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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 District Directors Selected for Upcoming Year

Posted By Justin Ruen, Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Over 320 city officials attended the 2018 AIC Spring District Workshops held in six locations throughout the state in late April and early May.  The workshops provided outstanding training including an update on the 2018 legislative session, the basics of budgeting and revenue sources, crafting and using an effective personnel policy, and making sound land use decisions.

At lunch a district caucus was held to select new District Directors for the AIC Board.  These District Directors are listed below.  The District Directors will be formally elected at the AIC Annual Conference next month in Boise.

District 1:             Mayor Ron Jacobson of Post Falls

District 2:             Mayor Bill Lambert of Moscow

District 3:             Councilor Kenny Everhart of Idaho City

District 3A:          Councilor Genesis Milam of Meridian

District 4:             Mayor Bruce Hossfeld of Paul

District 5:             Councilor Terry Larson of Preston (1-year)

                            Councilor Rick Cheatum of Pocatello (2-year)

District 6:             Mayor Rebecca Casper of Idaho Falls

Congratulations to our newly selected District Directors!  We greatly appreciate your service to AIC.

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Idaho Posts Priority Electric Vehicle Charging Routes & Funding Eligibility Criteria

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Monday, May 7, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, May 2, 2018

On May 2nd the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) posted the final Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (Plan).  The Plan summarizes how Idaho will distribute the mitigation funds among the various eligible mitigation actions to reduce excess emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOX).

The Plan outlines how Idaho is choosing to set aside 15% of the funds (approximately $2.8 million), as allowed by the Trust, to establish a comprehensive charging network for electric vehicles (EVs), known as the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Program (EVSE Program).  Idaho estimates that each charging station will result in a reduction of about 12 tons of NOx over the life of the station, resulting in an estimated reduction of about 360 tons of NOx.

The EVSE Program will be managed by the Governor's Office of Energy and Mineral Resources (OEMR) in coordination with Idaho stakeholders and industry. OEMR will accept applications for participating in the program, screen applications utilizing a selection committee, and ultimately recommend charging locations for funding to DEQ. Funds for EVSE will be available statewide, with an emphasis on priority areas along identified fuel corridor routes (see Figure 7 in the Plan). The Idaho corridors were selected in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration, and the routes were selected based on connectivity within the state and with bordering states. Four of the routes identified on the map are a continuation of routes selected by neighboring states.

As indicated in the Plan, the DEQ will develop a statewide evaluation and selection process. In coordination with an interagency working group comprised of the Idaho Transportation Department, the Division of Purchasing, and OEMR, the DEQ will evaluate projects against the evaluation criteria, as well as evaluate each project against other project submissions to determine funding recommendations. At this time, there are no plans for stakeholder and/or public input into the funding decision process beyond the Plan.

The DEQ is working to complete the Application Package by late summer of 2018, and then open up an application period once the package is complete.  DEQ currently expects a limited application period, followed by an application review/scoring period before making funding decisions for the first year funding. 

Those interested in hosting EVSE should inquire with OEMR about the application process. The EVSE Program applications will be accepted from individual entities interested in undertaking the  responsibilities of hosting an installation. Additionally, joint applications from entities and utility companies will be accepted. Entities may submit applications for multiple locations within the state, but each site will be evaluated independently. 



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Arsenic and Old Fish: Idaho Initiates Negotiated Rule Making in Response to 2016 Settlement Agreement

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Monday, May 7, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, May 2, 2018

In 2010 Idaho adopted 10 µg/L as the numeric criteria for Arsenic for both fish
only and fish + water exposures. This value was based on the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)
Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), and was chosen, in part, because of concerns about
background levels in Idaho waters that exceed the US Environmental Protection Agency’s
(EPA’s) national recommendation for Arsenic. EPA approved the 10 µg/L criteria in 2010.

In May 2016, EPA entered into a consent decree with Northwest Environmental Advocates (NWEA) to reconsider EPA’s 2010 approval of Idaho’s human health criteria for Arsenic. In September 2016, EPA disapproved Idaho’s 10 µg/L Arsenic human health criteria for both consumption of fish only and consumption of fish + water. The consent decree requires that EPA propose new human health criteria for Arsenic by November 15, 2018, and that EPA either approve an Idaho submittal of revised human health criteria for Arsenic, or promulgate federal criteria, by July 15, 2019.  DEQ had been waiting for scientific updates to EPA’s “IRIS Toxicological Review of Inorganic Arsenic” in order to more accurately promulgate standards reflective of risk to human health. However, in an effort to avoid promulgation of federal Arsenic criteria for Idaho, DEQ has initiated rulemaking to revise the human health criteria for Arsenic.

Idaho’s average total Arsenic groundwater concentrations have been shown through multiple studies to be 85 to 340 times higher than the EPA-recommended national water quality criteria for Arsenic for fish only (i.e., 0.14 µg/L) and over 660 to 2,600 times higher than the criteria recommended for fish + water (i.e., 0.018 µg/L). Furthermore, Idaho Department of Water Resources studies have shown that more than 25% of drinking water samples collected in Southwest, South Central and West Central Health Districts exceed 10 µg/L Arsenic – which suggests background Arsenic levels within those basins likely far exceed EPA’s recommended criteria. 

Preliminary review of the Arsenic Settlement Agreement impacts to the Idaho NPDES (or pending IPDES) permits indicate that essentially ALL issued permits will be affected and likely out of compliance long into the future under EPA’s proposed standards.  

Idaho is a headwaters state with some of the most pristine and sought-after water resources in the world. The fact that virtually all of these world-class water resources have background concentrations of Arsenic that exceed the fish only and fish + water human health criteria proposed by EPA should provide an adequate reason for both DEQ and EPA to question the appropriateness for implementing low-level standards based on theoretical calculations. Native Americans, along with every succeeding human population in Idaho, have long been exposed to these naturally-occurring Arsenic concentrations that far exceed EPA’s proposed water quality standard.


Idaho’s update to the human health criteria for Arsenic should protect our community members, the environment, incorporate achievable and affordable water quality requirements, and be coordinated with the drinking water program.  AIC understands that universal access to safe drinking water and safe fish supports our communities’ wellbeing and economic development.  AIC believes it is important to implement a statewide approach to address the risks to human health from Arsenic, and that a successful statewide approach will take the following into consideration:
  1. In many locations in Idaho, potable ground water sources of Arsenic are greater than surface water concentrations.
  2. Removal of Arsenic from wastewater treatment/recycled water to levels several orders of magnitude less than 10 µg/L is not technically feasible.
  3. Human health exposure to Arsenic is dominated by Arsenic in drinking water sources.
  4. High Arsenic concentrations in surface water bodies that lead to measurable concentrations of Arsenic in fish tissue are likely correlated with the basin’s geologic conditions; thus, a review of the combined fish + drinking water threat to human health within these basins would likely be nearly equivalent to exposure from drinking water sources alone.

For the full set of initial AIC comments submitted, please click HERE.

Staff Contact: Johanna M. Bell

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Talking Trash - Household vs. Construction Solid Waste Guidance Under Review

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Thursday, May 3, 2018
Updated: Thursday, May 3, 2018

Last March the Senate Resources and Environment Committee directed the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and interested stakeholders to review the definitions of municipal vs. non municipal solid waste.  The Association of Idaho Cities and Idaho Association of Counties were invited to work on a stakeholder committee to develop a position to bring forward during the review.

These efforts resulted in a White Paper that outlines elements of an ongoing debate between solid waste industry professionals of Idaho as represented by the Non-Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Committee (Committee) and the solid waste regulators of Idaho related to acceptable types of waste in Non-Municipal Solid Waste Landfills (NMSWLF).  

The Committee believes DEQ’s guidance prohibits certain types of wastes from being disposed
of in NMSWLF’s that are not prohibited by federal law. By being more restrictive than the
federal law, current Idaho NMSWL guidance does not allow residents of Idaho the full flexibility
of federal laws. 

DEQ held a stakeholder meeting was held on May 3rd to review the issues raised by the Committee in the White Paper.  Comments are due by May 10th.  Future meetings and input from stakeholders and DEQ staff will be posted prior to the next meeting, now scheduled for the afternoon of June 13th.



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U.S. Department of Commerce Announces Availability of $587 Million to Aid Communities Impacted by Natural Disasters in 2017

Posted By Justin Ruen, Thursday, April 26, 2018

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) has published the Fiscal Year 2018 (FY2018) Disaster Supplemental Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) making $587 million available to eligible grantees in communities impacted by natural disasters in 2017.

“The Trump Administration and the Department of Commerce are working tirelessly to aid American cities and towns impacted by recent natural disasters,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. “The funding announced today will support the long-term recovery of countless local communities devastated by hurricanes, wildfires and other disasters in 2017.”

EDA disaster grants are made by its Regional Offices under the agency’s Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF), which enables EDA to make awards that support a wide range of construction and non-construction activities in areas which experience sudden and prolonged severe economic dislocation.

EDA encourages the submission of applications based on long-term, regionally-oriented, and collaborative development strategies that foster economic growth and resilience.

Eligible applicants under the EAA program include a(n): (i) District Organization of an EDA-designated Economic Development District (EDD); (ii) Indian Tribe or a consortium of Indian Tribes; (iii) State, county, city, or other political subdivision of a State, including a special purpose unit of a State or local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development activities, or a consortium of political subdivisions; (iv) institution of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education; or (v) public or private non-profit organization or association acting in cooperation with officials of a political subdivision of a State. EDA is not authorized to provide EAA grants to individuals or for profit entities. Requests from such entities will not be considered for funding.

There are no application deadlines and the agency will accept proposals on a rolling basis until the publication of a new Disaster Supplemental NOFO, cancellation of this NOFO, or all funds are obligated. Disaster recovery projects must be consistent with the U.S. Department of Commerce Disaster Recovery Investment Priorities.

For more information, please visit the EDA and Disaster Recovery page.

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Spring District Workshop Presentation Available Online

Posted By Justin Ruen, Friday, April 20, 2018

We look forward to seeing you at the AIC Spring District Workshops over the next two weeks. 

The workshops will cover a recap of the 2018 legislative session, the basics of budgeting and revenue sources, crafting and using an effective personnel policy, and making sound land use decisions.  At lunch, there will be a caucus to select the district director to represent the district on the AIC Board of Directors. 

There is still time to register via the AIC webpage

The presentation for the workshop can be viewed and downloaded as a PDF on the AIC website.  There are three versions:

One slide per page (landscape).

Two slides per page.

Three slides per page with lines for notes.

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Half-Staff Notice for Passing of Barbara Bush

Posted By Justin Ruen, Wednesday, April 18, 2018

President Donald J. Trump Orders Flags to Half-Staff through Sunset on Saturday, April 21 for the Passing of Barbara Bush


Issued on: 

On this solemn day, we mourn the loss of Barbara Bush, an outstanding and memorable woman of character.  As a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, military spouse, and former First Lady, Mrs. Bush was an advocate of the American family.  Mrs. Bush lived a life that reminds us always to cherish our relationships with friends, family, and all acquaintances.  In the spirit of the memory of Mrs. Bush, may we always remember to be kind to one another and to put the care of others first.

As a mark of respect for the memory of Barbara Bush, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, 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, on the day of interment.  I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same period 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 seventeenth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.


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AIC District Directors to be Selected at Upcoming Spring District Workshops

Posted By Justin Ruen, Wednesday, April 11, 2018

District Directors representing regions of the state on the AIC Board of Directors will be selected at the upcoming Spring District Workshops in late April and early May.   You can register for the Spring District Workshops via the AIC website.

Training topics that will be covered at the Spring District Workshops include a review of the 2018 Legislative Session, the municipal budgeting process, crafting effective personnel policies and understanding planning and zoning. 

The Spring District Workshops will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the following locations:

Monday, April 23:            Chubbuck at Idaho Central Credit Union—District 5

Tuesday, April 24:           Idaho Falls at Hilton Garden Inn—District 6

Wednesday, April 25:      Burley at Best Western Burley Inn—District 4

Thursday, April 26:          Nampa at Nampa Civic Center—District 3

Tuesday, May 1:              Moscow at Best Western Plus University Inn—District 2

Wednesday, May 2:         Coeur d’Alene at Best Western Plus CDA Inn—District 1

The District Caucuses for selecting the District Directors will be held at 12:30 p.m. during the lunch break.

At the request of the elected officials in District 3A, their caucus will be held in May at a time that will be more convenient and the District 3A caucus is currently being scheduled.

In 2016, the AIC Bylaws were amended to provide that nomination and election of AIC Board District Directors take place at the Spring District Workshops.  The primary reason for the Bylaw change was to allow more AIC member cities to participate in the nomination and election of AIC Board District Directors.

Article IV, Section 5 of the AIC Bylaws states:

Candidates for District Director shall be elected at each Spring District Meeting.  The District Director whose term has not yet expired shall officiate at the Spring District Meeting and oversee the election of the new District Director.  In the event that the terms of both District Directors are complete, the President will appoint an official for the Spring District Meeting to oversee the election. Each elected official present at the District Caucus is allowed one vote.  Non-elected city employees are not allowed to vote.  The presiding board member shall call for nominations.  Elected officials not present, but eligible, may be nominated with prior consent of the nominee.  Self-nominations are also allowed.  After all nominations are made, each nominee may say a few words or may submit a brief written statement in support of his/her candidacy.  After each nominee has had an opportunity to speak, votes shall be cast, either by voice or in writing.  If there is a tie, the presiding District Director shall break the tie.

The AIC Board includes two elected officials from each district, with District Directors serving alternating two-year terms.  Normally, one District Director is elected each year, unless the other District Director position is vacant, in which case board members to fill both positions would be selected at the caucus.  The District Director whose term is not expiring serves as the Presiding District Director at the caucus.  In the event that both director positions are vacant, then an Acting Presider is selected to fill that role.

The process of selecting District Directors begins with the Presiding District Director calling for nominations.  People not present, but eligible, may be nominated.  Self-nominations are also allowed.  After nominations have been made, each nominee may choose to say a few words.

Voting may be either by voice vote or written ballots.  Each elected official present at the caucus is allowed one vote.  For example, if the mayor and four councilmembers from one city are present, they each may cast one vote for a total of five votes from that city.  Only elected officials are allowed to vote.  The candidate receiving the most votes is elected.  If there is a tie, the Presiding District Director shall break the tie.

2018 Presiding District Directors

District 1: Shelby Rognstad—Mayor, Sandpoint

District 2: Bob Blakey—Councilor, Lewiston

District 3: Darin Taylor—Mayor, Middleton

District 3A: Lauren McLean—Council President, Boise

District 4: Casey Andersen—Councilor, Burley

District 6: Robert “BJ” Berlin—Mayor, Roberts

2018 Positions Up for Election

District 1: Steve Widmyer—Mayor, Coeur d’Alene

District 2: Bill Lambert—Mayor, Moscow

District 3: Diana Thomas—Mayor, Weiser

District 3A: Genesis Milam—Councilor, Meridian

District 4: Bruce Hossfeld—Mayor, Paul

District 5: Kevin England—Mayor, Chubbuck

District 5: VACANT

District 6: Rebecca Casper—Mayor, Idaho Falls

For more information, please contact AIC Executive Director Jess Harrison at or AIC Policy Analyst Justin Ruen at


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Regional Budget & Levy Workshops Coming Up Soon

Posted By Justin Ruen, Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Idaho Tax Commission has scheduled the regional Budget & Levy Workshops to provide training for local government officials on budgeting and levying property taxes.  The sessions for city officials start at 8:30 a.m. and run through Noon.   For more information you can email Gary Houde at




May 9, 2018

Latah County Fair Grounds

Exhibit Building

1021 Harold

Moscow, Id

May 8, 2018


Kootenai County Administration Bldg

451 Government Way

Coeur d’Alene

May 1, 2018

Idaho Falls

College of Eastern Idaho

1600 S. 25th E

Morning Session

Alexander Creek Bldg (#5) Rm 541

Afternoon Session

Health Care Ed Bldg (#6) Rm 6164

Idaho Falls

May 2, 2018


Clarion Inn - Pocatello

1599 Bench Rd

Pocatello Id 83201

(208) 237-1400

May 3, 2018


College of Southern Idaho

315 Falls Avenue,

Herrett Center

Twin Falls

May 17, 2018


College of Western Idaho

5500 E. Opportunity Way

Room 102E

Nampa, ID 83687

above link for map of location

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AIC City Budgeting Manual for FY 2019 Completed

Posted By Justin Ruen, Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The City Budgeting Manual for FY 2019 has been completed and you can download the PDF by clicking the link at the bottom of this post.  The manual includes useful information on the basics of the city budgeting process, city revenues, an FY 2019 budget calendar, and spreadsheets with revenue history and projections. 

AIC will mail one paper copy of the manual to each city likely next week.  Additional paper copies can be ordered from the AIC office.

For those who would like more training on budgeting, I strongly recommend registering for the AIC Spring District Workshops that will be coming up in late April and early May.  These will include training on the basics of the city budgeting process and city revenue sources.  You can register for the Spring District Workshops via the AIC website.

There are also excellent regional workshops on property taxes for local government officials by the Idaho Tax Commission (you can download the flier at the bottom of this post).

There is one major new law that will impact city budgeting—House Bill 643—which is discussed in length in the section on new laws on city revenue sources starting on page 32 and also on page 74 in the section on the state liquor account.  This legislation dedicates future revenue from the state liquor account for magistrate court funding, so city officials will want to carefully consider the impact of the legislation on your projections for state liquor account revenue going forward.

If you have any questions on budgeting, don’t hesitate to call the AIC office at (208) 344-8594 or email


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