Elected officials working
together to positively
manage community
growth.

Meeting Minutes
April 22, 2014

Attendees

  • Tammy deWeerd
  • John Evans
  • Bob Henry
  • Brad Holton
  • Garret Nancolas
  • Greg Nelson
  • Jim Reynolds
  • Darin Taylor
  • Steve Rule

Staff and Guests

  • Representative Rick Youngblood
  • Kelvin Barth, Advocates Against Family Violence
  • Kim Ivacheck, Advocates Against Family Violence
  • Terry Kirkham, Idaho Department of Corrections
  • Bill Larsen – Treasure Valley Partnership

John welcomed everyone to Garden City. The facility we are in (The Barrelhouse) sat empty for years. They started a brewery down Chinden and took this facility over, remodeled it and have since outgrown this facility and are moving over to Eagle. It is a real local success story.

Open Discussion

Eastern Idaho SAUSA Meeting

Bill thanked Terry Kirkham and Representative Youngblood for joining us during this discussion. As everyone knows, we are headed to Pocatello tomorrow to present the Statewide SAUSA proposal to representatives of jurisdictions in Eastern Idaho. Right now there are 12 different jurisdictions that have indicated they are attending the meeting. U.S. Attorney for Idaho, Wendy Olson will be in Pocatello to help us present the SAUSA Program. Bill passed around a packet that will be handed out during the meeting.

In the meeting information packet, Bill pointed out the Statewide SAUSA Proposal and an updated quarterly report. The numbers keep going up. As a summary, the savings to the State have eclipsed $19 million. 260 people have been indicted with a success rate of 95%. He pointed out that Twin Falls had another person who has been indicted under the SAUSA Program.

He wanted to have this discussion as we are making the effort to go to Pocatello. The objective is to get the Eastern Idaho jurisdictions to sign an MOU to fund the local portion under the proposal. If that happens, then he feels the ball goes to another court (the State). He asked how we get this ball passed through the State.

Representative Rick Youngblood said Representative Darrel Bolz have been the JFAC members that have supported the SAUSA Program in the past. Darrel has been Rick’s mentor the last couple of years and he has followed him through twenty different agencies budgets throughout the year. In talking with him earlier, Rick said the key is getting local involvement. And if we get local involvement then we need to approach JFAC directly and Rick will be happy to be that liaison to get the folks from JFAC to buy off on the proposal.

John said one of the issues we have to remember is we have to start this by late summer because if you’re not in the cue, you are not going to be successful. Terry said that Director Reinke is supportive of the proposal and sees the benefit of it and will be happy to do what is needed.

Rick said the JFAC Tour will be June 9th. It is going to be local, so we will be around Boise. Terry said he will mention this to Director Reinke to see if we can get this program on the agenda for the tour.

2014 Legislature

HB571

Garret said that HB 571 was held in committee and it looks like it will not be back. He said he wanted to thank Mayor’s DeWeerd and Evans for their efforts. Their position is, it is a one Irrigation District and one City issue and is not a legislative issue. He feels this message was heard by some. The good news is the issue is being resolved. However, the lobby firm that was on the other side of the issue is used to getting their way and he feels this issue will resurface. The legislation that was proposed is dramatically damaging to economic development, to cities, to counties and anybody that has interaction with irrigation districts.

Garret said most irrigation districts and cities get along fine. There are five irrigation districts in Caldwell and they get along famously with four of them. As a prime example, take a look at the relationship between the Twin Falls Canal company and the City of Twin Falls. That is the way it is supposed to work. They have had the same issue the City of Caldwell has. Caldwell has lost three different businesses that wanted to come to Caldwell that would have brought several hundred jobs to the City. But we couldn’t get an irrigation ditch moved to the edge of the property so they could build. In Twin Falls, they had an identical issue where an irrigation ditch ran through the center of a twelve acre parcel. The development engineer sent over drawings to the engineer with the Twin Falls Canal Company saying they would like to move the irrigation ditch. In less than 30 days, they began construction to move the ditch. There was no 20 page document, no attorney fees and the process moved forward smoothly.

The real issue is it only took 30 days vs. the two and a half years the City of Caldwell has been faced with.

Tammy said she thinks a lot of this is the relationship with the board of the irrigation district. During their meetings, they put you out in the lobby and you can only go into their meeting room when they invite you. And you can only speak to the agenda item. She said they offered to have a staff member serve as liaison to help with communication. The irrigation district refused this because this person was not on the agenda.

Several TVP members indicated they have experienced this as well.

Urban Renewal

Representative Youngblood said he is working on the urban renewal subject and asked people to contact him with these issues. John said he feels the clarification many of the City representatives need is, what is the problem we are trying to solve with the legislative efforts? Many of us (cities) would be in a different situation if we didn’t have an Urban Renewal District in the City because of utility rate-payer offsets we have been able to accomplish through tax increment financing.

Tammy said, through her chairmanship of AIC, she has had the opportunity to talk to small cities throughout the State. She asked Representative Youngblood if it would help if they held a panel during the upcoming AIC conference. Tammy said that in each community, Urban Renewal Districts are established for a particular reason. In those areas where these are used for economic development and they have gone through the public information process to do so, she feels that it is that community’s determination, not the State’s.

Garret added there are seven different things urban renewal can be used for and economic development is one of them. In Caldwell, they have used this tool for sewer and water lines.

Greg said if you talk urban renewal in Kuna, they all run from it because of what has occurred in Nampa. There is so much misunderstanding about the tax impacts. It would help us to have an educational package on urban renewal.

Tammy said to Greg’s point, a lot of people think that if you are in a URA you are paying more taxes when you are not. That is the education part that people don’t understand.

John said their issue with an URA is it can create obligations over time. So there has to be some connection and a philosophical umbrella that a URA board works under. He said the idea with urban renewal is to do something that probably wouldn’t get done in the time frame. They are full of that in Garden City.

Retreat

Bill said this year’s Retreat is scheduled for September 11 and 12. For the last couple of years we have gone to Tamarack and we have an opportunity to do that again this year. Bill asked two questions. Do we want to keep it at two days vs. one day, and what topics do people want to pursue during the retreat?

Brad said he would like to keep it at two days. The topics we cover are so detailed that it gives us time to delve deeply into each item. He felt TMDL is a hot topic and urban renewal could be another.

John said on urban renewal, we can find the points of agreement we have in this group and this might tailor our response on what might be coming down from the legislature.

Tammy said she would like to have economic development be part of the retreat to see how we can work better as a region.

John added that the evening we stay over is a social part for us. This is good for us and we get the opportunity to know one another.

Garret moved we hold this year’s retreat September 11 & 12 at Tamarack. Darin seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Director’s Report

Bill stated we have one expense beyond our normal monthly costs. That is the reservation for the two houses at Tamarack.

Tammy said the officer’s got together prior to the meeting. We discussed next year’s budget and they will bring a proposal to the full TVP next month.

Tammy moved to accept the Director’s report. The motion was seconded by several members. Motion approved unanimously.

Teens – Healthy Relationships

John introduced Kelvin Barth who had invited him over to Caldwell to visit Hope’s Door. John wanted the TVP to know the resource we have in this organization. We all have at-risk folks in our communities. Kelvin is here to talk about what Hope’s Door does and through any connections we have we can point volunteers in their direction.

Garret said he has had some good workings with Hope’s Door and feels this organization does very good work.

Steve said the County has been involved with this organization for two years. They wanted to try some financial support to get data to show how this program keeps the welfare side of their budget down. He encouraged the members to view this upcoming presentation as a way to save tax dollars.

Kelvin said he was going to talk about their shelter and their teen – healthy relationship program. He introduced Kim Ivacheck.

Kim said she has been at the helm for five years. She said she is a survivor of domestic abuse. When most of us think about domestic abuse, we think of it as a good strong beating. That is not the case and it covers every specific area of a person’s life. Whether it is financial, physical or emotional, domestic abuse exists.

Their mission is to eliminate violence in the lives of individuals. Last year they affected the lives of over 8,000 individuals. With their shelter, they served 690 people last year. They are trying to restore hope to victims of domestic abuse. People come to them often-time with absolutely nothing.

They are the organization that initiated a sexual assault response team. Through this effort, they have physicians, nurses, advocates and victim witness coordinators. All of these people are in the room so the victim only has to tell their story once. They now have on-site counseling so that victims don’t have to go somewhere else to receive counseling. In addition, they have on-site child care so people can do the things needed to get their life started again.

In 2013 they received 1,022 crisis calls and served over 8,300 individuals. When you look at what is reported, one in four will be affected by abuse in their life time.

She provided a story…. When Melissa she came to them, she came with a lot of battle wounds. Her face was a mess and she had stayed because she thought she was being a really good mom. She had lost her babies to child protection services. Her ex-husband is now serving a prison term because of the abuse. When she moved out of their shelter, she thought she was done. She thought everything was going to be alright. However her youngest child was diagnosed with a kidney disease. They were able to get a kidney transplant for her youngest child.

The sad part is they have a waiting list of about 30 people each month that are waiting to receive their shelter services. They make sure these people are safe and have a safe place to live while they are waiting for the shelter to open up to them.

They are not a substance abuse treatment program. However people that come through their doors often time do have substance abuse problems as a result of trying to cope with abuse. As a result they do have a safe and sober facility and an on-site drug and alcohol abuse counselor to help people with this problem.

Because they have a waiting list, they are looking at trying to get funding for a larger facility. They are hoping to get this accomplished in the next two years.

Kelvin said that through Hopes Door, they provide a shelter. This is really the symptom. It is what happens after someone has been in an unhealthy relationship. Normally, it takes someone several times getting abused before they actually leave the home.

Prevention is going to be their number one priority service going forward.

Kelvin asked what is an unhealthy relationship and what does it look like. 87% of parents think they know what it looks like. This is 100% false. We see it happen in elementary school, but it really happens between the ages of 12 and 18. 1/3 of all girls in high school have had some sort of sexual encounter. 50% of all teens talk about being in unhealthy relationships because of bullying, a controlling relationship or other issue.

How do we deliver prevention? It shows in the stats. In the last nine months they have served 1300+ teens. In 2014 they plan on serving over 5,000 teens.

They also have a day-care center that sits right next to their apartments. In this day-care center, of the 40-50 kids that come each day, all of them are survivors of sexual assault or domestic violence.

How prevalent is this in the Treasure Valley. Kelvin said there are 85,000 kids in the valley. Roughly 10% of those are in an unhealthy relationship.

Steve asked what percentages of the people they serve are from out of state. Kelvin stated that 12% of the people in their shelter came from out of state.

Bob asked what kind of partnering is done with the Nampa Justice Center. Kelvin indicated that they have a full-time advocate that works at the center.

Jim said that one of the things he has read about with abuse is it is a cycle where the abused becomes the abuser. Is there a point in time where you have to intervene in that chronologically? How do you stop this sort of thing? Kim said that prevention is the only thing that is going to stop the cycle of violence. At one time in their shelter they had three generations of one family. When they were going to classes, the teenage daughter was getting it and mom and grandmother were not and were considering going back to the abusive environment.

Bob asked how they are funded. Kim said they have one major federal grant through the victim/witness program. They also get several small grants through foundations and they have a large donor base. They get about 2/3 of their operating funds through grants and about 1/3 through donations. Kelvin said they have a masquerade ball fund raiser in the upcoming week and this is a big part of how they are going to fund their teen outreach program.

Tammy asked how closely they work with the family advocates program. Kim said they have a good working relationship with this group and teach the teen healthy relationship class to those that are in the independent living program.

Darin asked about an approximate percentage of folks they serve that are also being served through prosecutions. Kim said they have recently been working on tracking this relationship. Up to now, they have not been tracking this. They estimate that 30% of those they are serving are also being served by prosecutors.

Job Reimbursement/Refund Legislation

Tammy felt this is going to be a good tool, it is a reimbursement program for new employers that meet certain qualifications. But there is a local match requirement to it. It is a good tool for the tool box. For example, if a business were to be looking at bringing in some high paying jobs and land in your community, you would have a requirement for a portion of this incentive package. The State will be able to reimburse a portion of the payroll taxes. This will get you into a competitive position with other states that are trying to attract these type of jobs. The problem is there is a local match requirement for using this tool. So, the local match is a reimbursement through infrastructure improvements, etc. She has been asking BVEP and others what exactly is expected through this local match.

Bob said they are looking at their budget and are trying to set aside some funds for this local match. It is not a lot, and like Tammy, they are going to have to take funds from public safety to pay for the local match.

Tammy said there are no rules as of yet, but the Department of Commerce is beginning to work on this. She added that there are different qualifiers and side boards so it can vary based on the community the prospective business is going into. She encouraged everyone to start having conversations with your Councils on what you are able and willing to do in this regard.

John asked Steve if they have done many property tax waivers for new employers that are bringing in jobs. Steve indicated they have done this about five times in Canyon County recently. He added there are two levels that could go as high as a 75% forgiveness of property taxes over a five year period if they meet a certain types of criteria. He indicated that there are also hardship cases and a couple times where they have forgiven taxes to give a business a chance to get caught up.

Trauma Intervention Program

Tammy said in Ada County, they are moving forward with this program. The larger the area they serve the better because it does give the volunteers the opportunity to use the skills they have learned. The hope is once it gets going in Ada Count there will be momentum to expand into Canyon County.