February 24, 2014
- John Bechtel
- Dave Bieter
- Tammy deWeerd
- John Evans
- Bob Henry
- Brad Holton
- Jim Reynolds
- Steve Rule
- Darin Taylor
- Rick Yzaguirre
Staff and Guests
- Richard Cardoza, Kuna City Council President
- Doug Dockter – Manager of 500 KV Projects, Idaho Power
- Bill Larsen – Treasure Valley Partnership
City Council President Richard Cardoza (sitting in for Mayor Nelson) welcomed everyone to the City of Kuna.
Eminent Domain – Water
Bob said he was very concerned with regard to legislation he heard was being contemplated. It, the bill, would severely restrict eminent domain issues and complicate drainage within the City. Everyone agreed we need to be watchful to see if this legislation gets introduced. It has implications to all Cities across the State. Brad indicated he thought it was resulting backlash by Irrigation Districts and Drainage District interests as a result of the legal action recently taken by the City of Caldwell.
Concealed Weapons on College Campuses
There was quite a bit of discussion on recent legislation that would allow concealed weapons on Idaho campuses. The effect it would have on ISU and potentially losing its license to conduct nuclear research.
Design and Beautification Standards Bill
Bob indicated he was deeply disturbed by impending legislation that would forbid cities from requiring specific exterior design and beautification standards. This really takes control away from the cities to have any sort of continuity with respect to building design. It looked like the House was going to pass it and there was discussion whether the Senate was going to follow through on it.
This bill passed the house that afternoon.
Local Option Tax
Dave indicated he had been talking with a lot of legislators and it appears this legislation will not be taken up again this year.
It appeared that this legislation for allowing the State DEQ to pursue NPDES Permitting was going to go through this year. This is a good step and it has been a long time coming and IACI really brought this over the top with their endorsement this last fall.
Pay Day Loan Ordinance
John E. indicated that Garden City had been looking at the Pay Day Loan issue. He said he wished there were a better way to do this other than with zoning sorts of language. There was a discussion about the market place and the fact that a lot of these places are owned by big banking interests. This was hindering the appetite for the State to make any meaningful progress on this issue.
Brad said that of all the businesses out there, this business model was truly a cancer on our society. They prey on people and end up owning them for life.
Tammy indicated that ICAN had been in contact with the City of Meridian as well. She agreed that zoning related sorts of efforts fell short of what really needed to happen. She felt it would be a good thing to bring them in and discuss what is happening at the State level and have another discussion around this issue and how we can institute some more clearly designed restrictions on this business model. Note: ICAN is coming to the March 17 meeting.
Trauma Intervention Program
Tammy stated that the jurisdictions in Ada County were pretty much all on board with respect to instituting the Trauma Intervention Program. She asked that everyone take a look at this program as it is a good program that will be a good service for our citizens and it will, in the long run, cost less money by having our first responders freed up.
Bob asked for a little clarification on what the TIP program is. Tammy explained it is a program where we have trained volunteers available to provide support to victims of tragedy. It allows first responders the ability to leave and not have their time tied up with providing crisis time to victims. John E. reiterated that the idea was to get our first responders back on the street and leave the dealing with the crisis in capable hands that could take the time needed by those involved.
Dave apologized that he had not had a lot of time to devote to this effort yet. He will be taking this up. He felt that the funding for the program would best come from public safety sorts of concerns and would be looking at it from that angle.
Election of TVP Officers
Darin nominated Mayor John Bechtel for Chair, Commissioner Rule seconded. Mayor Bechtel said he would have to decline because in the summer months he is busy driving fire bus and is gone for two to three months at a time. Mayor Bob Henry nominated Mayor Tammy deWeerd for the Chair of the Treasure Valley Partnership. Seconded by Mayor Darin Taylor. Motion Carried unanimously.
Mayor Tammy deWeerd nominated Mayor Bob Henry as Vice-Chair. Seconded by Mayor Darin Taylor. Motion Carried unanimously.
Mayor Darin Taylor nominated Mayor Brad Holton as Secretary/Treasurer. Seconded by
Mayor Bob Henry. Motion Carried unanimously.
Officers Chair – Mayor Tammy deWeerd
Vice-Chair – Mayor Bob Henry
Secretary/Treasurer – Mayor Brad Holton
Executive Directors Report
Bill indicated that there were 48 people who had signed up for the Continental breakfast during the upcoming AIC Capital for a Day event. We did get a bunch of officials from Eastern Idaho that they were interested in the concept of participating in local funding for a SAUSA position in Eastern Idaho.
As a result, Bill has been concentrating in Eastern Idaho in his phone calling. So far, the response has been good and he has 6 individual jurisdictions that have committed to participate in a meeting. He said it is a slow process getting people on the phone and has not completely gotten through the list of those that indicated their interest.
Mayor Blad from Pocatello has volunteered to host the meeting in Eastern Idaho. Of those that he has talked to that are interested, they want a meeting date in April. Bill said that U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson has indicated she would like to be involved in this meeting. He said he would get with her and identify a date that works with her schedule.
Tammy said, at the meeting there were good positive comments in terms of the value. What they did say was they did not have a gang problem. What was stressed was that they could personalize this to have that federal enforcement to concerns of the local area. Once they learned it wasn’t just a gang thing, there was a more robust conversation.
Dave asked what the current funding formula for the SAUSA Program is. Bill said that currently it is $35,000 State and $65,000 TVP. The proposal on the table is to move the formula to a 75% State, 25% local coalition. Dave asked if there was going to be some movement on the budget request for this year. Bill stated that the last time he had talked with Representative Bolz, he indicated the budget request for the State was going to go up “substantially”.
John E. said he did get approached by the new Mayor of Blackfoot during the meeting. He didn’t seem that supportive of the program. John asked him to get ahold of someone in the U.S. Attorney’s office. Bill indicated he had talked with Mayor Loomis from Blackfoot who has ran this by his Chief and the County Sheriff’s office. Bill stated they had talked the week before and Mayor Loomis has indicated he will be attending the meeting when it is held.
Brad indicated he will go to this meeting in Eastern Idaho. Tammy said she felt it would be really good if he did as a lot of them are smaller cities and it would be good for them to hear the value of the program from a small city.
Jim moved and Darin seconded to approve the minutes and financial statement. Motion carried.
Doug Dockter introduced himself as the Manager of the two 500KV Projects for Idaho Power that are currently underway. One is the Gateway West and the other is Boardman to Hemmingway. He indicated that Mayor Nelson has been active in these Gateway West meetings.
Gateway West is a project that has been developed by Rocky Mountain Power and Idaho Power. Rocky Mountain Power serves Eastern Idaho as well as five or six other States. He indicated he will be talking about the business need and the Idaho need for the project, the BLM NEPA Permitting process and the current project status.
Why do we need Gateway West? From a business perspective, Idaho Power has reliability standards, load resource planning which is required by the PUC every two years, and we have open access transmission. Their transmission systems are required by Federal Law to be openly accessed by anyone who wants to run power across it.
Gateway West is a big project. It has eleven different substations it goes through. The grid as a whole is integrated all the way from Wyoming to the West Coast. The Western Electricity Coordinating Council is the group responsible for reliability on our electric grid. They have approved the project as it has been designed.
The need in Idaho is there is an electrical constraint between Pocatello and the Treasure Valley. This portion of Idaho has no available transmission capacity to meet future needs. The Treasure Valley is Idaho Power’s major load center. They have no ability to transfer additional electrical capacity back from Pocatello into the Treasure Valley. Gateway West will allow for wind integration into the electrical system.
Gateway West provides for some triangles of reliability. If you combine Gateway West with two other lines that are being planned and permitted for, Gateway South and Gateway Central, you start to see that triangles are being developed with these transmission lines. This means that if one of the lines are taken down for maintenance or if there is a fire or other natural occurrence that puts the line out, the triangle increases reliability of the grid.
One of the complicating factors is the Snake River Birds of Prey area. It is a National Conservation Area which calls for conservation, protection and enhancement of raptor populations whil allowing for diverse appropriate uses of lands to the extent consistent with maintenance and enhancement of raptor populations. The 2009 Omnibus Public Land Management Act allows for compatible activities and uses of land in a NLCS unit. But it cannot conflict with the values identified in the language that created the NLCS unit.
In the NLCS Manual adopted in July 2012, the NLCS states that if a route outside the NLCS unit is feasible, it is preferred. But if it is determined through NEPA that the only viable route for a project is through an NLCS unit, then the impacts must be mitigated.
Considering this the BLM asked the Boise District Resource Advisory Council (RAC) to provide recommendations to the BLM. The Boise district formed a subcommittee to provide recommendations to the RAC which in turn will be provided to the BLM. The BLM then will determine what additional NEPA permitting will be required. Mayor Nelson is a member of this RAC subcommittee.
This subcommittee is tasked with examining options to resolving siting issues associated with Segments 8 and 9 of the Gateway West Project and to consider the possibility of new routs not considered.
Doug talked about some alternatives that are being discussed to address the issue of the Snake River Birds of Prey area. Commissioner Rule indicated that he would be objecting to the northern rout of the preliminary alternatives. Doug indicated he would let him know when the next RAC meeting was and he would get the opportunity to discuss this alternative with the subcommittee.