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Moyie Springs, IFG working on easement

by EMILY BONSANT
Hagadone News Network | April 21, 2024 1:00 AM

MOYIE SPRINGS — Moyie Springs is working with Idaho Forestry Group on a new easement to access the city’s wells by a different route following a failure to the city’s main water line.

On March 24, Moyie Springs’ main waterline failed resulting in a mudslide and the city no longer has access to its water supply. While the city has joined the Three-Mile Water District, it will not be able to stay on the system for an extended period. 

At a special meeting on April 11, the council approved a temporary construction easement with IFG in a 3-0 vote. Councilman, Les Love, who is employed by IFG, recused himself from discussion and did not vote. 

The work will consist of geotechnical investigation including exploratory excavation, topographic survey, clearing and grubbing, trench excavation and backfill and surface restoration. 

According to the contract, a permanent easement agreement will be subject to approval by IFG, including the location of the permanent easement. Moyie Springs will be responsible for all property damage, personal injury, and other claims, damages, liabilities, and losses, including attorney fees and costs, arising from or relating to the city’s entry onto the IFG property. 

Chris Pease, IFG manager, said the temporary construction easement is just that temporary, until the geotechnical investigation and additional data is provided. 

“I’ve got a responsibility to IFG to keep their liabilities limited. But we are co-located and a small community,” he said. 

He said at the end of the day “we are all neighbors here and we are going to make this work.” Specific language defining the permanent easement for Moyie Springs and Bonners Ferry utilities will be added once testing is completed. 

Dan Remmick, project manager with Century West said although this is an emergency project, the city must go through the correct legal steps because they are working on a water system. 

Councilman Terry Johnson said the project needs to move quickly as soon water demands will increase as the weather gets warmer and residents start their gardens and lawn care. 

It is estimated that the construction of the project will take about two weeks, but geological testing and design must be approved by DEQ and parts must be ordered before construction. 

A topographic map will be created using drone footage and a geological exam will take place to decide the requirements to build on the slope. Once the design layout is approved by DEQ, Moyie Springs will either go out for a bid or assign the project depending on legal requirements. 

There was discussion with El Internet to update the power lines to fiber in the  easement during the project. 

The city of Bonners Ferry has a power line in the vicinity and has been invited to bury their line during construction of the project. 

“It is something we could do if it was felt to be advantageous by the city and IFG,” Mike Klaus, Bonners Ferry city engineer and city administrator, said in regards to burying the overhead power line. 

When coordinating the ditch for utilities, Klaus said, separation from the utilities would be ideal in the future to ensure that power lines aren’t hit during work to fix a water main leak.

City clerk Donna Funkhouser-Wilson said as the city has issued a water conservation, that some residents are taking it very seriously and limiting water use by way of taking less showers.