(Minutes subject to council approval)
CITY OF NEZPERCE, IDAHO
June 8, 2020
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE NEZPERCE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEZPERCE, IDAHO, HELD ON June 8, 2020.
PLACE: Nezperce City Hall, 606 Maple Street.
THE MEETING WAS CALLED TO ORDER BY MAYOR BATEMAN AT 5:30P.M.
PRESENT were Councilmembers Steve Bateman, Mike Jensen, Tyler Nelson, James Zenner and Michelle Lyons, Fire Chief David Kuther, Maintenance Supervisor Craig Cardwell and Clerk-Treasurer Rhonda Schmidt. Guests present were JUB Engineer Amy Uptmor and Dodd Snodgrass of CEDA and John Lynn from USDA Rural Development on conference call. Members of the public in attendance were: Sheriff Jason Davis, Rick Schlader, Rosalea Figgins, Dan Roberts, Rod Roberts, Arlene Perrine, Terry Perrine, Dan Johnson and the Mayor of Ferdinand Ralph Wassmuth.
Pledge of Allegiance: The pledge was led by Mayor Bateman.
PUBLIC HEARING: WASTEWATER FACILITIES PLAN
Engineer Amy Uptmor began by sharing the history of the existing wastewater system using a projector with the information on a screen. She explained where we are now along the timeline of planning a land application project in the amount of 7.6 million dollars following the completion of a Wastewater Facilities Plan. Dodd Snodgrass with CEDA will be performing a survey for low to moderate income. Please complete the survey and return it. CEDA compiles the information and the results are confidential. John Lynn spoke about Rural Development monies and the benefit to getting out of the creek as EPA tightens the grip and the Corps is also working on a funding program to give addition funding help. Rural Development’s mission is to keep rates sustainable. Violations help with rates so the city will get a good interest rate. Rural Development work with different funding agencies and will help us get more monies and possibly assist with refinancing the current bond. DEQ has interim financing also that comes with a grant. We have time on our side to complete a project in two phases. City is putting together a game plan working with all the different entities. Recently we were on a call with the EAP water finance center from Washington DC with attendees in Seattle and Boise and we were able to explain our need for financial assistance. They are taking a look at us and hopefully coming up with additional funding options. The city has to pass a bond first which will set us up for matching funds, the more bond the better the opportunity we have to get funding. Doesn’t mean that the bond will be for 6 million. John Lynn will come to Nezperce to help the city work through the issues.
Question. What are the potential sites for the land application and storage? The two potential sites were explained by Uptmor who added that going to land application means that we would lose the EPA monitoring and be under the realm of the Idaho DEQ. Maintenance Cardwell elaborated on that more.
Question. Is the purchase of the property included in the 7.6-million-dollar figure? The answer is no. The property acquisition costs are not included in the project costs. Cm. Nelson added that a mechanical treatment plant was projected at 11 million dollars and we would still have future limitations to deal with from the EPA.
Question. The rate would be increased by $55.00 from what we are paying now? No, the rate would go from what we are paying now to $55.00 (just the sewer rate). With the idea that we bond for the whole amount and then we come back in with grant monies to drop the cost of the bond it will then drop the monthly rate.
Statement. Then it looks like this is what we have to do. Cm. Nelson added that the EPA can penalize us up to $33,000 a day if we do nothing.
Statement: If we pass a bond then they will see we are trying. Uptmor added that the city needs skin in the game.
Question. How many other towns are in the same predicament? Uptmor showed a slide adding that every town in the area will be looking at a project. The cities included on the slide were: Kooskia, Kendrick, Culdesac, Troy, Pierce, Genesee, Cottonwood, Grangeville and Winchester. All these cities are discharging into a stream. John Lynn added that RD has been successful to bring federal monies to Idaho to help with these projects.
Question. How long until they (EPA) change the rules again? Uptmor added that land app takes us back to the state umbrella but eventually the rules and regulations will change. Mechanical treatment would be much higher. Cardwell said that every permit (the city has been received) the rules get stiffer and they pull tighter. If the city moves into the land app program, they will monitor the water quality before we start applying and after applying.
Question. Does all the rain account for anything (regarding I & I)? Cardwell informed that the ponds were down in level in April so there was no discharging in May then in June the ponds were full again and discharging commenced again. Comparing to June last year the creek is still running when it was dry in 2019. The city upgraded a main line at the airport a few years ago that helped with I & I. The city has put money into I & I but we have an old system.
Mayor Bateman asked for people to vote yes when this goes to bond. Uptmor added that we are trying to get the project in order so that we can tap into funds at least be first in line. The project is not yet shovel ready. The council still has time to decide if they are running a bond in the fall or May of 2021.
Dodd Snodgrass added that CEDA will help with community outreach. Income surveys will be in the mail next week. They are completely confidential and CEDA will be the ones to compile the information received.
This concluded the Public Hearing and the Regular meeting commenced following the exit of several members of the public.
MINUTES of the previous meetings of 5/11/20 were approved as emailed upon a motion by Cm. Zenner, motion was seconded by Cm. Nelson, motion carried.
TREASURER’S REPORT AND MONTHLY BILLS:
The Clerk’s Monthly Treasurer’s Report dated June 8, 2020 was examined and approved, showing the following:
Funds on Hand $348,946.13
All bills and payroll disbursements were examined and approved for payment upon a motion by Cm. Nelson and seconded by Cm. Lyons in the total of $37,111.42 check numbers 15383 through 15424. Receipts since the last meeting were shown as $83,160.28. Checks and stub approvals were signed appropriately by all parties as well as the Payment Approval Report for June.
BUSINESS TO BE CONDUCTED
1. Sheriff’s Contract – Sheriff Davis: Sheriff Davis began by informing the council that he appreciates all the time and hours they have been putting in on the coming wastewater project as it wasn’t that long ago that he was a councilman in Winchester and they completed a water project. He added that this year he understands the financial constraint that cities and councils are under with budgeting for the coming year due to Covid-19 therefore he will not be asking for an increase to the annual sheriff’s contract. Note: Last year’s contract was for $40,698.00 with the city retaining $9,700.00 for a building rental contract. He added that calls in Nezperce are up a bit with issues in property violations. Covid-19 has changed tactics at the office as they are taking additional safety measures and he realizes that this is going to trickle into next years’ budget. The county is getting fiber and that will be a huge improvement in communications.
2. Wastewater Camera Co-Purchase – Mayor Ralph Wassmuth Ferdinand, Idaho: Mayor Wassmuth introduced himself to the Nezperce council adding that he would like Nezperce to be a partner on purchasing a sewer camera. Craigmont has already decided to be a partner. Mayor Wassmuth will be approaching Ferdinand and Winchester as well. He has been looking at cameras online and a good one is between $4,000 and $7,000. He suggested that when a city wants to use it there will be a sign out system and if it breaks the last city to use it would have to pay to have it repaired. Following further discussion, Cm. Jensen moved to match the City of Craigmont’s $1,500, Cm. Lyons seconded the motion, motion carried.
3. Wastewater Land App. Project – Update: Plenty of discussion already on the land app project so Clerk Schmidt wanted to make sure the council has seen a recent email that discussed 2 conference calls in the last month. One call was with the Chicago attorney and the second was with the EPA which was loaded with several individuals in important positions from Washington D.C. to Seattle. This call was asking the EPA for assistance in helping us find monies for this project as we have limited funds. Currently they are putting together a compendium of potential funding and financing options.
4. EMS Building – PPE Equipment/Project, Flagpole, Arbor Day: Mayor Bateman began by stating that the letters were recently put up on the EMS building and look great. Chief Kuther added that the electrician should be here this week to give a quote on the electricity needs for the PPE Equipment project on the dirty side. Cardwell informed the council of the Arbor Day plans to plant a privet edge and river rock between the building and the Stockton property. On the north end of the building he will decorate where the flag pole planter curbing was placed with colored rock plus adding more rock next to the building. Cardwell still has to look for a flag pole.
5. Streets – Seal Coating & Dust Oil: Cardwell reported that the city is on the “permanent” list for 1 tanker of oil for seal coating. No one has spoken to him regarding dust oil yet but we will be doing the same amount as last year.
6. Airport Official Name Change – From Nez Perce to Nezperce, Helipad Update: The paperwork required by the FAA has been completed for the construction to continue on the helipad and will be approved. During the process it came to the Clerk’s attention that the Airports official name is Nez Perce Municipal and to fix the spelling on the city’s name on the airport master plan we need a letter saying so and for it to be approved by the council. Cm. Zenner moved that the name of the city be corrected to one word, Cm. Jensen seconded the motion, motion carried.
7. Senior Center Update: The paining on the building looks so good. Great colors. Cardwell added that the contractor needs another 10 gallons. Plans are underway for a Father’s Day barbecue and auction at the center. There is concern that the building is being used for more than a meal site. Mayor Bateman asked the Senior’s President to attend the meeting however we haven’t heard from him to ask him what is happening up there. On another note there maybe interest in a church using the upstairs of the building. It would take some work to get it cleaned up to use. The following discussion was premature and skeptical but the city could rent the upstairs and the renter could split or share the utilities with the Senior Center.
8. Personnel: Cardwell explained that Ben got injured working last Wednesday while working and should be getting an MRI next week when we will learn more. A worker’s compensation claim as been filed.
Water: No issues with water at this time. Will be installing a water meter at Hillco’s new building.
Sewer: Discharging as all the water is keeping the lagoons full. Bought more dechlorination tablets.
Curbing: Curbing project has been completed under budget and it looks good adding that we had more done than originally planned.
Weeds: Spraying was done before Cardwell’s vacation before he left but it doesn’t look like anything was done due to all the water.
Lions Field: Cardwell asked if anyone knows if the Lions Club is planning to put back the sidewalk they took out with the upgrade to the field? Following discussion, it was decided to inform the President of the club that the city council wants that sidewalk put back in.
EMS Building: Gutters need cleaned and we would like the council’s approval to put in a sidewalk from 6th Avenue to the asphalt next to the new flag pole area. The council liked the idea.
Streets: Cardwell discussed widening the street down by Bell and fixing the deep dip entrance into the Post Office and the alley entrance behind the store this summer. The alley where the fiber has been going in the ground needs more gravel and attention to water meter boxes. Cody at PHD will have prices for crushing next week and we need to have someone deliver for us as PHD will be hauling for themselves.
Helipad: The FAA form is near completion and the state aeronautics department informed us that they have no grant monies to help with any projects.
Republican Party: There is a meeting of Republicans in the Training Room in the EMS building and the Clerk is not available to let them in and close up when they leave; Chief Kuther offered to let them in and lock up!
Integra Document Scanning: The documents have been scanned and we are in the process of deciding how and where to store the information. A couple of different options are being quoted and Clerk Schmidt will share that when she gets it.
Vacation: Clerk Schmidt will be out a few days and other times of the week as her spouse is having surgery and she will be driving him to physical therapy 3 times a week for 6 weeks plus her daughter’s baby is due the end of June.
To Yard Sale or Not: Craigmont is having a community wide yard sale on July 18th and Schmidt is curious if the council would be opposed to a sale in Nezperce? They suggested late July or early August.
Real Estate: 3 homes sold this month and two others have offers on them so the virus hasn’t affected home sales.
Disinfection Spray System: Clerk Schmidt described the system she witnessed and suggested that we buy a few to have at the city to help with the virus. The council liked the idea. These can be purchased under PPE equipment.
Hydrant Flush: Chief Kuther informed the council that the Idaho Surveying & Rating Bureau will be in Nezperce on August 4th so the hydrants will need to be exercised prior to their visit
Cm. Jensen was approached by John Marshall who wants popular trees taken down just west of his house on the city right away. Following discussion of the aging trees, Cm. Nelson will take a look at them and report back.
Dan Johnson asked if tenants can park in front of the old fire station on Oak Street. The council decided that it would be ok in front of one of the doors only.
ADJOURNMENT at 7:38PM as there was no other business.
Upcoming Council Meetings: July 13th and August 10th at 7:00AM
Budget Public Hearing: August 27th at 5:30PM
Holiday Closures: July 3rd and Sept. 7th
Steve A. Bateman, Mayor Rhonda J. Schmidt, Clerk/Treasurer