Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Associate Member?
AIC Blog
Blog Home All Blogs
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.


Search all posts for:   


Top tags: City Officials' Day at the Capitol 

Cities Asked to Help Identify Low-Income “Opportunity Zones”

Posted By Justin Ruen, Friday, February 9, 2018

The federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 contains new tax incentives for investments in low-income census tracts designated as Opportunity Zones. Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter and the Idaho Department of Commerce are calling for cities, counties, and tribes in eligible areas to apply for a Governor’s nomination to participate.

Opportunity Zones are a new community development program established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to encourage long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities. Private investment vehicles that place 90 percent or more of their funds into an Opportunity Zone can earn tax relief on the capital gains generated through those investments. Tax benefits increase the longer investments are in place.

The zones themselves will be designated in U.S. Census tracts that meet the Treasury Department’s qualifications for New Market Income Tax credits. These are U.S. Census tracts where the poverty rate is 20 percent or greater and/or family income is less than 80 percent of the area’s median income.

The governor of each state is permitted to designate 25 percent of its “low income census tracts” as Opportunity Zones subject to approval from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Idaho has 109 low-income census tracts, of which up to 27 may be designated as Opportunity Zones.

Communities in the following counties may qualify for Opportunity Zone nomination: Ada, Adams, Bannock, Benewah, Bingham, Bonner, Bonneville, Boundary, Camas, Canyon, Cassia, Clark, Clearwater, Elmore, Gem, Gooding, Jerome, Kootenai, Latah, Lemhi, Lewis, Madison, Minidoka, Nez Perce, Owyhee, Payette, Shoshone, Twin Falls, Valley and Washington.

Cities, counties, and tribes with eligible census tracts should contact the Department of Commerce and apply via the department’s online portal. For more information, to begin the application process and for access to the online portal, please email

Questions about community eligibility may be directed to Jerry Miller at or 208.287.0780. All applications must be submitted to the online portal no later than 4:00 p.m. Mountain Time on March 2, 2018.


This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Idaho Dept. of Commerce Schedules Webinars on Opportunity Zones

Posted By Justin Ruen, Thursday, February 8, 2018

An aspect of the recent federal tax relief legislation that has garnered significant interest from local officials is the provision establishing Opportunity Zones, which give preferential capital gains tax status for investments in economically disadvantaged areas.  

The Idaho Department of Commerce has scheduled webinars on Monday, February 12 and Tuesday, February 20 to cover this hot topic and help local officials understand the law.  Topics to be covered include:

  • What are opportunity zones and how do they benefit investors?
  • How can local officials work with the state to identify census tracts eligible for Opportunity Zone status?
  • Walk through the online Opportunity Zone application and nominating tool.
  • Address questions regarding the process.

If you have any questions, please contact Jerry Miller at or 208-287-0780.

If you are unable to attend the live webinar, it will be available on demand at this location:

Links to register for the webinars are provided below.  

February 12, 2018

2:30 – 3:30 MST (1:30 -2:30 PST)


February 20, 2018

10:00 -11:00 MST (9:00 -10:00 PST)


This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

2018 AIC Water Summit - Presentations

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Friday, January 26, 2018

The second AIC Water Summit, held in Boise on January 22, 2018, focused on current and emerging water policy issues affecting Idaho cities.  AIC is grateful to our presenters and for the quality engagement by so many of our members!

Please find the presentations here, and look for the summary from our regional break-out sessions in an upcoming post.

Cooperative Federalism: Dave Clark, HDR & Haley Falconer, Boise City

Stormwater Management & Funding: Troy Tymeson, City of Coeur d’Alene

Stormwater Program Planning: Les MacDonald, City of Moscow

Idaho Water Recharge: Brain Patton, Idaho Department of Water Resources

Water Re-Use – Decentralized Non-Potable Re-Use: Tristian Bounds, Orenco Systems

Boise Re-Use Fact Sheet: Kate Harris, Boise City

Meridian Re-Use Fact Sheet: Laurelei McVey, City of Meridian

Moscow Re-Use Fact Sheet: Les MacDonald, City of Moscow

Municipal Water Rights: Chris Bromely & Candice McHugh, McHugh Bromley PLLC, Idaho Water Law Attorneys

Idaho Primacy & Water Quality Update: Mary Anne Nelson & Don Essig, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality

This post has not been tagged.

Share |

Thanks for Making City Officials' Day at the Capitol a Success!

Posted By Justin Ruen, Thursday, January 25, 2018

We extend our appreciation to the over 170 city elected officials and staff who participated in the 2018 City Officials' Day at the Capitol on Tuesday. 

The event kicked off in the morning with remarks from Speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives Scott Bedke of Oakley and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Winder of Boise.  Speaker Bedke confirmed that the Legislature is working hard to fix the error in last session's transportation funding bill for the Strategic Initiatives Program and get that money to local governments as soon as possible.

We also heard from a panel of legislators including Sen. Maryanne Jordan of Boise, Sen. Kelly Anthon of Burley, Rep. Tom Loertscher of Bone, and Rep. Christy Perry of Nampa.  

There were in-depth discussions on important policy areas that the Legislature is expected to address this year, including magistrate court funding and campaign finance.  

We were fortunate to have nearly all of the 105 members of the Legislature in attendance for lunch, where legislators were presented with a copy of the newly released Idaho's 200 Cities books, available now from Ridenbaugh Press.

Thanks again for your help in making City Officials' Day a success!

 Attached Thumbnails:

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

House State Affairs Committee Kills Financial Disclosure Bill

Posted By Justin Ruen, Thursday, January 18, 2018

One of the most significant bills of the session was defeated yesterday morning as the House State Affairs Committee voted overwhelmingly to kill a bill sponsored by the committee’s chair—Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Iona—to require state and local elected officials and candidates to disclose personal financial information.

The legislation would have required candidates for state, legislative, county and city office to file annual reports identifying their primary employer and occupation or job title; all entities they own or for which they are an officer; every entity that has paid them $5,000 or more in income in the past year; each entity in which they own stocks or bonds (not mutual funds) valued at more than $5,000; any boards on which they serve; and their spouse’s name, occupation and employer.  A legislative work group looking at reforms to Idaho’s Sunshine Law unanimously supported the financial disclosure bill.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Tom Loertscher, told the committee, “Financial disclosure of elected officials is in your future, because this will happen at some point,” possibly through the citizen initiative process if the Legislature fails to act on the issue.  “The point of this legislation and the way this is written is to make this the least intrusive way I can think of for us to accomplish that.”

Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, argued that the legislation could allow public officials and their family members to be targeted because of the official’s beliefs.  “To focus on legislator sources of income, spousal sources of income, is to put a target on our back to many groups and individuals nationwide that would work to silence various ideologies, various voices, by attacking the economics.”

It is not clear whether the sponsor will bring back the legislation in a different form, but AIC is monitoring this issue. 

AIC’s perspective is that the current process where elected officials declare their conflicts of interest on the record at a public meeting works well, it does not require a bunch of paperwork, and it is done in a public forum so that members of the governing board and the public are on notice as to the existence and extent of the conflict.  AIC is dedicated to helping local officials understand Idaho’s ethics and conflict of interest laws and provides extensive training covering those areas.


This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Register Now for the AIC Water Summit (January 22nd)

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Monday, January 15, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Water shapes economic growth, the environment, and the very social fabric of our communities. Ensuring that all people have access to safe, reliable, and affordable water and wastewater systems is the cornerstone of a sustainable and prosperous Idaho, and nation.

Idaho’s population growth now outpaces Nevada and Utah at 2.2%.  However, while not all regions within Idaho may be experiencing this growth, all regions are grappling with changing weather patterns, new energy supply/efficiency options, growing income inequality, and water quality and quantity pressures that impact Idaho communities. 

Bottom line - each day more and more cities within Idaho are confronting an unsettling fact of life—our supplies of clean, dependable, economical water are more fragile than at any time in our recent history.  

AIC invites you to participate, listen, converse, and weigh in on our current water supply and quality issues. The 2018 Water Summit will focus on current and emerging water policy issues affecting cities including, but not limited to: water rights, water quality, and stormwater.  A key component of the 2018 Summit will be the selection of new regional representatives to serve on the AIC Municipal Water Users Group oversight board.

Register for the 2018 AIC Water Summit by January 17th HERE.


More Background & Resources

All people need access to the basics—water, food, shelter—in order to participate fully in society. When these basic conditions are met, our communities and our economy thrive. Water systems that do not deliver clean, affordable water to all people can exacerbate inequality and undermine our State's future prosperity. Communities that face various forms of water stress are vulnerable and frequently held back from full participation in the economy, lowered productivity and competitiveness.  Moreover, as water utilities work to fund the maintenance and operations of their systems, they need financially stable ratepayers.

In the face of these issues, how do we create a new era of water management in Idaho—one that secures economic, environmental, and community well-being?

The 2017 Association of Idaho Cities Municipal Utility Survey identified a number of key challenges with respect to equitable water availability and affordability.  These challenges include:

  • Aging, Inadequate, or Lack of Infrastructure 
  • Affordability
  • Small Ratepayer Base (Fragmentation)
  • Water Quality
  • Trained or Certified Operators

The 2017 Survey demonstrated that water supply and quality challenges vary from place to place.  Additionally, our legal frameworks for water predate modern challenges like bio-accumulative toxins or growing income disparity. 

In light of an increased understanding of the challenges facing Idaho, it is equally important to recognize the cumulative, reinforcing, positive impacts of equitable water management.  A recent report by the US Water Alliance sets forth a framework to advance water equity in America, organized around three pillars where progress is being forged:

  • Ensure all people have access to clean, safe, affordable water service,
  • Maximize the community and economic benefits of water infrastructure investment; and,
  • Foster community resilience in the face of a changing climate.

So, how do we create a new era of water management in Idaho—one that secures economic, environmental, and community well-being?  A series of "listening sessions" held in 2017 with water and wastewater utilities, private companies and environmental groups from across the country resulted in a report titled: "Seven Big Ideas."  These ideas seek to provide practical solutions, focused on policy and decision-making, to positively change how we manage our water resources and infrastructure," the group says.  The seven ideas are:

  1. Advance regional collaboration on water management.
  2. Accelerate agriculture-utility partnerships to improve water quality.
  3. Sustain adequate funding for responsible water infrastructure management.
  4. Blend public and private expertise and investment to address water infrastructure needs.
  5. Redefine affordability for the 21st century.
  6. Reduce lead risks, and embrace the mission of protecting public health.
  7. Accelerate technology adoption to build efficiency and improve water service.

Current AIC efforts include assessing whether Idaho laws and regulations constrain innovative approaches to integrating water policy either horizontally (i.e., across water sectors) or vertically (i.e., alignment with other investments in infrastructure, agriculture, environmental protection, and social equity). 

Keep up on these and other efforts by serving on the Municipal Water Users Group and the Water Re-Use Task Force.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |

Register Today for AIC City Officials’ Day at the Capitol!

Posted By Justin Ruen, Thursday, January 4, 2018

The most valuable opportunity for city officials to discuss issues with members of the Idaho Legislature is coming up in a few weeks at the AIC City Officials’ Day at the Capitol in Boise on Tuesday, January 23, 2018.  There is still time to register via the AIC website:

We urge city officials to contact their legislators and ask that they join you for the Legislative Luncheon at Noon at the Boise Centre East Building Room 400A-B.  That provides an opportunity to discuss whether you will meet them at the Capitol or at the luncheon and other logistical matters, helping to ensure a successful lunch.

The day will start promptly at 9:00 a.m. in the Lincoln Auditorium in the Garden Level West Wing of the Idaho Capitol building.  City officials will hear from President Pro Tem of the Idaho Senate Brent Hill of Rexburg and Speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives Scott Bedke of Oakley.  Then, a panel of legislators will share their perspectives on the session, and you will also hear updates on magistrate court funding, reforms to Idaho’s Sunshine Law, and other issues.

At 11:30 a.m., the meeting will break to allow city officials to meet their legislators at the entrance to the House and Senate on the third floor of the Capitol.  City officials will then escort their legislators to lunch at the Boise Centre East Building Room 400 A-B (shuttle buses will be running from the capitol to the Boise Centre).

Lunch will be largely unprogrammed with the goal of ensuring city officials and legislators have time for conversation.   

During the afternoon city officials can watch legislative committee meetings in the Garden Level of the Capitol, check out the Capitol and its many informative historical exhibits, or schedule meetings with legislators or state agency staff.

We look forward to seeing you on January 23 at City Officials’ Day at the Capitol!


This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Join Us for AIC Water Summit & City Officials' Day at the Capitol in January

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Association of Idaho Cities is pleased to invite you to attend two events critical to the interests of Idaho Cities: the 2018 AIC Water Summit and AIC City Officials' Day at the Capitol on January 22nd and 23rd!  These meetings are being held on consecutive dates in Boise to make travel easier for city officials.    

Each year, the Idaho Legislature makes critical policy decisions that impact cities—decisions affecting property taxes, state shared revenues, annexation authority, city water rights and many other areas.  It is essential that all city officials are engaged with legislators and informed of these critical issues.

During this AIC City Officials’ Day at the Capitol on Tuesday, January 23, 2018, you will gain insight into the legislative process, have opportunities to communicate with your legislators and become informed about important legislative issues facing Idaho’s cities. 

Please call your local legislators and extend to them a personal invitation to attend the Legislative Luncheon!  A personal invitation from you is essential to ensuring a successful luncheon, and your effort is appreciated! Register for the City Official’s Day at the Capitol now at

New this year, the 2018 AIC Water Summit on January 22nd will be co-located at the Riverside Hotel with the Idaho Water Users Winter Convention.  The 2018 AIC Water Summit will focus on current and emerging water policy issues affecting cities including water rights, water quality, and stormwater.  An important component of the 2018 Water Summit will be regional break-out sessions to develop uniform priorities for AIC members; and the selection of new regional representatives to serve on the AIC Municipal Water Users Group oversight board.

Discount Available: For those interested in attending both the 2018 AIC Water Summit and the Idaho Water Users Convention, the Idaho Water Users are graciously offering AIC Water Summit attendees a "member rate" discount. 

Register for the 2018 AIC Water Summit now at and the Idaho Water Users Association Convention at  



This post has not been tagged.

Share |

AIC Academy Presentations Now Available for Review

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, November 21, 2017

We look forward to seeing you at the regional AIC Academies in the coming weeks.  These events provide new and veteran city officials with vital information on roles and responsibilities, basics of city government, open meetings, public records, ethics, and much more.  There is still time to register via the AIC webpage.  

The PowerPoint presentation for the Academies has been finalized and can be accessed online on the 2017 AIC Fall Academies webpage under Presentation Links.  There are four versions, depending on how many slides you want on the page: 1 slide per page, 2 slides per page, 3 slides per page, or 1 slide per page with notes.  Please note that opening these files takes a couple minutes because they are very large.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Great Gift Idea: Idaho’s 200 Cities Books Now Available for Purchase at Ridenbaugh Press

Posted By Justin Ruen, Friday, November 17, 2017

Did you know that the City of Council was named for the historic location where Native American tribes camped in the Weiser River valley to catch and dry salmon?

Would it surprise you to learn that St. Charles, Idaho is the birthplace of Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor who memorialized Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Lincoln in Mount Rushmore?

Isn’t it interesting to learn that citizens in the City of Dover successfully sought to be incorporated in 1988 out of fear of being annexed by nearby Sandpoint?

These are the kind of fascinating facts about Idaho communities that you can find in the Idaho’s 200 Cities books, which are now available for purchase via the Ridenbaugh Press website

There’s an upcoming event at Rediscovered Books in Boise on Monday, November 20 where you can meet the Editor of the books, former Idaho State Senator Hal Bunderson, as well as other prominent Idaho authors. 

Idaho’s 200 Cities tells the story of Idaho through the history and development of its communities.  It’s a great gift idea for city or county officials, legislators, educators, history buffs, or anyone who loves our great state.

Three regional profile volumes are dedicated to North, Southwest and East Idaho, with a chapter profiling each city in the region.  The profile volumes feature historical photos that greatly enrich the reading experience.  There are also three regional trivia books with thousands of trivia questions.

The regional profile volumes are available in hardbound or softbound editions.  The regional trivia volumes are only available in softbound. 

This project has been a labor of love for Senator Bunderson, who was one greatest champions that cities have had in the Idaho Legislature.  Bunderson worked in partnership with AIC and community volunteers over more than a decade to produce the six-volume set.  We greatly appreciate the work of hundreds of community volunteers who made this project possible.


This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
Page 31 of 43
 |<   <<   <  26  |  27  |  28  |  29  |  30  |  31  |  32  |  33  |  34  |  35  |  36  >   >>   >| 
Membership Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal