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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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Open for Public Comment: EPA 2018 Aluminum Aquatic Life Criteria Implementation

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Friday, August 2, 2019

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released their Draft Technical Support Document: Implementing the 2018 Recommended Aquatic Life Water Quality Criteria for Aluminum, for public comment. This document supports state and tribal adoption and implementation of the recently published EPA national recommended Final Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Aluminum. Consistent with the latest scientific information, the national recommended acute and chronic aquatic life criteria for aluminum in freshwater are intended to be derived on a site-specific basis, using a calculator or look-up tables, and data inputs for pH, total hardness and dissolved organic carbon (DOC).

The draft technical support document provides answers to implementation questions previously identified by states, authorized tribes and other stakeholders. It includes information related to criteria adoption, assessment and impaired waters listing, and NPDES permitting processes related to the new aluminum criteria. This is among the first calculator-based aquatic life criteria that the EPA has published, and the Agency anticipates that this technical support document will be beneficial to states and authorized tribes.

Public comments are due Friday, September 13, 2019 and can be emailed to:

wqs-implementation@epa.gov

Please contact Johanna Bell (jbell@idahocities.org) if you have any comments on this Draft Technical Support Document on how to implement the aquatic water quality criteria (AWQC), or reach out directly to Emily Remmel at eremmel@nacwa.org

Background

Aluminum naturally occurs in surface waters, but under certain environmental conditions, it can be converted to toxic forms that can be toxic to aquatic life. Anthropogenic sources, such as alum (potassium aluminum sulfate) used in clarification processes in drinking water or wastewater processes to remove phosphorus, can contribute to levels of aluminum in surface waters. Lastly, certain activities, such as wastewater discharges, stormwater runoff, mining, or agriculture can influence a waterbody's pH, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), or total hardness and, therefore, the toxicity of aluminum in that waterbody.

Entities such as industrial facilities, stormwater management districts, or publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) that discharge pollutants to fresh waters of the United States under the State of Idaho's jurisdiction could be indirectly affected by the 2018 aluminum criteria and draft guidance.  Final, EPA-adopted water quality standards for Idaho, are the minimum standards required under the Clean Water Act for use in regulatory programs, such as Idaho Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (IPDES) permitting and identifying impaired waters under CWA section 303(d).

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Register Today for ICCTFOA Institute in Nampa

Posted By Justin Ruen, Friday, August 2, 2019
Updated: Thursday, August 15, 2019

The 2019 Idaho City Clerks, Treasurers and Finance Officers Association (ICCTFOA) Institute will be held in Nampa at the Nampa Civic Center on September 18-20.  Information about registration, the conference brochure with draft agenda, room blocks and other information is available at the 2019 Institute webpage.

When making a room reservation, be sure to ask for the Association of Idaho Cities group room block for the rate of $129 per night or $140 per night double occupancy.

The Institute provides valuable training for city clerks, treasurers and finance officers on accounting and financial reporting, budgeting, open meetings, public records, investing, utility rates and other important topics.  Sending city staff to the Institute is an investment in providing the training they need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively.

Scholarships are available to cover up to $500 of travel, lodging and other expenses for attending the Institute.  Scholarship applications are due to Renata McLeod, City Clerk of Coeur d’Alene  (renata@cdaid.org) by August 9.  The scholarship application and other information can be found at the Institute website.

We hope to see you at the 2019 ICCTFOA Institute!

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Parks & Recreation City Achievement Award Winners from AIC Annual Conference

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, July 9, 2019

AIC recognized three cities with City Achievement Awards in the Parks & Recreation Category at the AIC Annual Conference.  Congratulations to the winners!

City of Garden City – Heron Park, Phase I: A cooperative effort between the City of Garden City and the Garden City Urban Renewal Agency, the park is located adjacent to the Boise River along the greenbelt corridor and will include a takeout for rafters and tubers, parking, and reconstruction of the greenbelt pathway.

City of Rathdrum – Rathdrum Mountain Opening: The City of Rathdrum’s project will provide access to over 500 acres of city-owned forest land on Rathdrum Mountain, with picnic areas, restrooms, facilities for an on-site host, trails, and a Children’s Story Walk Trail funded with a donation by the Coeur d’Alene Realtor’s Association.

City of Stanley – Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve: The City of Stanley worked collaboratively with Ketchum, Sun Valley, the Forest Service and Blaine County to establish the first Dark Sky Reserve in the United States, which protects views of the night sky on over 900,000 acres. 

 

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Economic & Community Development Projects Recognized with City Achievement Awards

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Three cities were recognized at the AIC Annual Conference with City Achievement Awards in the Economic & Community Development category.  Congratulations to the winners!

City of Pocatello – Glass Recycling: Partnering with Momentum Recycling, the city has launched a glass recycling project with drop-off locations around the city.  This project has diverted 152 tons of glass from the landfill saving $4,500 in landfill fees and preserving valuable landfill space.

City of Meridian – Land Use and Development Application Mapping: Meridian has developed three online maps to make zoning, land use and development related application information more accessible to the public.  The Hearing Application Map allows people to easily find applications, staff reports, comments and other project-related information for any project in the city.

City of Boise – James Castle House: The City of Boise purchased the home of internationally-known, self-taught American artist James Castle and turned it into a venue to share Castle’s story with a broader audience and provide a neighborhood gathering place.

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Public Works & Transportation City Achievement Award Winners from AIC Annual Conference

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, July 9, 2019

AIC recognized three cities with City Achievement Awards in the Public Works & Transportation category at the Annual Conference.  Congratulations to the winning cities for these outstanding projects!

City of Pocatello – Phosphorus Removal Project: The City of Pocatello completed a five-year, $23 million project focused on updating the Water Pollution Control Plant to improve water quality through biological nutrient removal to comply with the city’s new NPDES discharge permit.  

City of Moscow – Chemical Weed Control Alternative: The City of Moscow Public Works Department purchased a saturated steam unit to provide chemical free weed control on city sidewalks, stormwater detention ponds and streets.

City of Idaho Falls – Public Works Interactive Construction Map: The City of Idaho Falls launched an online Interactive Construction Map that provides the community with a user friendly, one-stop location to find information on planned construction projects, including road closures.

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Cities Recognized with City Achievement Awards for Community Engagement Projects

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, July 9, 2019

AIC recognized three cities with City Achievement Awards at the AIC Annual Conference in the Community Engagement category.  Congratulations to the winners!

City of Caldwell – Mobile Makerspace:  The Caldwell Public Library, in an effort to connect youth and underserved populations to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) education and training developed and built a tiny house with a 3D printer, two virtual reality headsets, books on technology and laptops.  

City of McCall – Doing Democracy: McCall’s Public Library holds facilitated discussions on topics of local interest to promote respectful and informed dialogue about issues the community faces and nurture civic engagement.

City of Twin Falls – Empowering Citizens App: The City of Twin Falls has adopted the SeeClickFix App to provide citizens with a way to report quality of life issues outside of calling 911, and developed a phone tree to divert nonemergency calls to the appropriate city department, both of which will result in decreased call volume to the emergency communications center.

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Twin Falls Youth Council Receives City Achievement Award for Suicide Awareness Color Run & Rally

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Congratulations to the Twin Falls City Youth Council for receiving a City Achievement Award for their recent color run and rally “Life IS Worth Living.”  The event drew nearly 275 participants to raise awareness about suicide prevention.

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Public Safety City Achievement Award Winners Recognized at AIC Annual Conference

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Three cities were recognized at the AIC Annual Conference with City Achievement Awards in the Public Safety Category.  Congratulations to the winning cities for these outstanding projects!

City of St. Anthony – Project Safe Classroom: A cooperative project between the St. Anthony Police Department and the school district to install Nightlock Lockdown devices to secure all the classroom doors in the elementary school.

City of Coeur D’Alene – FireWise Preparedness Day: The Coeur d’Alene Fire Department held a Community Preparedness Day for the Armstrong Park and Fernan Hill Drive communities to raise awareness and assist property owners with wildfire preparedness, including fuel reduction, evacuation readiness and fire/life safety.    

City of Idaho Falls – School Safety – There’s an “App” for That: A cooperative project between the Idaho Falls Police Department and the school district to develop an app that allows high school students to quickly and discreetly share information with the School Resource Officer and school administrators.

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AIC Past President Greg Lanting receives Harold Hurst Award for service to Idaho cities

Posted By Justin Ruen, Monday, July 8, 2019

Twin Falls Councilor and AIC Past President Greg Lanting was honored with the Harold Hurst Award at the 72nd AIC Annual Conference in Boise, June 20, 2019.

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.

The recipient of the 2019 Harold Hurst Award is Greg Lanting, Councilor from Twin Falls and AIC Past President in 2015-16.

Greg has served on the Twin Falls City Council for 14 years and was the city’s mayor in 2012-13.  Prior to that he was on the Planning and Zoning Commission for eight years.  Greg grew up on a farm and ranch in the Hollister area, and taught history, government and social studies for 16 years.  He also served as a middle school principal.

“Greg has been a great asset for the City of Twin Falls and AIC, and we are pleased to recognize his achievements with the Harold Hurst Award,” said AIC Executive Director Jess Harrison.

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Sen. Bert Brackett honored with Ken Harward Award at AIC Annual Conference

Posted By Justin Ruen, Monday, July 8, 2019

AIC honored Idaho State Sen. Bert Brackett of Three Creek with the Ken Harward Award at the 72nd AIC Annual Conference in Boise on June 20, 2019.

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.

Sen. Brackett is a rancher from Three Creek, and served as President of the Idaho Cattle Association and was recognized as Cattleman of the Year in 1996.  He represents District 23, which includes Elmore and Owyhee Counties and part of Twin Falls County.  Sen. Brackett chairs the Senate Transportation Committee. 

“Sen. Brackett has been one of the strongest, most articulate advocates for local transportation funding in the Idaho Legislature,” said AIC Executive Director Jess Harrison.  “We are proud to recognize his outstanding legacy of public service to the State of Idaho.”

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