***Monday, March 06, 2017, at 9:00 a.m., Commissioners met in regular session with Chairman Dan Dinning, Commissioner LeAlan Pinkerton, Commissioner Walt Kirby, Clerk Glenda Poston, and Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser.
County resident Marty Martinez and Blue Sky Broadcasting Reporter Mike Brown were present during the meetings off and on throughout the day.
Road and Bridge Department Superintendent Clint Kimball and Assistant Superintendent Randy Morris joined the meeting to give the Road and Bridge Department report. Also present were: Scooter Bremer with Bremer Nursery, Stephen Acker with Double A Conifers, Tony Shelton with Shelton Farms, Don Dinning, Blue Sky Broadcasting Reporter Mike Brown, Martha Daniel and Wade Daniel with Daniel Tree Farm, Gene Andrews representing Kootenai Valley Nursery Growers, Rebecca Henslee with Idaho Alpine Inc., Bill Leach with Leach Tree Farm, John Driedger with Apple Creek Propagators, Steve Koppang and Ryan Merrifield with Clifty View Nursery, Eric Madson with Paradise Nursery, Bronson Bucklin with NLS out of Sandpoint, David Anderson with Sandpoint Ranch Trees, Jeff Avery with Apple Creek Propagators, Kevin Merrifield with Clifty View Nursery, Rod and Barb LePoidevin with Panhandle Nursery, and Dave Wattenbarger.
Commissioners gave the opening invocation and said the Pledge of Allegiance.
Chairman Dinning said he understands that everyone is here to talk about roads and load weight limits and he wants to make sure everyone knows and hears the same discussion at the same time and he added that Boundary County has had an ordinance regarding load limits in place for quite a long time.
Speaking on behalf of the Kootenai Valley Nursery Growers was Gene Andrews. Mr. Andrews said they are thankful and appreciative of the snow plowing, etc., that Road and Bridge has done. Mr. Andrews presented Commissioners with information on Kootenai Valley Nursery Growers containing a list of nurseries, of which representatives for some of these nurseries were present. Mr. Andrews spoke of having had a good relationship with the county over the years and of having operated with permits and road restrictions fairly well. Mr. Andrews said the Kootenai Valley is one of the best places in the country to grow trees, but it is also a difficult and expensive location to ship from. When the costs associated with shipping increases customers purchasing from these local nurseries can be lost to other businesses. There are 16 major growers and 25 smaller growers and in addition, between 12 and 20 people that come in and dig, bring crews, and eat in local restaurants and stay in hotels so nurseries are a good industry for Boundary County.
Mr. Andrews said these trees are living, breathing things and when you take them out of the ground, they are ready to bloom and need to get back into the ground as soon as possible. Mr. Andrews said approximately 200 varieties of trees can be grown and these varieties are listed in the catalog he provided. Each type of tree has a different handling requirement and there are approximately 700 to 1,000 truckloads shipped out of the county per year depending on the market at that particular point in time. The gross comes to 12 to 18 million dollars per year depending on the market situation and most of those dollars likely stay within the county. Every tree that ends up on a truck has about one year’s worth of care into it. Nurseries are at a tipping point and if costs start increasing more, customers will look to Oregon to purchase trees. The market is changing a lot because of shipping costs and Salt Lake City, Utah, customers are going to Oregon to purchase trees even they may not like the inventory as much. Mr. Andrews listed the states local nurseries ship to.
Another issue is moving equipment. Mr. Andrews said a lot of time nurseries are driving their equipment due to the permit situation. Delivery of supplies such as burlap and baskets will be exchanged in town if they cannot get their trucks to the fields.
Mr. Andrews said it takes a medium-sized tree and with how much space it takes, it adds 10 to 30 dollars to the cost of each tree so those trucks need to be filled up. Mr. Andrews said half loads were discussed as well as offload sites, but there really aren’t any sites available. Mr. Andrews showed Commissioners a picture of what a half-loaded truck of trees looks like and he spoke of how the state is lobbying to increase truck weight limits to 129,000 pounds. Mr. Andrews said the request is to allow the nurseries to operate as they have been doing in the past. Mr. Andrews said they would like to know what the proposed changes are and why.
Chairman Dinning said his question to everyone is if there has been a permit that has been denied as he doesn’t believe anyone has been denied a permit yet. Chairman Dinning said everyone is hearing things from the rumor mill so he first wants everyone to understand what is going on.
Mr. Koppang mentioned a letter received from the Road and Bridge Department. Chairman Dinning said Commissioners have seen this letter and it refers to the county’s ordinance on load limits. Mr. Kimball said he would like to know what the changes are because he only knows about the changes in enforcement. Mr. Kimball added that Mr. Merrifield contacted him last year and said if his trees were ready to be transported, he was going to haul them with or without road weight limits. Commissioners said the process should continue as normal. Mr. Kimball said Kevin Merrifield called again this year and suggested changing the ordinance due to nursery issue. Mr. Merrifield said the terms listed in the letter wouldn’t work for the nursery as a whole as the temperature doesn’t get to 26 degrees for that many hours. Mr. Merrifield added that he has always been able to obtain permits from the Road and Bridge Department and the temperature hadn’t mattered as he had blanket permits for his company in years’ past so he doesn’t know what has changed. Mr. Morris said the only thing that changed from the past is going from 350 pounds per inch of tire width to 300 pounds based on conditions. Mr. Kimball said that is still higher than surrounding areas that are 250 pounds per inch of tire width. Ms. Henslee said they are concerned because trees are perishable items and you cannot stock pile them. If we have to go to reduced tonnage, we have to put trees on pickups and trailers and haul them down. That is touching the trees too many times and having more trucks on the road. Ms. Henslee said there is concern for both the trees and the roads. Nurseries have to get the loads on the wheels. Ms. Henslee spoke of the process involved in unloading the trees in town and then having to reload them. Mr. Andrews further explained that every time you touch the trees, it reduces their livelihood and he also spoke of work involved in the process.
Chairman Dinning said the load limit changed from 350 pounds to 300 pounds. It was said this occurred when posting the increases. Mr. Kimball said to look at Chutes Canyon, Bench Road and Westside Road for soft spots as we are in the breakup limits and it has to be a comfortable situation. Mr. Kimball said he understands the importance to the nurseries, but there is also an importance to the person who wants to transport their cows or logs that need to be transported. It is unique, according to Mr. Kimball.
Mr. Driedger said he agreed it is a unique year, but this is talking about shipping a product that has a shelf life. A log or a cow will continue to live, but we are trying to get the trees moved before they deteriorate.
Ms. Daniel said the Commissioners currently accommodate certain sectors of the county such as school buses and emergency service vehicles. Mr. Kimball said those are included in the essential hauling ordinances. Ms. Daniel said this is different and added that she was raised in a logging family and has hauled with farmers and they understand the nursery industry solely depends on this time of year. Would the county want to say goodbye to a 16 million dollar industry? In the past it didn’t feel as though limits were not enforced. This nursery industry will go away if we cannot compete with shipping and the nursery customers are already being accommodating by going from local nursery to another.
Mr. Kimball informed everyone that zero percent of a person’s property taxes goes toward roads and bridges. Chairman Dinning explained that no part of real estate taxes goes toward the Road and Bridge Department. Funding for Road and Bridge in part comes from gas tax and there is also House Bill 312, which is not renewed as of yet. Chairman Dinning also explained that Secure Rural Schools (SRS), which is supposed to replicate 25% of receipts from the National Forest, has expired and has not been appropriated for this year. SRS equates to between 40% and 60% of the county budget for Road and Bridge and the county is not expecting those funds to be reauthorized.
Commissioners understand what the nursery owners and Mr. Kimball are saying and somewhere in here is how we can make it work. Chairman Dinning mentioned Road and Bridge having dropped the weight by 50 pounds per inch. Mr. Kimball said the weight may drop more as his excavators have notified him of more frost. Mr. Kimball said there is no fact to the statement that frost is driven into the road by traffic. Mr. Kimball said in years 1976 and 1977 we went nearly the same period of frozen days and a huge breakup. The county doesn’t have the money to fix the roads and we just have to work together.
Mr. Koppang questioned what has changed as they have received many permits over the years and Road and Bridge just said “ok.” Information would be provided to Road and Bridge as to the full loads and where the loads were going. Mr. Koppang said he has called Road and Bridge for the last 35 years about those loads and was getting the permits. The Road and Bridge regime has changed and as far as the weight being 350 pounds per tire width, this is the first he has heard of this information.
Commissioners said nobody has been denied a permit yet, but people are looking at the potential for a permit to be denied. A nursery representative stated the time frame for shipping may be cut short due to the weather we are having.
It was said on the subject of what has changed this year, it sounds like permits used to be granted in a matter that if you ask for one, you got one. So it sounds like loads haven’t been the issue, but it has been enforcement that’s changed.
Ms. Henslee said when we do want to haul, we get a permit, but instead of a permit to 59,000 pounds and pickups on Paradise Valley Road, is there a way we can load the trucks and go five miles per hour so there is only one truck on the road going slow instead of multiple trucks. Mr. Kimball said speed is a killer on the soft ground. Ms. Henslee asked if it’s worse to have faster trucks or fewer, slower vehicles. Chairman Dinning said that is what he was hoping to get out of this, to find out what the options are that will work. Chairman Dinning said not being experienced in this, he needs to hear some options.
Mr. Merrifield said what everyone has talked about is machine dug balls, but there are also bare roots that can’t be hauled to an offsite location as they must be in cold storage. These can be 15,000 to 100,000 pounds on one load. A lot of time there are machine dug balls and bare roots on the same truck. Mr. Merrifield said when we do this, we, of course get permits, and have it so they have the least amount of loads on road. Chairman Dinning said if there are multiple stops, are they not to full weight. Ms. Henslee said her trucks are full loads. Mr. Merrifield said their project is not designed to be moved and handled that many times and he explained the process of digging the trees and letting them sit. The more the trees are handled, it decreases its survivability.
Mr. Avery said in a perfect situation everything goes well and the tree goes through shock during that perfect situation so the tree doesn’t do anything for the first season. If any handling is done to degrade that situation, you will end up with a dead tree or one that doesn’t do well. You can potentially lose a customer. It was said by reducing an 80,000 pound load to 60,000 you are losing a third of the load.
Mr. Kimball said the only thing that has changed in his eyes is that someone is taking care of the roads a bit better than someone who may have turned their back to this issue. Mr. Kimball said the regulation has not changed. Mr. Kimball said if a hauler were to put up a bond for the road, an insurance bond, and was to record a video of the road condition and then re-record the road when the season is over, estimates could be done for repairs to the road. Mr. Kimball added then that hauler would become a policeman for his or her neighbors who may want to move their stidskeer, etc., and claim any damage to the road was not done by them, but instead by the neighbor, so it can be a big can of worms. More people will want special privileges.
Mr. Koppang said every permit he returned he had signed for his employer, which is Clifty View Nursery. The permit says if there is damage, the hauler is responsible and he has always felt good about the conditions for the road. Mr. Koppang said Clifty View Nursery President Lon Merrifield tries to babysit the roads as best as he can.
Chairman Dinning informed those present that they may be interested in attending a public hearing this Thursday at the Bonners Ferry Visitor’s Center regarding the 129,000 pound truck legislation. There have been three applicants that want to turn all of Highway 95, Highway 1 and Highway 2 into that route, but in that legislation they can make application to the county for county roads. There is criteria with that, but this information will come out at this Thursday’s hearing. The county’s concerns are exactly what Mr. Kimball’s concerns are, according to Chairman Dinning. Chairman Dinning added that Commissioners want the McArthur Lake curve on Highway 95 fixed.
Mr. Merrifield said it would be great to look at other counties such as Bonner County where they have a lighter load limit, but Boundary County is unique in that it has so many nurseries. It’s great the county has supported this industry and supported full loads.
Mr. Avery said we have a unique product, a unique situation so yes, it is choosing one industry over another, but if we cannot make a product, we cannot support the county official’s pay. While property taxes don’t directly support Road and Bridge, projects and payrolls do support the county in a big way so everyone benefits. People are working, things are being purchased, and product is shipped.
Commissioner Pinkerton said having everyone here helps and we need to come to a solution for everyone in the county as everyone’s industry is important; it’s not just trees, or loggers, or cattle. It is all important so we need to protect conditions for everyone. Commissioner Pinkerton said he thinks there is a solution to help industries succeed, but not just nurseries as we need all industry to succeed. Loggers are the same and that money is just as important to those families. Hopefully we can come up with something for everyone, according to Commissioner Pinkerton.
Mr. Kimball said he will visit with everyone about this as he is not a closed book, but it is his job to keep these roads in good shape to keep everyone happy. Mr. Kimball said he just didn’t find the strong armed tactic palatable.
The meeting to discuss road weight limits ended at 9:44 a.m.
9:52 a.m., Solid Waste Department Superintendent Claine Skeen and county resident Mike Thornbrugh joined the meeting.
Commissioner Pinkerton moved to approve a payment schedule of $50.00 due the 15th of each month for the 2015-2016 tax year for parcel #MH61N01W25557AA. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Pinkerton moved to approve Certificates of Residency for Shanon Wilds and Samantha Johnson. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Kirby moved to approve the amended minutes of February 21, 2017, as the minutes were approved prior to inserting a resolution that was adopted and recorded. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.
9:56 a.m., Commissioners held a hearing to consider the 2017 Boundary County Alcoholic Beverage License Application filed by Linked Technology doing business as Wild Bees to sell canned, bottled, and draft beer on or off premises and wine by the drink. Present was Chairman Dan Dinning, Commissioner LeAlan Pinkerton, Commissioner Walt Kirby, Clerk Glenda Poston, Deputy Clerk Michelle Rohrwasser, county resident Marty Martinez, and Blue Sky Broadcasting Reporter Mike Brown. The hearing was recorded.
The completed application, applicable fee, copy of the 2017 State of Idaho Retail Alcohol Beverage License, and copy of the 2017 Panhandle Health District Permit have been received.
Commissioner Pinkerton moved to approve the 2017 Boundary County Alcoholic Beverage License Application filed by Linked Technology doing business as Wild Bees to sell canned, bottled, and draft beer on or off premises and wine by the drink. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.
The hearing to consider the alcohol beverage license ended at 9:57 a.m.
Commissioner Pinkerton moved to adopt Resolution 2017-3. A resolution increasing the Waterways Fund budget due to receipt of unanticipated grant revenue and unanticipated cash carry forward for the Rocky Point Dock project. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously. Resolution 2017-3 reads as follows:
INCREASING THE WATERWAYS FUND BUDGET DUE TO RECEIPT OF
UNANTICIPATED GRANT REVENUE AND UNANTICIPATED CASH CARRY
FORWARD FOR THE ROCKY POINT DOCK PROJECT
WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners, County of Boundary, State of Idaho, did establish an operating budget for the Boundary County Waterways Fund for fiscal year 2016-2017; and
WHEREAS, Boundary County was awarded a grant from the State of Idaho Park and Recreation Board on May 1, 2015 to replace the docks at Rocky Point; and
WHEREAS, the project was not completed by June 30, 2016 as anticipated and on September 19, 2016, which was after the 2016-2017 fiscal year budget was approved and set, the Board of Boundary County Commissioners requested and was approved for an extension of time to complete the project; and
WHEREAS, the Rocky Point Boat Dock Project was completed in October 2016 at a total cost of $60,802.00; and
WHEREAS, $29,943.00 in unanticipated grant funds has been received from the State of Idaho, Department of Parks and Recreation as reimbursement for the state’s portion of the Rocky Point Boat Dock Project; and
WHEREAS, there was more cash carry forward from the fiscal year 2015-2016 Waterways Budget than anticipated due to the delay in completing the project and $30,859.00 of that unanticipated cash carry forward is needed to fund the Rocky Point Boat Dock Project; and
WHEREAS, the Boundary County Waterways Fund is in need of additional revenue for fiscal year 2016-2017; and
WHEREAS, the addition of this revenue does not affect the tax levy for Boundary County; and
WHEREAS, it is appropriate to increase the Boundary County Waterways Budget Revenue Account Number 38-00-324-00 in the amount of $29,943.00 and Revenue Account Number 38-00-391-00 in the amount of $30,859.00 for a total of $60,802.00 and increase the Waterways Budget Expense Account Number 38-00-807-00, Capital Construction, in the amount of $60,802.00.
NOW THEREFORE, upon motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried,
IT IS RESOLVED, that the increase to the Boundary County Waterways Budget Revenue Account Number 38-00-324-00 in the amount of $29,943.00 and Revenue Account Number 38-00-391-00 in the amount of $30,859.00 for a total of $60,802.00 and increase to the Waterways Budget Expense Account Number 38-00-807-00, Capital Construction, in the amount of $60,802.00 is hereby authorized and ordered; and
IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that the Clerk is instructed to deliver certified copies of this resolution to the Boundary County Treasurer and the Boundary County Auditor.
DATED this 6th day of March 2017.
COUNTY OF BOUNDARY
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Dan R. Dinning, Chairman
LeAlan L. Pinkerton, Commissioner
Walt Kirby, Commissioner
Glenda Poston, Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners
Recorded as instrument #270037
10:00 a.m., Mr. Thornbrugh informed Commissioners that his garage, which is connected to his house, had collapsed due to the heavy snow loads causing damage to his house as well. As a result, Mr. Thornbrugh said he had to make four trips to the landfill to dispose of the debris. The first load was in a truck and trailer and contained debris from the collapsed building to include wood, shingles, broken glass, and some metal, but not much, according to Mr. Thornbrugh. Mr. Thornbrugh said he took that load himself and he was not charged. For the second load Mr. Thornbrugh said he was not there so Marty Martinez and another person took that load and was charged $140 for heavy demolition. The next two loads were charged at $49 and $29 subsequently, according to Mr. Thornbrugh. Mr. Thornbrugh said the first load wasn’t sorted at all and he tried to do a better job with the next loads, but he would like to know why there is inconsistency in price. Mr. Thornbrugh and Mr. Martinez said the pickup truck was a Toyota Tundra then a Chevy Silverado and a six cubic foot, or six foot by 12 foot trailer.
Chairman Dinning said last year the county instituted a fee for wood debris and the intent was to help pay for having to grind that wood pile, which reaches more than $30,000 per year. It was also intended to be for commercial-type debris. Mr. Skeen agreed. Mr. Thornbrugh said Mr. Skeen was on duty all four times. Mr. Skeen said he had a conversation on the phone with Mr. Thornbrugh about not being charged for the first load and he added that both he and landfill employee Ken Wooten didn’t visually see that load. Landfill employee Mike Ellis, an operator, also did not see this material, wherever it was dumped. On February 22, 2017, Mr. Martinez brought in a load for Mr. Thornbrugh and Mr. Wooten and Mr. Skeen found wood, composition roofing, and a metal railing from something like a garage roller system so he asked if that was going to be separated and was told no. Mr. Martinez was told the material needs to be separated, which would result in a different disposal rate. Mr. Martinez said when he brought in the shingles and drywall he was charged at a rate of $8.32. It was mentioned there was a charge for six yards at $6.00 per yard. Mr. Skeen said there is a higher charge for shingles as they are buried as opposed to the wood that is recycled.
Chairman Dinning said the first trip was free, the second trip that next day contained unsorted material and was charged $149 as heavy demolition debris, and the third and fourth trips were less expensive as the material was sorted. Mr. Thornbrugh said it was a stressful time and he would have worked harder to separate the material and he added that he wasn’t aware of the rules.
Mr. Skeen said no fee was charged on February 21st, then the subsequent fees charged were $149, $37, and $24. Those are the charges he shows. Commissioners reviewed the charges for the three loads.
Mr. Thornbrugh questioned how many private citizens are charged. Mr. Thornbrugh said $149 is ridiculous and he explained that Mr. Skeen was standing there when he was not charged for that first load, questioning how no one could notice that. Mr. Thornbrugh said he was not trying to be disrespectful when talking to Mr. Skeen, but he was trying to find out that was going on. The very first load that he was not charged for was a lot larger than the following loads and the inconsistencies are not acceptable to him. Mr. Thornbrugh said he doesn’t know what he is looking at for a resolution, but the response and the charges are not acceptable. Chairman Dinning said the charge of $149 is what got Mr. Thornbrugh’s attention. Mr. Thornbrugh said yes and he added that at this point in time it’s not the money, it’s the principle and the issue of inconsistency.
Chairman Dinning asked Mr. Thornbrugh if he was working today. Mr. Thornbrugh said he works at Alta Forest Products and took time off work to meet. Chairman Dinning said Commissioners need to make a decision and let Mr. Thornbrugh get back to work. Chairman Dinning said this wasn’t an intentional action on the part of Mr. Thornbrugh as he was not aware of the rules. Chairman Dinning asked Commissioner Pinkerton and Commissioner Kirby about charging Mr. Thornbrugh the lower rate of the other two smaller loads. Commissioner Kirby and Commissioner Pinkerton agreed. Mr. Thornbrugh was agreeable and suggested new signage explaining the different types of debris classifications be posted. Mr. Thornbrugh said he would agree to pay the rate of $8.24 for the three loads and Mr. Skeen will send Mr. Thornbrugh an adjusted invoice.
Mr. Thornbrugh thanked Commissioners for their time and left the meeting at 10:24 a.m.
Mr. Skeen presented Commissioners with paperwork from Burlington Northern Sante Fe and said he needs Commissioners’ signature. Mr. Skeen informed Commissioners that he and his Assistant Superintendent will be attending the Solid Waste Association conference in Boise.
Mr. Skeen said with this disaster involving the snowfall, do we need to adjust the rate schedule. Commissioners said no, but for people who are unaware of the fees, we don’t need to punish them.
Commissioner Pinkerton moved to sign the Solid Waste Service Award for Burlington Northern Sante Fe. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.
The meeting with Mr. Skeen ended at 10:27 a.m.
County resident Jim Hanson stopped by Commissioners’ Office. Mr. Hanson informed Commissioners that he is selling his property and he wants the county to close his portion of Chisholm Hill Road as it is a hazard and someone has been using it lately. Mr. Hanson said Chisholm Hill Road is slick and he doesn’t know if this road is going to hold up with the amount of water that will run off this year. Mr. Hanson said he wants the property surveyed before someone sells it. Mr. Hanson added that the steep portion of Chisholm Hill Road where it turns off by the Brown residence belongs to him and he doesn’t want people going back in there hunting across his property. Bullets have flown by, according to Mr. Hanson. Chairman Dinning said he cannot address this discussion as it has not been agendized on Commissioners’ meeting schedule. Mr. Hanson said the way his deed reads, he owns from the centerline to where the road turns and cuts across a corner of his property and down over the hill. That is how it was surveyed. Mr. Hanson said he has heard the county had a road grader in that area and that is private property so they have no right to do that. If someone goes over that bank and gets killed, the county would be negligent as the county knows about it, according to Mr. Hanson. It is slick on that corner and he explained how water had run into a large crack in that area last year.
Commissioners thanked Mr. Hanson for his information.
Mr. Hanson left the meeting at 10:31 a.m.
10:31 a.m., Chief Probation Officer Stacy Brown joined the meeting to give a departmental report.
Ms. Brown reported that there are 31 people on juvenile probation, 180 people on unsupervised probation and 65 people on adult probation. There is nobody in the diversion program, according to Ms. Brown. The Probation Department is staying busy and it is going smoothly. Chairman Dinning said Commissioners are moving forward with her department’s relocation to the former armory building. Ms. Brown informed Commissioners that her staff make eight to 15 trips to the Courthouse per week so that may add up. Chairman Dinning said it will still be a savings on the rent for her current office location. Chairman Dinning said a firewall will be installed at the armory and Clerk Poston said she will need them to look into their phone system for the new building.
Ms. Brown said Probation requires actual offices in a semi-private area and she asked which part of the armory building her staff will be utilizing. It was added that the State of Idaho Department of Corrections Probation Officer Ron Pell will have his own office.
The meeting with Ms. Brown ended at 10:37 a.m.
Commissioners tended to administrative duties.
10:50 a.m., Restorium Administrator Karlene Magee, Assistant Administrator Pam Barton, Restorium Advisory Board Chairman Larry Hall, and Board member Brad Hollifield joined the meeting for the Restorium Department report. Chief Deputy Clerk Tracie Isaac also joined the meeting.
Commissioner Kirby moved to approve the minutes of February 27 and 28, 2017. Commissioner Pinkerton second. Motion passed unanimously.
Ms. Magee presented Commissioners with quarterly statistics information for the Restorium. There was one vacant room in January, two vacant rooms in February, but one room has been filled as of March 1st. Ms. Barton reviewed revenues received from room and board, accounts receivable over 30 days, etc.
Ms. Magee said Medicaid now requires door locks for the residents’ rooms so she received a couple quotes. One quote was approximately $3,000 so that is approximately $100 per door. Chairman Dinning said Commissioners have been told that having your own key making machine may be beneficial. The quote from Bonners Ferry Glass was $3,675 and that includes cutting keys and installation of the locks. Both quotes include cutting and installation.
Those present resumed reviewing report information. New carpets have been installed at the entryways. Ms. Magee and Ms. Barton attended an active shooter course in Coeur d’ Alene. The Restorium is looking into quotes for a wireless communication system, which would replace the three or four current systems now being used. Ms. Magee said the cost for that system is $24,819.60, which is a steep price for wireless but it will update the wireless pendants. Medicaid also wants the Restorium to have transportation for residents. Chairman Dinning asked what level of transportation Medicaid wants? Ms. Magee said the Restorium does have a van, but it is not wheelchair accessible. Ms. Magee said she was thinking about approaching the Friends of the Restorium about the possibility of a vehicle as they have a lot of funds right now. Ms. Barton added that the Friends of the Restorium did ask what the Restorium needs. Ms. Magee said she researched used wheelchair accessible vehicles and found them to be in a range near $15,000.
Chairman Dinning said he noticed Restorium expenses increased by $34,000. Clerk Poston said that increase is related to workers compensation. Actual expenses are approximately $97,000 from normal operations, according to Chairman Dinning.
Those present discussed Medicaid resident matters. The percentage of residents on Medicaid was 22.86% in January, which equates to seven or eight residents. Ms. Barton explained that in January there were two private pay residents that moved to the Medicaid rate. The number of Medicaid residents has decreased to 18% for February, and that is due to three residents who had to leave the Restorium for other reasons. Commissioners had discussed having Medicaid residents at 15%, which is approximately five residents.
Mr. Hall said one thing brought up in the Restorium Advisory Board meeting was that whatever plan Commissioners adopt, there are going to be variables where the Restorium has more Medicaid residents than were planned on. Mr. Hall said the Restorium Advisory Board would like to get something in writing for the bylaws that this matter will be covered if new Commissioners are elected. That way if there is a new board, there will be something to go on. Chairman Dinning gave a scenario and said he believes that Commissioners at a period of time will say that the limit of Medicaid residents is 15%, but if there are 20 Medicaid residents and the Restorium has seven vacant rooms, this board will make a decision to allow more Medicaid residents coming in. It wouldn’t be the bylaws that govern this, but the operation itself.
Mr. Hall said on the matter of locks on the residents’ doors, the Restorium Advisory Board members are in agreement that they see nothing good in locking the rooms. Chairman Dinning asked if this is a recommendation or rule. Ms. Barton and Ms. Magee said having locks is a rule. There are variances if it can be proven having locks would be dangerous for a specific resident. Ms. Magee said there have been issues with people coming into residents’ rooms. Chairman Dinning said now that Commissioners know there is a rule in place, if something is not done to get the locks installed in a timely fashion and something happens to a resident because of that, the county is liable. The county has gotten by without having locks, but there have been prior instances. Ms. Magee said the residents who are capable and realize there are locks will be the people using them. Mr. Hall said he just doesn’t see what good will come of having locks. It was said this is a Medicaid rule and Medicaid could halt funding if the county doesn’t comply.
Mr. Hollifield said if the Restorium were to operate with all private paying residents and no Medicaid, we would want to look at the vacancy factor with the lack of funding. Those present discussed what is in place now and Chairman Dinning explained how Commissioners cannot bind a future board of commissioners.
Mr. Hollifield, Mr. Hall, Mr. Brown, and Mr. Martinez left the meeting at 11:16 a.m.
11:16 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 11:35 a.m. No action was taken.
Courthouse Maintenance John Buckley stopped by Commissioners’ Office to discuss a quote to have another piling installed at the Rock Point boat launch.
Commissioner Pinkerton moved to authorize the purchase and installation of another piling for the new dock at the Rock Point boat launch. Commissioner Kirby second. Motion passed unanimously.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 12:20 p.m.
DAN R. DINNING, Chairman
GLENDA POSTON, Clerk
By: Michelle Rohrwasser, Deputy Clerk