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Meeting Minutes
January 27, 2014

Attendees

  • Kelly Aberasturi
  • John Bechtel
  • Tammy deWeerd
  • John Evans
  • Keith Green
  • Bob Henry
  • Brad Holton
  • Garret Nancolas
  • Greg Nelson
  • Jim Reynolds
  • Darin Taylor
  • Rick Yzaguirre

Staff and Guests

  • Jim Desmond – Emergency Management Coordinator – Owyhee County
  • Doug Hardman – City/County Emergency Management – Ada County
  • Todd Hererra –Emergency Management Coordinator – Canyon County
  • Bill Larsen – Treasure Valley Partnership

Darin welcomed everyone to Middleton.

Next time Middleton hosts a TVP meeting we will be meeting across the street in one of their refurbished historic buildings. He welcomed and introduced Mayor Bob Henry from Nampa. He said Bob Flowers from Parma sends his regrets for not being here today. For those that have not heard, the Parma City Council unappointed their clerk who has been there for several decades. So Bob is wearing two hats until they can get that situation stabilized.

Open Discussion

Water

Darin asked how many had seen the email from the Army Corps of Engineers about water storage and the research they are doing. He asked for clarification on what they are doing. John E. said it is an attempt to be able to carry more water throughout the year. He continued there are a lot of competing interests and one of the interests are U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Idaho Fish and Game. Then you have the Boise City sewer plant that has minimum flow requirements in order to function properly. Garret added the real main issue is that right now there is not enough storage capacity. It sounds like they are just trying to look to the future and have the ability to carry more water over from year to year.

Smoking Ordinance

Darin asked, other than the City of Boise, has anyone adopted a public non-smoking ordinance? John E. indicated they are getting quite a bit of pressure from Heidi Lowe who is with a smoke free organization. They even had an independent survey done in Garden City. They had an independent polling outfit come in and asked a series of questions. They give us their data to back up their claim the public wants to limit smoking in the bars.

Greg Nelson said they have started in the parks and eliminated smoking where kids play. They haven’t closed whole parks. But where the playground is, smokers have to go somewhere else. Jim Reynolds said their Parks and Recreation Director is bringing it in front of the Eagle City Council to eliminate smoking in parks. Garret added that they don’t allow smoking on City property or in vehicles.

Pay Day Loans

Darin said the City of Middleton is looking to follow up with what the City of Caldwell did on payday loans. Their proposed ordinance in front of the City Council is to allow these businesses in their N2 zone which is south of the river.

Pioneer Litigation

Darin asked how the City of Caldwell’s litigation with Pioneer is doing. Garret indicated the last several decisions have been in favor of the City. In case you are unaware, this is the same lawsuit that Settler’s filed against the Ada County Highway District several years ago and lost. The City filed a lawsuit for eminent domain to take over the drains in the City of Caldwell. That action caused them to go to the Legislature to create legislation to take away eminent domain away from all of us in regards to any kind of action against another political subdivision. It has become an issue that the Association of Idaho Cities, Idaho Association of Counties and highway districts are also involved.

Garret indicated that Mayor Evans has been involved and wrote a letter to the legislature talking about his experience working with Pioneer. To assure everyone, there are five irrigation districts in the City of Caldwell. They get along famously with four of the five. There are 54 irrigation districts in the State of Idaho.

Garret said that if you don’t want to have eminent domain taken away, you should be contacting your legislator. The message is, this is a one irrigation district, one City issue. Let the courts figure this out. The legislation that is being proposed affects all of us.

Flood Control District Legislation

Tammy said if we are talking about the water users group, there are some eleven and half hour pieces of legislation that have been recently proposed to the water users group for support. One of them is proposed legislation regarding flood control. These are being presented by Dan Steenson, representing Flood Control District number 10 which operates on the Boise River and Dry Creek between the Plantation Golf Course and the Steel Bridge in Caldwell. She has a copy of the legislation and it will allow flood control districts to determine when and what constitutes a flood emergency. This would allow a flood control district to perform any necessary action under a flood fight. It exempts all flood fight activity from local government approval including flood plain regulations. It requires local governments to consult with flood control districts and impose conditions on development projects to insure development does not impede flood control district access or activities.

Tammy said this could be huge. It is over reaching. The bill would increase local government administrative costs and further strain local government resources in order to impose flood control district requirements. Potentially, it violates the national flood insurance program which local governments are required to uphold. It would occur if any flood fight were considered development under the national flood insurance program and the bill states these actions would be exempt. It potentially causes confusion in the designation of emergencies over the top of State and local government emergency declarations.

This bill has not been RS’ed, but Representative Luker is proposing three different pieces of legislation. She thinks this one has the most immediate concern over what it would look like. She gave to Bill to email out to the members.

Tammy said she wasn’t sure if the Flood Control Districts even know what is being proposed, but their attorney’s do.

Directors Report

Statewide SAUSA Program

Bill said we are all set for the AIC Continental Breakfast presentation on the 30th. As of the previous Friday we had 23 reserved and he is expecting at least a dozen more.

On December 16th, he went to a Idaho Criminal Justice Commission meeting to just listen as they were going to be talking about gangs in Idaho. The SAUSA Project came up as a topic of discussion and Representative Burgoyne asked Representative Bolz if they are planning on funding the SAUSA Project more for this next fiscal year. The word from Representative Bolz was, substantially. What that means, Bill had no idea but felt it was good news.

Bill pointed to a letter, a list of Cities and Counties, and the Statewide SAUSA Proposal. He indicated the letter went out the previous week to all of the jurisdictions listed. He will be following up with a phone call after the 30th to gauge interest.

Motion to Elect Officers

Bill indicated with Tom leaving, we are down to one officer, Tammy who serves as the vice-chair. In order to document this, we just need a motion to hold elections in February. John Evans moved to hold election of officers during our February 24th meeting, seconded by Rick Yzaguirre. Motion carried unanimously.

Bill mentioned that all the fiscal year 13-14 membership dues had come in but Star and Homedale. Homedale has been without a Mayor for seven or eight months. Bill indicated that Brad Holton and he were going to go visit with the new Mayor, Gheen Christopherson on February 4th.

Tammy de Weerd moved to approve the minutes as presented and Jim Reynolds seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Emergency Management in the Treasure Valley

Darin introduced our guest speakers for the day. John B. said he wanted to preface this presentation. He said Darin had bought us all a book called “One Second After”. This book talked about scenario’s that could happen if the country were hit with an electromagnetic pulse.

Todd Hererra said he had brought up a summary of the book that morning. The book was interesting in how the town in rallied together. His first impulse while thinking about this subject was that an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) was unlikely. An asteroid strike or a solar flare taking out communications, but it could happen. However, it is a basis to think about emergency management principles.

Todd said that an EMP is considered a serious threat by the federal government. They consider an EMP more likely than say the Russians taking a nuke to a city. If you could get a warhead up in the air and detonate it, it could have impacts to hundreds to thousands of miles. There are many rogue nations that have that kind of device.

The book talks about the only vehicles that would be running would be pre 1974 vehicles. Radios and communications equipment would be knocked out. Everything relies on electronics these days.

There is an overarching thing of a large event happening. But this got him thinking about a smaller event. He had an article come across his desk that said cops are on the look-out for people that are stealing things from vehicles. What they have is an EMP device that is hand held. They go up to a car, set it off, and for certain vehicles when they are hit with this, it pops the door locks.

Jim Desmond said that Owyhee Counties Emergency Management Plan actually has a reference to an EMP event. However, it has no mitigating response to such an event. He thinks the reason is relatively simple. When you do emergency planning, you look at spectrum of what can happen and what the damage would be, then you look at the likely hood of an event happening and you throw your resources toward the most likely and highest damage. Jim said an EMP would do some major damage, but it is relatively unlikely.

Doug Hardman added, in reality, you have all kinds of scenarios about what could happen from floods, to nuclear events. The response a lot of times is going to be the same. Meaning you still are going to have to do the basics of food, water, shelter sorts of activities.

Doug said that the 10 SW County emergency management coordinators meet on a quarterly basis. They do a lot of planning and training together.

Garret said he has twice over the years participated in an event where they brought elected officials in and walked us through a procedure to identify resources and setting up an emergency management command center. He felt it was enlightening for him. He asked if they could put one of those events together.

Tammy said Doug’s office helped coordinate an event for their city. They had all of the different aspects of planning, purchasing and legal for all the city employees. After going through that, you really learn that you have a key role. She felt it is good to have a class where you get to share the discussion.

Rick asked if it would be possible to have a region-wide event where FEMA could come to town and train us for a day. Jim said that FEMA does have a training center where elected officials go back to have training. Or you could have FEMA come out. It would just require a letter to see if we could get them to come here.

Darin said we have talked about having a half-day workshop to go through the emergency process if something happened. He thinks that is a good idea. We have also talked about maybe having FEMA come here on behalf of the three counties. Do we want to have Bill draft a letter or how do we move forward? John E. said maybe we should let these three people side bar and come up with an idea that makes sense.

John asked if there is any scientific work going on to counteract an EMP. Doug said the military does have some things like hardening vehicles. There are some home grown things. Your microwave could be used as a cage to protect electronics.

There was quite a bit of discussion with regards to misdemeanors and infractions. Tammy suggested we all go through our city and county codes to identify what should be a misdemeanor and what should be an infraction. The City of Meridian had a really old one where a dog at large was a misdemeanor. You really want to make sure you know what you have.

Meeting Adjourned