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$1.5M allocated at weekly meeting

by ANNISA KEITH
Staff Writer | April 20, 2022 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — A large agenda at Tuesday’s Board of County Commissioners meeting saw 23 items on the agenda from half of the county’s 22 departments. A total of $1,559,026.38 of state and county money was allocated for routine expenses, contracts, purchase agreements, and campground host appointments.

The meeting began with public comment where four people chose to speak, three of whom blasted the board for lack of transparency. The commenters spoke about being refused documentation from the county after submitting public information requests. One commenter and hopeful for the District 2 commission seat, Asia Williams, submitted two resolutions to the board and asked they be placed on an upcoming agenda for a vote.

Commissioners began the main portion of the meeting by approving the consent agenda containing one minor land division and minutes from last week’s meeting. Also included were two invoices, one from the Sheriff’s Office for Idaho State Police user fees costing $14,012.50, and another from the Road & Bridge Department for a rebuild of a pick-up truck engine totaling $18,625.

The Clerk’s Office kicked off the main portion of the agenda by bringing three items before the commission. The first two sought the commission’s approval to spend $1,380,483.88 of claims and demands batch spending.

Claims and demand batch spending, simplified, are the routine bills, costs, and purchases needed to maintain county services, including those from emergency medical services.

The final item brought by the office requested that $10,075 be moved from the county’s general fund to the weeds department to correct an auditing issue. This correction will assure that the weed’s department will not go into debt.

“Every time we make a budget it’s a science and an art, and that was the art half of it,” County Clerk Michael Rosedale said. “We get as close as we can. This will make sure that the weed fund is not negative.”

Commissioners approved all three items.

The Recreation Department brought two items before the commission, both regarding Park Host Contracts for Garfield Bay Campground, and Bonner Park West.

Campground hosts were appointed for Garfield Bay Campground and Bonner Park West. The Garfield Bay Campground host will be paid $7,480 over the course of the 17-week season, and the Bonner Park West host will be paid $5,780. The hosts will be present on their respective sites from the third week of May through the third Friday of September. Campground hosts provide full-time services to their respective campgrounds and reside on site during their employment, they are tasked with doing light maintenance of their respective campground, provide information to campers, and collect park fees, among other responsibilities. Commissioners approved appointing both campground hosts.

Road & Bridge brought one item before the commission seeking approval to continue with the buy back purchase agreement for a John Deere road grader with Papé Machinery. Commissioners approved the purchase at the Feb. 22 meeting, this action item simply progresses the agreement on paper. Commissioners unanimously approved continuing the lease purchase agreement.

The Planning Department brought one item seeking the commission's approval to part from the private road standards for a family division of land off of Westmond Road in Sagle. Commissioners are permitted to waive private road standards as long as it does not put anyone in danger or compromise road quality. Commissioners approved the waiver.

The Prosecutor’s Office requested the commission to table a software contract agreement with Karpel Solutions. Deputy Prosecutor Bill Wilson requested the item be tabled because the department is not ready to proceed with the agreement yet.

“This was one of those ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’ situations,” Wilson said.

Commissioners agreed to table the contract, the matter will come before the commission again at a future meeting sometime in the next few weeks.

Solid Waste bought two items before the board. The first was a resolution to reappoint David Gebhardt and Patrick Reinbold as members of the Solid Waste Advisory Committee for three year terms.

The second item was a service agreement between the county and Excess Disposal for a five year garbage hauling contract for the city of Priest River. Excess Disposal will bill and collect fees for commercial waste disposal and the county will reimburse the company for 3% of the fees collected. Commissioners approved both items.

The Treasurer’s Office brought one item before the commission requesting that $200 be transferred from the Treasurer’s Office budget, to the Noxious Weed Department’s petty cash account so they can rent sprayers for the summer season. Commissioners approved.

The Airport brought four items before the commission, all of which concerning leasing agreements at the Priest River Airport. Three lease agreements rented lots at the airport, and another regarded a hanger lease.

The Public Defender's Office sought the commission’s approval to apply for financial assistance from the Idaho Public Defense Commission for 2023. The agreement will assure that the office is in compliance with regulations and will allow the department to receive additional funding. The contract is projected to provide $212,181 to the county for public defense services.

Emergency Medical Services sought the commission’s approval to purchase three 2022 Ford F-150’s for $40,790 per vehicle, totaling $122,370. The funds will come from the EMS budget.

The final item on the public agenda came from Human Resources seeking the commission’s approval to recruit for desktop support in their IT department, a marine boat captain for the Sheriff’s marine division, and juvenile detention tech with Justice Services.

Commissioners approved the department to advertise for the open positions. Those interested in applying for the positions are encouraged to inquire with the Human Resources department.

Shortly after the approval, chairman Dan McDonald recessed the meeting before reconvening for executive session in which Human Resources brought two more items before the board — one item regarding hiring, and another regarding personnel.

The Board of County Commissioners hold public meetings every Tuesday at 9 a.m. in the administrative building located at 1500 U.S. 2. Those interested in virtually attending can do so via Zoom. Those interested in details about the complaints brought forward by the public can listen to Tuesday’s meeting on the Bonner County YouTube channel, where all previous meetings can be viewed.