April 19, 2021
- Trevor Chadwick
- Ryan Davidson
- John Evans
- Brad Holton
- Debbie Kling
- Lauren McLean
- Garret Nancolas
- Robert Simison
- Joe Stear
- Rich Skyes
- Pam White
Staff and Guests
- Bill Larsen - TVP
Welcome and Introductions
Commissioner Pam White welcomed everyone to Canyon County.
Pam indicated that Brian Stender and company had been working on property tax legislation and would be joining us later in the meeting to discuss their proposal.
John indicated that Representative Moyle is working on a bill that supposedly has something for everyone. It is to include an increase in the home-owners exemption, a component for sunsetting the personal property tax, a circuit breaker adjustment, new construction at 100% and to have language regarding the CPI. In a conversation with Senator Rice, John indicated that the CPI and personal property tax components would be a non-starter for AIC.
He felt not much would happen till the legislature deals with the income tax question.
Senator Rice indicated they might come up with a Senate bill to replace S1108.
John felt there would be no legislation on Broadband this year. Supposedly this will be dealt with through the Federal American Recovery money. Debbie indicated the guidelines for this money might be released, but she hasn’t seen them.
In regarding to moving the election dates, Trevor said he is in favor of moving the dates. There should never be a time where a Counsel or Mayor should be elected with less than 50-60% of the population participating. It is clear in Star, when we have nonpresidential or gubernatorial elections they get 40% participation, where they get almost 90% participation when there is a Governor or Presidential election.
Debbie said she doesn’t support this because it is very difficult to get through the noise of an election. For her, there are two principles. One is the non-partisan side. When it comes to water and first responders, these are non-partisan issues, at least they should be. It is very difficult to get through the noise of an election (Governor or President) to have an educated electorate.
She is highly disappointed in this entire legislative session. The lack of collaboration and respect for local leaders is unconscionable.
Joe said his fear is local elections will get lost in the noise. From his perspective, many people don’t even know what a fire commissioner is. And yet they are on the ballot all the time. When they have to compete with Governor and Presidential elections, their message gets lost and doesn’t get heard. There needs to be more attention given to local elections.
Garret also disagrees with moving the election dates said local elections are intended to be nonpartisan. This last year, one of their counsel members tried to turn it into a political election. Instead of having civil debate on the issues, it turned into this ugly thing including everything from gay rights to immigration. He watched it tear the City apart. There was nothing but vitriol and partisanship instead of discussions about issues such as public safety and other local issues.
Lauren indicated she talked with Senator Winder and the City of Boise would move forward with districts if the bill was pulled. Robert indicated his counsel would be taking this up.
John said this is the most dangerous time of the year. Last minute legislation will be drafted and voted on and there will be no time to react.
Cat Creek Application Update
Brad indicated the Cat Creek Project is on the Anderson Ranch pool. Generally, they would build a reservoir on Cat Creek and pump water out of Anderson Ranch into this new reservoir. The catch 22 is, the water that would drain out of this reservoir back into the Anderson Ranch pool, they would start selling water rights on.
It is not the kind of reclamation project we are used to that benefits the public, it is for profit. The Water Resource Board does not have an application process for this kind of project. Therefore, it is taking a while.
This is not tied to the Bureau of Reclamation project to raise Anderson Ranch.
Debbie said she did not understand initially about the flow of water and water rights tied to this new project. She asked if this was communicated when they initially talked to us about this project. Brad indicated they were very careful about how they reached out. He knows they didn’t reach out to the west end of the valley at all.
In a high-water year, you get to take water out of free flow. Under this development, there will not be excess free flow. We rely on this, and it will be a game changer for irrigation districts.
Joe asked if any members do any specialized activities for their food bank. His situation is, the City of Kuna doesn’t run the food bank. There has been a citizen that has ran theirs for many years but is getting ready to call it quits.
The Kuna food bank has been housed in a church. They don’t have any buildings and are trying to come up with good ideas. Trevor indicated their food bank is in their old city hall. John indicated theirs is in a church. Brad said they have two different sites and have ensured these facilities have backups so there is always refrigeration.
Debbie says they have several locations in churches but also have a mobile unit that goes around the town.
The MOU between the Partnership and Canyon County for the SAUSA Program has been executed. As a reminder, this MOU calls for an additional Partnership contribution of $15,000/year to increase flexibility in pay. He indicated the latest quarterly report is in the packet as well as the savings estimate for the State as a result of the SAUSA Program.
Joe indicated they had met on interviews for the SAUSA. They interviewed three finalists that were all well qualified. In the end it came down to experience as the deciding factor on who was chosen.
It was suggested that we bring Water Resources in to talk to us about aquifer health. It was also suggested we bring in Idaho Power to talk about the health of our electrical grid and what the mix is (solar, wind, hydro). Brad asked if we should do these presentations during a regular meeting or during a retreat. Unanimously, the members requested we attempt to do these presentations during a Retreat.
Bill indicated he has been working with the Mountain Home Air Force to hold a tour and presentation as part of our Retreat. He will be routing around a Doodle Poll to get a sense on when would be the best time to hold our Retreat. Once a date is determined he will get with Water Resources and Idaho Power to generate these educational presentations.
John moved to approve the minutes and financial statement. Joe seconded. Motion approved unanimously.