County Commission Meeting Minutes

April 10, 2000


         Present for the meeting were Commissioners Neal Christiansen, Glenn Davis and Frank Mackert. Clerk Mickie Funke was also present to take minutes. The minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.


Prior to the opening of the public meeting, commissioners met in closed session with courthouse employees.


Model Airplanes: Maurice Ghormley met with the commissioners to request an area where model airplanes could be flown. Ghormley said that the area needs to be safe and in a location where visibility is good. Commissioners discussed the future of the Chester Gravel pit to see if that could be a possibility to develop into a strip when the county is not using it. There is a model airplane runway located at the city airport that some use. Ghormley said that the northern members are using a strip by Fall River that is ground owned by Bureau of Land Management, leased by Verl Miller. Some minor work needs to be done at each location. Commissioners will work with the clubs and will deal with B.L.M. as well.


County Access Road: Errol Johnson and J.T. Beech meet on a county access road in Wilford. Johnson said that Idaho Code gives a right away of 16 feet to canals. Johnson said that prior to the Teton Dam flood, there was a Good Luck canal right of way through some property to maintain the dam. After the flood, old right a ways that had been in existence was to be honored and kept. Because of geographic change caused by the flood, the road was rerouted and options were given to maintain dams. The Bureau of Reclamation built the roads.

For twenty years since, the road has been used as a public access to the Teton River. A housing development had placed a barrier on the West End of the old road. In 1996 a gate was set and in 1997 it was padlocked. Property ownership has changed; the 16-foot canal right a way has been encroached on by the homeowners in the development who are not allowing access. Johnson wants a state survey from the County Road east to the dam, they will pay for it, will the county accept it? Johnson said that he fears someone will get hurt in the conflict. He wants the survey but feels there will be conflict and legal questions. Beech says that the county has sprayed weeds and done maintenance on the road. Johnson said that those who are in the flood plain needs the flood levy and also needs to maintain the canal. A negotiated settlement is requested before the survey is done. Johnson asked that the road be back to where it was prior to 1996.


City of Ashton: City of Ashton representatives, Mayor Paul Wynn, and Clerk Kathy Huntsman met with the commissioners on exempt property. They requested reconsideration on the tax-exempt status of the property of Ashton Memorial. Wynn is concerned about them purchasing property in a Local Improvement District, in the urban renewal area for the city. Wynn cited Idaho Code 63-602 D, on nursing homes and shelter homes. The city requests the exemption be removed. Wynn said that he had discussed the exemption with the county attorney.


Ricks College: Representatives from Ricks College, Jerry H. Scrivner and Kevin Anderson, Dean of the Agriculture Division met with commissioners on the Ricks College Island Park Natural Science Center. The center is located on the Beaver Springs road next to the Yale Creek Subdivision. They feel the road needs to be improved and petition the commissioners declare the road a public road. The college can help financially towards the road but does not want to accept the liability if they did it alone and ask the county for public assistance. Commissioners discussed homeowners giving up the 60 feet right a way. Scrivner wants to set apart from the public because of the non-profit status and educational needs and use. The Forest Service has been asked for a road and did deny the request according to Jack Haddock from the Forest Service who was in attendance. Commissioners noted that the county policy has been not to maintain roads in subdivisions. They will go to the location and look at it when the road is accessible and make a decision.


Road 400 North: Homeowners that live along the county road number 400 north met with the commissioners on the road. Kirk Mackert was the spokesman for those in attendance: Bryan W. Bartschi, Grigg Thorkelson, Vance Dalley, Royce Dalley, Veda Mae Dalley, Lori Mackert, Trina L. Johnson, T’dae Thorkelson, Connie Thorkelson, Jodi Bartschi. He is concerned about the road use, increased traffic for recreation, school bus stops. People have been using access to the river, drift boat transports have been using the road. The group mentioned speed, and the maintenance done in the past by the county. There is a cattle guard on the road and it may be able to be removed. The road is a school bus route. Public access in the southern part of the county is limited and is needed. Bureau of Land Management owns the land past the cattle guard. The road is out of alignment. Visibility and traffic on the bridge was noted. Mackert asked what they could ask as homeowners along the road. Commissioners will go and look at what can be done. Other issues of concern: stop and speed signs, dust control, county maintain more often, law enforcement.


Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Patria McCoy gave the commissioners a report. Cancellations for the month of March are $1,318.36 that includes penalty and interest. Most of the cancellations were for landfill fees for individuals qualifying for circuit breaker. Discussion was had on requests for services and reports.


Social Services: Deputy Clerk Debbie Adams, Social Services Director, met with the commissioners in closed session to review medical claims. Commissioner Frank Mackert made a motion to approve medical claim #2000-141 for $20,778.25 before negotiations, a catastrophic claim of which the county will be responsible for the first $10,000 and the balance submitted to the state. Commissioner Glenn Davis seconded the motion. A voice vote was taken with all commissioners voting in favor. Other business was one approval of rent assistance. One lien and one amended lien was approved, a catastrophic assignment and an order of reimbursement.


River Access at Chester Dam: Charley Sperry met to follow up on public access on the road that goes through the Olmstead property. The road that was declared to be public by the commissioners and that was upheld by the court is at issue. Sperry feels that the access for the public will be cut back, Olmstead is developing the property into a subdivision. Sperry has been working with the land trust and nature conservancy to buy Olmstead’s property so it would be preserved but public roads are not to be allowed. The canal companies and Singleton’s would need to be allowed as they are now. Singleton’s property goes on to the Fritz Bridge and is now used for a cattle access.

Sperry said that there would be vehicular access on the opposite side of the river and asks the commissioners consider non-vehicular access for the public on the Olmstead side of the river. SheraLee Lawson was in attendance. She said she was concerned and agreed with Charley Sperry and that the property should be conserved. Sperry suggests a public hearing on the roadway and to provide an opportunity to save the property.


Salem Road and Bridge Project: Willie Tuescher and Dick Dyer reported on the Salem Road and Bridge projects. The assessments will be done by a contracted agency. Wetland mitigation, once it is cleared the archaeological team will walk the area. Agencies have been checking the site. There are projects going in that might allow the county to participate in and possibly recreate wetlands in a different area. Acquisition of right of way was discussed.


Real Estate Concerns: Brett Whitaker, JoAnn Whitaker and Tom Brooks met on sales of Brooks property on Ice House Creek. Brooks said that he is ready to sell 79 various sized lots and wants to know when the Yale Kilgore road will be paved. Brooks feels that prospective buyers will want to know about winter access. Commissioners said that the road base has been worked on and the plan is for tailings from HWY 20 will be put on the road. When those roto-milling tailings are available the commissioners will use the product on that and other roads in Island Park. Snow plowing the roads will be in the future when services and tax base is more developed. It is about three miles from Old West where the county ends the plowing to Shotgun West and about two additional miles to Clark County line. Commissioners hope to have the road paved in four years or less and note there is increased truck traffic.


Emergency Services: Bill Wuthrick, Emergency Services Director met with the commissioners on the Teton River Dikes, built to Bureaus recommendation. Snow Pac will raise the rivers to 90-95% of high-river mark before flood stage unless there is rain or warm weather. A tabletop exercise will be held at the end of April with a full exercise in the summer. The LEPC committee has elected officers and set meeting dates. There will be a class in June on developing volunteer resources.


Weed Supervisor Position: The commissioners have offered the weed supervisor position to Dave Rydalch since Tom Thompson has resigned. Rydalch will be able to accept the position on a six or seven month basis. Persi retirement and employee benefits will be paid if the position works over five months.


Fort Henry Estates: Chad Ball, property owner and his surveyor John Barnes met with Planning and Zoning Administrator Karen Lords on a plat amendment for Fort Henry Estates. Plats were provided with the changes for four lots to six. Commissioner Frank Mackert made a motion to accept the amended plat as presented on the plat, Commissioner Glenn Davis seconded the motion, and a voice vote was taken with all commissioners voting in favor.


Landfill: The spring cleanup for the county will be designated as the first two weeks of May. From Monday, May 1 through Saturday May 13 the landfill will not charge residents for bringing items to the landfill.


Forest Service Roads: Wally Bunnell and Kendall Adams from the Forest Service met on roads. The contract concerning the road across the Island Park dam will be accepted. Silverhawk subdivision, Bureau of Reclamation and the Forest Service will pay for materials and the county will do the work and then the county will assume maintenance. Adams asks the county take over the road on the Mill Creek road that leads to the Cowan subdivision, for approximately1.5 miles as the county is maintaining the road. Commissioner Glenn Davis made a motion to accept the road as presented, Commissioner Frank Mackert seconded the motion, and a voice vote was taken with all commissioners voting in favor. Adams will return documents to be record the easement.


Request to move Spray Field: Willard Price requested the commissioners consider moving the spray field for the Island Park/Macks sewer system. Attending were Dan Lostutter and Harry Barker who work at the system. Price represents individuals who want a land trade with the forest service. He wanted to know what the county’s future use plans for additional spray field area. Price is interested in bearing the cost for all studies and the relocation of the spray field to an area that has double the size. Lostutter has concerns about the land. Commissioner Glenn Davis made a motion to will allow Price to work with Forest Service and Division of Environmental Quality on preliminary requirements for environmental documentation. Commissioner Frank Mackert seconded the motion, a voice vote was taken with all commissioners voting in favor in a voice vote. Lostutter said that movement of the spray field to the West will be closer to the McGee sub division but will be more than the required distance away.


Proposed Ordinances: Commissioners want to act on proposed ordinances dealing with safety. A public hearing time will be set at the next meeting. Ordinances will be considered on setting public use limits of 100 feet upstream of the Henry’s Lake Dam; not allowing possession of a firearm, or other dangerous weapon, explosive or incendiary device in a Fremont County public building; and possibly a lease law.


Airport Runway Report: Neils Thueson reported on the airport board. Thueson said that they are working off of a feasibility study that was put together by the City of St. Anthony. The board has applied for grant funding from the State of Idaho for $100,000 but it has not been awarded yet. Matching funds can be accepted as material and labor. Weldon Reynolds, Road and Bridge Supervisor, who sets on the board estimates the material, oil, mix and men and equipment will cost $70,000. The raw source would come from the county pit. The recommendation from the state is to tear up the existing asphalt, to relay the roto-millings, and shoot additional oil over it.

The board is requesting an easement on county property in case the runways ever are lengthened. It would be about 200 feet back on each side to be granted to the county to prohibit building on the sides and not in front of the runway. Thueson said that he is recommending the runway not be moved to the East so as to keep the existing base and lighting. They are working on safety issues to make sure all power lines and obstacles are addressed.


Human Resources: Attorney Penny Stanford introduced Mike Mace who is a human resource officer. There have been employee issues concerning fairness issues and part-time employees and the fringe benefits. Mace has experience with training, employee job descriptions, personnel policies and setting wages.


         There being no further business to come before this Board, the meeting was recessed until the next regularly scheduled meeting to be held on April 24, 2000.


         Dated at St. Anthony, Idaho, this tenth day of April 2000.