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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 

Register Today for AIC Annual Conference in Boise!

Posted By Justin Ruen, Thursday, May 24, 2018

We look forward to seeing you at the AIC Annual Conference in Boise, June 20-22 at the Boise Centre.  There is still plenty of time to register via the AIC website before the early bird deadline of May 31.  

The conference will feature many great workshops and knowledgeable speakers.  A few of the workshops are listed below.

Update Your City's Personnel Policy
Jim McNall and Mary Kummer of ICRMP will demonstrate how you can prepare a draft personnel policy update for your City and identify important decision points for the Mayor and Council in the update process.  You will also learn who might need to be involved at various stages in the process. Remember to bring your city’s current Personnel Policy to the workshop!

Understanding the Basics of City Budgeting
Shelly Enderud and Jason Faulkner from the City of Post Falls will cover the basics of the city budgeting process.  This will be an interactive discussion of the steps required to prepare for the current budget cycle, develop budget requests, and adopt the final budget.

Setting Budget Priorities Through Goal Setting and Citizen Engagement
A continuation of Understanding the Basics of City Budgeting from which Shelly Enderud and Jason Faulkner from the City of Post Falls will discuss the importance of citizen engagement during the budget cycle which creates transparency and buy-in.

Urban Renewal: From Plan Creation to Termination
This session will cover the life cycle of a revenue allocation area, including pitfalls, best practices and the importance of sharing success stories.  You will also learn the steps to create a plan and revenue allocation area, issues that arise during the life of the project area, and the necessary steps to close out a revenue allocation area.  Presented by Ryan Armbruster of Elam & Burke and Alan Dornfest of the Idaho Tax Commission.


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May 2018 Post-Election Wrap-Up

Posted By Justin Ruen, Monday, May 21, 2018

There were several city bonds and other measures on the ballot for the May 15 election and we will briefly summarize the outcome of these votes.

The most watched city ballot measure this election was the $165 million sewer bond in Nampa, which passed with over 86% of the vote.  The bond will fund sewer plant improvements required to comply with new temperature and phosphorous limits under the Clean Water Act.  Revenue bonds must pass by a simple majority.

Residents in Victor overwhelmingly approved Local Option Taxes of 3% for hotel occupancy, 1% on alcohol by the drink, and 1% on retail sales.  The revenue will be used to fund law enforcement, snow removal, street maintenance, park maintenance, and capital projects.  Local option taxes are authorized for resort cities under 10,000 population and must pass by a 60% majority at an election in May or November in any year.

Voters in Spirit Lake approved a wastewater revenue bond with 60% of the vote.  The $1.8 million bond will finance expansion of the lagoon storage capacity through adding a fifth lagoon cell and other related improvements.

Burley voters approved a $165,000 two-year override levy for street repairs with 57% of the vote.  The override levy required a simple majority to pass.

Troy voters approved a $1.7 million water revenue bond with 72% support.  The project will replace two miles of 80-year-old transmission main, upgrade the Hammond Addition Booster Station for reliability, and build a new 400,000-gallon storage reservoir near the existing reservoir to improve system reliability. 

The City of McCall passed a Local Option Tax of 3% on hotel occupancy with 85% support.  The revenue will be used to fund street, sidewalk and pathway maintenance, public transportation, construction and maintenance of cultural and recreational facilities, parks maintenance, and a local housing program.

Voters in Crouch approved a $1.3 million water revenue bond to fund a new well and other system improvements.

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Half Staff Notice

Posted By Justin Ruen, Friday, May 18, 2018

Fly the United States Flag at Half-Staff
Immediately until Sunset on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 Honoring the Victims of the Tragedy in Santa Fe, Texas






Office of the Press Secretary


May 18, 2018


- - - - - - -



Our Nation grieves with those affected by the shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas. May God heal the injured and may God comfort the wounded, and may God be with the victims and with the victims' families. As a mark of solemn respect for the victims of the terrible act of violence perpetrated on May 18, 2018, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order 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, May 22, 2018. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time 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 eighteenth day of May, 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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Call for Nominations: AIC Third Vice President

Posted By Justin Ruen, Friday, May 18, 2018

The AIC Nominating Committee will convene at the upcoming AIC Annual Conference to interview and nominate a candidate for AIC Third Vice President. To be considered for the position of AIC Third Vice President, candidates must be an elected city official from an AIC member city. Eligible candidates should also be from either AIC District 1 or 2 (cities in Boundary, Bonner, Kootenai, Shoshone, Benewah, Latah, Clearwater, Nez Perce, Lewis, or Idaho Counties).

Nomination Process

The nomination process begins with the establishment of the AIC Nominating Committee, the structure of which is set forth in the AIC Bylaws. The Nominating Committee will interview candidates for Third Vice President on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 20. The Nominating Committee will announce their nomination for AIC Board Officers during the Breakfast General Session on Thursday, June 21.  The election of AIC Board Officers will then take place during the AIC Awards Banquet held the evening of Thursday, June 21. At that time, the AIC President will call for any further nominations from the floor. After nominations are made, the AIC President will then preside over the election of 2018 AIC Board Officers.

Nominating Committee Chair: Brian Blad, Mayor of Pocatello & AIC Immediate Past President.

Nominating Committee Members:

·         Mayor Brian Blad, Pocatello

·         Councilor Greg Lanting, Twin Falls

·         Mayor Tammy de Weerd, Meridian

·         Mayor John Evans, Garden City

·         Mayor Mac Pooler, Kellogg

·         Council President Mitch Hart, Soda Springs

·         Mayor Garret Nancolas, Caldwell


To achieve a quorum, the Nominating Committee must have at least three AIC Past Presidents in attendance.  If a Quorum cannot be established the President will appoint three sitting AIC District Directors to serve with the available Past Presidents on the Nominating Committee.

Nomination of Officers: The Nominating Committee is required to select candidates according to a geographic rotation to ensure each of Idaho’s major geographic regions are represented. The AIC Bylaws have established the geographic regions to be:

North: AIC Districts 1 and 2

South: AIC Districts 3 and 4

East: AIC Districts 5 and 6

West: AIC District 3A

For the upcoming year, the AIC Officers are (by geographic region):

President: Council President Pro Tem Elaine Clegg, Boise (West)

First Vice President: Councilor Suzanne Hawkins, Twin Falls (South)

Second Vice President: Council President Tom Jenkins, Malad (East)

Third Vice President: Open for Nomination (North)

Those interested in being considered for the position of AIC Third Vice President should contact AIC Executive Director Jess Harrison via email (  Jess will then notify the Chairman of the AIC Nominating Committee of your interest and assist in scheduling an interview at the appropriate time.

About the AIC Board of Directors

The association is governed by a Board of Directors elected annually by the membership. The Board is charged with conducting the affairs of the association on behalf of member cities. Specifically, the Board is responsible for:

·         Advancing the public interest of cities,

·         Building democracy and community within cities, and

·         Strengthening the capacity of municipal government by providing research, education, and training to city elected officials and staff.

The Bylaws establish three types of Board membership: Officers, District Directors, and Past Presidents.

Officers: The Officers of the association consist of a President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, and Third Vice President. Officers are nominated by the Nominating Committee (chaired by the Immediate Past President and consisting of all Past Presidents serving on the Board) and elected by the full membership at the Annual Conference. Officers are nominated to maintain balance between Idaho’s four geographic regions. The Officers of the association also serve as members of the Board Executive Committee.

District Directors: Two District Directors are elected from each of the seven AIC districts at regional spring district workshops. Each District Director serves for staggered two-year terms.

Past Presidents: Past Presidents of the Association who have served continuously in city elective office may continue serving as voting members of the Board. The four most recent past presidents also serve on the AIC Board Executive Committee.

Executive Committee: The Executive Committee has general supervision over the affairs of the Association between Board meetings. The Executive Committee is also responsible for overseeing and evaluating the performance of the Executive Director.

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Half Staff Notice for Peace Officers Memorial Day

Posted By Justin Ruen, Monday, May 14, 2018

Fly the United States Flag at Half-Staff
on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 in Honor of
Peace Officers Memorial Day 2018





Peace Officers Memorial Day

President John F. Kennedy declared the first Peace Officers Memorial Day on May 15, 1962, as a tribute to peace officers and in honor of peace officers who, through their courageous deeds, lost their lives or became disabled in the line of duty. This day has been observed in our country annually ever since.

On this day, and every day, it is fitting to honor those peace officers who gave their lives to protect ours, and to thank the law enforcement officers who serve for their dedication and service to our communities.


In accordance with Flag Code section 7(m), the United States flag is to be displayed at half-staff for the entire day in honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day, Tuesday, May 15, 2018. By a joint resolution approved October 1, 1962, as amended (76 Stat. 676), and by Public Law 103-322, as amended (36 U.S.C. 136-137), the President has been authorized and requested to designate May 15 of each year as "Peace Officers Memorial Day" and the week in which it falls as "Police Week."


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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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