 10-12, 2020.

The Harold Hurst Award is given annually to a city official who demonstrates exemplary performance in city government and who has contributed to the accomplishments of the Association of Idaho Cities. The award is named for Harold Hurst, the mayor of Heyburn for 24 years and a Past President of AIC.

Suzanne has served on the Twin Falls City Council since May 2012 and was elected Mayor in January of this year.  She has been actively engaged in AIC, serving on the Legislative Committee and currently as President.

In addition to her service to the City of Twin Falls, Suzanne has co-owned Computer Connection with her husband and currently works for Edward Jones.  Suzanne was recognized as one of Idaho Business Review’s Women of the Year in 2019.

"Suzanne has led AIC through what was likely the most difficult year in the Association's history,” said AIC Executive Director Kelley Packer.  “She dealt with extremely sensitive issues with compassion, resolve and strength.” 

Suzanne has been a champion for youth engagement and the Twin Falls Youth Council, and has played a vital role in mentoring these future leaders.   

For her exceptional service to the association, we are proud to recognize Suzanne with the Harold Hurst Award.

 

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