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County Commissioners: Discuss Infrastructure Development


Wednesday December 6, 10am

County Commissioners / Planning and Zoning Meeting

Reporter A1


SWAN VALLEY

Commercial Hauling of Trash - Businesses in Swan Valley asked to have the county pay that fee. Two examples were Tobers (? spelling), Rainey Creek World Famous Square Ice Cream better known affectionately by us “the Square Ice Cream Place”, also the Campground. “We cannot totally eliminate off everybody this year” (hauling fees) said the Commissioner. The fees were suspended for some businesses during the winter season this year, and the Commissioners will be looking into this in more detail for next year.


49th  North Road Improvements

The developers were coming in to talk about the requirements of infrastructure, moving power lines expanding roads for traffic flow. The Commissioners remained firm on the new construction impacts regarding traffic flow and usage. Infrastructure needs to be built during the time of construction (commissioner’s position). The current plans are to add another two developments and an Elementary school. Discussion determined that Developer would go and speak with Rocky Mountain Power if they would move the power pole; since it is a County Project the power company would cover the cost. The developer thought that if they made that proposal then Rocky Mountain Power would just want them to bear the cost, even though this is a county project. I believe it was Jon Walker that said “that is just semantics”. It was left that the Commissioners would look into the issue, but they did not want to delay for 5 years on infrastructure. They wanted infrastructure changes and improvements necessitated by development to be done during the construction of the development, not after it was completed. Commissioners made the point that the cost in 5 years would be much higher. Developers wanted to put money in an escrow account for the future (higher cost in the future). Or a “bond”. The discussion ended. They all agreed the next step was to speak with Rocky Mountain Power, and the Commissioners would not push it down the road for 5 years.


IONA

Also discussed was Iona and their traffic flow problem. The Commissioner mentioned a possible grant.

I had just read this article regarding grants:



IMPACT FEES

Mr. Hicks (real estate developer)

He came in to discuss, the impact fee on his 3 home development on 9 acres. A couple of years ago he wanted to build high density housing, and the neighbors objected to that. They wanted housing similar to what already exists. Commissioners heard the people in that neighborhood. So Mr. Hicks complied, acquired more land from one of the neighbors (took time negotiating) to bring the development up to 9 acres However, with lower density development, the impact fees were not proportionate to what he was building verses High Density Housing. The Planning and Zoning said they could not give a different rate to one builder over another. Mr. Hicks said he understood and just wanted them to consider what he was building and the impact he was going to have on traffic flow vs. a large neighborhood. Very respectful dialog and all voices were heard.


Personal Opinion:

Impact fees are good for the tax payer. When the property is being developed is the time to “build the infrastructure” to handle the new traffic, not down the road when everyone is complaining and it is not adequate to handle the increased usage. By then the ones holding the bag are our Commissioners, (and they hear from us don’t they)? I agree with the Commissioners, the cost grows when you wait on these developments, and the answer is NOT Bonds, Levies or escrow accounts. Build the development costs in your planning with your housing development. “Affordable Housing” is the catch phrase, but increasing of taxes to pay for the “impact” down the road at a higher cost doesn’t make good sense. The tax payers will pay to maintain the infrastructure forever. I like the forward thinking of our Commissioners instead of “at the moment”, they look to the future impact, and those new housing developments and existing tax payers with their taxes will help continue to maintain the infrastructure, fix the potholes, repave the roads etc. That is what our tax dollars are meant for, not new development. Also important services such as police, fire, ambulances.


TIRES

Did you know? Eleven Tons of tires costs $2200 for the county to dispose of? That was the most recent disposal cost. The discussion was with a citizen who was looking for help in how to dispose of a lot of tires. So let’s get educated a bit. Apparently there is an area in Iona where people “dump” stuff including tires. Let us all be good citizens and not do that! Some businesses mentioned in the discussion: Liberty Tire recycles tires, I think mainly that is for businesses like Big O Tires etc. But let’s all do our part with proper disposal, if you need to know in the future.


Here are links mentioned during the discussion:


Idaho Tire Recycle


Liberty Tire Recycling


Our Government Agency in Idaho

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