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Top tags: City Officials' Day at the Capitol 

The More You Know: A Message from AIC Drug Task Force Chair Mayor Tammy de Weerd of Meridian

Posted By Justin Ruen, Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The AIC Drug Task Force met recently as part of their regular conference call and felt it was important to bring the following information to all cities. During the conversation there was a discussion about what are important questions for elected officials to ask their police department or law enforcement partner related to issues involving drugs.  These conversations are critical to narrowing our activities to what issues are of highest priority for elected officials.

What we realized is that as elected officials we need to ask the right questions of our law enforcement representatives. In order to start the conversation – whether you are new to the job or just need a reminder – we put together a list of questions that we hope will encourage a discussion with your police chief, or sheriff and lead to a conversation regarding the drug issue in your community.

We anticipate each of these questions will likely lead to more questions, but wanted to give you a head start:


·         What are we doing to address drugs in our community?

·         What type of drugs are we seeing and how do we know?

·         What is the age range of those caught with drugs?

·         How would you describe the drug problem in our schools?

·         What type of drug crimes are you seeing in the community?

·         What is our involvement in drug abuse education in the community such as DARE?

·         What is the stance of the Chief’s/Sheriff’s Association regarding efforts to legalize cannabinoid oil (CBD) and recreational marijuana and what is the Department doing to advance that position, if anything?

·         What can I as an elected official do to help the department proactively reduce substance abuse in our community?


·         Do we have an opioid epidemic in our community?

·         How many opioid deaths have we had in our community?

·         Do we have a take back program for drugs?

·         What happens to the drugs we confiscate?

·         How are confiscated drugs disposed?

If you found those questions helpful, or if you want to get involved in the task force, I wanted to invite you to join us.  The Task Force will hold a panel discussion as part of AIC City Officials' Day at the Capitol on January 24 from 1:30 to 2:00 pm. We’d love to have you join us for this opportunity to learn more about the issues we are facing as cities in Idaho and how you can do your part to keep Idaho drug free. To help you understand why all this matters, here is link to a documentary called Chronic State. Please try and watch the video prior to attending the panel discussion. The documentary can be viewed on You Tube (36min) or Vimeo (56min).

Mission Statement:

The AIC Drug Task Force is the combined effort of cities to keep our communities safe from drugs and to minimalize the impacts to the children and families of Idaho. Our focus is to educate AIC members and state officials on pressing issues influenced by drugs, share best practices in order to successfully help other communities face drug-related challenges, promote community coalitions as a strategy to engage the community in solutions, encourage diversion programs, and support drug-free workplace policies in the private and public sector. 

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Harris CPAs Presents Free Webinar on Internal Controls for Grants

Posted By Justin Ruen, Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Harris CPAs in Boise will present a free webinar on January 9 from 11:45 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on grants management for nonprofits and government entities.  Lunch will be provided.  You must register online by January 7.  The event will be held at the Harris CPAs Center of Influence at 805 West Idaho Street, Suite 400 in Boise.

"Internal controls over grant activities are often undocumented or misunderstood. The management of complexities and risks associated with the acceptance of federal funds is important to provide assurance to management and oversight bodies that the funds are properly spent."

"This webinar will focus on understanding internal controls that need to be in place to help organizations comply with financial and compliance requirements surrounding grants. In addition, the session will identify ways to use the GAO Green Book, the OMB Compliance Supplement and other tools as guides to better understand and implement internal controls."

For more information or if you have questions, please contact Tara Davis at Harris CPAs at: or (208) 333-8965.

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NLC: What a Partial Government Shutdown Means for City Leaders

Posted By Justin Ruen, Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The White House and Congress have failed to reach an agreement on the seven remaining Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 appropriations spending bills. Effective midnight, Friday, December 21st, there is a partial federal government shutdown in effect.

Earlier this week, the National League of Cities (NLC) called on federal leaders to do their jobs and find a bipartisan solution to avoid a shutdown and keep every federal agency open.

“Cities expect our leaders in Washington to meet their most basic obligation and keep the federal government open,” said NLC President Karen Freeman-Wilson, mayor of Gary, Indiana. “A federal shutdown would impact programs that grow local economies and build more resilient communities. Instead of wasting $6.5 billion a week on a shutdown, let’s put that money to good use — by investing in America’s cities.”

This would be a “partial” shutdown because Congress met the deadline to approve five of the twelve total appropriations bills.  In addition to all “mandatory” spending programs, federal discretionary grant programs administered through the following agencies will not be impacted by the partial shutdown:

  • U.S. Department of Labor
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • U.S. Department of Defense
  • U.S. Department of Energy

For city leaders, this means residents can expect uninterrupted operations and payments from Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. VA Hospitals and other service providers for veterans should remain open. Before and after school programs funded by the Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Center grants should not be interrupted.

Unfortunately for city leaders, the federal agencies that will be shutting down to various degrees are those that administer most federal grants allocated directly to municipal governments, including:

  • U.S. Department of Commerce
  • U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • U.S. Department of Interior
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA)
  • U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

According to this detailed Q&A from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, when a funding lapse results in the shutdown of a federal agency, the government must discontinue all non-essential discretionary functions until new funding legislation is passed and signed into law.  And according to this White House Shutdown FAQ, all normally, routine, ongoing operational and administrative activities relating to contract or grant administration (including payment processing) cannot continue when there is a lapse in funding. Moreover, federal agency employees who are paid with annual appropriations and who perform an activity associated with contract or grant administration (including oversight, inspection, payment or accounting) should generally not continue work during a lapse in appropriations.

In other words, federal discretionary grants that are administered to local governments from unfunded federal agencies, including HUD’s CDBG and HOME grants, DOJ’s COPS grants, DOT’s TIGER grants, EDA’s economic development grants, SBA’s small business loans, and USDA’s rural loans and grants, will be unavailable for reimbursement to local governments, and agency staff will generally be unavailable to answer questions or offer technical assistance throughout the duration of the partial government shutdown. Any local employees funded by federal grants may also be required to stop work.

The White House Office of Management and Budget maintains a list of each agency’s plans here. Additional contingency information may be posted on individual agency websites as well.

A short shutdown of a week or less will have little to no impact on cities (although it will cost the federal government plenty to furlough employees, mothball offices, and reopen even a short time later). The effects of a longer shutdown would multiply quickly, including inaccessible federal funding, project delays and potential layoffs. As federal funding for services dry up, residents usually expect local governments to step in with supplemental funding. Eventually it will fall on cities and states to bear the cost of the shutdown on the broader economy, which will result in less tax revenue for all levels of government.

The federal law that prohibits agencies from incurring obligations in advance of appropriations, the Antideficiency Act, also requires an “orderly shutdown” when there has been a lapse in appropriations. Of course, actual government shutdowns are anything but orderly, and there will be exceptions and inconsistencies across the board, known and unknown.

Among the known exceptions and inconsistencies, if there is a partial government shutdown:

  • Air traffic controllers and many Transportation Security Agency employees will be required to work without pay;
  • FBI, DEA agents and correction officers will be required to work without pay;
  • Mail will be delivered as the Postal Service does not rely on discretionary appropriations;
  • National parks and museums may be opened or closed.
  • The EPA has announced it will maintain operations next week even if President Donald Trump and Congress fail to agree on a stop-gap spending bill by Friday’s deadline.
  • And Members of Congress will still get paid.

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PERSI Contribution Rate Increase to Take Effect July 1, 2019

Posted By Justin Ruen, Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Board of Directors of the Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho (PERSI) decided to move forward with the planned contribution rate increase that will take effect July 1, 2019.  

"After reaching all-time highs at the end of August, the capital markets have seen significant volatility and drops during October," PERSI noted in a recent press release.  "The current forecast for the capital markets is a continuation of occasional volatility and general sideways movement for the immediate future."

The Board "determined that it would be in the best interest of the fund to allow the rate increase to go into effect."

The current and new contribution rates are shown below for public safety and general members.



Current Rate

New Rate July 1, 2019

Fire & Police Members

Employer Rate



Employee Rate



Total Rate



General Members

Employer Rate



Employee Rate



Total Rate



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Drug "Take Back" and "Sharps" Legislation Adopted in Other States

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Monday, December 10, 2018
California has chaptered a pharmaceutical and sharps waste stewardship bill on September 30, 2018. The drug take-back elements of this bill will have benefits of reducing household toilet flushing of unused and expired pharmaceuticals to wastewater and reclaimed treatment facilities. The sharps take-back portion of the bill also reduces flushing of sharps including needles to these facilities which helps to protect our wastewater workforce servicing collection and treatment systems.

California joins two other states. Washington state has a drug take-back program which was recently signed by the governor and chaptered on March 22, 2018 with an effective date of June 7, 2018. On June 28, 2018, New York passed a similar drug take back act which was chaptered on July 10.

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Register NOW for the Third Annual AIC Water Summit!

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Updated: Thursday, December 6, 2018

Registration is now open for the Third Annual AIC Water Summit scheduled for the afternoon of January 23rd at the Riverside Hotel, Garden City, Idaho.

The summit is conveniently scheduled the day before AIC's City Officials' Day at the Capitol on January 24th and will feature informative discussions about Idaho's current water management challenges and their possible impacts to cities, industries, and residents. 


Association of Idaho Cities

Third Annual Water Summit

January 23, 2019

Riverside Hotel, Garden City, Idaho





12:00 pm: Registration Opens – North Star Room, Riverside Hotel, Garden City, Idaho

1:00 pm: Welcome/Introductions – Jess Harrison, AIC Executive Director

1:15 pm: Idaho Primacy and IPDES Program Update (Mary Anne Nelson, DEQ; Johanna Bell, AIC)

1:30 pm: Toxic Criteria Rulemaking Update: Arsenic (Jason Pappani, DEQ; Tom Dupuis, HDR)

2:00 pm: Ammonia Criteria 101 – An Orientation on the History, Issues, Future Efforts & Options (Kate Harris, Boise; Dave Clark, HDR)

2:45 pm: BREAK

3:00 pm: Eastern Snake River Plain Term Sheet Agreement Update (Chris Bromley/Candice McHugh, Bromley McHugh)

3:15 pm: IDWR Updates: (Invited: Matt Weaver, IDWR)

· Eastern Snake River Plain Ground Water Management Plan – Municipal Stakeholder Engagement and Opportunities

· New Large Water Supply Projects and Recharge Efforts – How Idaho is Preparing for the Future

3:35 pm: Stormwater Permits in Idaho – Right-Sizing with a “Maximum Extent Possible” Analysis (Tom Dupuis, HDR; Johanna Bell, AIC)

4:00 pm: AIC Fall 2018 Water Academies – Report Back (Johanna Bell, AIC; Adrianna Hummer, IRWA; Dave Flesher, USDA-RD)

4:15 pm: Regional Breakout Sessions:

North Star Room – Districts 1 and 2; District 4

Delamar Room – Districts 3 and 3a

Cinnabar Room – Districts 5 and 6


· Select New Regional and At Large Representative(s) (2-year terms)

· Recap Current and Emerging Water-Related Challenges

· List Needs and Possible Next Steps

4:45 pm: Report Back and Wrap-Up

5:00 pm: Adjourn

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Upcoming EPA webinars focus on new federal water infrastructure loan and guarantee program

Posted By Justin Ruen, Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Learn about the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014 (WIFIA) at upcoming EPA webinars in December.  WIFIA is a new federal loan and guarantee program at EPA that aims to accelerate investment in our nation's water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects.  For more information about the program, visit the EPA's WIFIA webpage.  

WIFIA Financial Benefits

December 12, 2018, 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. (ET)

Learn about the WIFIA’s financial benefits including general information about flexibilities and a case study of one of WIFIA’s closed loans.


RESCHEDULED!* WIFIA Application Process

December 18, 2018, 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. (ET)

Learn about the WIFIA application process, including the Letter of Interest submission, evaluation, and selection.

Register for one or both of these webinars at the EPA's website.

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Water Quality Professionals: Plan to Attend the Idaho Water Quality Workshop

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Monday, December 3, 2018

For the 29th year, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality is hosting a FREE Idaho Water Quality Workshop - the longest-running and best attended gathering of water quality professionals in Idaho!

Mark your calendars for January 29-31, 2019 and plan to attend this informative workshop at Boise State University near downtown Boise.  Topics include citizen scientific monitoring, nutrient trends, toxics, ground water, and long-term hydrologic forecasts.  Attendees include agencies, consultants, tribes, cities, academics and the public.  This workshop promises to provide outstanding opportunities for discussion and networking.

Please register HERE; or, if you are unable to attend, please consider joining the mailing list by sending an email to

DEQ Staff Contacts: Hawk Stone ( and Brenda Valverde (


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Flags to be at Half Staff until Sunday, December 30

Posted By Justin Ruen, Saturday, December 1, 2018

Flags are to be at half staff until Sunday, December 30 to recognize the life and public service of George H.W. Bush.

Presidential Proclamation Announcing the Death of George H.W. Bush


It is my sorrowful duty to announce officially the death of George Herbert Walker Bush, the forty-first President of the United States, on November 30, 2018.

President Bush led a great American life, one that combined and personified two of our Nation’s greatest virtues: an entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to public service. Our country will greatly miss his inspiring example.

On the day he turned 18, 6 months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, George H.W. Bush volunteered for combat duty in the Second World War. The youngest aviator in United States naval history at the time, he flew 58 combat missions, including one in which, after taking enemy fire, he parachuted from his burning plane into the Pacific Ocean. After the war, he returned home and started a business. In his words, “the big thing” he learned from this endeavor was “the satisfaction of creating jobs.”

The same unselfish spirit that motivated his business pursuits later inspired him to resume the public service he began as a young man. First, as a member of Congress, then as Ambassador to the United Nations, Chief of the United States Liaison Office in China, Director of Central Intelligence, Vice President, and finally President of the United States, George H.W. Bush guided our Nation through the Cold War, to its peaceful and victorious end, and into the decades of prosperity that have followed. Through sound judgment, practical wisdom, and steady leadership, President Bush made safer the second half of a tumultuous and dangerous century.

Even with all he accomplished in service to our Nation, President Bush remained humble. He never believed that government — even when under his own leadership — could be the source of our Nation’s strength or its greatness. America, he rightly told us, is illuminated by “a thousand points of light,” “ethnic, religious, social, business, labor union, neighborhood, regional and other organizations, all of them varied, voluntary and unique” in which Americans serve Americans to build and maintain the greatest Nation on the face of the Earth. President Bush recognized that these communities of people are the true source of America’s strength and vitality.

It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of one of America’s greatest points of light, the death of President George H.W. Bush.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, in honor and tribute to the memory of President George H.W. Bush, and as an expression of public sorrow, do hereby direct that the flag of the United States be displayed at half-staff at the White House and on 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 for a period of 30 days from the day of his death. I also direct that, for the same length of time, the representatives of the United States in foreign countries shall make similar arrangements for the display of the flag at half staff over their embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

I hereby order that suitable honors be rendered by units of the Armed Forces under orders of the Secretary of Defense.

I do further appoint December 5, 2018, as a National Day of Mourning throughout the United States. I call on the American people to assemble on that day in their respective places of worship, there to pay homage to the memory of President George H.W. Bush. I invite the people of the world who share our grief to join us in this solemn observance.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-third.


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AIC Legislative Summit Nov. 30 Agenda & UPDATED Packet

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, November 20, 2018

We hope to see you at the AIC Legislative Summit on Friday, November 30 from 9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mountain Time.  If you plan on attending, please RSVP by clicking the link below.

The agenda packet for the meeting can be accessed by clicking this link.  The packet has been updated with a NEW draft of truck weight legislation, so you will want to use this packet instead of the packet that was emailed to AIC Legislative Committee members yesterday.

We will have copies of only the agenda at the meeting, so please print a copy of the packet or bring it to the meeting on your tablet, phone or other device.

All city elected officials and staff are welcome to attend.

The AIC Legislative Summit will be held in Room 420 of the Boise Centre East, located at 850 West Front Street in Boise.

We have a very full agenda with updates on a wide variety of legislative hot topics.  We hope that you can join us.  If you have any questions, please call the AIC office at (208) 344-8594 or email Justin Ruen at

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!



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