The City Council met in regular session on May 4, 2009 at 7:30 P.M. in the Council Chambers of City Hall.
Mayor Walker presided:
City employees present were Public Works Director Gortsema, Chief Sedam, Attorney Green and Clerk Kennedy.
The meeting was called to order and the minutes of the April 20th regular meeting were approved as presented by Councilwoman DeHaas, second by Councilman Lester. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
VISITORS: Sara Varner, USDA Rural Development went over the programs that are offered for mortgages for those with low income. USDA doesn’t advertise, but they try to get knowledge of the programs out by word of mouth, meetings and realtors.
Jerry Zumalt explained to the Council that the State awarded Idaho County $20,000.00 to conduct an assessment of water quality, fire assessment and hazardous fuel treatment. Last fall Jerry met with Ken Gortsema and Tom Richards of Northwest Management to get a plan for a Watershed Assessment, which will cost about $10,000.00 at no cost to the City. After the City receives a copy of the completed assessment they can decide what if anything they will do. On motion by Councilman Lorentz, second by Councilman Lester to authorize Jerry Zumalt to proceed with the Watershed Assessment using grant funds. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
Mountain View School District #244 – Harold Gott and Greg Bailey were present to provide information on the levy. The school board is taking action to eliminate the Whitebird school and they have reduced the levy by $20,000.00 when compared to last year. They would appreciate the Council’s individual support on the levy.
Grangeville Highway District representatives Paul Hauger, Gerald Frei and Daryl Mullinix updated the Council on the truck route study. The Highway District received a grant of $185,000.00 and the District was assuming that the City still wanted to participate in the agreement. Mayor Walker explained that the Council voted to withdraw from the memorandum of understanding for the truck route study at the February 17th meeting. The Highway District stated they had incurred $10,000.00 in expenses prior to the February meeting and that would still be split as the agreement stated. After additional discussion there was some confusion as to when the bill was actually paid. The District meets with the County at the commissioner meeting in the morning and asked that the City reconsider their decision. Councilman Lorentz stated that there were comments the Council had received from City residents that expressed their opinion that they don’t want Grangeville bypassed.
COMMITTEE REPORTS: Chief of Police Sedam summarized the monthly report, reporting that the department responded to 144 calls for service. There were 83 cases written, 20 misdemeanor arrests, 1 felony arrests, 54 citations, 23 written warnings issued, 8 dogs and 2 cats handled. The Police and Animal Control Report for April 2009 was accepted on motion by Councilman Lester, second by Councilman Peterson. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present. An advertisement for a police officer will be in Wednesday’s paper so Chief Sedam can compile a list to replace a police officer in the department.
On motion by Councilman Lorentz, second by Councilman Lester to accept the Snowhaven Minutes of April 9, 2009. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
On motion by Councilman Lester, second by Councilman Lorentz to accept the Planning and Zoning Minutes of April 27, 2009. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
Councilman Lester made a motion, second by Councilman Lorentz to approve Planning and Zoning’s recommendation to grant Josh Warden and Carolyn Bock a variance for their agricultural building at 204 Madison. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
WWTP PLANT PERMIT AND DEQ MEETING: Councilman Lester, Mayor Walker, Attorney Green, Attorney Allen, Public Works Director Gortsema, Jim Kimball, Cory Baune, DEQ representatives from Lewiston and Boise and a representative from the attorney general office attended a meeting to review Grangeville’s WWTP permit situation. There are two types of variances: 1. Environmental reasons: If removing the pollutant or constituent (Phosphorus) causes more environmental damage then leaving it in, the City could apply for a variance. There has never been a variance in Idaho granted for that reason and it would be quite difficult to make the case. 2. Socioeconomic reasons: If the cost of the removal of phosphorus creates an economic burden on the rate payers then the City could apply for a variance. There is precedence in Idaho. There are requirements to obtain and the City would need to show that it is an undue burden on rate payers. DEQ felt that it is the best way to approach a variance although it would not be permanent. The first variance is free and there are not many restrictions. If the City would want another variance they would need to show significant progress on meeting the permit limits. A more permanent option would be to make a case for site specific criteria by studying the City’s effluent in Three Mile Creek and downstream into the South Fork and show that phosphorus and possibly temperature do not have an impact on the stream. If the City can make that case then the TMDL can be opened and the permit can be changed for limits that are site specific.
SPRING CLEAN UP WEEK: On motion by Councilman Lester, second by Councilwoman DeHaas to set May 18th – 22nd as spring clean up week for the City of Grangeville. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
PROCLAMATION: Mayor Walker read a proclamation setting May 3rd-9th as Municipal Clerk week and thanked Clerk Kennedy for her service.
The meeting adjourned at 8:45 P.M.
Bruce Walker – Mayor
Tonya Kennedy – City Clerk