Hosted by the City of Garden City
Date: April 18, 2016
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Location: Telaya Winery
240 E. 32nd St., Garden City
– Adjustments to Regular Meetings.
– Importance of Outside Guests.
– Annual Dues
– Annual Meeting Results
– Minutes & Financial Statement
Treasure Valley Partnership Meeting Minutes – April 18
Hosted by the City of Garden City
Tammy de Weerd
Bill Larsen – Treasure Valley PartnershipContent
Mayor John Evans welcomed everyone to Garden City. He said we are meeting here at the Telaya Winery which just opened late last fall. We are seeing lots of new things in town. There is a significant Winery and Brewery presence that has been established. The owner of Telaya Winery has indicated that they may have to expand their patio here because they are getting lots of business. Since they moved to this facility their traffic has increased four -fold. It is fun to see a business take advantage of this amenity along the river.
He said they have a high-end apartment complex going in at 50th and the river. They are continuing to hope the highway district moves their maintenance yard from down the street. They allowed them to re-zone this property so that when the property does change hands, it comes in with a proper zone.
Do the Right
Tammy said on April 8 they held a “Do the Right” event. This is the second year they have held it. Their Youth Council and staff came up with this idea as a way to have a more positive approach to suicide prevention. We have such a bully culture, that this was a day to create a movement of compassion. To say or do something nice for the person on your right, whether this is a neighbor, co-worker, etc.
They saw pictures and stories, from all across the City, of businesses doing something nice to the business on their right. They had their City Hall departments do something nice for the department on their right. Additionally, all the schools got involved and had “Do the Right” activities with students and teachers. It was really nice to see how people stepped up.
Next year, she would love it if we could have the jurisdictions in the Treasure Valley Partnership look at integrating this kind of program throughout the valley. Maybe we could even do a reach out to the city or county on your right for example.
TVP Meeting Content
John said that the monthly host of the TVP meeting, in conjunction with Bill, has typically invited someone and got some sort of presentation on a topic. He can’t speak for Bill but believes Bill might feel some obligation to fill some meeting time with outside speakers. He added that it is hard to have a candid discussion when there is someone else in the room.
John said he wanted to take some time to discuss how we create what we have at these meetings and how much of the agenda should we dedicate for outside speakers.
When we were in Cascade, it was interesting as once we started talking it came from everywhere. For example he learned more about Kelly than he has for the last 20+ years he has known him, which is a good thing. Darin added he didn’t realize they had to deal so much with the Federal Government. John said he didn’t remember the % but a very large chunk of Owyhee County is owned by someone other than private property owners. They have to rely on those funds to some degree to fund their County government.
John said in the past the Partnership coalesced on pseudoephedrine. We got on the same page, brought in various folks and learned the ins and outs on how to tackle this issue. Of course, we did the SAUSA and had numerous folks come in as we were developing that and they have been providing updates regularly.
John asked, how important or how much of our meeting time should we devote to open discussion and not have folks coming in? What kinds of presentations and things should we bring in and what should that process be? Or do we leave it like it is where each host works with Bill to decide if they want an outside speaker to come in?
Darin said there are subjects that are common to all of us and it is nice to have a presentation about these things. A couple that come to mind are regional transportation and the fees we collect and the legal aspect of those. It would be nice to hear about that case in Northern Idaho and how it is impacting us. Other than that he really enjoys just sitting around and visiting.
Darin said he really liked what Bob had done at a recent meeting where we went around the room and each of us talked about what was happening in our jurisdictions. Not just announcements but issues as well. How can we continue to work together to increase not just economic development but livability?
John said we have talked about the forum of this meeting and perhaps having a more collaborative discussion on what kinds of information to bring in from the outside. He also said he feels there is a consensus to maintain the open forum for a good portion of the meetings.
Fee’s vs. Tax
John said re: the Fee vs. Tax discussion, if it hasn’t hit all of us, it will. As an example, they used to charge a $1.00 per utility customer for a street light fee. They weren’t forced to change, but on the basis of the Lewiston case they started analyzing whether you could charge a fee for street lights or whether that would legally be considered a tax. The basic distinction is a fee has to have a specific nexus to the property that is paying it. So if you have a sewer or water connection to a piece of property, then you charge them a fee for the sewer or water. But in the case of street lights, they are spread a distance apart and are not tied specifically to a piece of property.
John said it might be an interesting topic to have someone in to talk about the finer points on this issue. He added that it can also impact our capitalization fees for sewer. There was a case in Hayden and he would like to know more about that.
Bob said the Supreme Court called it a tax the way Hayden was doing it. They are right in the middle of looking at their impact fees and hook-up fees and are trying to see how it will impact them. Right now the city staff is recommending bumping up hook-up fees and Counsel is bucking it. Staff is saying if you don’t put it in there then you need to put it in rates.
Tammy said either growth pays for itself or it doesn’t. They looked at their fees and brought it to the BCA and basically said we can use the formula that Hayden had or recommended up there or continue to use theirs. We would have doubled our fees if we would have used the Hayden formula.
Bob said that builders and developers will butt heads because builders want low hook-up fees and developers want high hook-up fees so they can get their “late comer” money quicker.
John said you’re absolutely right in that you have to data to support your fees. Bob said they have spent two years on this thing and the data says the fee should be at $2,900. Darin said theirs is $3,875.
John said we should find someone who can talk to us about the differences and cautions about a fee vs. tax. It would be interesting to find out if Jerry Mason was going to be in town during one of our future TVP meetings. Bill will contact him to identify a potential meeting date for him to attend.
Bob said they are in the middle of trying to change their budget process and are butting heads with directors at the moment. He said, let’s face it, most of the budget is set, because you have salaries and other things. Then you have discretionary money for capital needs. The way it works is all the directors come before counsel and plead their case. It is a free for all.
John, Tammy and other members described their budget processes and shared the nuances of how their processes work.
Civil vs. Criminal Complaints
Nathan said he is interested in knowing how cities and counties manage the difference between civil and criminal complaints with regard to junk, abandoned vehicles, dilapidated buildings, etc. with regard to ordinances and those sorts of things. When do things get to a criminal level in other jurisdictions and how is this managed?
John said they don’t do anything civil. It is all in a process that can end up criminal. They have an abandoned vehicles ordinance and a chronic nuisance ordinance. So if they have a piece of property and have so many contacts, you can charge them. You charge it as a misdemeanor or you can have a progressive thing where they get a ticket as an infraction then progresses to something more serious if they don’t abate it.
He said it is hard to do anything based on an ordinance that isn’t ultimately criminal. His code enforcement people go out and do a verbal and it is kind of a progressive thing over time. Sometime the Counsel gets a little aggravated that it takes six weeks to get someone to mow their weeds. Tammy said, or more, because you send them a letter, you have to give them a month and then you have to go out and remind them.
Nathan asked if it was a month by code. Tammy said yes.
John said the ordinance authorizes the city on certain items deemed health/safety concerns to go in and abate it and then go file a lien on the property.
Nathan asked if anyone collects civil fees for this type of activity. Darin said they just hire a company to go do the abatement and that is the amount of fee they charge. John agreed that is how they do it and they file a lien on the property to get paid eventually. Most of the time, those people don’t want to jump up and write you a check.
Bob said they have one of these going on in Nampa at the noted mobile home court. The sewer is backing up and has failed. They are finding out you can’t just evict them, because Health and Welfare and other agencies are involved.
John asked what Canyon Counties Jail Fees are per day. Craig said it is such a fluid thing based on inmate population and the number of staff needed at various population thresholds.
John said if someone goes to jail from Nampa on a city ordinance charge, do you charge Nampa. Craig said they would charge the city and the individual. He added that one time recently they did a study and the minimum cost to keep a person in jail is $60.00 per day. Rick said their cost is $91.00. Craig said their number is on the low end but there are other concerns such as a high medical cost rate and these costs are astronomical.
Rick said they have a lot of State inmates. They reimburse $60 something and this rate is set by the legislature.
Darin said based on the research their folks are coming back with, people that are contemplating relocating businesses to the Treasure Valley, are looking for a pleasant place for their employees to live. What that means to them is; they have access to the internet at speeds they need, outdoor recreation and entertainment type things.
Darin said Portland has the OMZI Center and Baltimore has the Baltimore Aquarium which are big attractions. We don’t have professional sports teams and probably never will, and we don’t have a lot of other things other areas have.
John said he spent a lot of time the previous weekend in Meridian. One of his grandsons is on a flag football team and they were at Settler’s Park with all the fields. He was thinking what a great feature this is for Garden City residents. They have Boise building the Esther Simplot Park and they don’t have any space for a big park in Garden City.
Darin said another thing associated with livability are the trails we have in the valley. He can’t remember the group that said it, but the number one facility used in Boise is the greenbelt and we can’t ignore that.
John said the whole Ridge to Rivers thing and the Foundation for Ada County Trail System have plans clear to the Snake River. You have a piece in Star that will keep pushing down the river. John asked if there were any policies in place to preserve it or enhance it. Craig said at this time as far as Canyon County making any policy statement, decision or resolution, there has not been anything done.
Darin said Middleton is on board and they have it in their comprehensive plan. Chad said they also have this on their comprehensive plan and getting easements and access is a complicated thing. They have the Land Trust, a third party that is talking to land owners and it seems to be a better way to go about this activity.
Tammy said maybe we should have someone from Ridge to Rivers come talk to us. Rick said Tim Breuer would be the person that would best to invite. Bill will look into it.
Discharge & Water Quality
Bob said they had been planning on discontinuing their discharge into Indian Creek and pumping the discharge water up to Dry Lake and just infiltrate it. EPA has come back and said that in order to do that they have to treat it to Class A standards. So, given the cost to do this, they have abandoned the plan to infiltrate it at Dry Lake.
John said they have requested termination from the NPDES permit. They removed their MS-4 discharges into the river and went to subsurface. They have no discharges now and have petitioned the EPA to release them from the permit. Ada County Highway District is not happy with this. One of the big hang-ups for them is they have no police power. He has already made it clear to them that we can continue by agreement to be their police force when someone is violating an ordinance.
The program costs right now is you pay for what he calls soft things, such as education. This is costing the City $41,000/year. It cost $90,000 to remove their MS-4’s and get them to subsurface. If they are successful, the payback is going to be two years. Plus the new general permit that comes out is going to have a number of new obligations such as testing and inventory of private drainages. They were going to have to up-staff in order to take care of these. It is one of the first of its kind requests in the nation.
Alicia said building in Wilder is slow. They do have a corporation which is building two homes a month which is a lot in Wilder. They just came in and bought 15 more lots. They have a building for sale that used to be a winery. She said an AG business is talking about coming in as well as a bank.
Police body cameras, redaction and public records requests would be a great topic to hear more about.
Darin said the City of Middleton has sued the tax commission for determination on shoe-string or strip of land used as a road or railroad. They are scheduled for a hearing at the end of May.
Darin said a question has been asked from his utility department on what do we do with people that have a balance due at the time of death, when there is not a personal representative that steps up. He has told them to let it go and to not try to collect. Nathan said they have a couple of properties that have $2,000 plus utility fees that are past due. They hear the property is going to be sold so they went and filed a lien.
Darin said they will have a Ribbon Cutting for their new Skate Park on May 14th.
Bill said in the packet is a proposed dues document for FY 16-17. The Executive Committee has met and talked about this and recommended it go to the full Partnership. Bob moved to approve the new dues structure for FY16-17. Darin seconded. Motion passed.
Bill apologized for not getting the minutes from the annual planning meeting out earlier than he did. He recommended that we hold on approving the minutes from the meeting till people have had a good chance to read them.
Bob moved to approve the financial statement. Nathan seconded. Motion passed.