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Meeting Minutes
January 24, 2008

Attendees

  • Phil Bandy
  • John Bechtel
  • Dave Bieter
  • Tom Dale
  • Tammy de Weerd
  • John Evans
  • Brad Holton
  • Nate Mitchell
  • Paul Woods

Staff and Guests

  • Carol McKee – ACHD
  • Steve Price – ACHD
  • Bill Larsen – Staff

Nate Mitchell welcomed everyone to Star and their new City Hall. He indicated they are working with Ada County to hopefully add some county related services in the building.

Paul Woods opened the discussion on Covered Loads. On the 22nd of December, he hosted a meeting of individual representatives of the legal departments of the TVP members. Also in attendance was ACHD.

The discussion centered around a draft ordinance on Covered Loads. There were two options to the draft. One was that you physically had to cover the load and the second included some freeboard language.

Paul indicated that they ran into a snag. In Ada County, there is a County-wide Highway District (ACHD) that has ordinance authority and there is some question whether the TVP members in Ada County would have jurisdiction. Paul indicated that ACHD has been looking at the Covered Load issue as well.

Carol McKee indicated that for the last couple of years, they have been working with Representative Phylis King and Senator David Langhorst to present State legislation on Covered Loads. They are trying the legislation this year. The bill is the same bill as last year. They would love to get a legislative task force together after they see what happens to the bill this year.

Tom Dale asked what the objections to the bill were last year. Carol indicated there several trucking companies that were opposed to the Bill. She added that all of the States around Idaho were enacting covered load type legislation.

John Evans asked, that if we get another delay in this year’s legislature, is the highway district amenable to passing a covered load ordinance locally. Carol indicated that we needed to get the AGC (Association of General Contractors) on board with us. Right now, there are about 50 percent of the members in agreement. The smaller contractors are concerned about costs.

Paul indicated that the good thing about the TVP is the leadership of the members to tackle issues that the legislature has failed at. The interesting thing is the Idaho Legislature then takes on the issue and passes it. He pointed to the Pseudoephedrine issue the TVP tackled a couple of years ago.

Steve Price indicated that the Covered Load issue is dear to him as he had a friend that was killed as a result of debris falling out of a truck. In 2002, they (ACHD) started an effort with the Association of Highway Districts. They continue to run up against opposition from the AGC. The smaller contractors see this as a heavy burden with costs. ACHD is supportive of the issue because of; air quality issues, storm water quality, and public safety issues. They have several claims a year because of rocks hitting windshields. They take the approach of paying the claims because, if they don’t, it leaves the taxpayer with a sense of helplessness. They also have started including a covered load provision in the contracts they release for road construction.

The AGC has successfully kept the Covered Load legislation from passing in the past. He felt that it would be a good time to sit down with the AGC. We need to relay to them that the jurisdictions of the TVP are looking at making a local ordinance happening. John Evans stated that many of the TVP members are ready to pull the trigger on a Covered Load Ordinance.

Tom Dale indicated we need to invite representatives from the AGC to a Partnership meeting and have a discussion on this issue. Tammy de Weerd indicated that the Partnership member Councils are supportive of putting in place an ordinance on Covered Loads. She also indicated that we cannot sit by and wait for the State Legislature to do their thing.

Brad Holton mentioned that he had done some research and found that 2/3’s of the aggregate and ready mix companies within Ada County are owned by Old Castle out of the United Kingdom. They have deep pockets.

Steve Price stated that to create a united front, legally, ACHD has jurisdiction over the roads and they have ordinance authority where as no other highway district in the State does. The problem with their ordinance authority is they have no enforcement powers. In the City of Boise, they have a joint powers agreement over storm water where they have the ordinance and the City of Boise does the enforcement. This joint powers agreement is pretty strong and can withstand most legal challenges.

Paul Woods asked, “what if Ada County passes an ordinance on Covered Loads on the roads”? Would this be thrown out? Steve Price indicated that if we had a joint powers agreement with the local jurisdictions, it would be pretty strong. Tom Dale asked, “cannot the city of Boise or Meridian vote to change a speed limit without ACHD’s permission”? Tammy de Weerd, said no, but we can enforce it. Her attorney gave her a summary; we can pass an ordinance and enforce it within our own jurisdiction. If Ada County, ACHD and each of the local municipalities pass the same ordinance it would be much stronger.

Steve Price indicated that if the City’s pass an ordinance based on public safety and they and ACHD passed an ordinance and did the joint powers agreement on enforcement, it would be a real tight package. Tom asked about jurisdictional authority over the Interstate. John Evans said that we can write a traffic ticket on the State highway over a local ordinance.

Dave Bieter indicated that we need to know if ACHD is going to go into this with us. We need to move forward. Tom Dale stated that if it would help Carol McKee and their statewide effort, he makes a motion to have the TVP support a statewide effort to institute legislation on Covered Loads. The motion was seconded by John Bechtel.

Paul Woods added that it was always the Partnership’s intent to get our draft together and then approach the AGC. Dave Bieter added that we don’t want to engage the ACHD in a jurisdictional battle. We can settle this among us, so the public will see this as a unified effort. Steve Price agreed.

Motion carried, unanimously.

Paul Woods began a discussion on in stream flow in the Boise River. He stated that this involved Anderson Ranch, Arrowrock and Lucky Peak. As the Snake River Adjudication has moved forward, the Bureau of Rec. has had a water right for many years. This is an incredibly complex issue.

The Water Resource Development Act passed. In this was an earmark of $175,000 for the Corps of Engineers to study flood control on the Boise River. Part of that can be additional storage. What seems to be opportunity for us is, in high water years we could take advantage of additional storage, for example, an aquifer recharge. This might be an opportunity for us to look at a water supply for us as we move forward. Tammy de Weerd indicated they have an application into DEQ for reuse. They are looking at delivering that water into a park and a golf course.

Phil Bandy indicated the irrigators are not willing to divert surface water into potable water uses. They are aggregating these water rights anticipating that someday they will be selling them off. Paul Woods mentioned, on the Boise River, there is excess water that could be gained through storage (aquifer recharge).

Tammy de Weerd wanted to know who we could bring to the next meeting so that our staff’s gain the knowledge that they need.

Brad mentioned that who owns the water in the Boise is convoluted and complicated. There is documented usage that as we go from agriculture to residential is creating a lot more demand. In the State of Idaho, irrigation systems are scared of use of canal systems for anything other than irrigation. The reason is they get into an EPA issue.

Paul Woods suggested that with this flood control grant, it is an opportunity for us to sit at the table and have some impact on what the study issues are. Dave Bieter indicated that collectively we need to get a place at the table.

Tom Dale spoke on the SAUSA Project. He stated a concern that if the State funded this project 100%, the project would be split up state-wide and we would loose our control. He pointed to the statistics on the number of indictments. Dave Bieter mentioned that this is a great project but had a concern about the Partnerships ability to maintain paying the percentage of the project costs it has in the past. He felt that we should stay at the table and see if the State could pick up a bigger chunk of the costs. He would like to have Christian Nafzger come to each jurisdiction’s Counsel Meetings and give a presentation on the SAUSA Project. Bill mentioned he would talk to Christian and have him contact each of the Partnership members to schedule a time to make a presentation.

Bill presented a request to have the SAUSA Project pick up Christian’s health insurance costs through Owyhee County. In the past year, Christian’s families’ health insurance was picked up by his wife’s employer. They have had a change in their family and his wife is no longer working. The proposal is to increase the reimbursement to pick up their health insurance costs. Tom Dale moved and John Evans seconded to approve the proposed increase in the reimbursement for the SAUSA Project to cover the increase in health insurance costs. Motion passed unanimously.

Tammy de Weerd mentioned that she had requested a report on the Server Training initiative. She passed out a report that Bill had completed. Dave Bieter indicated that there is an initiative underway in the legislature. He will obtain information on how this is doing and have information at the next TVP meeting.

Dave stated that they had passed a public intoxication ordinance. The server training initiative is working, this year they had ½ the DUI’s than they did last year.

Tiffany Floyd, Assistant Regional Administrator for DEQ was in attendance. They now manage five environmental programs; air quality, water quality, engineering and waste and remediation sections. They see their role as a technical resource. Tom Dale mentioned that the EPA is pushing 70 parts per million phosphorous. If we go to the 70, it will cost just the City of Nampa, $100 million for plant improvements. He was unsure if there was any benefit to go to this level. Tiffany indicated that the EPA has set some interesting but unrealistic standards. For example, water systems are struggling with the arsenic standards 10 parts per million. They are struggling to understand where the EPA is coming from and how they enforce these standards.

Tammy de Weerd mentioned as the cities struggle with unfunded mandates, where do we get the funding to meet compliance issues. Tiffany indicated there are some funds out there, for example the State Revolving Fund program. But there isn’t money added to it each year. There is also Rural Development funds. But there is not enough money to go around. The result is there are a lot of people out of compliance because of the lack of funds to meet ever increasing mandates.

Paul Woods asked Tiffany to write the Partnership a letter regarding how NPDS permit holders are going to comply when there is little water in the Boise River. Tiffany indicated she would.

There was a discussion about legislative issues concerning air quality and other items. Dave Bieter moved that we try to bump up the February Partnership meeting a week, in an attempt to get ahead of the curve on legislative issues. Tammy de Weerd seconded, motion carried.

Tammy de Weerd asked to hold the December meeting of the Partnership on the 8th. The group agreed to add this meeting in addition to the regular holiday lunch.

Tammy de Weerd moved to approve the minutes and financial report, John Evans seconded, motion approved.

Bill mentioned that David Ferdinand is now the Canyon County representative to the Treasure Valley Partnership.

Meeting adjourned.