October 24, 2011
- John Bechtel
- Tom Dale
- John Evans
- David Ferdinand
- Jim Reynolds
- Kelly Aberasturi
- Dave Bieter
- Vern Bisterfeldt
- Tammy de Weerd
- Scott Dowdy
- Keith Green
- Brad Holton
- Nate Mitchell
- Garret Nancolas
- Vicki Thurber
- Craig Telford
Staff and Guests
- Lee Belt, Greenleaf City Clerk
- Rafael Gonzalez U.S. Atty. Office
- Keith Platts, U.S. Marshall
- Bryan Taylor, Canyon Co. Pros. Atty.
- Brian Underwood, U.S. Marshall
- Amy Woodruff
- Bill Larsen
John Bechtel opened the meeting and welcomed everyone to Wilder and the COSSA facility. Each year the cities of Wilder and Greenleaf host a Salmon feed for members.
John introduced Dr. Harold Nevill, the new director of COSSA. Dr. Nevill stated he had met Bryon recently while he was working on his PHD. An interesting thing was that COSSA did not hire him because of his PHD, but instead hired him because he had a CDL. This demonstrates that you need to be versatile when you are in these small communities. (laughter)
COSSA has been around since 1969. At that time a bunch of individuals got to together from the smaller Canyon County School Districts and realized as small districts they cannot afford to individually do things like special education, vocational technical education and alternative schools. So they got together and created this consortium to provide these services. COSSA is the oldest educational consortium in Idaho.
They are responsible for all the special education programs in all these districts’ high schools. Some of their programs are located in the schools and some of them are located in this facility. They are responsible for all the vocational programs. The big programs like auto, diesel, welding, etc. are located in the COSSA facility. In addition they run an alternative school. The enrollment in the alternative school is 120 students.
Their next project is a day care. As of this day, 10% of their students have children of their own and they are realizing the need to offer a day care in order to get the students to attend classes. They will offer the day care along with a “teen-parent” program to try and get in front of the problem, instead of these young girls continuing to have multiple babies and the problems that come with that.
COSSA is pretty state of the art. They have a windmill and have a solar array that is providing power to cut their energy costs in the building.
John stated that they have about 300 foot of gravel road running along side of the building. The City of Wilder does not have the money to put in a sidewalk and they have been looking for donations of asphalt.
Bryan Taylor stated he had provided information on the sexual offender program a couple months prior at a TVP meeting. Their current grant expires next September. They wanted to talk to the Partnership about the process of renewing this grant. He introduced Kevin Platts with the U.S. Marshall’s Office.
Kevin said he appreciated the members of the partnership and the kinds of work the elected officials have. They are not asking for any money but will be looking for support.
For the COPS Grant the U.S. Marshall’s Service teamed up with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The Adam Walsh Act of 2006 made it a federal offense to be an unregistered sex offender. Some research just came out that this program has worked so well with registration of sex offenders that they are looking at expanding this model into other crimes that people habitually commit.
Over the past two years, Idaho has obtained about a million dollars out of 22 million nation-wide. They have been able to do round-up operations where they check on 1,000 sex offenders. They go out and find the people that have not registered and identify the laws they have broken. In their first round-up operation they did around 1,300 people and found almost 70 people that were not compliant. This latest time around, they checked nearly 2,000 people and found 35 people that were not compliant. One of the individuals they caught up with was a 24 year old psycho-sexual predator that they were able to get a 42 month federal sentence on this person along with a life-time of supervision. A psycho-sexual predator is so threatening and there is no amount of treatment that seems to work.
Another person they were able to get came out of Kansas and had come and gone from the state, twice. Without the pressure of Bryan’s task force, they would not have been able to get this person.
The hardest thing they have to say in this program is what they are preventing. He can’t give numbers on this sort of thing. However, they did get a tip that two 12 year old girls came up missing in Pocatello. They were on their way to California to meet up with some bad guys they had met on the computer. Because there is such good cooperation between the feds, the State, County and City law enforcement, they were able to retrieve these girls before they fell into harms way.
John Evans stated that Cities vary widely on how they deal with tracking. Are the Cities and counties doing a good job of communicating the information on these offenders? Keith stated that there is good communication between all the agencies. In addition, the software system that tracks these offenders is being used by all the local police departments and is tied all together in a database. This has helped tracking of sex offenders and they are able to keep up with their movements because of the cooperation of agencies and the software system they all share.
John Evans asked if there is a threshold for these offenders for getting into the federal system. Bryan stated that through this grant program they now have a federal prosecutor and an investigator that can follow up on these offenders that local law enforcement encounters. It works much like the Gang SAUSA Program in that when they have someone, they sit down with county prosecutors and decide which way to go with each individual. One of the big things is the prosecutor and investigators are specialized in this kind of case and can relieve local law enforcement on these cases, because a lot of times, they are stretched pretty thin with other cases, whereas, their investigator and prosecutor, have the time and expertise to work on these cases.
They are looking for a police department or a prosecutor’s office with an ORI number to be able to sponsor the grant for the prosecutor and investigator. In addition, they will need support letters from individual communities to support the grant application next fall. Bryan added that the public also has access to the software and can identify where sexual offenders lived.
John Bechtel said that the last time he looked; they had 12 of these individuals living in Wilder. One of his concerns was that one gentleman, who is now in his 60’s, was caught when he was 18 with a girl who was younger than 18 and has in essence had his life ruined because he was labeled a sex offender over just dating someone in his high school. Kevin stated that he has had conversations with Senator Darrington. The reason why Idaho is not in 100 percent compliance with the federal mandate is they want to avoid these types of cases. Senator Darrington wants to be in compliance but is cautioning to not go overboard, because of the case of an 18 year old dating a 17 year old.
Greenleaf NPDES Certification Experiences
Lee Belt stated that the City of Greenleaf is going through putting in a sewer project. While talking with DEQ, they indicated that no city has had to go through certification on a collection system and treatment system from scratch, without any infrastructure in place. He introduced Jack Harris who is handling the NPDES Permitting for their project.
Jack said his educational background started in agricultural engineering and he had a little work in water quality during that time. He currently works as a private consultant on water quality issues. An NPDES permit application was first filed in 2005 for this project. Over the last five years, they worked with EPA and the DEQ for their 401 certification.
They are going to be going to a high-level of waste water treatment. In the summer time, the water is going to be re-used on irrigated acreage and in the winter time, the water is going to be discharged into the north end drain under an NPDES Permit.
Part of the water quality standards of Idaho, in addition to meeting the water quality criteria, there can be degradation of the water the farther it goes down stream. Anti degradation is really focused on a high quality water body.
In the valley we have sediment and bacteria TMDL that is in place. Then there is a phosphorous TMDL, but it is being worked on. First you have to get a target load for a stream and allocate out the load out to the different entities. There is not a phosphorous load for the Boise River. The EPA says that the only thing they need to know is the mouth of the Boise River has to meet a .07 phosphorous content. For writing a permit now, this is the criteria they have to use the .07 milligrams per liter phosphorous limit.
Phosphorous can be linked and tied into sediment. When you see a creek or drain with a lot of sediment in it, it tends to have a high amount of phosphorous.
In the Treasure Valley, a lot of our creeks, rivers and drains, we have fairly high levels of bacteria that exceed recreational standards. This is going to be an issue for storm water and ag to deal with in the years to come.
Tom asked what the bottom line is. What are consumers going to have to pay for this system? Lee stated in the worst case scenario, they are trying to keep their monthly sewer bill to $80.00 per month or less. This ties back into concerns we all have in the valley. One of the ways we can see this drop is by having an influx of population to help spread the costs to more consumers.
The plant is going to have capacity to handle the current city residents plus another 50% increase in the population.