The articles in this roundup of regional news are taken from weeklies across the region. This is the second part, the first having appeared in Saturday’s Tribune.
POMEROY — Pomeroy City Council approved a contract with Arrow Concrete and Asphalt at its March 21 meeting.
The contract is for $35,000 to refurbish the City Park tennis courts. The proposed plan will create pickle ball, tennis and basketball courts, as well as better lighting. The money will come from a grant from the Harold and Helen Shepherd Foundation, a grant from the Northwest Credit and remaining money from the Gazebo Project.
The council also voted to commit the city as an agency to fund $450,000 in match for Senator Patty Murray’s Congressional Direct Expenses Grant. The grant, if received, would be $500,000 and would go towards the booster pump project.
— Naomi Scoggin, East Washingtonian (Pomeroy), Thursday
Public comments return to Kamiah council meetings
KAMIAH — At the Kamiah City Council meeting on March 22, Mayor Betty Heater and councilors agreed to return public comment on future agendas.
“We’re going to give it a whirl,” Heater said.
A review of past agendas indicates that a comment period has not been part of regular meetings since May 2019. Some area residents have criticized city leaders for ending the practice, raising it as a problem in the 2021 mayoral election.
In the past two years, people could still request to be on the agenda to address a specific topic, but some requests were denied. Mandatory public hearings continued to provide opportunities for public comment on certain topics.
An upcoming public hearing regarding the 307 Hill Street conviction is scheduled. Council has approved a notice of hearing to be held April 13 at 4:00 p.m. This property has been a long term nuisance with complaints from nearby landowners. During discussion at the October 27, 2021 council meeting, the property was described as unsafe and dilapidated.
At the request of local resident Amelia Schneider, council approved the addition of a lamp post at 103 First St.
“I always thought we should have one there,” said board chairman Genese Simler. The council denied Schneider’s request for a speed bump at the same location due to the challenge of clearing snow.
Food cart rates on city property have been increased to $25/week and $85/month. They are currently $1 per day.
Candy Throop was hired on a temporary basis for $25 an hour to help City Clerk Brenda Taylor with bank reconciliations.
Mike Tornatore described his work with the US Army Corps of Engineers on the Lawyer Creek Levy Project. He explained that the Lawyer Creek flooding issues have the potential for catastrophic flooding in Kamiah.
“At the end of the day, we don’t just want to do studies, we want solutions that we can implement for the safety of our community,” Tornatore said.
Kamiah Fire Chief Bill Arsenault described an opportunity to apply for an Idaho EMS III grant to purchase a new ambulance. Idaho awards five to seven device grants each year, according to Arsenault. He would like to replace one of KFR’s ambulances, which is 12 years old, with 100,000 miles and out of warranty. Eligible organizations like KFR are eligible to apply for the grant once every five years. Arsenault estimates the cost of a new ambulance to be between $215,000 and $225,000. The board approved him to continue the grant.
Arsenault also discussed the recently completed KFR 2021 Annual Report. It includes a summary of the types, frequencies, locations by county, time of day, and days of the week of fire and EMS calls. A brief history of KFR, organizational structure, major purchases and completed training, and a myriad of other information are included. The report is available on KFR’s Facebook page.
—Norma Staaf, The Clearwater Progress (Kamiah), Thursday