Commissioner Meeting Minutes - Week of February 6, 2017

***Monday, February 06, 2017, at 9:00 a.m., Commissioners met in regular session with Chairman Dan Dinning, Commissioner LeAlan Pinkerton, and Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser. Commissioner Walt Kirby was out of the office tending to other matters. Clerk Glenda Poston was in Boise attending the Idaho Association of Counties Annual Midwinter Conference.

9:00 a.m., Road and Bridge Department Superintendent Clint Kimball joined the meeting. Boundary County Emergency Services Incident Commander Bob Graham and City of Bonners Ferry Mayor David Sims also joined the meeting.

9:10 a.m., Commissioners addressed the topic of declaring an emergency due to the heavy snowfall Boundary County has been receiving.

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to authorize the Chairman to sign the Local Disaster/Emergency Declaration for the heavy snowfall received during the year 2016/2017 winter season. Chairman Dinning yielded the chair to second. Motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to adopt Resolution 2017-10. A resolution declaring a local disaster/emergency for Boundary County due to heavy snowfall. Chairman Dinning yielded the chair to second. Motion passed unanimously. Resolution 2017-10 reads as follows:


WHEREAS, Boundary County has received significant above average snowfall this season and continued heavy snowfall is predicted this week.

WHEREAS, the weight of this snow upon the roofs of many buildings in the county is jeopardizing the structural integrity of all facilities, and

WHEREAS, the aforementioned jeopardized integrity of buildings poses an imminent threat to life and property, and

WHEREAS, there is also the potential of damages being incurred as the result of thawing or flooding, and

WHEREAS, it is anticipated that Boundary County may also suffer serious damage to roads, bridges, homes, businesses and public buildings, and

WHEREAS, Boundary County has exceeded its ability and resources to mitigate these conditions before damage and loss of life occurs,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Boundary County Board of Commissioners does hereby declare, pursuant to Idaho Code Section 46-1011, a local disaster emergency to exist in Boundary County, Idaho; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Governor of the State of Idaho be advised of this local disaster emergency and is requested to take all action available for him for amelioration of the above described local disaster emergency;

Adopted and Approved this 6th day of February, 2017.

Dan R. Dinning, Chairman
LeAlan L. Pinkerton, Commissioner
Walt Kirby, Commissioner

Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners
Michelle Rohrwasser, Deputy Clerk
Recorded as instrument #269787

Mr. Kimball left the meeting.

Commissioners will provide a copy of the Disaster/Emergency Declaration and resolution to Jay Baker, North Area Field Officer for the Idaho Office of Emergency Management, and the Mike Meier, Boundary County’s Public Information Officer and Emergency Services Director.

Mr. Graham left the meeting.

Commissioners addressed a motion needed to pursue entering into a lease with Columbia Bank to refinance the Solid Waste Department’s year 2012 980 Caterpillar Wheel Loader.

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to approve the refinance of the County’s 2012 Cat Wheel Loader #0W7K00526 through Columbia State Bank by borrowing $242,776 for a term of five years, at a fixed interest rate of 2.99% per annum, payments as set forth in that certain Commitment Letter from Columbia Bank dated January 25, 2017, with Dan Dinning, Chairman, authorized to sign all necessary lease documents on behalf of Boundary County. Chairman Dinning yielded the chair to second. Motion passed unanimously.

Mayor Sims left the meeting at 9:31 a.m.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:46 a.m.

***Monday, February 6, 2017, at 1:02 p.m., Commissioners called for an emergency meeting to discuss details pertaining to steps to take to mitigate damage that may result from the heavy snowfall. Present were: Chairman Dan Dinning, Commissioner LeAlan Pinkerton, Commissioner Walt Kirby, Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser, Blue Sky Broadcasting Reporter Mike Brown, and Boundary County Emergency Services Incident Director Bob Graham. Idaho Office of Emergency Management North Area Field Officer Jay Baker and Boundary County Emergency Management Director Mike Meier participated in the meeting via telephone.

Chairman Dinning said Commissioners decided to meet as we need to make decisions going forward as to what we are going to do to mitigate damage that may result from the heavy snowfalls. Commissioners have received requests for assistance in snow removal so they need to get an understanding of what is available, etc. The school district, Restorium, and senior housing complexes have requested help in shoveling snow off their roofs. Chairman Dinning asked Mr. Meier what he may know about bringing in outside help. Mr. Meier said in using the Idaho National Guard, that cost savings and sharing is way outside of the county’s costs.

Mr. Baker said there had been a recent snow storm in southern Idaho in which assistance had been requested and inmate labor was used with the supervision of appropriate security staff. That is the least expensive option. Mr. Baker said to request two 12 men crews from Orofino, appropriate guards, and transportation, it will cost $3,300 for the first day and the daily cost for subsequent eight hour days is $2,200. The county would request assistance and ask for the work crews from the Department of Corrections to do what needs to be done. Mr. Baker said the county would be notified of costs that are a not to exceed cost. The Governor’s position going into this has been that costs will be postured at 50/50 so the State will cover half of the cost and the county would pay the remaining half. Mr. Baker said he has not analyzed cost to mobilize the National Guard, but the county would be looking at $5,000 for mobilization and probably approximately $3,500 to $4,000 per day after that. There are additional costs because the National Guard also brings support staff with them. Mr. Baker said the National Weather Service did update their briefing in that seven inches of water generated from snow is expected on the ground in the Bonners Ferry area so that is approximately 37 pounds per square foot.

Mr. Graham questioned if the costs for inmate labor was for just one crew or two. Mr. Baker said that cost is for two 12 men crews with guard staff. Mr. Graham said roof trusses on most of the older homes were designed for 40 pounds, but more recently truss companies have gone to 60 pounds so newer built structures are probably in good shape. Mr. Graham said the National Weather Service reported they were to receive three-quarters to one and one-quarter inch of moisture starting Wednesday night and they believe that to consist of pproximately 75% snow and the remaining 25% to be rain, but it doesn’t make much difference as either way it is additional weight.

Mr. Graham said a representative from Avista contacted him yesterday about problems they are having. The amount of snow on the ground is covering up meters and vents for furnaces and Avista is afraid that will get a lot worse when people start shoveling snow. Most modern heaters stop working once a vent becomes plugged. Chairman Dinning suggested Mr. Graham get in touch with Avista to request they put out a press release and Mr. Graham said he has suggested that to Avista.

Chairman Dinning said he would like for Mr. Graham, Mr. Meier, and Mr. Baker to keep in contact so they all know what is going on. Mr. Meier said he would like a copy of the press release so he can modify it for the county’s website as he needs to relay the same information. Mr. Graham questioned housing for the Department of Correction crews and Mr. Baker said the armory would be a good solution.

1:13 p.m., Bonners Ferry Herald Editor Star Silva joined the meeting.

Those present continued their discussion on housing and parking at the armory as well as heating the building. Mr. Baker said he is expecting that the dollar amount includes the crews’ assistance. Mr. Graham asked if sleeping bags and cots would be brought up with the crews. Mr. Baker said he assumed so, however if they don’t, we could go to the Coeur d’ Alene Cache that the Idaho Department of Lands oversees. We will need to identify what supplies are needed from this cache.

Chairman Dinning said going forward, what do Commissioners do if we move ahead with covering half of the cost with the state. Mr. Baker said Commissioners need to send him an email explaining the situation that buildings are at capacity, the county is requesting state assistance for two 12 men crews with supervision and equipment, then to request from the governor that Boundary County be included in the state declaration and get assistance. Mr. Baker said people will be put into place and a quote will come back for approval before anything happens. The time line would be fairly quick and we could expect to see crews heading to Boundary County tomorrow to be ready for Thursday morning.

Mr. Meier said we will need to identify the hot spots where crews need to go first. Mr. Baker mentioned the roofs with lesser snow load ratings. Chairman Dinning said the schools should know their snow load rating, especially the high school. Mr. Baker said to keep in touch via email.

Chairman Dinning said Commissioners have had several people call who are stuck in their driveways and want help, but he doesn’t know who to refer them to. Mr. Graham said people need to call a tow truck. Mr. Graham added that the county is overloaded with public buildings needing snow removal so people should call the Job Service to see who is available to help. Mr. Baker added that there are also church groups to request help from. Chairman Dinning questioned who is going to be the contact person for someone needing assistance. Mr. Meier said Star Silva from the Bonners Ferry Herald and Mike Brown with Blue Sky Broadcasting can help spread the word. Mr. Meier will get in touch with local churches to inquire about their ability to help before putting that information out.

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to send a request to Governor Butch Otter to include Boundary County in the state of emergency and to request assistance from the Idaho Department of Corrections for two 12 men crews and equipment to help shovel snow from roofs, etc. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Graham said School Superintendent Gary Pflueger is waiting to hear from him as to what this meeting was about. Mr. Graham said he wants to question why high school seniors are not being asked to help. There may not be school for the rest of the week. Mr. Baker said he would encourage any local help and if a local person can be compensated for that help, it’s great. We want to ensure we don’t get into a situation where we are exceeding liability and Mr. Baker voiced his concern of liability issues in having school students on the school roofs shoveling snow. Mr. Baker said if the county can get local resources out to do the work and compensate them at some level, the county is better off. Mr. Graham said Mr. Pflueger mentioned that any student who helps is covered under the school district’s insurance and it would be the school that is hiring the students.

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to sign the letter to the state requesting assistance from the Department of Corrections by sending to Boundary County two-12 men crews, crew supervisors, and equipment to assist in snow removal from critical infrastructure buildings’ roofs around the county. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Pinkerton moved to authorize Chairman Dinning to be the signatory on snow emergency related documents. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.

Commissioners said they would contact armory representatives to have the heat in the building turned on and look into having that area plowed.

Mr. Baker said when Commissioners request crews with equipment they may need to identify the equipment that is needed so we can notify the Coeur d’ Alene cache. Mr. Graham listed shovels, snow rakes, and functioning snow blowers; and Commissioner Pinkerton suggested tarps and approximately four snow blowers of different sizes per crew.

Mr. Meier said he will get caught up on missed information when he gets back into town.

The call with Mr. Baker and Mr. Meier ended at 1:40 p.m.

Courthouse Maintenance John Buckley joined the meeting at 1:50 p.m.

Commissioners and Mr. Graham continued their discussion on how they will schedule the priority locations to be shoveled. Chairman Dinning said he doesn’t want Commissioners to set the priorities. The manpower will have to be manipulated to the highest priority even though the crew will essentially be working for the county, according to Commissioner Pinkerton.

Mr. Graham left the meeting at 1:54 p.m.

Ms. Silva, Mr. Brown, and Mr. Buckley left the meeting at 2:17 p.m.

2:18 p.m., Commissioner Kirby moved to go into executive session pursuant to Idaho Code #74-206(1)b, to consider the evaluation, dismissal or disciplining of, or to hear complaints or charges brought against, a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent, or public school student. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Commissioners voted as follows: Chairman Dinning “aye”, Commissioner Pinkerton “aye”, and Commissioner Kirby “aye”. Motion passed unanimously. The executive session ended at 2:43 p.m. No action was taken.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:43 p.m.

***Friday, February 10, 2017, at 9:00 a.m., Commissioners held a special meeting to discuss matters pertaining to the heavy snowfall event. Present were: Chairman Dan Dinning, Commissioner LeAlan Pinkerton, Commissioner Walt Kirby, Clerk Glenda Poston, Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser, Courthouse Maintenance John Buckley, Boundary County Emergency Services Incident Commander Bob Graham, City of Bonners Ferry Mayor David Sims, Boundary County Emergency Services Director Mike Meier, Sheriff Dave Kramer, and Chief Deputy Sheriff Rich Stephens.

Mr. Graham said between yesterday and today he visited various buildings in order to set priorities for snow removal. Mr. Graham reported that Department of Correction crews are probably working at the Restorium at this point in time before moving on to the fairgrounds. The Fair Board Office has snow on its roof that has slid a bit, but it still needs to be shoveled and Memorial Hall needs to be shoveled as he heard this building would be used today. Mr. Graham said he checked the senior citizen apartments yesterday as well as the North Idaho College building and it looks to be in good shape. Mr. Buckley said he just came from the North Idaho College building as there had been acoustic ceiling tiles laying on the floor. Mr. Buckley said he did not see any structural damage, but there are leaks in there right now and he added that he does have concerns about that building.

Sheriff Kramer informed Commissioners the mechanical room in the jail has a leak so he is concerned about that. Chairman Dinning said he doesn’t want to forget a building and he listed off senior apartments, buildings at the fairgrounds, and he mentioned the school roofs have been cleared of snow.

City of Bonners Ferry Road Foreman John Youngwirth joined the meeting at 9:01 a.m.

Chairman Dinning said Commissioners don’t need to be involved in determining these priorities so they will let Mr. Meier and Mr. Graham determine that. Chairman Dinning asked Mayor Sims if the city has any needs. Mayor Sims said the City Hall and Visitor’s Center have both been taken care of. Mr. Youngwirth said they will get the roof of the city shop done. Taking a look at the city water tank was mentioned. Mayor Sims said Randy Wedel took a look at the condition of the library’s roof and had no concerns. Chairman Dinning said he just wants to get everyone together and not lose track of checking on buildings, including the Courthouse. Mr. Buckley said the precast roofs are incredibly strong and he added that he is not concerned about the Extension Office, but if someone could get to it, it would be nice.

Chief Deputy Sheriff Stephens asked Mr. Youngwirth if it is possible to clear the area behind the Sheriff’s Office so they could get the flatbed gooseneck trailer out as they use it during emergencies. Sheriff Kramer said Northern Lights has also had their snow cat out.

Bonners Ferry Herald Editor Star Silva joined the meeting at 9:05 a.m.

Those present discussed hearing about power outages in the Moyie Springs, Eastport, and Paradise Valley areas.

Mr. Graham informed Commissioners that two fire departments took care of clearing snow from the roofs of Naples and Mt. Hall Elementary schools.

Sheriff Kramer said City of Moyie Springs Mayor Chad Farrens mentioned to him they have been taking care of people in the Moyie Springs area and did not mention needing any help.

Chairman Dinning said there is a rumor going around that people are supposed to call the Courthouse for help with plowing and shoveling snow and that is not true. Chairman Dinning informed everyone that we need to keep track of costs resulting from private property damages. Sheriff Kramer said to not let people think they will get assistance as it is to keep track of damages. Chairman Dinning referenced the heavy snowfall of year 1996, which reached the federal level for damages and included personal property assistance, but said we might not reach that level this time. Mr. Graham asked if the school district is going to pay for their costs and if so, Clerk Poston may want to get in touch with the school district’s clerk. Chairman Dinning suggested waiting until the end to determine that, but urged keeping track of hours.

Chairman Dinning said as far as he is aware the hospital has been taken care of. Clerk Poston asked about doctors’ offices such as Kaniksu Health Clinic. Commissioner Pinkerton mentioned the Panhandle Health District building has been shoveled. Sheriff Kramer said he wasn’t aware of the status of the Waterways Building.

Mr. Graham said the Weather Service expects good weather until Wednesday of next week with very little precipitation, except for in the mountains. Mr. Graham said the biggest issue will be the water. Commissioner Pinkerton said the issue is also the exit strategy. If we send these crews home too early, we won’t have them available to help fill and place sandbags. We may want to have them stockpile some sandbags. Mr. Meier said he needs a list of all critical infrastructure that needs snow removal and prioritize that as we need a written record. As far as the Department of Correction crews, they need to have a relatively fixed number on how long they are needed by noon today. Mr. Meier said tentatively he has set it up to having the two crews until Tuesday and he explained that it is more difficult to shorten that time than it is to lengthen it. If those present record any damages, he needs that information sent to his email. Mr. Meier added that he will also put out a press release on needing information on damages throughout the county. Mr. Meier said he noticed that communication is not done very well around here so he urged those present to communicate with each other. Mr. Meier informed everyone to remember that assistance is for critical infrastructure only. The county’s agreement with the Office of Emergency Management is for critical infrastructure only and if we violate that by assisting on private property, we are proving that we can handle the emergencies and don’t need the Department of Correction crews. This would also jeopardize any funding the county would receive.

Road and Bridge Department Superintendent Clint Kimball joined the meeting at 9:19 a.m.

Mr. Graham said to concentrate on buildings that are occupied versus vacant buildings and as far as weight loads on roofs, he feels we have passed that critical point.

Those present updated Mr. Kimball on the discussion thus far.

Clerk Poston said she also needs to know if any county buildings sustained damages so she can submit that information to Idaho Counties Risk Management Program (ICRMP).

Mr. Meier said keeping track of damages all applies as it can relate to federal funding.

Chairman Dinning said if a 911 call comes through the Sheriff’s Office, such as medical emergency and an ambulance cannot get to the person, that is what triggers the use of Road and Bridge.

Sheriff Kramer said to keep track of extraordinary expenses for county and city crews in case there is an ability to re-coop those costs. Mr. Meier said by Tuesday we should know about flooding issues and if we need to extend the time for the state’s crews to help with sandbagging as we can request more time.

Mr. Kimball said he still has four contractors out working and he explained what equipment from the Road and Bridge Department is out working.

Clerk Poston presented a list of all county owned buildings to Mr. Meier.

Commissioner Pinkerton asked if there are any restrictions with the inmates as far as city and county buildings. Mr. Meier said it’s just for “critical infrastructure.”

The meeting ended at 9:32 a.m.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:32 a.m.

DAN R. DINNING, Chairman


By: Michelle Rohrwasser, Deputy Clerk

Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 11:15
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