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March 26, 2021

Any notes or comment about the week

Notes before we begin:

  • There have been quite a few interesting meetings this week so I’m going to give you my notes from the meetings I’ve watched. From the below notes you could probably tell that I spent a lot of time down at the Administration building this week, but I did also catch the Panhandle Health Board of Trustees meeting yesterday. Can I get a woo hooo hallelujah amen????!?!?!!!?!?

  • Jai Nelson and Dr. McLandress were the only two trustees that voted to keep the mask mandate in place, of course they’re both the Kootenai County representatives. On a positive note, there is still time to get your resume in to apply to take over Jai Nelson’s position in a month. Today is the LAST day to apply, please see the Kootenai County announcement about the appointment and position qualifications here.
Isn't this a lovely sight???:)

Notes from the meetings that I've watched, in person or online.

Kootenai County Board of Community Guardians 3/22
  • Have policies and procedures now in place in case anyone leaves/someone new joins the board.
  • Board handles all wards of the county; kind of a specialized board that isn’t really overseen by the commissioners but they get a status update every quarter.
  • No community help is needed, they’re pretty qualified and set to handle any situation that arises.
  • Have asked for the standard annual budget of $20K.
    • Last year they didn’t need anywhere near that amount, especially with CARES funding coming in to the wards themselves.
    • Not sure how 2022 will be so they want to continue at their typical budget

Kootenai County Optional Forms of Government Workshop 3/22
  • Details were written about this workshop earlier in the week, click here.
Kootenai County Airport Update 3/22 – Steven Kjergaard, Airport Director
  • Received 163s – Lease agreements for both for 4 acres on Ramsey Rd. and the 60-ish acres where the CDA Skeet & Trap sits so that means they can sell both those properties.
  • Looking for new areas to expand and build hangars, have about 5 people that want to build right now
    • Looking at an agreement to build about 7 hangars right now.
  • North Side funding source:
    • Primarily will be from the land sales of the above pieces of property.
    • Regarding the 60 acres that the CDA Skeet & Trap sits on:
      • State law says there must be a bidding process to sell that land.
        • Recommend that there be a minimum bid for land.
      • Appraisals for land in that area are about $120K/acre (armory project earlier came in around that price).
      • Intent would be to sell it with the 2 existing leases on properties: Bluewater Technology and CDA Skeet & Trap.
      • Assuming will be sold between $4.5M ($75K/acre)-$6M ($100K/acre).
      • Recommendation on restrictions would be no residential, must remain commercial or light industrial, and must not have any adverse effects to air navigation.
      • CDA Skeet & Trap has a year to year lease. Leslie asked if they signed a 10-year lease would that hurt the sale prospects and the answer is yes.
        • If they did sign a 10-year lease, would have to do a current market rate lease which is REALLY high right now. 30 acres at $0.50/sqft
    • Ramsey Rd. 4 acre parcel is already being sold to the City of Hayden.
    • Reason for selling properties: the airport is not in the business of managing non-airport related properties.
      • Bill would like to see the county look for an area in the future to have a county-ran shooting range “but now is not the time.”
    • Final direction: List property for $4.5M with restrictions listed above and if there are no prospects will come back to remodify.

Kootenai County Commissioners Business Meeting 3/22
  • Accounts Payable for week of 3/15-3/19: $858,926.01
  • Fernan Lake Hazardous Fuel Treatment Award to North Idaho Landscapes and Forestry
  • Fernan Lake Hazardous Wildlife Fuels Mechanical Treatment Agreement to treat 13 acres awarded to North Idaho Landscapes and Forestry in the amount of $57,500
  • Kootenai County Community Development Update & Deliberations 3/25 – Vlad Finkel, Planner II
  • Final subdivision approval of Garnet Ranch 1st Addition (Phase II) consisting of 14 residential lots on 70.86 acres, of a preliminarily approved 25 lot residential subdivision on approximately 166 acres in the Agricultural Suburban zone.
    • Preliminary approval was Sept. 2019.
    • Phase I was approved May 2020
    • Located at end of Hayden Ave. which is being extended by applicant. West of McGuire Rd.
    • Request approved.
  • Request for a variance to the minimum lot size requirement of 4.5 net (5.0 gross) acres in the Rural zone. The subject parcel of land is 4.25 net acres in size created via a deed in 1992 by a previous property owner not in compliance with the aforementioned parcel size requirements. The purpose of this variance is to legitimize the status of the property and request building permits.
    • Request approved.
  • Request by John and Rachelle Hubbard to vacate a portion of an 80-foot wide unimproved private road easement within the plat of Shamrock Ranch II.
    • Request approved.

NIC Board of Trustees 3/24
  • This was a 3 hour meeting with mostly updates from different groups and a discussion around a policy update that will be continued at a later meeting. There weren’t too many fireworks although any time Greg McKenzie opened his mouth it set off Christie Wood.
  • Received updates from ASNIC, Faculty Assembly, Staff Assembly, and Senate. Only ASNIC meetings are open to the public.
  • There was a huge 2021 budget overview presentation.
    • $49.86M is the General Operating Budget
    • Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HERF) from the CARES Act: $1,080,939 went directly to students in the form of grants. $1, 080,939 went to manage expenses due to C0vid.
    • Expecting more money from the HERF2 in the amount of $4.8M. Over $1M will go directly to students.
    • JFAC (Joint Finance Appropriations Committee) has approved an additional $1.2M during the state legislature session.

Kootenai County Board of Community Human Resources Update 3/25
  • Building/Planning fees increase April 8th.
  • KCSO Emergency Management wants to give a few hourly employees an overtime bonus for all the work they’ve done “above and beyond.” The employees tried to keep their duties to 40 hours per week, and were paid for any overtime they accrued. This would be a “bonus” because their jobs were turned sideways during this past C0vid year. The motion did NOT pass; Leslie voted against the bonus to stay consistent with every other bonus request. She argues that those employees have done nothing that every other employee hasn’t done this past year and if those other people can’t get bonuses then why should these specific employees – who’ve already received overtime pay for their work – get a special bonus. Fillios agreed. Undersheriff Dan Mattos disagrees, mentioning that not everything has to do with dollars and cents, sometimes we need to show respect for what they’ve done. He also argues that Leslie voted for a bonus for a few of the county employees which shows that she isn’t consistent with her bonus policy but she countered his argument saying that those specific employees were salaried and, even though salaried employees are expected to go above and beyond in their everyday job, even salaried employees have acceptable limits and don’t get paid for anything above those limits. It was mentioned that this was not brought before the board until now because there is an opening in their department and these particular people are also making up for that vacancy. The Human Resources Director agrees knowing that the vacancy is a particularly hard position to fill due to the specialized education that must be included. Their filler candidate just backed out and they have to start the search process all over again. Due to this vacancy and specialized education necessary (which will make the hiring process long and arduous), Fillios is changing his vote to yes on the bonuses with the caveat that if this continues bonuses won’t happen because, “This is government. If we don’t take care of the people in times of emergencies than who will?” Leslie is still voting no.
    • Motion passes.
  • Request to Extend Temporary Custodian instead of hiring in-house or RFP for contractor. Due to the stipulations from original request, and the fact that CARES funding is being used for this position, it has been requested that they continue keeping it temporary until September 30, 2021. Nanci Jones has looked at the numbers and it will cost an additional $10K/year to create an in-house position.
    • Motion passes.
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