May 21, 2018
- Alicia Almazan
- Chad Bell
- Gheen Christoffersen
- Tom Dale
- Tammy de Weerd
- Brad Holton
- Debbie Kling
- Nathan Leigh
- Joe Stear
- Darin Taylor
Staff and Guests
- Johanna Bell – Association of Idaho Cities
- Bill Larsen – TVP
On behalf of Brad and himself, Nathan welcomed everybody to the Parma Ridge Winery.
Regarding Parma, Nathan said Treasure Valley Renewables is moving forward with their sorghum project on the highway. He has been involved with a couple on-site meetings with investors and they are planning breaking ground in the fall on their compressed gas phase of the project.
Brad said they still have a couple large employers that are looking at Greenleaf. They have filed with both the Dept. of Commerce and with the County for tax exemption on their investments, so they appear to be a real possibility. He said both Wilder and Greenleaf are well situated at the end of the rail system, which is a plus for attracting employers.
Nathan added that Wilder just got the “Opportunity Zone” designation and Parma was also involved with that. Treasure Valley Renewables is going to take part in the Opportunity Zone.
Nathan said he mentioned before, the Parma Airport does have lights now. He is pleased it has came together as it has been his personal project. Recently they had an airplane club come in and hold an airshow and barbeque.
Tammy said she wanted to talk about growth and asked, how do we slow it.
Debbie said, in Seattle there is a new tax that is causing businesses to look at leaving. She believes this will create additional inflow of growth into the treasure valley from the Seattle area.
Tammy said their market values in Meridian increased 10% last year and in the first three months this year they have increased 15%. She said this is going to price our seniors and others out of their homes.
Nathan said his mortgage broker’s son works for Idaho First Bank in Boise and they are very concerned by the increase in costs.
Tammy said, coupled with this, we have an extremely low unemployment rate. This is making it hard to recruit qualified employees.
Nathan said that they just had an instance that that had the effect of slowing down growth. They have a 19-acre piece of property in Parma that is ripe for development. They have had several developers come in to their office. Three of the developers were told by their public works supervisor that they would be required to put in a city well for $200,000, and the developers walked away. Tammy agreed that development must pay for itself. She and several members said they make developers pay for new wells.
Alicia said their school had put in for a new large bond and she had received numerous complaints from citizens that they were going to move out because of the school. This has caused problems because they are working to bring people in and costs are being raised because of these school bonds.
Tammy said she meets quarterly with the Superintendent of Schools. They also started having the City Council meet with the Schools’ Board of Trustees as well. This is a good thing because they have to discuss this growth issue. However, the school talks about increased number of students in their schools and the overcrowding tissues they have, and they always say we can accommodate more kids. But what they won’t say is we cannot accommodate more kids. This is frustrating to her.
AIC Conference – Drugs
Tammy said at the upcoming AIC Conference they will be having two workshops. One will be a Drug 101 workshop and the other will be a workshop on Opioids. Also there is a general session speaker from Colorado on the impact on communities of the legalization of marijuana.
Gheen said that the Greely Mayor had just came out against legalization. Debbie added that this mayor has a police background and has indicated it has been devastating to Greely.
Green asked if others had watched the recent Dateline show on opiates and marijuana. It was an interesting show.
June Meeting Change
Debbie stated that Nampa and Caldwell will be trading dates and that the City of Nampa would be hosting the June 25th meeting.
Debbie said that the Director of Region 10 EPA will be in Nampa. The will be looking at a reuse permit for Class A water for industry and for discharge into the canal. It will save them approximately $20 million if they can get what they need.
Tom said this will be a good thing for Nampa when EPA comes out with temperature requirements. The less your discharging into Indian Creek, the less they can come after you for temperature.
Nathan said temperature will be an expensive thing and he didn’t know how they were going to do it. Tammy said, we are going to have to put chillers in the systems.
Tammy said they officially got their 10-year NPDES permit last August. They have a Class A reclaimed water permit. However, they almost made this obsolete because they instituted year-round levels instead of seasonal. They are keeping it alive hoping it gets better under the Idaho system.
Tom said the benefit of going to Primacy is it will allow DEQ to look at individual geographical/hydrological situations and adjust the permit accordingly. The will still have to comply with EPA guidelines, but they will be able to consider for example, for 6 months out of the year that 80% of Nampa’s wastewater goes into the irrigation canal and the water never reaches the Boise River. DEQ will be able to look at this where EPA wouldn’t.
AIC Policy Development – Water Issues
Nathan introduced Johanna Bell with AIC who was here to talk about water issues. He invited her because he sits on AIC’s Municipal Water Users Group. He felt there were a lot of water issues that impact our municipalities. He wanted Johanna to give us some information on what those are and where they are at and potential fall-out as a result.
Johanna has been with AIC since the fall of 2016. They have since established a Manipal Water Users Group. Its purpose is to be more versed in the details of emerging water issues. They meet by phone and during the annual conference. They can make recommendations to the Board for AIC on water issues or if there is some crisis that is affecting a few of our cities they can suggest additional legal/technical support under a special assessment. These were provisions that were recently added to AIC’s bylaws.
She brought a draft workplan for this year, so she could give some highlights on what they will be working on this next year.
Since she has been with AIC they have been able to put on two water summits. The first one was in October of 2016. The second one, this last January, was co-sponsored with the Idaho Water Users Association.
During this last summit they had a regional break out where people could concentrate on regional issues. Through these and other meetings, they can identify emerging statewide issues. For example, she recently sat in on the Mid Snake TMDL Water Advisory group meeting.
There are a lot of stakeholder groups that are involved with water issues in Idaho. She is active in trying to keep up with these. The Idaho Water Users Association, Idaho Rural Water Assn., Idaho Water Research Institute with the University of Idaho, Water Utility Council and Idaho Rural Development are some of the organizations focusing on water and waste-water issues.
In Idaho, 80% of our cities provide drinking water and 75% of our cities provide waste-water treatment. The issues are significant and there is rapid change.
Nested under the Municipal Water Users group are taskforces. The Storm-water funding task-force was active last year. They reviewed the results of the recent Supreme Court case in light of the Lewiston storm-water utility that was found to not comply with the framework. It is important to be careful as you are establishing a utility as an independent third-party entity. They did a white paper on this issue and have come out with options for funding storm-water programs.
The AIC taskforce that is active, currently, is the Water Reuse Taskforce. This group is chaired by Elaine Clegg. It is a blend of technical and elected officials which is meeting with DEQ and the Department of Water Resources and others to identify if there are any statues/rules/policies that might create unnecessary obstacles for a city to pursue a water reuse program.
The majority of what they do at is AIC is focused on Idaho. However, as Idaho is taking on Primacy for NPDES and other programs, AIC will be looking at developments on a national level to be aware of issues that we may be confronted with in the future.
Tammy asked for an update on the Idaho Conservation League (ICL) and their claim on the TMDL and where we are at on that. Johanna said ICL has been sending out notices of intent to sue as a third party under the clean water act, for those waste-water treatment plants that have violations of their permits. She was not aware of their claim on the TMDL but it is important to hear of things she is not aware of and will look into it.
Brad said these groups (ICL, Idaho Rivers United, etc.) sit on the sidelines waiting for lawsuits. It would be helpful if AIC relates to these groups, so we can have a clear picture of expenses in the future. For example, the City of Greenleaf heard that Idaho Rivers United was going to challenge their new discharge permit. It was very beneficial for their little town to communicate with Idaho Rivers United, so they didn’t gum up the works.
Bill said the Treasure Valley Opioid Strategic Planning meeting is scheduled for June 7th and 8th. He indicated he tried to make sure everyone got reminded about the meeting and encouraged individual members to invite their law enforcement representatives. He understands the planning meeting will be well attended. The purpose of the meeting is to see if we can develop some Treasure Valley strategies to curb the opioid abuse that is occurring.
Tom said they have been approached by a couple different firms to join in lawsuits regard to overprescribing. Their civil attorneys are recommending to not get involved at this time.
Tammy moved, and Joe seconded to approve the minutes and financial statement.