June 29, 2020
- Trevor Chadwick
- Tom Dale
- John Evans
- Brad Holton
- Debbie Kling
- Garret Nancolas
- Jason Pierce
- Steve Rule
- Joe Stear
- Rich Sykes
Staff and Guests
- Kelly Packer – Association of Idaho Cities
- Nikki Zogg – Southwest District Health
- Bill Larsen - TVP
Mayor Nancolas welcomed everyone to the Purple Sage Golf Course. Although not in the City of Caldwell, the city owns this course. They bought it and 160 across the street as an economic development tool.
Caldwell is now, officially the 5th largest city in the State. The census is coming in at 62,500 which sits in the middle between Idaho Falls and Pocatello. He encouraged people to explore downtown Caldwell from Indian Creek to the Downtown Plaza. It has become a popular destination.
On a sad note, they had scheduled a 100-team tournament in Caldwell for the 4th of July weekend which they had to cancel that morning. Also, due to Covid-19, the City has canceled all their 4th of July events except for the fireworks.
Tom mentioned that the Canyon County Fair is mostly shut down with the exception of the activities for 4-H kids and just a few other things. On a good note, the new Canyon County Expo building is moving forward and hopefully will be ready for next year’s fair.
Joe said he has gotten a lot of comments on 5G and there are a lot of people concerned as to what the facts are. There are groups that are talking about how dangerous it is and he is getting lots of conflicting information. He wanted to explore the idea of setting up a TVP subcommittee to provide recommendations on 5G and other telecommunications infrastructure.
5G and Wireless Concerns
- Conflicting information on health effects of 5G towers.
- Concerns about 5G tower aesthetics.
- Possibility of incorporating streetlights with 5G towers.
- 750 feet between towers.
- The cell phone industry doesn’t play well together.
- Cell tower leasing companies can be easier to work with than cell providers.
- Public safety concern. Wireless is easy to jam. When emergencies happen, wireless becomes overwhelmed and goes down.
DSL & Fiber Optic Concerns
- Underground infrastructure is a high priority to increase reliability.
- AT & T/Century Link ran out of capacity during shutdown with people working from home and school being completed online.
- Fiber considered the alternative for the future. Some cities in Idaho are creating their own fiber utilities and utilizing grants and LID’s to provide access to citizens.
- How is Fiber being used in Comprehensive Plans? Is there a recommendation on what infrastructure requirements to include?
- With increased usage from people working from home and children completing school online, there is not enough bandwidth or in too many cases, there was no bandwidth at all. For example, Greenleaf has been working with community members to ensure children with no access can share with families that do, in order complete their online schooling.
- Fiber installation has led to infrastructure damage. Several members are looking at ordinances to address damage caused by fiber installation companies. If members have an ordinance addressing this, it is encouraged that a copy is provided at the July meeting
The Mountain Home Model
Mountain Home joined the cities of McCall, Emmett, Idaho Falls, Lewiston, Ammon and others to establish a fiber utility. Mountain Home is putting in the fiber infrastructure and have completed 10 miles so far.
They are not going to be in the ISP business. They are going to let every ISP come to their platform. Their citizens will have the choice to pick any ISP they want. They believe citizens should own and operate their own fiber optics platforms.
Rich said, what he is doing right now is getting fiber to the parks so kids can get access for schoolwork. Emmett has also done this.
Rich encouraged all members to watch a short video on the Mountain Home Fiber effort. The following is a link to the video. https://www.mountainhomefiber.com/
Brad moved to create a TVP subcommittee to develop advice and options around telecommunications technologies. Motion seconded by Rich. Motion approved unanimously.
Trevor Chadwick, Brad Holton, Jason Pierce and Rich Sykes to participate on the subcommittee.
Garret introduced Nikki Zogg the Director of the Southwest District Health Department. She provided a recap of case numbers and concerns in the Southwest District Health Department (SWDH) and around the State.
- Recently they have had an increase in testing availability and an increase in the positivity rate for those being tested.
- Community spread has been identified in bars by the Central District Health Dept (CDH). In the SWDH, they are seeing community spread occur in family type gatherings.
- Recently the cases have been in younger populations and there have not been a lot of seniors lately that have tested positive.
- SWDH did have seven long-term elder care facilities that had positive cases. What they have found through their investigations is these positive tests have primarily been a result of exposure from staff, and not through patients or visitors.
- The Governor, extended Stage 4. His command is to provide more local control after Stage 4.
- There has been good cooperation in contract tracing by and large. Recent trends toward younger populations being infected however, has resulted in less willingness to cooperate.
- Steve thanked Nikki for her commonsense delivery on this issue. He asked if there is any progress on the development of a vaccine? Nikki said she has heard rumor that they are anticipating a vaccine by September. She is concerned this quick timeline could lead to unreliability in the vaccine.
- Regarding tests, there is an Antigen test which is a blood test. There are some concerns with this test. It is a point-in-time test. For example, the moment you get the test you are negative, but unfortunately it may take 14 days to develop the immune response.
- The PCR Test (swab test) is a lot more accurate. The machines they have can process them in about 20 minutes. But if the test comes back negative, they still have to do another test to send to a lab or hospital where they can do a more thorough analysis. This typically takes over night.
- Brad asked if there is anything the TVP members can do to support CDH or SWDH. Nikki said it would be helpful if the elected officials could reinforce the importance of cooperating with the contact tracing efforts.
Meet and Greet with Kelly Packard
Garret introduced the new Executive Director of the Association for Idaho Cities. Kelly comes to us with experience as a legislator and city council member.
She came into the job at an interesting time. They were in the process of changing the annual conference to a virtual conference and handling the Covid-19 needs from the Governor’s office. She said the staff at the Association has been really helpful as well as Mayor Evans.
She indicated she was a member of the City Council in McCammon Idaho and decided to run for the Legislature in 2012 and served for six years.
Tom pointed out that we struggle with the legislature. There seems to be a real animosity and lack of understanding or support for city and county government. Kelly said serving on a city council prior to the serving in the legislature helped her a lot. But she did find herself at odds with legislators that did not understand that there are limited revenue buckets that cities and counties can use.
They are putting together a campaign to educate the legislature on the things that cities and counties do that are taken for granted. They are putting together a series of about 8 posters to share with legislators to try to get the message across on the essential services cities and counties provide.
Joe moved to approve the minutes and financial statement. Several members seconded. Motion Carried.