City Council meets
The Cottonwood City Council held their regular March meeting Monday, March 8 and passed an ordinance and a resolution concerning solid waste.
The ordinance set the parameters for residences or businesses that are unoccupied to have the sanitation charges waived while the resolution set the rate at zero for those meeting the criteria and applying to the city for the waiver. To be considered the residence or business must be unoccupied, request that the city shut off the water at which time the trash bin will be collected, and no use of private canisters or accumulation of solid waste take place on the property. Sanitation charges would restart once a request is made to turn the water back on.
The city also discussed an ordinance amending the requirements for properties to be connected to city water and sewer but postponed action until next month after some concerns were brought up.
The lease for USA Media was approved with an addendum. USA Media will get a 10-year lease at $150 per year plus will pick up part of the cost of a fence that would enclose both their receiving station and the city’s well #2.
Angie Petersen of the state Department of Environmental Quality did a presentation on putting together a Drinking Water Protection Plan. This helps the city plan for future needs for the system and also having such a plan in place helps considerably in getting grant monies for system improvements. A group of local citizens would form a review board to develop the plan which normally takes about 3 years to develop and implement.
Also in attendance were Shaun Maxey and Larry Kidd of Ida-Lew Development Council. Maxey updated the council on current happenings.
One of the things they’re looking at is doing an area telecommunications study to look into the current telephone and wireless systems in the area and what can be done to upgrade them.
Also on March 30 & 31 there will be a specialist on Small Business Innovation in the area for a presentation.
Another Business Forum is being set up for sometime from April to June. This would focus more on businesses sharing what worked for them.
Maxey said there is also a regional group holding regular meetings that is looking into locating a meat processing plant for organic and exotic meats grown in the area. Currently such meat animals have to be shipped hundreds of miles to such a facility. They are looking into a plant that would serve the eastern Washington, northern Idaho, western Montana area.
A considerable amount of time was spent discussing renting the community hall out to traveling vendors such as the recent tool sale. Several local businesses were upset that a public building was used for an out of town vendor that was in direct competition to local businesses. Donn Clark of Hoene Hardware presented a petition with 15 signatures in opposition to such use of the hall.
The problem in banning such use of the hall for one type of vendor leads to problems if you don’t do that for all such types of vendors. The example that came up was the annual craft bazaar. The council tabled any action on this matter for another month to give them time to research the matter further as to what they can and can’t do.
In reports Martin Fowler reported the telemetry system is getting very close to being online. With this they’ll be able to monitor and control the well pumps as well as monitor the sewer system inflow and outflow from city hall.
Max Nuxoll reported they had problems with the bacteria counts being way too high but tried the old testing method and they registered as being in compliance. There may be a problem with the new testing method.
Jack Duman reported preliminary work is being done on the transportation study. Traffic counts are being done in several areas. He hasn’t been informed yet of the complete scope of work the grant money available once the study is done would cover.
In the land and buildings report, Shelli Schumacher reported an Arbor Day grant has been applied for and if granted, they’ll need to decide where to put the trees. Fowler asked if there would be money available for park work as the Cottonwood Lion’s Club has budgeted funds to replace another section of the bike path. If the city could provide some funding, they’d be able to do more of the path replacement this summer.
Fire chief Rod Behler reported they are getting closer to setting up a mutual aid agreement with Grangeville. If that works out they may look into setting up such an agreement with Ferdinand and other local area communities. Such an agreement also helps with the city’s fire rating. The council passed a motion encouraging Behler to visit with the Grangeville city council and work to get such an agreement in place.
A waterline agreement was presented to the council and approved. Apparently the waterline to the Butler house was destroyed when the waterline work was done last summer since it had set abandoned for so long. Recently it was purchased and water service was requested so the city worked out a deal to replace the line including from the meter to the existing line on the property with the property owner to take over responsibility of the line from the meter to the house.
The council meeting adjourned at 10:35 p.m. The next regular meeting is set for Monday, April 12 at 8 p.m.