Decision on response to injunction slated for Monday; Teton Creek restoration cost-share program; RFP for Capital Improvements Plan; Courthouse architect; Judicial confirmation for landfill bond
Highlights from the special meeting:
BOCC to decide on response to injunction ruling on Monday
Although this was the last agenda item of the day we are reporting on it first since it is probably the most pressing item of interest. The BOCC deliberated for nearly two hours with their legal counsel to decide how to proceed with the moratorium and recent ruling by Judge Shindurling that granted an injunction on the moratorium. The Board discussed various options, one of which was an interlocutory appeal with a stay, which they rejected. An interlocutory appeal is an appeal of a ruling by a trial court that is made before the trial itself. Typically an interlocutory appeal usually merits a stay of proceedings while the appeal is being decided. Essentially, an interlocutory appeal with a stay, if granted, would reinstall the moratorium and reject all applications filed while the moratorium was not being enforced. Commissioner Trupp motioned to rescind the moratorium, which failed for lack of a second. Clearly, the BOCC (with the exception of Commissioner Trupp) is struggling with how to proceed. During their Monday, May 14th commissioner meeting, the BOCC is scheduled to make a final decision regarding how to respond to the recent ruling. This discussion is slated for the 11am P&Z hour.
BOCC agree to cost-share program for Teton Creek Restoration
Lindsay Obray from NRCS presented the commissioners with a Conservation Plan for Schedule of Operations, outlining the funds available from the NRCS for restoration work on the county’s property along Teton Creek. The NRCS could set aside $110,000 for the county, which is 75% of the $150,000 it is estimated that the work will cost. Lyn Benjamin, Executive Director of Friends of the Teton River, also made a presentation to the board and offered to help the county with the 25% of the project costs that are the responsibility of the county, through both funds and in-kind contributions such as volunteer time. Both Obray and Benjamin reiterated the importance of Teton Creek for native Yellowstone cutthroat trout.
After some questions clarifying the details of the county’s responsibilities in the project as well as producing for the NRCS and FTR a surveyed map of the county’s property along the creek, the commissioners unanimously passed a motion to participate in the cost-share program.
RFP for Capital Improvements
Planning Administrator Kurt Hibbert presented an RFP (Request for Proposals) for a Capital Improvements Plan/Impact Fee Program for the commissioners to review. The county is seeking to hire a consultant to help them prepare a CIP which is required by state law and was one of the items agreed upon in the county’s moratorium task list.
Administrator Hibbert went through the RFP and explained that he had listed all the kinds of capital improvements that according the State code can be included in a CIP but that the commissioners could pick and choose which ones they wanted to include.
Commissioner Trupp raised two concerns. First he questioned the process saying didn’t Idaho code require that the creation of a CIP go through the Planning & Zoning Commission. Hibbert explained that the CIP had to be adopted as an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan and that the commissioners and an appointed committee would work with the P&Z. The CIP itself would be prepared by qualified professionals.
Commissioner Trupp was also unhappy with the inclusion of “Impact Fee Program” in the title and body of the RFP. Administrator Hibbert explained that a CIP would need to address certain legal issues in order to lay the ground work for impact fees. If the county wants to keep the option of implementing impact fees in the future then the RFP needs to specifically mention that work pertaining to impact fees. Otherwise the county could get proposals that don’t include that work in the bid and proposals from firms not qualified to do that aspect of the work. Trupp replied that the title was going to lead to word on the street that the county was implementing impact fees and he said it contradicted the county’s plan to address affordable housing since impact fees would result in higher costs to the end consumer. Hibbert suggested he take the reference to impact fees out of the title but leave the references to it in the body of the RFP.
Chair Larry Young wanted to have all the different categories of capital improvements detailed out so that they could have the work done in pieces as funds were available. However Administrator Hibbert said that level of detail would require significant communication with the consultant and therefore would best be done with whatever consultant the board selected.
Because of time constraints the administrator agreed to send another draft of the RFP for the commissioners to review in the afternoon that would have changes made according to the discussion of the commissioners. A final decision will be made on the RFP during Monday’s P&Z hour.
Weed Management Contract
The commissioners unanimously passed a motion to accept a proposal from Owen Moulton of Mountain Lawn and Trees to continue doing spraying for the county’s weed control program.
The commissioners reviewed bids from various architectural firms to do the design work on the courthouse and decided to keep working with Berlin, the firm that has already done $39,000 worth of work so far. Chairman Young raised some questions about the estimates on the construction of the courthouse and showed costs per square foot of other courthouse projects in Idaho as well as the cost estimates for the new middle school. Given costs he said it might be better to go with a smaller design and that decision would need to be made before long. Mark Trupp raised the point that it was important for there to be enough room in the courthouse and that they didn’t want to outgrow the space in a few years. MaryLou Hansen, the county clerk, asked about the work that the previous administration had done on the proposed new courthouse and if there was a record of how much space was being used by each county department now and what their needs were in the new building. Commissioner Trupp said that had been done but he didn’t know that it had been written down.
The county commissioners unanimously passed a motion to keep working with Berlin on the project and to set a date to meet with the architects. They also agreed they would need to think about the size and other details of the building.
Judicial confirmation for landfill bond
The morning session ended with Tammy Zaken, the county’s bond counsel explaining the judicial confirmation process. She clarified that if the judge granted the county’s bond request then the county can proceed according to their own timetable, but like with any court decision there is a 30 day appeal period. The board then went into executive session with the lawyer to prepare for the hearing and any testimony that would need to be submitted by the county. Later that day a judge did grant the bond request.