Meeting Minutes
July 30, 2018


  • Kelly Aberasturi
  • Chad Bell
  • Dave Bieter
  • Gheen Christoffersen
  • Tom Dale
  • John Evans
  • Debbie Kling
  • Brad Holton
  • Garret Nancolas
  • Stan Ridgeway
  • Joe Stear
  • Darin Taylor

Staff and Guests

  • Jeff Lyons – School of Public Service, Boise State University
  • Lachelle Smith – ECHO Idaho
  • Bill Larsen – TVP

Open Discussion

Mayor Stan Ridgeway opened the meeting and welcomed everyone to the City of Eagle.


Debbie asked a question about Republic Services. She indicated they came to her council for the $1.25 increase for recycling and the council approved that. She has heard rumblings that they are going to come back and ask for another increase.

John said they approved the $1.25 as they have a fund balance in this account. . One of the reasons that Republic Services is hedging a little is because of the volatility of the recycling market. When they approved the $1.25 they decided to continue to approve any increases until it goes to $1.75. When that happens, they will reevaluate.

Stan said when they held the public hearing on this subject; they had a packed house that was in support of recycling and the increase. He mentioned the “orange bag” program and they bought a couple years’ worth of orange bags.

Tom asked what the orange bag is for. John said the orange bag is for recyclables that republic services can’t take. This includes #3 – 7 plastics like plastic grocery bags. Evidently there is an outfit that takes these and can convert them into diesel fuel for ag.

Stan said they had a public hearing and are selling the orange bags to citizens at cost. All of the oil people came and testified for the orange bag program. Everyone that testified, but one person, was in support of the program. People were really upset about the plastic water bottles, because you can’t recycle them.

Debbie said they are concerned about price increases. They have increases in wastewater, domestic and irrigation water, trash, recycling etc.

Avimor & other Annexations

Stan said they are going through a process because Avimore is requesting annexation into the City of Eagle. This is a really complicated process because it involves three different counties. They have had many discussions. If they annexed them today, their taxes would not pay for police. Avimor is paying for all of the process. Tom asked if they are contiguous. Stan said they are contiguous through M-3.

Kelly asked why they want to be annexed. Stan said he believes they think it would be easier to deal with one city instead of three counties. It is 9,000 homes over a period of time. It encompasses 22,000 acres. They already have 100 miles of trails and they don’t want to pay any trail or park impact fees and they are already part of the fire district.

Stan said they went to Idaho City to meet with one of the County Commissioners. One of their county commissioners suggested just changing the boundaries so that Avimor was completely in Ada County. But their treasurer said they shouldn’t do this because of the lost tax base. Stan reiterated that this is really complicated and was unsure how it will turn out. Avimor has built their own sewer plant and they want to retain it. Their water is part Suez and part through the City of Eagle.

Joe askes if this was similar to the SW Boise area that includes 35,000+ residents that are in Ada County and are contiguous to the City of Boise. Dave said it is. These residents’ septic tanks failed in the 1970’s and the City extended the sewer to the area.

Garret said they have had a couple subdivisions outside the city that had septic’s that were failing and polluting their water system. They requested city sewer as a result and the City said sure, but you have to annex into the city.

Brad asked Darin where the City of Middleton was at on their recent annexation effort. Darin said the city withdrew its application for annexation because they did not give notice to residents within 300 feet of the annexation line. They were going to refile this in the near future.

Darin said after research, the City of Middleton is surrounded by subdivisions approved through the county that are contiguous to city limits. They are either all septic but a couple have their own sewer. They found about 1,300 parcels; 5 acres or less that is contiguous to the City of Middleton. This is occurring on two sides of the City and prohibits the city from expanding its area of impact.

Dave asked if they are worried that the cities are going to lose their ability to annex as a result of this forced annexation effort. He continued that the Legislature pokes at annexation every year. Darin said yes but the City has an obligation that stems from at least 30% of the citizens that use their roads don’t pay for them.

Garret said they are hearing from legislators in this regard and it is not good at this point.

Tom asked how Ken Harward is doing. Garret said he is doing well. Ken went through a series of medical problems but seems to be doing well and has moved to Utah.

BSU Treasure Valley Survey

Stan introduced Jeff Lyons who was here to talk to us about their annual Treasure Valley Survey. They have been doing state-wide surveys for three years and a Treasure Valley Survey for two years and are getting ready to do their third Treasure Valley Survey. He is here to get ideas and feedback from the Partnership members on what kinds of information will be useful. Their goal is to be a resource for the members.

The goal of the survey is to ask citizens of the Treasure Valley policy questions that will help the members in their work.

He asked what we thought the survey should be focusing on. Their hunch is that most of the problems, members have, are related to growth.

Debbie said she wanted to know the demographics related to growth. It is very helpful to know the age groups of who is moving in. Also it is very helpful to have the demographics of the people that are here.

Stan asked if the survey could ask the residents how we should fund our schools. Should it be through impact fees or state funding? Jeff said this should be fairly easily accomplished. He added that it is easy to ask how thing should be funded, but we should also ask trade-off questions that relate to the kinds of trade-offs the members deal with.

Tom said one that is important to Canyon County is, if people would prefer to pay for a new jail through property taxes or through a local option sales tax.

Jeff said the last two years they have been asking general local option sales tax questions and will continue to do that. But adding this trade-off question will be good.

Dave said he has had increasing concerns about mental health services and funding. More specifically, he has come across a fair amount of research and articles on loneliness. How lonely people feel. How we get at this he doesn’t know, but would like to start asking this question. Tom asked if they are classifying loneliness as a disease now. Dave said the articles are saying we have a national epidemic of loneliness that is affecting suicide and has other manifestations.

Jeff said he recently saw an article that describes the rates of loneliness among the 50 – 64 year old age group. Right off the top of his head, he didn’t know how to ask this, but will work on it and come up with some questions. Dave said he has heard that health care providers are getting patients that continually see them because they have no other contact. Debbie said the question is, is it the responsibility of cities or nonprofits to provide support or activities to prevent loneliness.

Tom said, related to this, speaking from the counties’ side where they deal with indigence and involuntary holds through police/sheriff departments, a related question would be to discern to what level people believe there is adequate mental health care available in the valley. If the answer is no, who should be paying for or providing for that? To what extent do people understand there is limited access and to what extent should that be covered by public funds or other mechanisms.

Joe Stear said, going back to growth; do people want to preserve agricultural ground. John said we have a model to this question as in the foothills levy. Maybe we could ask if people are willing to preserve agricultural ground through a supplemental levy.

Tom asked if the foothills property that was voted to be preserved is in the ownership of the city. Did that foothills levy take those properties off the tax rolls? Dave said, in some cases yes. Tom said an issue that needs to be considered is; that in some parts of the state, people are donating large tracts of land to entities that in essence take these properties off the tax rolls. Which severely impacts small rural counties’ ability to pay for government?

Tom said the other part of the question is, if you want to preserve agricultural ground you have to have someone to farm it. John added that he has 75 acres in the city of Caldwell and has no problem keeping it leased to someone that farms it.

Brad said where he is at; thousands of acres have converted into hops. This is an extremely expensive investment.

Chad added that quite honestly, most of the people that talk about preserving agricultural ground are not farmers. Debbie said that there are some land trust models. These make the farmer’s whole in their sale because this is their retirement. Thus you have to be able to fund it beyond what a farmer can afford to buy it at vs. what a developer can pay for it. You have to be able to bridge that gap with a funding model.

Dave said he assumed that Jeff has affordable housing questions, but wanted to reiterate we need questions on this.

Jeff said he wanted to understand the trade off questions related to affordable housing, because people are for this. Dave said the trade-off is; are you for increased density next to you? Kelly said no one wants low-income housing next to them.

Jeff thanked everyone for their time and would be happy to come back to the group with the results of the next survey.

Project Echo Idaho

Stan introduced Lachelle Smith with Echo Idaho. Lachelle said that Echo Idaho is a continuing medical education program for practicing providers in our communities to get better at knowing how to treat chronic pain and opioid use disorders.

It is a model out of New Mexico. The idea is there are not enough specialists. We are a professional shortage area in primary care and behavior health. How can we help existing doctors and nurse practitioners be able to treat patients.

They convene a group of medical specialists at the U of I Water Center and use teleconferencing to connect with providers all across the State for quick one-hour presentations. It is part lecture part, case based presentations. Folks can bring their difficult patient cases to get help.

For their Opioid track, the have a social worker, a psychiatrist, family practice docs, pain specialists, pharmacists and a nurse practitioner at a methadone clinic. People call in and they have this interactive video conference where people weigh in on cases.

We know opioid is a big problem and it is only getting worse. She ran across a statistic recently that 117 Idahoans died in all of the Vietnam War. In 2016 there were 119 Idahoans that passed away from opioid abuse.

Lachelle said the program is kind of a no-brainer and is real cheap. In addition, it is very fast and effective and has great opportunities for impact on clinicians. The impact is; clinicians that participate in Echo programs have less professional isolation, they are easier to retain and health care gets delivered at the right time and in the right place.

They are hoping to keep their doors open and have funding through the end of January.

If you have diabetes you are going to get insulin to keep your sugar levels right. If you have opioid use disorder you can get Medication Assisted Treatment to help with minimizing withdrawal symptoms and keep you even keel so you are not participating in aberrant seeking behaviors.

There are only three clinics that do forms of Medication Assisted Treatment in the valley. Primary care physicians can get a data waver to provide MAT in their primary care clinics.

Darin asked what the fee is for people to participate in the program. Lachelle said the program is free for practitioners. Not only is the program free, but practitioners can get free continuing education credits through the program.

Finding is provided through SHIP (State-wide Healthcare Innovation Plan). John asked what Echo’s annual budget is. Lachelle said her annual budget is $95,000 per topic area for the year. They are pursuing a mix of local foundations and State and Federal grants.

She indicated that anyone can join a conference call, just log on to their website and join each conference call.

Kelly said the District Health Departments are actively involved in the SHIP program and participates in the Echo program calls.

Directors Report

Brad moved to approve the minutes and financial report. Tom seconded. Motion approved.

Bill wanted to make sure the SAUSA Program MOU’s are complete and in process for the next year.

The City of Boise is hosting the August 27th meeting. Dave said they will be holding the meeting at the new Fire Training Center.

Stan asked if anyone had any additional questions/comments. Darin said he would like us to help with funding this Echo program on behalf of our opioid effort. We should identify a dollar amount at our next meeting. David said we can talk about this and has the Opioid Program on tap for the next meeting.

Bill added that the State-wide Opioid group feels this Echo Program is a large piece of the puzzle for having an effect on opioid abuse.

Kelly added that the SHIP Program is going away this next year. In District III they are going to try to keep a couple of the employees.

There was a discussion on continued funding for the Echo Program and it was decided to keep an eye on how the fundraising effort progressed through this fall.

Debbie apologized for not being at the Nampa hosted TVP meeting in June.

Meeting adjourned.