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Top tags: City Officials' Day at the Capitol 

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

11.66%

12.28%

Employee Rate

8.36%

8.81%

Total Rate

20.02%

21.09%

General Members

Employer Rate

11.32%

11.94%

Employee Rate

6.79%

7.16%

Total Rate

18.11%

19.10%

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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

 

 

Agenda

 

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

Tasks:

· 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 wqw@deq.idaho.gov.

DEQ Staff Contacts: Hawk Stone (hawk.stone@deq.idaho.gov) and Brenda Valverde (brenda.valverde@deq.idaho.gov).

 

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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.

DONALD J. TRUMP

https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/presidential-proclamation-announcing-death-george-h-w-bush/

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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.

https://idahocities.org/events/register.aspx?id=1158197

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 jruen@idahocities.org

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

 

 

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AIC Fall 2018 Water Academies: Gratitude and Resources

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Friday, November 16, 2018

Representatives from over 60 AIC member cities attended five regional Water Academy training sessions over these past few weeks; learning about statewide support and services, regional and statewide challenges facing water utilities, how to evaluate the status and resilience of their drinking water and reclaimed/wastewater utilities, best practices for delivering safe, affordable drinking water, and about tools for ensuring IPDES compliance.

As promised during the training, AIC is posting supporting resources and the presentations.  

Drinking Water and Reclaimed/Wastewater Evaluations (blank form, contact Johanna for Word format)

"Resourced" Drinking Water Evaluation (web links and additional resources)

"Resourced" Reclaimed/Wastewater Evaluation (web links and additional resources)

Morning Slide Deck

Afternoon Slide Deck

 

Johanna wishes to thank the following individuals and organizations for their support during the Fall 2018 Water Academies:

Adrianna Hummer - Idaho Rural Water Association's "Rock Star" Source Protection Specialist and Trainer

Dave Flesher - USDA Rural Development's "Supreme" Community Program Director

Jim McNall - ICRMP's "Esteemed" Risk Management Coordinator

Platinum sponsors HDR and Stantec

Jess Harrison, AIC's "Exalted" Executive Director

Elaine Clegg, AIC's "Distinguished" President

Sheila Christensen, AIC's "Acclaimed" Events Coordinator

Dara Von Lossberg, AIC's "Distinguished" Financial Services Coordinator

GayDawn Oyler, AIC's "Renowned" Administrative Assistant

 

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AIC Forms a New IPDES Task Force

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Friday, November 16, 2018

The Association of Idaho Cities (AIC) serves to advance the interests of the cities of Idaho through legislative advocacy, technical assistance, training, and research.  Idaho cities play important roles as primary implementers of the Clean Water Act, representing over 70% of all Idaho residents.  These stakeholders have a significant interest in the development of water quality standards, rules, and guidance related to the protection of human and aquatic life.  AIC is actively engaged in water quality issues through the work of our Environment Committee, chaired by Boise City Council President Pro Tem Elaine Clegg and our Municipal Water Users Group, chaired by Jerome City Council President Bob Culver.

AIC has recently formed a new IPDES Task Force to provide an opportunity to jointly review draft IPDES permits as they are publicized by the DEQ.  These meetings will be held via webinars and conference calls and scheduled as needed. 

Please contact Johanna Bell at jbell@idahocities.org, (208) 344-8594 if you wish to be included in this Task Force or have questions.

Background:

On November 30, 2017 the AIC Board of Directors supported SB1218 establishing the state program. AIC has long understood the advantages to member cities for delegation of the Clean Water Act discharge permit program to Idaho, including:

  • Access to regulators and technical compliance assistance: 76% of the 114 Idaho POTWs serve population less than 5,000. It is cost-prohibitive for most of Idaho's rural communities to meet with the Seattle regulators in-person.  Equally cost-prohibitive are for these cities to individually keep abreast on new regulations and evolving policies and case law that impacts the implementation of the Clean Water Act.  While AIC strives to provide as much technical and policy support as possible, all AIC members recognize the need to utilize the technical capabilities under development within Idaho's state agencies.
  • Competency of state regulators and technical compliance assistance: AIC members provide significant funding for Idaho's primacy through Idaho's assessment of permit fees.  AIC members accept these additional financial burdens in light of EPA Region 10's historic and immense NPDES permit backlog.  The protection of public health and safety is an important responsibility of AIC's members.  AIC members consistently seek to ensure compliance, and wish to preserve their ability to comply, with Clean Water Act regulations.   AIC members understand that support for the regulatory and technical capabilities under development within Idaho's state agencies will in turn provide for improved environmental outcomes and compliance, which will benefit all of Idaho's communities. 
  • Access to, and improved, coordination of state and federal financial and technical resources for facility planning and capital improvements:  The 2017 American Society of Civil Engineers infrastructure needs report identified that Idaho communities will need to invest approximately $1.38 billion in wastewater infrastructure over the next 20 years.  Both financial and technical resources are required by AIC members in order to ensure these investments are made in a manner that will ensure long-term compliance under the Clean Water Act.  Idaho communities' investments must be informed through a well-supported Clean Water Act permitting program - a program founded on the delegation of permitting authority to Idaho under the Clean Water Act.

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Funding for Renewable Energy Projects Available from Rocky Mountain Power

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Thursday, November 15, 2018

Rocky Mountain Power (RMP) is offering up to 100% funding for renewable energy projects to current RMP customers in its Eastern Idaho service territory through the Blue Sky program. These funds can apply to new or additions to existing wind, solar, geothermal, or low impact hydro projects. They are specifically looking for community-serving organizations.

The Rocky Mountain Blue Sky Community Project Funding page has more details, but the main requirements for project funding are:

* Ownership of the land/building
* Participation in the Blue Sky program ($15/month is sufficient)
* Be a community-serving organization (schools, churches, homeless shelters, fire stations, city/state/county agencies, non-profit medical clinics, etc.)

The Blue Sky program buys renewable energy certifications and retires them on behalf of participating customers. Any excess program funds are used to fund renewable energy projects in the service territory. Marketing for this program has been very limited in Eastern Idaho, so there have been no projects (or even project applications) for about five years. To increase project applications, Rocky Mountain has recently removed all matching requirements for project funding.

There may also be an opportunity for profit-seeking organizations to participate in “Blue Sky Builds.” There have been three in Utah, but none in Idaho yet. Please reach out to Keven Hoopiiaina (contact listed below) for additional information.

Check the website to see the types of successful projects that have been completed in the past to get a better idea of what might be a worthwhile project.

If you have any questions, please contact the Blue Sky project manager, Keven Hoopiiaina. He is based in Salt Lake City and can also be reached by email at Keven.Hoopiiaina@pacificorp.com or by phone at 801-220-2047. 

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