The Mountain Home City Council met in the council chambers at city hall on the evening of January 9th in their first meeting of 2023. The meeting began with an uncontroversial unanimous vote to approve the consent agenda. Following this, the council unanimously moved to elect Councilwoman Garvey as the new Council President.
In a short City Council meeting on Monday the 12th, the Mountain Home City Council met to conduct some exciting business. After brief department head reports, Rich Urquidi, Public Works Director, gave a report on the state of the city’s sewer pools, noting that the pools at the time of the meeting were holding 268 million gallons, up from 206 million on October 1 of this year.
City Planning and Zoning -12.5.22
A brief Mountain Home Planning and Zoning Commission meeting took place on Monday the 5th. Only Commissioners Wallaert, Harjo, and Roeder were present.
The primary project brought to the Commission was a proposed non-conforming CUP that would allow for an expansion to the Mountain Home Albertsons. The expansion would take place on the back of the building, parallel to 5th street. Currently, the existing back side of the building is equipped with two ramps that allow for product to be brought into the store upon delivery. In the proposed expansion, the existing ramps would remain in place, but the spaces adjacent to the existing ramps would be extended by 7 feet. This would bring the building’s back border to the edge of the sidewalk. There was some public resistance noted, but also public support, including from an Albertsons employee. Ultimately, the CUP was approved unanimously by the Commissioners in attendance.
The Mountain Home City Council met in regular session on the 28th in the council chambers. It was another lengthy meeting as the council members deliberated over a variety of topics. The meeting began with news from Mayor Sykes that the city submitted a request to the state in order to be officially dubbed Idaho’s mural capital.
Monday night saw a rather long City Council meeting ensue in the council chambers. The meeting began in a packed chambers, with those in attendance present for a number of reasons.
The City of Mountain Home’s planning and zoning commission met on Monday night in a short meeting.
The commission heard from community development director Brock Cherry and public works director Rich Urquidi regarding an ordinance change proposed by the city. The proposed ordinance change would “outright permit all City of Mountain Home facilities and structures, provide a definition for city facilities and structures, and update the zoning land use chart to illustrate all City of Mountain Home facilities and structures as permitted”. Put plainly, this change in ordinance would allow the city to develop properties in any way it sees fit without “jumping through the hoops” typically associated with progressing development projects. Deliberation ensued, dominating the meeting for nearly 40 minutes. Ultimately, the item was tabled for a future meeting. The commission collectively concluded that due to a lack of specificity—and with the future in mind—they could not make a recommendation to approve the ordinance change as it is currently proposed.
City Council Meeting - 10.24.22
The Mayor and members of the City Council met on Monday night in the Council Chambers for October’s last City Council Meeting.
The meeting began with the usual procedural department head reports.
The City Planning and Zoning Commission met on the 17th in regular session to work through their agenda. They began by approving the minutes of their last meeting before jumping into public hearing and action. Two action items, a Conditional Use Permit and a Preliminary Plat, were placed before the Commission regarding a proposed housing development.
The Mountain Home City Council met on Tuesday the 11th in regular session. The meeting began with briefings from department heads.
Library Director Hochstrasser reported good turnout at recent library events, and listed a plethora of activities hosted by the library and available for members of the public to attend.
City Planning and Zoning -10.3.22
10.3.22 - The City of Mountain Home Planning and Zoning commission met on Monday night in regular session to tackle their agenda. The agenda included public hearings for two developments, as well as four action items to approve the findings of fact for developments already acted on.
After approving the minutes for the meeting on September 19th, the commissioners heard from Brock Cherry and developer Tim Mokwa of Hayden Homes regarding a proposed development south of the Silverstone subdivision and at the end of South 5th West Street. The development has been named the Fall Creek subdivision and would be comprised of 176 detached single-family homes to exceed or equal 5,000 sq. ft.
In a follow up to last week’s Mountain Home News Meeting Brief for the Sept 26th City Council Meeting story the following was reported by CBS2 on Wednesday Oct 5th.
“MOUNTAIN HOME, Idaho (CBS2) — A concerned viewer contacted CBS 2 with concerns about a recent Mountain Home City Council meeting.
During the meeting on Sept. 26, council members were to provide a monetary payment of $5,000 to the Elmore County Domestic Violence Council, which provides emergency shelter assistance to women and children.
The Mountain Home City Council meeting on the 26th opened with a short deliberation on whether or not an action item that was accidentally left off the meeting agenda could be added last minute. Legal counsel for the council recommended that the item be tabled until the next meeting in order to prevent any legal fallout by violating Idaho’s laws on open meetings.
The City Planning and Zoning Commission met in regular session at 6 pm on September 19th. The meeting opened with the unanimous approval of the last meeting’s minutes. Following this, the commission was presented with a plan by Walmart to extend their online grocery pickup parking area. Walmart plans to conduct re-striping at crossings, in addition to other safety measures.
After this, the commission approved the preliminary plat for a townhouse development near West 8th South Street. The PUD had already been approved prior to this meeting. They approved the preliminary plot unanimously.
Members of the Mountain Home city council met for the first time this month in regular session on Monday the 12th.
The meeting started with statements from each of the department heads. Brock Cherry informed the council members and mayor that the first episode of a Mountain Home podcast—that aims to engage the community and connect city government with Mountain Home citizens—was released and seeing success. He was also excited to announce an event taking place on September 29th, “What does growth mean for your business?” that the owner of the Mountain Home Adult Training Academy building will be attending.
Chairman Kristopher Wallaert established the meeting at 6pm. Commissioners Travis Eikeness, Cristina Drake, William Roeder were present. Nancy Brietic stepped down as commissioner and her position was filled by Ms. Drake, who is a local real estate broker and her position here can influence the outcome of real estate development approvals. Economic Development head Brock Cherry, Attorney Geoff Schroeder, Brenda Ellis and new commissioner Scott Harjo a local business owner were also present.
The meeting was called to order with Mayor Sykes & Council Members Brad Stokes, Becky Garvey and Daniel Brennan present. Community Development Director Brock Cherry was also present.
Department Head reports.
"Accessory Dwelling Unit Legislation"
The goal of this work session was to discuss the potential to see if special legislation was necessary for the multiple requests of an additional dwelling unit on a single property. City Council Members Daniel Brennan, Becky Garvey, Brad Stokes were present. On the P&Z side, Commissioners Eikeness, Wallert, Rhoder & Burlett were present.
Councilmembers, Stokes, McCain, Brennan and Garvery along with Mayor Sykes were all present.
Department Head updates started off the meeting and Chief Connor has quite a bit going on with the Mountain Home Police Department.
Lt. Thompson will be teaching at Tucker Development, The Shop With A Cop fundraiser was held at the McDonald’s on Airbase Rd on Thursday, May 12th, and a 4th Grade Field Day wass held on Friday. May 13.
County Commissioners Meeting 1.20.23
With all Commissioners present, the Elmore County Commissioners met in regular session on Friday the 20th to hold a handful of discussions and host the county’s department heads. Expenses and other non-controversial approvals were made. After this, the first part of a lengthy discussion regarding EMS funds began. It was being proposed that $500,000 of PILT funds be used to provide a “cushion” for EMS.
The department heads meeting was brief, and most reports were simple and uncontroversial. Steve VanNorman informed the Commissioners that the new AS400 system is working well. Mitra Mehta-Cooper updated the Commissioners on work taking place in her department to ensure that each employee is only doing work that applies to them.
After an afternoon session, the commissioners adjourned.
The Elmore County Commissioners began their latest meeting by approving the minutes for their previous meeting, and appointing Jeff Blanksma to the county’s planning and zoning commission.
Following a handful of other non-controversial approvals, Shelley Essl was sworn in as the County Clerk, Crystal Rodgers as a County Commissioner, Josh Dison as the County Assessor, Nicky Campbell as the County Coroner, Al Hofer as a County Commissioner, and Shondi Lott as the County Prosecutor. The Commissioners also decided that Commissioner Hofer would serve as the board’s chairman for the year.
In the basement of the Elmore County Courthouse on Friday, Jan. 6, the Elmore County Commissioners held their first regularly scheduled meeting of the new year.
Commissioner Al Hofer was the only of the three commissioners not in attendance at Friday’s regularly scheduled meeting. The meeting was relatively quick, and covered a variety of topics, many of which regarded internal county affairs.
The Elmore County Commissioners met last Friday in regular session in the Elmore County Courthouse. The meeting began with the approval of liquor licenses and resolutions which was followed by a topic of concern for the commissioners. They had been made aware that signatures had been gathered in support of a petition supporting a shift in the county’s collegiate designation boundaries. Currently the county is divided between the College of Western Idaho and the College of Southern Idaho. The petition supports shifting entirely to the College of Southern Idaho. The shift would more than likely create a tax levy.
The Elmore County Commissioners met in a regularly scheduled meeting on Friday the 2nd. The meeting began with discussion surrounding an electrical project taking place at the Elmore County Fairgrounds. There were a handful of concerns surrounding the process by which bids have been requested by the county; however, ultimately the commissioners and the representative for the fairground present were able to form a plan that followed the appropriate process for attaining a bid for the project. The commissioners also motioned to approve the authorization of the fairgrounds to purchase a tractor for future use.
The Elmore County Commissioners met on Friday morning in the basement of the courthouse in regular session. Each commissioner was present except for Commissioner Corbus. The meeting was started with discussion surrounding land use fee updates. Johnny Hernanded and Ozzie Gripentrog informed the commissioners of scenarios in which land use applicants may be abusing existing zoning code to dodge appropriate fees. They also spoke to the commissioners asserting that there is an existing need for the current land use fees to be updated. The current land use fees have been in place for over ten years and have not been adjusted since. Ultimately no actions were taken, though the commissioners agreed that a need is present.
Special County Commissioners Meeting - November 10, 2022
Due to the observation of Veterans Day on Friday, the County Commissioners, save Commissioner Hofer, met in a special session on Thursday morning. The meeting was fairly brief, but covered a handful of topics.
The Elmore County Board of Commissioners met Friday, November 4th in regular session. All but Commissioner Rogers were present for the meeting. They opened their meeting in the basement of the courthouse by approving a new agreement with the University of Idaho regarding the Elmore County extension office.
County Commissioner Meeting 10.21.22
The County Commissioners met on Friday the 21st to tackle a lengthy list of action items. The meeting began with Mountain Home News Publisher, Brenda Fincher, addressing the Commissioners regarding their denial of a MOU with the University of Idaho. The Commissioners faced a number of questions regarding their denial of the MOU and the events leading up to their decision. The Commissioners assert that the extension educator noted in the prior MOU with the University of Idaho was not meeting the needs and expectations of the county, which had previously been discussed with U of I and the county agent with no resolution to their satisfaction.
In a second, short October meeting the Commissioners met at the Elmore County Courthouse; Commissioner Rodgers was absent.
The meeting began by approving the minutes for the October 7th meeting. Following this, there was a short discussion about the reimbursement of an employee regarding the purchase of drill steel for the fairgrounds. Afterwards, the commissioners approved a catering permit for “Stew’s Place”.
The County Commissioners met the first Friday of October as scheduled to work their way down the list of action items provided to them. They began by approving the expenses, as well as minutes from their prior two meetings. Following this, County Clerk Shelley Essl informed the Commissioners that through Local Assistance and Tribal Consistency Fund (LATCF) funds, the county would receive funding of approximately 6 million dollars. The LATCF funds will be provided in two separate payments just over 3 million dollars. The first payment is expected to be acquired within the following weeks, the second payment in the following year.
In their final September meeting, the County Commissioners (with the exception of Commissioner Corbus who was absent due to illness) met in a relatively brief meeting to run through a concise list of action items.
They began the meeting by designating Shelley Essl, Elmore County Clerk, to sign grant documents for the county’s water projects. Equally notable, in a follow up from the meeting held on September 9th, the Commissioners heard from Edward Wilson who sought to have his late fees and interest waived after he did not pay his taxes on time. Though quite sympathetic, the Commissioners ultimately denied Mr. Wilson’s request at the recommendation of the county’s legal counsel.
The County Commissioners third meeting in September was marked by a handful of contentious talking points. The Commissioners began working down the list of action items, approving a refund for over appraised land. The commissioners also notably approved a consultant agreement with Moreton and Company, approved a $7,230 bid project to resurface the acrylic coating on the courthouse, approved the number of ballots to be provided for the county’s upcoming November election, and accepted an IPSCC grant providing just over $600k to the county.
By Sawyer Crenshaw
September’s second County Commissioners’ meeting opened with the Commissioners, all three of whom were present, hearing concerns regarding the proposed casino in Mountain Home. The Commissioners noted that they are unable to comment/discuss in-depth proposed projects before they are formally brought before the commission as an action item at a meeting. However, they provided resources for the members of the public who came to express concerns and conduct their civic duty.
The meeting was called to order by Crystal Rodgers President Of the Commission. Commissioner Hofer, Attorney Shondi Lott and County Clerk Shelley Essl were all Present. Paris Dickerson the Business & Community Development Advisor with Idaho Power led the presentation for their process for Power Outages and time to restore. In the presentation the situations that may cause outages are Weather, Icy Road Conditions, Animal Interference, Planned Maintenance and Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) which was the majority of the presentation. This, according to the powerpoint is “Shutting off power for a short period to protect the system” “A public safety power shutoff, or PSPS, is a proactive outage to certain areas where wildfire risk is high due to extreme weather.” This includes high temperature, low humidity, high wind, dry vegetation and public safety. If your power goes out, use battery lights instead of candles, turn off machinery and equipment that were in use, keep one light on when your power has been restored and have a generator (According to Idaho Power). Idaho Power technicians will be stationed by Anderson Reservoir remotely relaying information back to the main control room. They stated that the PSPS will be in effect through October.
Elmore County Commissioners Meeting Brief - 5.13.22
Commissioners Bud Corbus and Al Hofer were present.
They went right into indigent applications executive session.
Shelley Essl, Clerk of the Court, was reviewing a Public Defense Commission Financial Assistance Application and this was for a conflict of interest attorney.
SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS
The Mountain Home School District held their monthly board meeting on Tuesday the 20th. After unanimously approving the consent agenda, Superintendent Gilbert gave a brief literacy report highlighting the work of students and staff district-wide being conducted to bring students closer to at or above their grade reading level.
The Mountain Home School District held its monthly school board meeting on Tuesday the 15th. The meeting began with good news from Joe Anderson, who is a teacher and coach of the Mountain Home high school students that placed 4th at the Idaho state E-sports tournament. In addition to a trophy, members of the school board were shown a video from a Boise State University employee who shared his high opinion of the students, and spoke briefly about the career avenues and practical applications that are tied into competitive gaming.
The Mountain Home School District Board met Tuesday evening in regular session. The meeting opened with the opportunity for public comment. Representatives from the Mountain Home Education Association spoke about teacher morale throughout the district. They also spoke about building a greater presence within the school.
The Mountain Home Public Library held its first meeting of the new year on January 5th in the library’s conference room. In attendance were all but one of the library board members. The board began its process of accepting applications for library board members following board member James Green’s appointment to the Mountain Home City Council in addition to another open position now resulting in two open seats. The board members present began by approving the consent agenda, the previous meeting’s minutes, and the previous month’s bills. Afterwards, the board members heard from Library Director Shasta Hochstrasser; who discussed her employees’ recent trainings that helped prepare them for potential interactions with individuals experiencing homelessness, and the recently increasing “first amendment audits”.
The Western Elmore County Recreation District met on the night of the 30th in their monthly meeting. After approving a consent agenda and finances, brief discussions were held on advertisement methods, the continuation of memberships in local groups, and an update regarding construction. The district board shared that they plan to continue construction in January of 2023 dependent on weather conditions. After some discussion regarding letters of support from various regional organizations, the board adjourned the meeting.
On November 3rd, the Mountain Home Public Library held its monthly board meeting. The meeting was relatively short, though a number of important topics were touched on.
After approving the minutes and bills, the board moved on to old business.
Wednesday the 28th marked the Western Elmore County Recreation District’s (WECRD) monthly meeting, and doubled as a retirement celebration for Judy Erwin, who dedicated countless hours and efforts to the WECRD.
The Western Elmore County Recreation District board held a special meeting on the 31st of August. The meeting took place on site of an aquatic facility currently being developed in Boise, meeting with the technical consultant that will most likely serve as the technical consultant on the WECRD Aquatic Center project. The board was also presented with cost estimates for the project, though after the resulting negotiations of some line items, a final, updated estimate is anticipated to be given in the near future. Another special meeting will be held so that the board can make their decision. The meeting ended with brief discussions regarding the logistics of the WECRD’s AFAD booth.