Treasure Valley Partnership
Meeting Minutes – January 27, 2014
Hosted by the City of Middleton
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Minutes – February 24, 2014
Hosted by the City of Kuna
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.
Meeting Minutes – March 17, 2014
Hosted by Canyon County
Kathy Alder – Canyon County Commissioner
Craig Hanson – Canyon County
Commissioner Bill Larsen – Treasure Valley Partnership
Kathy Alder, Canyon County Commissioner led the meeting off and welcomed everyone to Canyon County. She introduced Commissioner Hanson and apologized for Commissioner Rule as he is on vacation. A couple of things that are going on you can see as you drive into the parking lot. She encouraged everyone to drive around the block when they leave to see the construction that is going on.
On one side they are adding onto their juvenile detention center. This facility will handle juvenile court and family court. They are financing the construction with lottery money and court fines. They are proud to say that none of the construction is being financed with tax money.
On the other side is their new administration building. This is going to the home of practically everyone. Part of the new admin building will include their in-house public defense personnel starting next fiscal year. They have been told their public defense contract is not legal; hence they are bringing the function in-house. As you know, public defense is a State responsibility that has been given to the counties.
The Assessor the Treasurer and the Clerk will be moving into the administration building.
Tammy asked how the county got lottery money for part of the construction. Kathy said, there is lottery money that goes into juvenile probation. Anytime someone wins the lottery in the State, money goes into juvenile probation. There was as much as $600,000 in that fund for Canyon County. Then the Court has been putting court fines of upward to $90,000 aside for some time. This totaled approximately $500,000.
Keith asked if any of the lottery money gets put down to the cities. Kathy said the lottery money is for juvenile probation, period.
Also, Kathy said, the County has been scrutinized because you are supposed to keep the adult and juvenile population separate. This has been an issue and this construction will solve that.
She said, Canyon County is in good shape as a county. They have a good fund balance and have sufficient money to cover their needs. As a result, they lowered taxes this year.
Keith asked about the indigent program and if there was any movement to change that? Kathy said that it appeared the legislature was not going to tackle that issue this year so we still will have high indigent costs this next year. Medicaid expansion would have done a lot. She added that she would like for hospitals to step up and pay for insurance for the indigent. Hospitals would be way ahead as they would get more in insurance payments than they can get from the County under the indigent programs.
Bill asked if there had been any discussion with regard to just buying insurance for this population. Kathy said the federal government used to have a program PCIP which worked real well. But then the federal government decided they didn’t want to do it anymore. That was insurance for people who came in early with regard to major surgery or other procedures. If they qualified for indigent services, the program would pay the premiums which saved the CAT fund a lot of money.
Tammy said that everyone should have heard from AIC or IAC with regard to HB 571 on eminent domain. She believes we all operate under a philosophy that eminent domain is the last resort. It has been a useful tool as having the threat of it will bring people to the table and get a final resolution. If this does get a hearing in the Senate, we will need counties and cities to weigh in with that legislative committee.
Right now it is being considered with Senator Pierce with the Resource Committee. He was going to meet with the City of Caldwell and Pioneer Irrigation District that morning to get an idea of where they are at on with their lawsuit. At least the Senate understands that it should be the legislative and judicial branch. She said if Senator Pierce is satisfied there is progress and desire to find resolution, he has no interest in running with this bill.
Bob asked where the design review legislation is. Tammy indicated that she had heard this bill is sitting in someone’s drawer.
Payday Loan Legislation
Darin asked about the payday loan legislation he keeps getting emailed about. Bill said he was unsure of where this was at in the legislature.
John said there are flaws in almost every bill you could put out there. However something needs to be done to keep people from getting into a cycle they cannot possibly get out of.
Bob questioned how we can change behavior with a law. When we do a zoning thing ordinance, all they have to do is go an extra mile to get the service. He doesn’t see that as a solution.
Brad said we legislate interest rate caps in some markets, why is it so hard to do this here. He thinks there needs to be some logical cap and it will thin out what kind of businesses open shop in Idaho. Darin agreed that this is the only thing that makes sense.
Bill said he prepared an analysis of the payday loan ordinances from around the country. He said he found a survey of all the payday loan ordinances/laws across the country. This report was published in October of 2012.
This issue has been addressed all across the country. Several jurisdictions restricted the hours of operation. A couple of jurisdictions have put restrictions on interest ranging from 24-36%. And there were a lot of zoning sorts of solutions.
He said he has heard loud and clear that the members don’t really like the zoning solution. He has found two different sets of ordinances that address this in a different manner. Both Beaverton, Oregon and Dallas, Texas enacted different ordinance provisions. They are: payday loans cannot be renewed more than twice, and a borrower must have to pay at least 25% of the principle. In Beaverton, the customer can request a payment plan at any time. Once this is requested, there is no renewal of the loan. In both cases, the payday loan can only be renewed twice before it must be converted to a payment plan.
Bill included a copy of these two ordinances for the meeting. He mentioned that in both cases, multiple jurisdictions passed the same ordinance. In the Beaverton, Oregon case, jurisdictions as far east as Burns participated along with other jurisdictions in and around the Portland area to pass the same ordinance.
Brad asked, in Idaho, does a City have the authority to make some of these restrictions on interest? Bill said he does not know the answer. Everyone asked Bill to look into this and be able to report to the next meeting.
Bill pointed out a package that Mayor Evans had provided. The package of information from federal reserve banks on the kind of economic service that payday loan businesses provide.
Note: SB 1314 was passed by the Senate and House. Its primary provision is that a payday lender shall not make a payday loan that exceeds 25% of the gross monthly income of the borrower when the loan is made.
Bob asked the group, who supervises code enforcement in other jurisdictions. Tammy indicated, in Meridian, this function rests with the police department. Craig said that was handled by DSD and they have one code enforcement officer. Darin said they have a code enforcement officer, but they have so few employees.
Rick indicated that Ada County has code enforcement officers that worked in Development Services. About two or three years ago they moved to the Sheriff’s department but continue their close ties to development services. That has worked so much better for them as they have someone in uniform performing the task.
Bob indicated that the City of Nampa’s code enforcement is supervised by economic development. He is looking at the Police department but is getting a lot of push back on this. He was glad to hear that is generally where this function is housed. Rick indicated they are using a lower level type sheriff who is not post certified in this function.
Greg said, in Kuna, planning and zoning decides if there is an issue and it gets forwarded to him. He gets to make the decision along with assistance from the sheriff.
Tammy added that her planning, legal, police department and code enforcement get together frequently to discuss what is coming up. They still behave as a team across departments.
Bill pointed to the SAUSA Proposal included in the meeting packet. He has been working on setting up the Eastern Idaho meeting. He included a listing of eight jurisdictions that have indicated they will be attending the meeting in Pocatello. He anticipates 3-5 more jurisdictions will be attending and there are six jurisdictions that he has not gotten to talk to yet. In the packet, he included a funding scenario for the Eastern Idaho SAUSA proposal. If all the anticipated jurisdictions to participate, the cost will be around 10 cents per population.
Tammy said that she speaks for all the members and thanked Bill for his leadership on this effort. This has been pretty impressive on how Bill has worked with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to see how we can expand this program.
Bill said his thought is, if we can get an agreement or MOU from the jurisdictions in Eastern Idaho in regard to funding the local portion of the SAUSA, the State is going to have a hard time not coming up with the funding. He added that Northern Idaho might be a harder sell because there just isn’t the population to support it at this rate.
Bill indicated that Garret has said he will be attending the Eastern Idaho meeting on April 22nd. He asked if there were any other members that were planning on attending. Brad said he was going to attend. Tammy indicated that she also has it on her schedule.
John asked if Bill was going to be reimbursed for mileage for going to Pocatello. He indicated that last fall; he went to Potlatch and just requested reimbursement for the cost of the gas and said he was going to do the same this time.
Brad moved to approve the minutes and financial report. John seconded. Motion carried.
Pete thanked the Partnership for the time to get an update on the status of valley wide air and water quality issues. They have a wealth of information to share today. Some of it is a friendly reminder about where we are at with ozone. He thanked Jim for having them come speak to the Eagle City Council to help educate them. If any other City/County would like them to come speak to your council/commission, he would be happy to do that.
Pete introduced Troy Smith who has taken the lead on the Boise River Phosphorous TMDL. They were at a very pivotal point the previous week. They did a significant effort to model the pollution in the river. The Watershed Advisory Group voted to support the model calibration with one dissenting vote. This was the easy step with regards to the TMDL. Now we get into the part where everybody wants a piece of the pie. Unfortunately we have only so much pie to give out. The big players will be all the cities because they have wastewater discharges. Then the nonpoint sources (Ag) are big players in this issue. Stormwater also is in the mix, but their contribution is not that significant.
With the modeling effort that Troy is going to review, Pete indicated they held about 31 public meetings, just for the modeling calibration. They will be holding a similar number of meetings for the allocations they will be talking about. They will be hoping to finish, September or October.
John asked if they were going to be talking about a rumor they have been hearing about. That is the City of Boise will be taking up the lion’s share of the allocation. Pete said they will be looking at all of the allocations and all the sources. Nobody is going to be getting an unfair shake.
Darin asked who the dissenting vote was. Pete indicated it was Liz Paul with Idaho Rivers United. He was surprised by this as they felt the modeling effort was significant. Pete is setting up a meeting with her to discuss this.
Troy said he has been the lead on developing the phosphorous TMDL and project management on the modeling effort as well. The modeling effort they undertook addressed two stretches of the river. One was from Boise to Indian Creek and the other from Indian Creek to the mouth of the Boise River
A year ago DEQ and the Lower Boise Watershed Council worked together to identify what an impairment is for the Boise River. That target is 150mg per liter squared of algae. What they have to do now for the TMDL is identify what the relationship is between nutrients and other factors with detached algae in the river.
For cold water aquatic life, when you get above 200mg per liter squared of algae, you start running into problems with dissolved oxygen, changes in the insect life of the river, trout survival, etc.
Throughout the calibration of the model, they had a core group of individuals that worked with them. There were a lot of representatives from cities involved with the process.
Once the TMDL is finished they can begin the process of revising the existing trading framework. We cannot have any trading in the valley till the TMDL is completed. The TMDL allocations they develop will instruct NPDES permit writers on how permits should be written.
Lastly, they will have five year reviews for the TMDL and will be looking at subsequent information that will help them revise their decisions.
Troy said they have a report on their website that details everything they did in the modeling process. Lower Boise River Phosphorus – AQUATOX Model Report
This effort was an extensive and unique effort that DEQ undertook with the assistance of the Watershed Council and others. The Lower Boise Watershed Advisory Council voted to accept this Aquatox Model calibration as a tool to help them; develop these allocation scenarios, understand and use an adaptive management approach, and a weight of evidence approach as well.
John B. said three or four years back the City of Boise purchased land off the Dixie Drain. That was kind of a trade-off that they would take all the phosphorous out of there. He asked if this was still in the plans. Lance said, as far as they know, it is going to happen in their NPDES permit as an offset to their discharges. They haven’t started construction yet, but they have been meeting with DEQ and going through the county permit process.
Brad said, looking at it from a layman’s point of view, you have Boise that is currently discharging at certain rate and the theory is they are going to take it out of the Dixie drain. He feels that leaves very little loading for the rest of the dischargers with the City of Boise discharging at that volume. What do we do with that? His other frustration is on the lower Boise Watershed Council and their representation from jurisdictions besides Boise.
Pete said he was at the table when the City of Boise was negotiating their NPDES permit. The City of Boise does not discharge into an impaired area. If you look at the map the impaired areas are down lower in the river. What they looked at was if the Cities discharge created any hot spots in the river. The City still has to make a substantial reduction in their discharge. They are going down to 300 ppl from around 650. When you model out the 300, you don’t create any hot spots down river.
If their permit is in place and we have a TMDL that comes in place and the load allocation to them is not as much as their current permit, EPA would have to open their NPDES Permit. He does not think the City of Boise has an unfair advantage. The only reason the City of Boise was allowed to do what they were allowed to do, was because EPA wanted to get one demonstration project on the ground to show that a trade or offset could occur. Truly, the City of Boise will be pulling out about 1.5 times the amount of phosphorous out of the river, than otherwise would have occurred without the offset.
Brad reiterated that the river is already loaded at 300. Any additional jurisdiction adding to that is going to create a hot spot. He feels he is being unfairly crunched on because his city has a .07 limit.
There was a big discussion surrounding the Lower Boise Watershed Council and how they are formed and operate. Pete encouraged people to get involved and get their names on the ballot. They do not have any control over membership of this group.
He and Troy indicated that individual cities can still submit questions and responses directly to DEQ. In addition to the watershed council there is a technical advisory committee and their meetings are open to anyone. This is an excellent opportunity for someone who wants to come see the process and be able to offer feedback. Troy said there is also a group of municipalities that meet to discuss the development of the TMDL and how it affects them. He encouraged members to look into this.
Greg said Kuna put in a high-tech plant at a premium cost and yet they hear from the down-river jurisdictions that they didn’t free up anything. Pete said that we have the pie that is made up of point sources and nonpoint sources. Everybody is going to have to decrease in order to get the river where it needs to be. Unfortunately in the case of Kuna, the plant is brand new and we don’t have a TMDL in place. So Kuna had limits put in place in the permit to meet the Hell’s Canyon Snake River TMDL. There was no flexibility from EPA in the permit process. When we get this Lower Boise TMDL done, there may be flexibility for point source permits.
Brad said they haven’t mentioned the holy grail of temperature yet. Where is this issue? Pete said a big chunk of their resources is going into getting the phosphorous TMDL done. And they also are listening to the Watershed Advisory Group on what their priorities are.
Pete said, the City of Boise’s Permit was issued first. What they did is they did a compliance schedule and it is going to take them so long to get into compliance. And temperature was part of that along with phosphorous. Each cities permit will be the same way. You are going to get limits in temperature in your permits. If you cannot comply with those limits that EPA is putting in your permits, then you talk to DEQ. Because, the DEQ has a responsibility to work with you just like they are with the City of Boise and will develop a compliance schedule. In that compliance schedule there have to be really good reasons why it is going to take you ten years to get into compliance. Once we develop the compliance schedule, they certify that and those get sent back to EPA along with the permit. So when the permit gets public notice from EPA, the DEQ’s 401 certification gets public notice at the same time. The compliance schedule is part of that.
Keith asked about the TMDL on the Snake River. Pete said the TMDL on the Snake is in place, but there are some environmental groups that are attempting to open up the TMDL because it is past its five year review. These groups don’t think there have been any improvements on the Snake River, and this fact warrants the TMDL be reevaluated.
David Luft introduced himself as the Air Quality Manager for the Boise Regional Office. He explained the difference between PM 2.5 and PM 10 particulate pollution. He said that we have a problem with PM 2.5 type pollution basically twice a year. When we have an inversion and when we have smoke come into the valley from wildfires.
Ozone is our primary pollutant that we have to worry about. High levels of ozone will reduce crop yields. For wheat, grapes, onions and alfalfa at current ozone levels, studies have shown you have a 10-20% reduction in yield.
In 2008, the stand standard for ozone was lowered from 80 to 75. At that time the EPA advisory committee recommended a standard between 60 and 70. The schedule right now is they are to come out with a proposed standard late this fall.
We have been operating below the standard for ozone for a while. Unfortunately, 2013 saw an increase to the level of the standard. Darin asked why there was such a drop in the levels of ozone in 2011. David said it was hard to pin it on anything specific. Nationwide, when the economy went down, the levels of ozone went down as well. We also had a real good weather year that helped us a lot. Also vehicle miles were down.
Meeting Minutes – April 22, 2014
Hosted by Garden City
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Meeting Minutes – May, 2014
Hosted by the City of Homedale
Chris Atwood – SAUSA Employee
Jeff Eidemiller – Homedale Chief of Police
Bill Larsen – Treasure Valley Partnership
Bill Lutz – U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency
Amber Pence – City of Boise
Gheen opened the meeting and welcomed everyone to Homedale. He said it is nice to host a TVP meeting as he hasn’t attended one yet. He plans to get more involved with the TVP in the future. He sees from the information he receives, there are good things happening. In regard to the SAUSA, he hopes that Eastern Idaho comes on and it turns into a big success.
Chris Atwood thanked everyone for the opportunity to present this project update. This July it will be two years since he has been the SAUSA. He again thanked the Partnership for its continued support for the Program. It is great to be a part of it and he actually see the benefit it is having on our communities.
We continue to focus on prosecuting gang members by targeting the worst of the worst by prosecuting those individuals in Federal Court rather than State Court. One of the two big benefits is that we don’t prosecute these people in State Court and send them out south of town where they continue to have contacts with their gangs. These incarceration costs are then covered on the federal dime instead of by the State. The other big benefit is that these people are spread out across the country and don’t have any affiliation with their gang.
Some of the things they have got going now… They recently charged 11 different people in a single case that was a large drug conspiracy. These people were moving large quantities of Methamphetamine across the Treasure Valley. All 11 of these people have pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
He works closely with local City and County prosecutors to identify cases that are appropriate for federal prosecution thus freeing up those local resources.
We continue to average over 30 plus prosecutions per year. So far, we have prosecuted 17 people this year.
Garret said that Chris mentioned the good things that come out of the Treasure Valley Partnership. There have been many good things, but this is the flagship and shows dramatically what can come by working together. He gave a brief history about how the SAUSA program was presented during a meeting with the Governor’s Office and how the idea took off under the Partnership.
Dave said we knew right away they were on to something. Even before SAUSA program began, about 4 or 5 elected officials took credit for the program that had nothing to do with it. Dave said this is the shining star of our efforts but, we have done a lot of good work together. We have addressed flood control issues, air/water quality issues, passed pseudoephedrine ordinances, etc.
John asked, as we go along down the road with the SAUSA Program, are there any other areas we can look at. The legislature funded some money for Internet Crimes Against Children. A number of us have law enforcement officers that are on that task force. Is there any federal nexus to those kinds of crimes?
Chris said there are and this certainly would be a possibility for the Partnership’s SAUSA. He didn’t want to speak for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, but there are other types of cases that could become a focus. There are certainly, still gang members and we are not going to be able to totally eliminate this problem.
He said that Bill could speak to this more, but in the effort in Eastern Idaho, these other types of crimes like Internet Crimes Against Children are included in the scope of the SAUSA. They want it to be a custom fit for their needs.
Bill Luts said where a SAUSA would be extremely helpful on Internet Crimes Against Children is if there is someone that trips across state lines to continue the act. Chris stated there are people in the U.S. Attorney’s Office that are doing those types of cases.
Darin asked what the backlog of potential cases is. How many are we not doing that we could be? Chris said he wouldn’t describe it as a backlog. Prosecutors and law enforcement in general are doing a little triage. You have to prioritize your cases and get the most serious ones first. That is what they do. They get the violent offenders and the ones where they are getting the best sentences. It is not a backlog. He stays busy with the Metro Task Force.
Darin asked what trends they are seeing. Chris said there is probably a good even split between gun and drug cases. He knows that there active investigations in to several gangs in the valley as well as an outlaw motorcycle gang. As far as firearms, they are seeing more sawed-off shotguns connected with drug trafficking.
John B. said when the SAUSA Program started there was all the drive-by shootings in Nampa and Caldwell and there was a lot of gang activity. He wouldn’t say they had any big-time gangs in Wilder, but they had a lot of want-to-be’s. When we started getting rid of the gang infrastructure, it virtually eliminated all the influence of the gangs on his community. It has made there situation in Wilder and all the other smaller towns so much better.
Gheen stated when he started as Mayor; he had a concern that the SAUSA might not be having an impact on their town. After seeing the impact on the larger communities, the impact has been amazing as there were parts of Caldwell he would not go into. John E. added that they move around so much that these people are in all of our towns.
Chris stated that this highlights one of the strengths of the SAUSA Project in that they don’t have jurisdictional problems that might occur at the county level.
Bill said that it was his understanding that under the SAUSA Program, the State had its first RICOH prosecution. Chris said this was correct. The first time they used RICOH on gang members in the district of Idaho was in the 2011-12 BMC case. There were about 28-30 gang members charged on federal racketeering charges. It was the “Brown Magic Clica organization that was operating in SW Idaho and into Oregon. It was a complex investigation and they took out the leadership of the gang. Those folks are serving lengthy, lengthy sentences.
Garret added that at the same time we were developing the SAUSA, we also worked with the State Legislature to define what a gang member was, and that helped. Once we got the definition of a gang member established, they were able to get enhanced penalties at the State level for using guns and drugs that were related to gang activity. Additionally they were able to make it a crime to recruit a gang member. Caldwell’s crime index in the year 2,000 was over 14,000 and this last year it was approximately 6,710.
Chris introduced Bill Lutz, the Resident Agent in Charge for the DEA.
Drug Activity in the Treasure Valley Bill stated moved here five years ago and this is a fantastic place to live and raise a family and get away from the crime of the east coast. The DEA has a taskforce. They have ten smart agents with the DEA and he has 13 taskforce officers from all the local jurisdictions. They (the DEA) could not do what they do, without the local officers. They have two groups. One does enforcement stuff and the other is a Prescription Pill Taskforce.
He sees four problems, on the ground, in our area and also throughout the State. They continue to see an insatiable appetite for Methamphetamine. The purity is through the roof (98-99% pure). Prices are stable to falling, demand is stable to falling and supply is stable to rising. They are inundated with it.
Most of the sources of supply of Meth come from California via Mexico. The Tri-Cities and Yakima are becoming areas of concern for them. Recently they had a 200 lb. Meth bust that originated from there. It included 20 lb.’s of heroin and also cocaine.
The target audience for Meth is unfortunately is in Canyon County, but Jerome and Burley have moved up on their map significantly. Mayor Bieter was talking about the Pseudoephedrine law, in his 24 years of law enforcement this was the single greatest piece of legislation that has ever been passed. They went from hundreds of Meth Labs a year to last year, they had six.
At one point in time he would have said that Marijuana was their second biggest concern. But he thinks that prescription drugs are going to rival Meth rather shortly. To give an example, they just did a case where the Boise Police Dept. partnered them to do a wiretap on a group. They were all 17 – 24 year olds. When the smoke cleared, the main target admitted to distributing 160,000 pills over a two month period. When you do the math, they were selling the pills for upwards to $45 apiece and were taking in $7 million.
They have and will continue to see a prescription pill increase in the Treasure Valley and throughout the State. They formed a new taskforce that most of the local jurisdictions are a part of. It is designed to specifically to go after that entire chain of people that are involved with pharmaceuticals. They are going after the dealers in the street and are going all the way up to doctors and pharmacists.
Marijuana continues to be a problem here as the States around us have taken the steps they have taken. He thinks they are going to be seeing more problems. Its not the THC they were seeing 20 years ago. As people’s appetites and tolerance for higher THC increases, they resort to hash oil or what they call waxing.
One of the problems you have when the prescription pill abuse rate goes up high, which it is starting to here, there is a tendency to turn to heroin. The national database that tracks this will move Idaho into the top ten this year. When these users run out of the supply for whatever reason, they tend to turn to heroin. If what other states have experienced around the country holds true, we are going to have a heroin problem here.
Years ago, heroin always had a stigma as a dirty drug. The impression was you had to ingest it or spike it to get it into their system. Now with this black tar, you can smoke it and this has taken that stigma away.
The pills really scare them. The source of supply is located in the U.S. whereas with Meth, most of it comes across the border. There is a legitimate need and source for them so this problem is germane to all sorts of segments of society. For example, there are a lot of folks in law enforcement that have had a problem.
He feels like his job security is there. He doesn’t see the problems he saw on the East Coast. Although just in the last couple months they have had some pharmacy robberies which are indicative of the prescription pill problem.
Jeff said prescription drugs are above everything else on this end of the world. They are the easiest to get. They have discussed in the Chief’s Association that a big problem is the sensationalism of all this. You can’t turn on the TV without seeing ads for pills.
Dave asked if it makes sense to take some of these measures that are being taken in other States, now, before it becomes a bigger problem. Bill L. said they just instituted a great Prescription Monitoring Program. Mark Johnson with the State Board of Pharmacy has been working on it. Part of the deal was the State went along with making you register, but not with making you use it. That was a balanced approach between privacy and over reach, to not having the program.
Jeff asked if this was something that either the TVP or other organization can approach the legislature and make it a requirement that the Prescription Monitoring Program be utilized.
Tammy said they have a drug take back program at the City of Meridian. Residents can drop off pharmaceuticals at retirement homes 8-5 Monday-Friday. The Police Dept. picks it up. There are no questions asked and residents merely go in and drop them into a receptacle. Bill L. said they will go by the City of Meridian tomorrow to pick that up. He added his office collects these from around the State and take them to the incinerator.
Bill L. said there are more drop-boxes in the Treasure Valley than there has ever been. For those that are inclined to use them, it really is quite simple. Jeff asked if these drop-boxes are funded by the EPA. Bill L. said the EPA does not fund these. There is a family out there whose child died of a prescription overdose. The family’s legacy is to pay for these boxes. They just have to be in a monitored area for law enforcement. The Office for Drug Policy has an application for this program. He said he would relay that information to Jeff.
Garret said there is an added benefit to the drop-box. You do not want people flushing these pharmaceuticals down the toilet. These cause problems with your NPDES Permit. Bill L. added that a good percentage of pharmaceuticals showing up in the treatment plants are coming from people. Users’ opiate levels are so high the body can absorb so much thus they are voiding it out.
Brad said he has witnessed a couple of times when a hospice person is there at the time of death; the hospice person collects all the medication and flushes it. He asked if there is a way we could get an intervention with this organization that is there a lot of the time. Bill L. said the FDA actually recommends on its website certain medications to be flushed.
Rick said it was his perception that there was a tendency by doctors to over prescribe medications. Is there any effort to restrict the volume of the script? Bill L. agreed with this perception. It is not a simple problem to solve.
John E. said that in Idaho, the ratio of doctors to the population is one of the lowest in the nation. The logistics of limiting a prescription would create more doctors’ visits and more costs. He was on the Board for Family Medical Residency of Idaho for several years. He got his eyes opened to the administrative side of medical facilities and how much is required.
Jeff asked if they had seen much of the distilling of marijuana down for oil for vapor cigarettes. Bill L. said they had an elaborate cannabinoid case where the person was buying his chemicals in China. He was moving towards e-cigarettes as his delivery mechanism. This is a scary thing. It is coming and it will be tough to detect.
Tammy said that this group had a big success with the pseudoephedrine ordinances of a couple years ago. She asked what the Partnership can do. Are there things that should be done at the State level that they are not willing to do that we can help to bring along? Bill suggested that everyone keep their eye on the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) that just started with the State. The PMP mandates registration but does not mandate use.
Dave B. said that he will put on the next meeting around the PMP and do some legwork around this issue. He doesn’t want to wait till further down the road when there is something we can do now. Maybe we do something by ordinance first. He added that we have had such a good run. We are down 35% in serious crime over the last six-eight years. This one worries him most because the gateway between prescription drugs and heroin is there. Jeff added …. From $45 a pill to a $10 bag.
Bill said that Tammy, Brad and he went to Pocatello on April 22nd for the Eastern Idaho SAUSA meeting. At last count there were 22 people in the room representing 11 jurisdictions. They unanimously voted to move forward on the SAUSA Program in Eastern Idaho. They are reconvening on the 29th to discuss how they put the local coalition together. He felt that there were lots of people in the room with questions about whether the use of a SAUSA made sense. After U.S. Attorney, Wendy Olson and Rafael Gonzales got done with their presentations, there were really no more questions if the program would be needed.
During the meeting, he was given the task of getting legislators to the next meeting. So far, he has a commitment from two JFAC members to attend the meeting on the 29th.
In addition, the Mayor of Burley, Merlin Smedley invited him to go speak to the Mini-Cassia jurisdictions about the SAUSA Program. He was surprised at the attendance. There were representatives from at least seven jurisdictions that were not a part of the original Eastern Idaho meeting. They indicated they would be joining the effort.
Brad said they went around the table to get impression from those there, on whether they should go forward with the Program. It was interesting that at least four people used the words that this SAUSA Program is absolutely a no-brainer.
Bill pointed to the information packet. Included in the packet are the member dues for this next fiscal year. They will not change from last year.
Tammy said that the Officers did get together and discussed the budget for next year and this will be forthcoming.
John E. moved to approve the minutes and financial statement. Garret seconded.
Treasure Valley Partnership
Meeting Minutes – June, 2014
Treasure Valley Partnership
Meeting Minutes – July, 2014