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GIS, Packsaddle Easement, Clarion hired, County Engineer hired, Transfer Station, County Addresses

GIS in Teton County

The commissioners met with the city of Driggs before their regular meeting. The main point of discussion was how to coordinate all the GIS information among the county, Driggs, Victor, and Tetonia. The county is purchasing new software to facilitate this communication and will be setting up an amended annual fee structure for the private and public sectors and will include free restricted public access.

Commissioner Stevenson asked Mayor Christensen if Driggs could appoint a representative to work with her on the affordable/workforce housing issues.

Regular meeting

Road and Bridge: Packsaddle Easement

Packsaddle Road was again part of the road and bridge discussion. There is some question as to whether an existing county easement through Packsaddle Estates that connects to national forest is in fact a legitimate easement or if it was created illegally. The main issue in this case is that the easement is extremely close to a resident’s property and is having an adverse effect on their enjoyment of their home.  The bottom line of the discussion was that everyone agreed that keeping access to the forest was important and that one way to solve the problem would be to move the easement location to an area that would not adversely affect adjacent property owners.

Transfer Station

The judicial confirmation for the bond to fund the new transfer station is entering its last stage. If there is no appeal by June 15th the confirmation is approved and the county can move forward on the building of the facility. A tentative schedule is as follows: bids will go out June 7th, 14th, and 21st in various publications including the Teton Valley News, the Jackson Hole News & Guide, and the Rexburg Standard Journal; bids will be due by August 10th; contract awards will be done on August 27th; the contractor will have 8 months to complete the work once it has begun. The BOCC agreed that they would hire a project engineer to oversee the project to ensure that all work was on schedule and completed to the required specifications.

Drought Designation Request

The BOCC agreed to send a letter to Governor Otter requesting that Teton County Idaho be declared a drought area. The county is at 28% of normal for moisture at this point, far below normal. With drought determination ranchers and farmers have access to aid from the state.

County Engineer Hired

The BOCC reviewed the RFP’s (request for proposal) for an engineer to review plans that are brought before the county.  Four engineering firms submitted proposals. The BOCC selected Williams Engineering from Rexburg. VARD believes Williams was a good choice as the firm does not do any work in Teton Valley which reduces the chance of a conflict of interest arising.

Planning Firm Hired

Two applicants submitted proposals for the planning work solicited by the county, Nelson Engineering and Clarion Associates.  The BOCC voted 2-1 (Commissioners Young and Stevenson in favor, Commissioner Trupp opposed) to hire Clarion Associates from Denver, Colorado.  VARD agrees that Clarion was a better choice over local firm Nelson Engineering based on experience and qualifications.  Clarion has extensive experience and a proven track record in communities around the west (Boise and Blaine County in Idaho) for addressing many planning and land use issues.  Additionally, because Clarion does not have any potential conflicts of interest, their involvement in code writing and reform, policy reviews, etc. would not pose a potential conflict of interest like Nelson Engineering. That said, VARD also recognizes the Nelson does exceptional engineering work in Teton Valley.

GIS Addressing Updates

Eric Smith, the county GIS specialist, presented the necessity of correcting and improving the county’s addressing system. The four main users of addresses are: 1) emergency services (police, fire, and emergency medical services), 2) county assessors, 3) planning and zoning department, and 4) delivery services.  It’s easy to see the value in having an accurate and easy-to-use addressing system in place.  Mr. Smith pointed out where conflicts occur in our existing system and presented different ways of fixing the problems.  The corrections will be big job and ongoing for some time.

Next Meeting…

A special BOCC meeting has been scheduled for June 4 from 8:30am to noon.

The next regular BOCC meeting is June 12th.


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