City Council met in regular session on August 7, 2023 at 6:00 P.M. in the Council Chambers of City Hall.
Mayor Lester presided:
City employees present were City Administrator Kennedy, Public Works Director Mager, Chief Newman and Attorney Jessup.
MINUTES: The meeting was called to order and the Council minutes of July 17th were approved as presented by Councilor Peterson, second by Councilor Canaday. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
PUBLIC HEARING: A public hearing was held on the alley vacation request submitted by Matt Brady, 1512 Crooks Street.
APPLICANT PRESENTATION: Matt Brady, 1512 Crooks Street stated he’s trying to get the alley vacated between himself and his adjoining neighbor to the west, Judy Brackelsberg. He has a sewer line that goes through his yard and across Judy’s with a clean out in the same area. The alley dead-ends into Spencer’s field and he doesn’t feel Spencer’s will every develop the property.
STAFF PRESENTATION: Public Works Director Mager stated the sound end of the alley hasn’t been accessed for years. The City has no utilities in the alley. It is correct that several sewer lines run east and west across the alley to the Scott Street sewer main. At this time the city doesn’t want infrastructure through this alley. Our water and sewer are in Crooks Street and Scott Street. When asked to locate the alley, the city used the driveway approach the city poured back in the 70s. A current landowner on the alley had a survey completed that showed where her property lines are. From that survey, the city was able to set the alley off the actual survey. The fence line between Brady’s and Brackelsberg is dependent on the alley vacation request. If it doesn’t go through, the fence will need to be moved.
WRITTEN CORRESPONDENCE: None
OPPONENTS: Randy Fischer, 1305 Scott Street, stated Matt originally asked him to vacate the whole alley and he didn’t want to. However, with the discrepancy of John Burkenbine using his property to turn around in the alley, he feels the whole alley should be vacated rather than just a portion.
Lynze Sendra, 1303 Scott Street, stated alleys can be vacated for the public good. They have had an ongoing problem with John Burkenbine parking multiple vehicles in the alley, campers in the alley and the fences. She felt the entire alley should be vacated not just a portion.
APPLICANT REBUTTAL: Matt Brady stated the reason he went from a total alley vacation to a partial vacation was because he had neighbors that didn’t want to vacate the whole thing. Due to the opposition, he changed his request only to the portion between him and his neighbor that no one uses. He is not opposed to the entire alley being vacated, but the process would need to start completely over.
Mayor Lester asked where Matt’s sewer runs. Matt stated it leave his property and runs west across Judy’s property and he has an easement for the portion of his sewer line that runs across Judy’s property. Mayor Lester asked who got notified of the vacation. Matt stated he notified everyone within 300’.
The hearing closed at 6:17 p.m.
DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATION: Councilor Grant stated if we vacate an alley, we give away public land. She is worried about the future for landowners if they think they have an easement but really don’t. Mayor Lester stated they do have problems in the alley. No one is allowed to build in the alley or park in it. You can’t use your neighbor’s property to back into your own. Councilor Peterson questioned if there is any city infrastructure in the alley. Mager stated there are no public utilities in the alley.
Councilor Winkler asked if there is a sewer main in Harrison Street. Mager stated no; it is only in Scott Street. Harrison has a high and low zone transmission water main lines for the high zone. Winkler stated, due to the high zone, the sewer was designed in Scott Street for a reason.
Councilor Lane questioned if there is traffic driving across the private sewer lines, are the buried deep enough to prevent damage and who pays if there is damage? Mager stated the city doesn’t own the laterals so it’s between property owners. Councilor Farris felt it was a reasonable solution to vacate the whole alley. Mager felt if the Spencer family did develop their property and the alley was carried through, it would make the problem worse.
Mayor Lester questioned the cost of starting over compared to moving forward with the current request. Attorney Jessup stated it’s costly on the applicant side to start over. The only two that didn’t want the whole alley vacated are the two that opposed tonight. Matt Brady said when he first started the process and was going around to the adjacent property owners, he met with resistance to the whole alley vacation, so he changed it to just the portion between him and Judy.
Randy Fischer stated he was blindsided initially and opposed the whole alley vacation and wouldn’t sign agreeing to the vacation. Now after considering it, he would be ok with it now. Lynzie Sendra stated no one contacted her in person, she only found out when she got notified by certified mail. Judy Brackelsberg questioned why it had to be centered mail. Attorney Jessup stated it was to make sure everyone receives notice. Cara Smith, 310 Harrison thought the vacation was for the whole alley, and she would like the whole alley vacated or none of it.
Councilor Farris asked if the Council could grant what Matt is asking for and then the rest of the neighbors can submit a new application to vacate the rest. Attorney Jessup stated yes that would be an option; enough has been submitted tonight that the adjoining property owners are in favor to vacate the portion of the alley. You have heard opposition but you could still choose to vacate the portion of the alley if you choose to. Mayor Lester questioned if the city does that, then the city has to draw up paperwork to vacate and then do it again with a new request if approved. Attorney Jessup stated he could cut and paste information into the deeds. It would be cleaner with a vacation for the whole alley.
On motion by Councilor Farris, second by Councilor Grant to reject the request for the vacation of the alley adjacent to Lots 5, 6, 7, and 8 in Block 5 of Grangeville Portland Heights Addition. ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Canaday, Farris, Winkler, Lane, Grant, Peterson. NO: none. The motion passed.
VISITORS: Rose Carlson, 103 W North 7th did not attend the meeting.
COMMITTEE REPORTS: On motion by Councilor Peterson, second by Councilor Canaday to accept the Library Minutes of July 20, 2023. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
SNOWHAVEN COMMMITTEE UPDATE: On motion by Councilor Peterson, second by Councilor Farris to accept the Snowhaven Minutes of June 6th and July 18th, 2023. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
On motion by Councilor Farris, second by Councilor Winkler to approve the recommendation of projects for the Snowhaven ARPA funds as submitted by the Snowhaven Project Committee. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
Mayor Lester stated the National Guard was at Snowhaven this last weekend to replace the retaining wall behind the T-bar shack. The City appreciates all their work and will send the guard a thank you.
PLANNING AND ZONING: On motion by Councilor Peterson, second by Councilor Canaday to accept the Planning and Zoning Minutes of July 25, 2023. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
On motion by Councilor Winkler, second by Councilor Peterson to approve the variance application upon P&Z’s recommendation submitted by Lance & Stephanie McColloch, 1005 Highway 13, for a variance to allow them to split their property into two parcels without going through the subdivision process. ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Canaday, Farris, Winkler, Lane, Grant, Peterson. NO: none. The motion passed.
On motion by Councilor Winkler, second by Councilor Grant to deny the variance application upon P&Z’s recommendation submitted by Emily Schacher, 323 N B Street, for a variance to allow her to operate an aesthetic skin care business in a residential home with a conditional use without a fulltime resident. ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Canaday, Farris, Winkler, Lane, Grant, Peterson. NO: none. The motion passed.
On motion by Councilor Grant, second by Councilor Peterson to approve the conditional use application only if there a fulltime resident in the home for the application submitted by Emily Schacher, 323 N B Street, for a conditional use to operate an aesthetic skin care business in a residential home ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Canaday, Farris, Winkler, Lane, Grant, Peterson. NO: none. The motion passed.
SUPPORT LETTER FOR JOHNSTON RD PAVEMENT PROJECT: Mayor Lester stated there was concern that if the city supports the letter, then they are in favor of a bypass of Grangeville. Mike McDonald, Grangeville Highway commissioner stated Johnston Road is already a statewide bypass. It’s a safety concern and they are trying to take care of the infrastructure the district owns. It’s a massive cost to maintain. The plan is not to widen the road. They would like to have more shoulder for additional safety if there is a breakdown or other issue. They are still trying to see what the subbase is so it can be designed; they did talk about an overlay. They also discussed closing the road to everything but through traffic but they are concerned about shifting the traffic problem to other areas of Highway 95, such as the intersection at Old Hwy 7 and the “Y” at Main Street. The road is already being used as a bypass. Councilor Grant asked if the road is fixed, will the speed limit be raised? Mike McDonald stated that hasn’t been addressed, but at this time they don’t plan to propose an increase. The intent is not to bypass the city.
On motion by Councilor Farris, second by Councilor Canaday for the city to sign the letter of support for Grangeville Highway Districts Strategic Initiatives Grant Program ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Canaday, Farris, Winkler, Lane, Grant, NO: Peterson. The motion passed.
PATRICK HORNBECK NUISANCE PROPERTY: Public Works Director Mager stated the property has been cleaned up and organized. Attorney Jessup explained the city has a judgement against him that allows the City to bring him into compliance. Now that he has complied, it should be released. Jessup stated the renter, Kevin Barger was easy to work with and responsive to our suggestions.
On motion by Councilor Farris, second by Council Peterson to dismiss the lawsuit against Patrick Hornbeck, 1004 N Junction, including 417 Hill Street for a nuisance property. ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Canaday, Farris, Winkler, Lane, Grant, Peterson. NO: none. The motion passed.
SEWER SYSTEM IMPROVEMENTS CONTRACT AMENDMENT: On motion by Councilor Grant, second by Council Lane to approve the Grangeville Sewer System Improvements EJCDC Contract Amendment #2 in the amount of $9,600 pending approval by USDA. ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Canaday, Farris, Winkler, Lane, Grant, Peterson. NO: none. The motion passed.
CATERING PERMIT: On motion by Councilor Farris, second by Councilor Peterson to approve the catering permit for Idaho County Veterans Association to cater at the Grangeville Senior Center on August 24, 2023 from 5pm-10pm for the ARF Banquet. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT HOLT SERVICES INC.: On motion by Councilor Peterson, second by Councilor Grant to authorize the mayor to sign the EJCDC Agreement for a construction contract with Holt Services Inc. for Clearwater Well Drilling. ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Canaday, Farris, Winkler, Lane, Grant, Peterson. NO: none. The motion passed.
CLEARWATER WELL AUTHORIZED SIGNER: On motion by Councilor Peterson, second by Councilor Grant to designate the city administrator as the authorized signer for the Clearwater Well project for field orders, pay applications and change orders up to +/- $25,000 without council approval. ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Canaday, Farris, Winkler, Lane, Grant, Peterson. NO: none. The motion passed.
TENTATIVE BUDGET: On motion by Councilor Peterson, second by Councilor Canaday to adopt the 2023-24 tentative budget. ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Canaday, Farris, Winkler, Lane, Grant, Peterson. NO: none. The motion passed.
ITEMS TO NOTE: 2023-24 Budget Hearing – September 5, 2023
The meeting adjourned at 7:08 P.M.
Wes Lester – Mayor
Tonya Kennedy – Clerk