County and Driggs Centre water agreement; Teton Basin Ice Rink to be built in Victor; Milk Creek Road vacation is unanimously denied
County and Driggs Centre water agreement
As some of you may recall from two years ago, the zone change and approvals for the Driggs Centre Business Park (along 100 E and adjacent to the transfer station) were conditioned upon Driggs Centre providing firewater to the new transfer station. About 1,000 feet of pipeline still needs to be built on property owned by Driggs Centre before the county will be able to link into their firewater source for the new transfer station. Until the firewater is in place, the transfer station cannot be used, and so the county must continue to pay Terra Firma Organics to run the interim transfer station instead. County Attorney Spitzer commented that the lack of a written water agreement by the previous administration with Driggs Centre was making it difficult to get Driggs Centre to agree to install the pipeline on the their property.
County Engineer Simonet commented that Driggs Centre did not want to install the pipeline until there was a signed water agreement. Driggs Centre had previously offered to let the county hook up to their culinary water system for about $150,000 (plus usage and maintenance fees). The county declined the offer when they determined that Driggs Centre did not have a legal water right to provide culinary water to the transfer station. Instead, the county decided to use an existing commercial well permit, which would provide more water for about 1/3 of the cost.
Since the county has been unable to get a response from Driggs Centre as to who would lay the pipeline for the firewater, the county is now soliciting bids for laying the pipeline, and will procure a utilities easement agreement from Driggs Centre.
This complicated situation points back to the importance of thoroughly reviewing all the details of development applications and making sure that the community's interests are protected in writing with each development agreement.
Teton Basin Ice Rink to be built in Victor
Representatives from the City of Victor and Teton Basin Ice Rink (TBIR) confirmed that the proposed ice rink would now be located in Victor's Pioneer Park. For months, TBIR had been trying to work out an agreement with the County Fair Board to locate the rink and recreation center on the county fairgrounds, but now Victor has offered TBIR a deal that is “too sweet to pass up.” Not only is Pioneer Park big enough to accommodate the entire facility, Victor will also coordinate public pathways and a transit center adjacent to the rink.
Milk Creek Road vacation is unanimously denied
The Board unanimously denied Grandview Ranch's proposal to vacate the Milk Creek Road because the applicant had failed to propose conditions that would ensure a public benefit to this vacation. The commissioners were concerned that the vacation would isolate parcels of BLM land, and also because no functional year-round national forest access was proposed by the applicant.
At the previous hearing the Board asked Grandview Ranch to come back with proposed mitigations that would make this road vacation more in the public interest from a recreation and wildlife perspective. In its very brief response, Grandview Ranch did not offer any real solutions to last month's request by the Board. Several members of the public, the US Forest Service, Idaho Fish and Game, and River Rim Ranch questioned the logistics of this vacation proposal. VARD believes the Board was rightly concerned about ensuring functional year-round public access to the national forest and meaningful wildlife protections.