Benewah County Commissioners listened to a report from county engineer Jim Roletto on the county’s solid waste study. The average annual cost to haul trash to Missoula is $570,185. Over the last 10 years, Benewah County hauled an average of 7,405 tons of waste to Missoula annually at an average cost of $77 per ton. In 2021, the average was more than $100 per ton. County Commissioner Phil Lampert said, “That’s ten 25-ton loads per week. This year, we’re on track to do 11- 12 thousand tons per year, so this is going up.” • • • Commissioner Phil Lampert gave an update on the county’s goal to provide more hangar space at Jack A. Buell Airport. “Jack Buell has a lot at the airport and plans to build a hangar on it,” said Lampert. “There is a waiting list for people who want hangar space.” The county is looking at potentially building hangars on three other lots to expand airport capacity. • • • Developer Troy Lozano requested a subdivision modification for Lonely Moose Acres. The request is to allow the developer to sell the plots without water infrastructure installed. “The primary reason for the request modification is to afford the potential buyers the flexibility to place their homes, wells and septics where they wish,” said Josh Bagley, Survey Manager for H2 Surveying. “The protection for Benewah County is that you are not going to give them a certificate of occupation prior to having the wells and septic installed.” Commissioner Phil Lampert said, “I’d like to take this under advisement, and meet with council before making a ruling.” If approved, the Commissioner’s Office will draft an order that goes back to the county planning and zoning commission for approval. • • • Jim Minser, an Idaho Land Surveyor, presented a record of survey for the area around the alley in block 11 in the townsite of Emida. “The 12-foot wide alley cutting through block 11 does not fit the platted alley,” said Minser. “I located any structures that are encroaching on the platted streets and alleys. The alley is clear of any permanent structures. The only thing encroaching the alley is a shipping container, but that is mobile.” Commissioner Lampert added, “Our main concern as commissioners is to have the alley open and accessible.” Minser encouraged people to work out these issues amongst themselves. “When conflicts come up, encourage people to talk. There are things that can be done.” A group of citizens including Jim Warden, Nancy Deusenbery, Bob Short along with Dennis and Leola Boyd are paying for Minser’s services. Leola and Dennis Boyd were present to discuss their continued displeasure with the situation. Phil Lampert said, “The alley needs to be opened because it provides secondary access for you. And it has been opened.” “I wish neighbors would get along,” Commissioner Bob Short said. “I’m suggesting whoever wants to use the alley put it back inside the surveyed property where the alley should be. The county is not going to build an alley, so that’s up to the people who use it.” • • • Commissioners approved cost-sharing with Benewah Soil and Water Conservation District for the Upper Hangman Creek Culvert Project. A contract for $31,713 with Computer Arts for FY2023 was approved by commissioners. The contract does not cover IT support and the county is looking into a cost sharing partnership with Boundary County for IT support. • • • Commissioners approved the Idaho Department of Commerce Economic Development Professional grant for $30,000 • • • The Idaho Department of Lands Riprap permit request was reviewed, and approved. Benewah County and Kootenai County share ownership of a mass-casualty trailer that responds in case of largescale emergencies and holds up to 16 bodies. Commissioners approved the MOU that allows other entities to pay a maintenance fee to use the trailer. • • • Commissioners approved the LHTAC Curve & Roadway Safety Improvement Grant for work on the Benewah Road. • • • Benewah County received $9,785 as part of the National Opioid Settlement. These funds can be used towards any drug abatement programs. • • • The public defender contract for Clayton McFarland was approved for the coming year. County Commissioners received a notice of possible extraordinary defense costs due to the recent homicide in St. Maries. ELF Extraordinary Litigation Fund is a potential source of funding. • • • County Commissioners approved a motion to put out a request for quote to hire a grant writer. • • • Rheinland Equipment Auctions of Post Falls expressed interest in doing an online auction for the county’s surplus equipment. The county is waiting for a bid to determine the next step in the process. • • • Representatives from St. Maries Joint School District #41 sent a letter to the county regarding lack of housing and encouraged the county to eliminate the barriers to construction. The county will draft a response letter acknowledging the need for housing and updating the district on the county’s effort to convert county-owned land to build an apartment complex in St. Maries City limits. • • • Commissioners discussed the request from the US Forest Service Request to repair Charlie Creek Bridge and see no problem with approving repairs to the bridge • • • “Highway 5 dumpsters are overflowing,” Maureen Hodgson said during the public comment portion of the meeting. “I’m seeing a lot of Washington plates, and we have a lot of out-of-state people purchasing property here.” Hodgson also mentioned that the Knapweed is out of control on Windfall Pass. • • • Darwin Ecklund spoke to the commissioners about the protocol for haying county property. Mr. Ecklund was interested in haying a piece of property and went through the proper channels, but noticed that it was hayed the other day. Ecklund asked, “In the future, will there be a bid process for haying county property?” Commissioners mentioned that this is the first time they’ve had this issue of multiple people wanting to hay the same piece of county property.

(2) comments

Emida Gal

Emida Alley-The Commissioners all attended meetings, the neighbors signed petitions, property owners who live in different states attended in person, the survey company sent representatives over and over to try to 'talk things out'. The owners of Drifters, the Deusenberys FAILED TO ATTEND A SINGLE PUBLIC MEETING.

Emida Gal

Emida Alley-The persons who made the mess should clean it up.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.