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 

Third Annual AIC Water Summit - Presentations

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Friday, January 25, 2019

AIC would like to thank our community partners and members that provided their time and resources to make this year's Summit a great success!

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

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

Eastern Snake River Plain Term Sheet Agreement Update (Chris Bromley, Bromley McHugh)

IDWR Updates: (Mat Weaver, IDWR)

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

AIC Fall 2018 Water Academies – Report Back (Johanna Bell, AIC; Adrianna Hummer, IRWA)

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
Permalink
 

Water Infrastructure Improvement Act - Signed January 14, 2019!

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Monday, January 21, 2019

Legislation Provides Important New Environmental Flexibilities and Programs for Clean Water

Since 2012, EPA’s Integrated Planning (IP) Framework has been an important tool that has provided public clean water utilities and the communities they serve the opportunity to develop integrated management plans to better sequence and prioritize their specific Clean Water Act (CWA) obligations and investments.  Allowing communities to have better control over how they meet their permit obligations based on specific local infrastructure and environmental factors, as well as the needs of their ratepayers, is critical.  Codifying the IP Framework gives public utilities greater long-term certainty to provide communities of all sizes with safe, reliable, and more affordable clean water. 

One key provision adopted into the CWA is that permits may include a schedule of compliance that allows actions for meeting water quality-based effluent limitations to be implemented over more than one permit term if the compliance schedules are authorized by state water quality standards (e.g., Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)).

The bill also establishes an office of Municipal Ombudsman within the EPA to provide municipalities with technical assistance to comply with CWA obligations, as well as ensure Agency policies are being implemented properly at the local level.  Many communities, especially small and rural communities, often have insufficient technical capacity and expertise to manage the increasingly complex regulatory nature of the compliance obligations before them. This new office will serve as an important conduit between the Agency and local governments to ensure technical support is being provided at the local level to navigate these statutory requirements, and ensure compliance to avoid unnecessary violations.

Lastly, the bill also includes provisions to ensure that EPA integrates the use of green infrastructure throughout its CWA compliance programs.  As communities continue dealing with aging infrastructure and increasing water quality challenges, green infrastructure can provide a cost-effective, environmentally friendly tool to help better manage wastewater and stormwater.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
Permalink
 

2019 Idaho Legislative Session is Off and Running

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The 2019 legislative session started last week with Governor Brad Little’s State of the State address and committees are considering state agency rules and starting to introduce bills. 

We anticipate that this session will be very busy from the perspective of Idaho cities.  The best ways to keep up with these developments are monitoring the AIC blog, the AIC Bill Tracker with up-to-date status of the bills we are tracking, and the AIC Bill Summaries.

AIC will be sending out requests during the session asking city officials to contact their legislators to support or oppose bills, so it is very important to reach out to your legislators and know how to get in contact with them. 

AIC’s success in advocating for cities depends on the active grassroots engagement of city officials around the state and your efforts are greatly appreciated!

 

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

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

Posted By Justin Ruen, Friday, January 11, 2019

There is still time to register for AIC City Officials’ Day at the Capitol on January 24 and the AIC Water Summit on January 23.

City Officials’ Day at the Capitol is a great opportunity to learn about important policy issues facing the Idaho Legislature and discuss these issues with legislators.  The agenda can be downloaded from the AIC website

The day will start at 9:00 a.m. Mountain Time in the Lincoln Auditorium of the Idaho Capitol Building with a legislative leadership panel featuring Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett, Speaker of the House Scott Bedke, and House Minority Leader Mat Erpelding.  The morning will also include discussion of policy hot topics, including liquor licensing reform, elections and campaign finance, and conclude with a panel on local government and tax issues including AIC Executive Director Jess Harrison, Idaho School Boards Association Executive Director Karen Echeverria, and Idaho Association of Counties Executive Director Seth Grigg.

City officials will have time to meet their legislators when the House and Senate adjourn shortly before Noon and escort them to lunch at the Boise Centre EAST Building Room 400 AB.  It’s a very short walk or a shuttle bus will be available.   

In the afternoon, the meetings will continue in Boise Centre EAST Building Room 400 AB, with the AIC Drug Task Force from 1:30 to 2:00 p.m., and District Regional Roundtables and a Resort Cities Caucus starting at 2:00 p.m.  City officials will also have the opportunity to 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 ask that you please contact your local legislators to invite them to lunch and make arrangements to escort them and sit with them during lunch.  Seating for the luncheon will be color-coded by district and seating maps will be available.

The AIC Water Summit is being held the afternoon prior to City Officials’ Day at the Capitol.  It will start at 1:00 p.m. Mountain Time in the North Star Room of the Riverside Hotel in Garden City.  The agenda includes updates on the Idaho Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program, toxics rulemaking on arsenic, a discussion of the ammonia criteria, a report on the Eastern Snake River Plain Term Sheet Agreement, updates from the Idaho Department of Water Resources, a discussion of stormwater permits in Idaho, and a report back from the AIC Fall 2018 Water Academies.  The afternoon will conclude with regional breakout sessions for electing regional representatives to the AIC Municipal Water Users Forum and discussion of local issues and hot topics.  

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

PLEASE NOTE: Harris CPAs Webinar on Grants Management RESCHEDULED for January 23

Posted By Justin Ruen, Monday, January 7, 2019

The free webinar hosted by Harris CPAs in Boise on grants management that was happening Wednesday, January 9 has been rescheduled to 11:45 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 23 at the Harris CPAs Center of Influence at 805 West Idaho Street, Suite 400 in Boise.  

If you have already registered, there is no need to re-register. 

If you have any questions, please contact Tara Davis at Harris CPAs at: taradavis@harriscpas.com or (208) 333-8965.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Idaho Supreme Court’s Recent Ruling in Hayden Sewer Capitalization Fee Case is Good for Cities

Posted By Justin Ruen, Friday, January 4, 2019

A decision by the Idaho Supreme Court last week in a case challenging the City of Hayden’s sewer capitalization fee is positive from the perspective of cities. 

The case, North Idaho Building Contractors Association v. City of Hayden, has been winding its way through the courts since 2010 and alleges that the city’s sewer capitalization fee is an illegal tax.  AIC has been closely monitoring the case and filed an amicus brief with the Idaho Supreme Court supporting Hayden’s arguments, which was drafted by our legal counsel Jerry Mason and Nancy Stricklin.

The Idaho Supreme Court’s ruling remanded the case back to District Judge Cynthia K.C. Meyer and upheld the city’s right to present evidence showing that the city’s fee complies with the methodology set forth in Loomis v. Hailey (1991). 

“In Loomis v. Hailey, this Court interpreted section 50-1030(f) to authorize a city to charge a new, one-time connection ‘buy-in’ fee to the sewer and water system that can exceed the actual cost of physically connecting,” the Supreme Court noted in their decision.  “Indeed, this Court held that the buy-in fee could be used to ‘recover the costs of operating, maintaining, replacing, and depreciating the existing water and sewer systems and any extensions thereof.’”

“The correct amount is to be calculated ‘by dividing the net system replacement value by the number of users the system can support.  The new user is charged the value of that portion of the system capacity that the new user will utilize at that point in time.”

Hayden commissioned a study by Financial Consulting Services (FCS) that was previously excluded from consideration by District Judge Meyer showing that the city’s fee complied with the Loomis methodology. 

“The City’s evidence… established that the City can make a case that the 2007 Cap Fee was reasonable when it was adopted, even though the method used to arrive at the amount of the fee was flawed.  In addition, as the City notes, the purpose and intent of the increased fee was not to generate revenue for the City; the fee was collected and placed in a special fund, designated for sewer system obligations.”

The Supreme Court remanded the case back to the District Court with instructions to consider the FCS study and other evidence to determine whether the Hayden capitalization fee complies with Idaho law.  It’s not clear at this point how long that process will take.   

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Register Today for 2019 AIC City Officials’ Day at the Capitol!

Posted By Justin Ruen, Friday, December 28, 2018

We look forward to seeing you in Boise for the 2019 AIC City Officials’ Day at the Capitol on Thursday, January 24, 2019.  You can register via the AIC website and the cost is $49 per person.  Lodging and other information is available on the AIC websiteThe day’s agenda is also provided on the AIC website.

City Officials’ Day at the Capitol provides a great opportunity to get up to speed on important policy issues impacting cities that will be considered by the Idaho Legislature in the upcoming session and to discuss these issues with legislators.

The day will start at 9:00 a.m. Mountain Time in the Lincoln Auditorium of the Idaho Capitol Building with a legislative leadership panel and policy briefings.  You will be able to escort your legislators to lunch at Noon at the Boise Centre East Building in Rooms 400 A & B.  It’s a very short walk or a shuttle bus will be available.    

In the afternoon, the meetings will continue in Boise Centre East Building Rooms 400 A & B, with the AIC Drug Task Force from 1:30 to 2:00 p.m., and District Regional Roundtables and a Resort Cities Caucus starting at 2:00 p.m.  City officials will also have the opportunity to 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 ask that you please contact your local legislators to invite them to lunch and make arrangements to escort them and sit with them during lunch.

 

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

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:

General

·         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?

Opioids

·         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. 

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

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: taradavis@harriscpas.com or (208) 333-8965.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

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.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 
Page 6 of 30
1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11  >   >>   >| 
Membership Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal