Council members gathered for the Orofino City Council meeting held Nov. 10. Councilwoman Jennifer Dunaway attended via teleconference call.

Last December, the City had been contacted by River Design Group (RDG) regarding engineering plans for the mitigation of the mouth of Orofino Creek. The City met with the County Commissioners in January to see if they would be willing to split the cost for consulting and engineering services to implement preventive measures for ongoing spring flooding. They agreed to pay half of the proposed $10,000 contract with RDG which was signed by the City in May. River Design Group agreed to do the work as they were already in the area for another job.

Smathers explained that sometime after that the ball got dropped and the city never heard from them. “We began looking for them and they were already out of the area. Their new quote to return was $14,000.” 

Chris St. Germaine checked with Foresight Engineering to see if they would be willing to take on the project as they were contracted by Jerry Johnson for the work proposed for Orofino Creek at Konkolville. The firm agreed to do the work for the $10,000 price initially offered by RDG. The county has confirmed they are still willing to split the cost. 

“It’s the same award but a new company,” said Smathers.

Councilman Mark Swayne also asked to reiterate to Foresight that the city also desires a five-year maintenance plan, “so we aren’t continuously facing this issue.”

Other petitions, applications,

appeals, communications

At the last several council meetings, Public Works Supervisor Shane Miller has reported multiple issues with two of the department’s aging service vehicles. The expense and effort to repair the 21 year-old Ford pick-ups has been ongoing. Miller added that it has become impossible to find parts. He asked the council to consider replacing the one with the most mileage, even though it was not currently budgeted in this year’s budget.

In looking for potential options locally, City Administrator Ryan Smathers said the lowest quote received was $27,282 from Hanson’s Garage, for a 2021 2500 Tradesman Regular Cab 4x4 pick up, with a long-bed.

He stated that the market for used vehicles was not good right now, even a used 2017 three-quarter ton with a blade was going for $10,000 more.

Councilman Jon Isbelle asked Miller if the department could manage with a half-ton/long bed at this time, rather than the three-quarter ton vehicle. Miller responded the department had the jet-rodder which was extremely heavy, and other large loads to transport on occasion, but he was certainly willing to see what else might be available. The council refrained from making a decision until more information was available. They hoped to review the findings Tuesday, Nov. 17.

Councilman Shannon Schrader asked if the department might have any potential items for liquidation. Miller confirmed there were a substantial number of items not being used that were just sitting around and taking up space. Though none of the equipment was a big money item, collectively it may help. Miller was asked by Councilman Mark Swayne to create a list of those items.

Departmental reports

Administrator Smathers announced the city has received an award for Mayor Sean Simmons, as he walked 24,858 steps, which is approximately 110 miles in October, The Mayor’s Walking Challenge, is put on each October by the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health. This year, 81 mayors registered and 76 reached the monthly step goal to each earn $1,000 for their community. Mayors can designate the funds for COVID-19 relief efforts or for programs, projects or equipment that encourage kids to be active.

Smathers also noted that he and Fire Chief Jon Hoyt will meet with County Commissioners Nov. 16, to update the city’s agreement with the county for the ambulance service. The contract was last updated in 2007.

Treasurer Donna Wilson submitted the Revenue Recap reports: Cable, Electric, State Highway, Revenue Sharing, State Liquor and Clearwater County Tax Recap reports. She noted that the City had contacted Springbooks to ask about clients having the ability to pay their bills online, a question frequently asked by the patrons.

Additional equipment would need to be purchased which wasn’t calculated into the budget this fiscal year. She will be looking into the option for next year.

Wilson shared they were surprised to learn of an additional fourth quarter revenue recap report on revenue sharing which was calculated incorrectly. The good news included the new formula determined the city would receive $93,702. 

Building Official Todd Perry has been out of the office for the past week, he said he was busy returning phone calls and the October building permit report.

At the last meeting Public Works Supervisor Miller spoke about water lines and leaks. “They continue.” Miller went on to describe additional leaks and repairs made on Michigan and Miles avenues, and Birch Street since his last report. “At some point, we need to consider replacing these lines.”

The process requires not only replacing the old lines, (water and sewer) but also repaving the street as well after they are installed. It’s a massive job and expensive.

Smathers noted that there had been a huge amount of unbilled water in recent months, continuous leaks in the line would help to explain where it is going.

Other news from Miller related to leaf pick-up, which had been initially announced to be picked up on Tuesdays and Fridays. “With all the additional maintenance on the lines, we are picking them up rather randomly,” he said, “We’ve been making the rounds whenever there is an opportunity to do so. We appreciate your patience.”

Police Chief Jeff Wilson informed the council he was scheduled for shoulder surgery Dec. 22. He was unsure of the amount of time he would need to be placed on light duty and would not know until after the surgery. He intends to fulfill the administrative responsibilities until he can resume full duty.

Water/Wastewater Supervisor Mike Martin told the council that the RV dump will soon need to be shut down for the winter. It has been heavily used, much more than typically used this time of year and they have waited as long as possible.

Martin said he met with the Idaho State Drinking Water Advisory Committee Nov. 9, to look at upcoming regulations and testing for the state of Idaho. The committee gives feedback to the Department of Environmental Quality to put them into action. We are also debating on implementing some of the regulations because of the change of administration. Martin said he thought they would wait until January to see what needs to be done. 

Fire Chief Jon Hoyt expressed how appreciative he was with the new fire chief truck received Nov. 5. He explained that it was now in service and had made three calls to date. 

Minutes, bills and claims

The council approved minutes of the regular Council meeting held Oct. 27, regular bills plus additional bills, and payroll. 

Upcoming meetings

The next regular City Council meeting is Tuesday, Nov. 24. Both meetings begin at 6 p.m.

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