City Council Meeting 2.27.23

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

February’s last city council meeting saw all but Councilwoman Garvey in attendance. The meeting began with a public hearing for the proposed parks and recreation facility use fees. Concerns were raised by citizens regarding the clarity of the proposed fee and how it would be applied. Ultimately, it was clarified that the new policy will apply to all organizations using the park that are not a part of the city’s parks and recreation department. It was noted that the cost for a park rental will remain the same.

Next, the city’s department heads each updated the council and audience.

Library Director Shasta Hochstrasser updated the council on the countless activities the library has hosted in the previous month, as well as upcoming activities.

Darcy Braithwaite of the city Parks and Recreation Department announced that 450 children have already registered for youth soccer with more on the wait list. She also noted that Optimist Park and the city ball fields will soon undergo preparations for the spring season.

Police Chief Thompson announced that four new department vehicles have arrived, and that four more are expected to arrive within the next few weeks.

Fire Chief Moore announced that two firefighters from the department will be participating in the Seattle Stair Climb on March 12th which helps raise funds and awareness for cancer and lymphoma.

Community Development Director Brock Cherry announced that work was picking up in his department, and also invited all those in attendance to the master transportation plan open house held the day after the meeting on the 28th. 506 results were reportedly submitted in response to the master transportation plan survey at the time of the meeting.

It was also announced that Mountain Home’s request to the governor’s office for an official designation as Idaho’s Mural Capitol of Idaho was denied with the governor citing other Idaho cities such as Boise and Sandpoint that also have a large presence of murals. However, the Idaho Commission on the Arts expressed total support for Mountain Home.

The council then addressed the future of the Sequel buildings located at 2850 Industrial Way. It was announced that via legal negotiations, the buildings are to become city property, and then be used by the fire department for training purposes. Councilman Brennan expressed concerns about the buildings being burned down and felt that the buildings could instead be repurposed for use by the city. However, numerous city officials and others in attendance advised that following burst pipes, unintentional fire suppressant activation earlier this year, and other factors, the buildings have fallen into irredeemable disrepair. At one point, it was stated that the auxiliary buildings were infested with mold to a degree that it is unsafe for any person to enter the building without special respiratory equipment. Alongside the Sequel buildings, a retired vehicle from the police department will also be given to the fire department for training.

The council next discussed refinancing a motor grader with Mountain West Bank, after clarifying discussion, a motion was made and passed unanimously to refinance the motor grader. The council then unanimously approved the parks and recreation proposed fee.

Fire Chief Moore approached the council with two potential options with which to financially support this year’s fireworks show. He explained that currently, it is financially impossible to provide a fireworks show that matches the magnitude of previous years without additional funding due to a number of reasons including inflation in the market. Ultimately, the council reluctantly turned down Chief Moore’s proposal which proposed the use of contingency funds.

Lastly, Brock Cherry re-approached the council to discuss ordinance amendments pertaining to the use of wheeled devices on non-designated areas in city limits. He also discussed proposed amendments pertaining to the parking of motorized recreational vehicles as well as the deployment of “pop outs” and ladders attached to such vehicles. No decisions were made and many of the council members expressed that they would not support the proposed amendments as written at the time of the meeting.

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