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Morrison Crossing; Citizen questionnaire on land use; Sewer main to go up Ski Hill Road; Traffic on 50 West; Latest on the landfill closure; Tetonia building inspection issues

Road and Bridge
Sewer main to go up Ski Hill
Three developments along Ski Hill Road, including The Willows and Targhee Hill Estates, wish to construct a new sewer-main line to connect with Driggs. The developments have already been issued “will-serve” letters, and a construction easement was granted with the condition that the developers be responsible for any damages to Ski Hill Road throughout construction of the line.

Problems with traffic on 50 West
Traffic along 50 West, the frontage road that parallels Hwy 33, was brought up again.  Given the dust kicked up by vehicles driving too fast and the safety hazard of speeding cars passing the numerous driveways along the route, the commissioners decided to add speed limit signs, more stop signs at intersections, and pursue borrowing Victor’s radar speed sign to slow traffic.

Solid Waste
The landfill closure plan is approaching completion.  Only two components are yet unfinished: a vegetation cover plan, and soil and grade test plans for the final cover.  Nelson Engineering will continue as the project engineer, and the county will look for a project engineer who will be specifically responsible for overseeing the landfill closure.

Additional municipal water line

Three developments near the landfill, including Targhee Hill and Driggs Centre, want to hook up to City of Driggs water in order to meet fire-flow requirements.  Since the new Transfer Station will be located nearby, and it too needs to meet fire flow requirements, the BOCC agreed that a municipal water line in that direction would make a lot more sense than each of the four projects digging its own $250,000 well.

Bond Council
The BOCC agreed to retain Moore, Smith, Buxton, & Turk for bond council.

Planning and Zoning
Engineering review
The county has hired Williams Engineering, Inc (WEI) to conduct independent plat reviews on all subdivision applications.  Gerald Williams, of WEI, presented his first review and comments, which applied to the Huntsman Springs development.  The process was put in place to cut down on errors and inconsistencies in final plats.  Mr. Williams’ review caught many minor errors such as inconsistent street names and unidentified easements.  This first review showed that the 3rd party check is a valuable and simple way to save the county time and work in the future.

Citizen Questionnaire
Clarion Associates, the firm hired by the county to review and give input on the county’s land use planning code and its consistency with the comprehensive plan, is seeking community comment on planning needs in Teton County as they begin their consulting contract.  A questionnaire will be available on the county website and it can be submitted directly to Clarion per the posted instructions. 

Tetonia building inspection issues
The county building inspector, Bruce Nye, reported in a memo to the BOCC that the county’s inspection contract with Tetonia expired in March of 2006.  Additionally, Mr. Nye reported that he had not been reimbursed for inspections conducted under contract.  As a result, he will not be performing building inspections for Tetonia anymore.  Commissioner Young suggested that the county work with Tetonia to reach some sort of solution so that the city is not left incapable of granting Certificates of Occupancy for new construction.

Morrison Crossing
County Road A4a, the center of heated discussion since the county road hearings last fall, is currently under litigation by the owners of BC Ranch, through which the road passes.  In an effort to keep public access open without sacrificing too much private property, BC Ranch presented a plan to add a metal staircase from the north end of the trestle bridge on the Rails to Trails path down to Bitch Creek.  The proposal was offered as a settlement to the pending case, and in exchange the county would vacate A4a and the Morrison Crossing.  Attorney Sean Moulton represented BC Ranch, and told the commissioners and public in attendance that this settlement is the best chance the county has of maintaining public access.  He also stated that many of the “rights” that people currently enjoy along Bitch Creek and the A4a access may in fact be illegal, and that accepting this settlement would be better than taking the case to court and perhaps losing all access to the creek.

The BOCC took public comments regarding the proposed stairway.  About a dozen people spoke in opposition to “the stairway to heaven” (as Commissioner Trupp dubbed it), with most comments focused on the loss of another public asset and the historical significance to the whole valley of Morrison Crossing.

After the comments, Sean Moulton urged the BOCC to accept the settlement.  The BOCC went into a brief executive session to discuss the pending litigation.  When the Board returned, Commissioner Trupp suggested that Sean Moulton report the public comments to the landowner and return with a response.  Commissioner Stevenson said she would rather have the trestle access than no access, and that the BOCC will do everything it could to serve the public.  Commissioner Young also said that going forward, the county now has legislation that allows it to require public access.

Since BC Ranch received new comments on the trestle access plan and also since the Idaho Parks and Recreation department was absent and unable to answer legal access questions, the BOCC did not make a decision on the plan.  We will keep you updated with any new developments at BC Ranch and the Morrison Crossing.


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