County Commissioners Meeting 2.2.23

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Friday, February 10th County Commissioners meeting saw all three Commissioners present to discuss a wide range of topics from a county audit to water resource discussions.

The meeting began with an update from Scott Hunsaker on the county’s annual audit. Hunsaker reported that no issues were found, there were no odd transactions, and that the county was given an opinion of “unqualified” which, though deceiving in title, is a good standing.

Following the audit update, a member of the public came before the Commissioners with two ideas regarding public access and engagement with County Commissioner meetings. He proposed to the Commissioners that the county website could provide an email-subscription style notification option for website visitors that would automatically send meeting agendas prior to County Commissioner meetings. He also suggested that specificity on certain agenda items could benefit the public.

Shelley Essl and Vicky Trevethan announced that they would contemplate ways to make the agendas clearer and more intuitive for the public. Legal counsel for the Commissioners agreed that it could be beneficial.

Following an executive session regarding a letter to Governor Little, the Commissioners heard from, and engaged in conversation with, Richard Humphreys, a veteran employee of the county who was seeking clarification regarding county policy for providing health insurance to long-term employees of the county post-retirement. Both parties ultimately agreed that more information would be needed to make a final decision, to make a mutually beneficial decision.

After this, Alan Roberts of the Elmore County EMS spoke with Commissioners alongside Heather Reynolds, head of the county’s HR, to discuss and seek approval of an EMS organizational chart restructuring. The restructuring plan proposed was approved. Roberts also discussed changes to policy in his department that will allow the ambulance services to collect payment on non-transport calls, and for a wider variety of calls, as well as a non-resident fee, all in order to provide greater income to the ambulance services. He closed his remarks by mentioning a desire to build a fence around a Glenns Ferry property owned by the county that houses EMS employees in order to prevent suspicious persons from continuing a trend of inappropriate monitoring of employees and their personal possessions and vehicles by an unknown suspect.

Following Roberts, Mitra Mehta-Cooper spoke to the commissioners to ask for the approval to begin the acquisition process of two new employees. Mehta-Cooper cited an incredibly heavy workload that her offices are struggling to manage at their current capacity.

Next, the commissioners heard from Terri Pickens who was in attendance representing Cat Creek Energy, who aims to begin a solar and wind project within the fiscal year 2023. Updates on the project come after a delay of over four years following a long period of litigation following an individual’s challenging of the projects. All of the commissioners expressed a firm and sincere desire for Elmore County to be prioritized by Cat Creek Energy, particularly in water related issues. Commissioner Corbus expressed that he felt commitments were not met.

The Commissioners then read a letter from the City, which expressed the city council’s desire to meet with the Commissioners to discuss impact fees and the future economic development plan prior to a scheduled public hearing later this week being held by the commissioners.

Finally, the Commissioners spoke with a representative from Clearwater Financial, Keri Hill, and Dylan Lawrence regarding grant acquisition, water rights, water projects, funding, and the future of water projects within Elmore County.

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