7232 Main Street
P.O. Box 149
Bonners Ferry, Idaho 83805
Phone: 208-267-3105 Fax: 208-267-4375
02flatlander.doc 3/2/2012
2 March 2012
Subject: Flatlander Questions
We have received numerous comments on the Annexation. At this stage the most-asked question is why the City has to incur the expense of an additional attorney to defend an unpopular decision to proceed with annexation against the recommendation of Planning and Zoning. Any new info you have would be appreciated as this is pretty well-trodden ground right about now.
As a number of citizens have filed for a judicial review of the annexation and that work is outside of the scope of our attorney contract, we have chosen to use an attorney who has many years of experience in the land use planning to address the questions raised by the request for judicial review.
Urban Renewal Agency – Flatlander is on the Agenda for the Feb meeting (pending confirmation from the Chairman). I have PAC info booklet and plenty of online materials on its operation. We’ll ask for input from the Readers and formulate our questions based on that. Most feedback I get expresses concern about the actual net job gain (anticipating reductions in staff at Safeway and/or Akins) as well as the long-term viability of three grocery stores in Bonners Ferry.
The purpose of government is to provide an environment in which private industry can prosper. URAs are designed to use the increased taxes from a development (tax increment) to fund public infrastructure. This is to provide an environment for economic development. Important notes; a property in the Urban Renewal District does not receive a tax break and the tax increment only funds publically owned infrastructure. Often a developer will take the risk by provides the initial investment in the public infrastructure and only gets reimbursed for that investment if the property assessments increase so that there is an increment by which they can be reimbursed.
Regarding the number of jobs created, the new Super 1 store will employ an estimated 80-90 people. Past studies have shown that over 50% of the dollars spent on groceries by Boundary County residents are spent outside of Boundary County. Therefore, there is an opportunity to substantially increase the total grocery sales in Boundary County.
Your comments concerning the difficulties faced by the City with respect to compliance and regulation of waste water treatment would be appreciated. In conversation with David Sims he commented on the increasing complexity and expense, indicating that impending regulations governing phosphorous levels were expected to be even stricter than existing and that the cost of compliance particularly difficult to ascertain due to the nature of the technologies that would be required. At the time David commented that compliance with the new standards was ‘probably not technologically possible.”
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02flatlander.doc sjb 3/2/2012
The City of Bonners Ferry does not currently have a phosphorus limit for our waste water discharge permit level, and currently the Kootenai River is considered deficient in phosphorus. Other cities, such as Post Falls (which discharges into the Spokane River) are facing phosphorus limits that are technologically difficult to meet.
The City has taken a number of steps to improve compliance with our discharge permit, including treatment to kill the algae which was causing suspended solids violations and additional aeration to reduce our cold weather biological oxygen demand levels. The City had no permit level violations in 2010. In 2011 we violated our TSS limits in June due to excessive algae. The EPA renewed our waste water discharge permit in November 2011 for a five year period.
Please feel free to contact us at 208-267-3105 with any questions.
Stephen Boorman David Sims Mike Klaus Mike Sloan