City Council

                                                                                          City of Arco

                                                                                       November 14, 2022


Mayor Parsons called the City Council meeting to order at 7:00 pm and led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance.

In attendance were Mayor Grady Parsons, council members; Travis Gilchrist, Ben Tessmer, Danny McCurdy, Clerk Tara Wilson, Maribel Cahalan, Dan Jensen, maintenance supervisor Tony Chisham, maintenance lead Tim Snyder.  Guests: Marisa Ortega, Tim Cahalan, Rosanne Smith, City Attorney Steve Stephens, Rebecca Lange, Tom Cammack, and Monica Hampton.

   Motion to approve Minutes for October 24th was made and passed as written.

     Public Comments – no one signed up for public comments.

      Postpone Public Hearing on Variance Request – first on the agenda was to schedule Public Hearing for the Zoning Variance Request from Commercial to Residential for the Old A & B Motel property.  Clerk Wilson told the council that the filing that was requested are not complete, and that the application for the Old Video Store has not been returned from the property owner.  Therefore, a Public Hearing on Zoning Variance requests will not be scheduled for another two weeks or more.         

     Clerk Tara Wilson Swears in New City Clerk – Clerk Wilson will be leaving at the end of December.  This evening she officiated the swearing in of the new City Clerk Maribel Cahalan.

     New City Clerk Cahalan Swears in the New Deputy Clerk – now that Clerk Cahalan has been sworn in as City Clerk, Clerk Cahalan officiated swearing in the new Deputy Clerk Dana Jensen.  

     Roseanne SmithBudget – Ms. Smith asked the City for the date and the source of the Franchise Fee that city residents pay along with their monthly Water/Sewer/Garbage charges.  After much searching all city records, the start date, source, and the purpose of the fee has not been found in the city records.  After some discussions, the Council agreed it appears that the “Franchise Fee” is being misapplied.  Ms. Smith requested that the fee be removed.  City Attorney Steve Stephens and Council members thanked Ms. Smith for coming in and the enlightenment of this fee and questions surrounding it.  The Council agreed that since the basis of this fee has not been found and seems unfitting use in the context of the City’s Water/Sewer/Garbage services, it would be best to remove it.  Council President Gilchrist made the motion to suspend the 3 percent Franchise Fee and to create a Resolution.  The motion was second and passed.  A Resolution will be presented at the next Council Meeting.

     Water, Sewer, Garbage Fee – Next, council members agreed the time has come to set a date for a working meeting to review the current costs for the water and sewer system operations and garbage collection costs, to ensure that the current fees are sufficient to cover current costs as well as for future maintenance needs.  Council members set a working meeting date for December 12th, at 6:30 p.m.

     Monica Hampton – Broadband Funding – USDA Community Facilities Grant – Butte County Economic Development Director Monica Hampton asked for a little time on the agenda to the make the City aware of State of Idaho Broadband Planning Grants.  These “Request For Information” (RFI) grants are intended to provide a contractor with appropriate digital world skills, language, and experience, to gather details on current Broadband (Internet) Service levels and access within rural communities.  Funded through the Idaho Broadband Advisory Board.  The Board stated that affordable, accessible, and reliable high-speed broadband is one of the most critical infrastructure challenges facing Idaho citizens.  The Board therefore is requesting planning grant proposals for unserved and underserved locations.  The data collected under this grant would find and report the level of current service and collect information to provide a benchmark of current service levels such as download and upload speeds and attainable information for future faster, better Internet at prices that all community members can afford.  A following grant to fund any projects that come out of the planning grant process could be funded under the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2021, which established the Broadband Equity Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program.  Through this legislation, up to $42.45 Billion is available for States, Territories, and the District of Columbia to make the most of broadband deployment, mapping, and adoption projects.  $1.9 billion will be available through the USDA Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant programs.  Priority will be given to projects based in part on the rurality of a proposed area, the economic need of the community, and existing limited service.  Broadband service can deliver 100/20 Mbps service will be emphasized under this program.  Arco would be able to set up the community for a highly functional broadband future. 

     Council member Ben Tessmer asked if data gathering with a farther reach, such as the entire county, would be more productive?  Ms. Hampton recommends starting somewhere and said perhaps the City is ready to have this information made available to them through this Grant and study. 

     Council President Gilchrist does see the advantage of having the data to put Arco in line for possible future broadband improvement.  Councilman McCurdy agreed.  The Grand does not require matching funds from the City.  It is for information collection and sharing only, and no additional commitment is required from the City.

     Ms. Hampton asked the City to allow her to apply for this grant for the City of Arco.  Due to the application process closing December 1st, there is a bit of urgency to complete an application.  Council President Gilchrist made a motion to amend the agenda to include this topic as an Action Item.  The motion passed and Councilman Tessmer made the 2nd motion to approve having Ms. Hampton draft the grant application, with the support of the City to generate an Idaho Planning Grant or RFI.  Motion Passed.

     Approve Teton Communications Antenna and Support Equipment – Council President Gilchrist said that Teton Communication’s estimate for the work includes a rather large labor and trip charge.  The breakdown of the cost estimate shows only five percent of the cost is for parts.  The bulk of the estimated cost is labor and travel to and from Arco.  The proposed action is to move the Teton Communications transmission antenna from the Rec Center to the City Shop to re-establish the water treatment plant monitoring and alarm notification transmissions at the City Shop at a cost of around $3,000.00.  And since Teton Communications maintains the City’s licensing for the transmission system, Teton is the only option to complete the requested work.  A motion was made to approve the estimate to have Teton move the antenna and related equipment to the City Shop.  Motion passed.

     Bills – Council members Ben Tessmer and Danny McCurdy reviewed the bills to be paid.  A motion was made to approve payment in the amount of $32,352.87.  Motion carried.

     Roundtable – Deputy Clerk Dana Jensen reminded Mayor Parsons about the ongoing questions and inadequate insurance coverage by U-Haul’s insurer to cover the loss of the City vehicle that unfortunately was in a crash on Interstate 15 back in August while a City driver was on his way to Pocatello to deliver water samples for testing.  Council President Gilchrist suggested passing the information received from the U-Haul insurer to City Attorney Steve Stephens for review and recommendation.

     Mayor Parsons said that the City has received price quotes for either a Box Snow Push or a new Snow Plow Blade.  The first one is around $10,000.00, the other one is more than $13,000.00.  Maintenance Supervisor Tony Chisham said that the City crew has an optional plan to build their own Box Plow/Snow Push from excess culvert material.  They will make a plan and work on it.

     Councilman Tessmer asked Tony Chisham about the recent issue with water leak at the City Shop.  Maintenance Supervisor Chisham said that one of the abandoned 4-inch water line on East Street had developed a leak.  It had been previously capped on Grand Avenue when abandoned, but the abandoned section failed.  A temp fix was completed but a permanent solution is needed.  Councilman Tessmer and Maintenance Supervisor suggest that there are several options for a permanent solution, any one of which would require shutting off service for about a day.  Council President Gilchrist suggested looking at a day in the Spring to schedule the fix.

     Councilman Tessmer said that he had spoken to Ross Carroll (local base Commander of the USS Hawkbill) to clarify that Mr. Carroll will take charge to schedule a working meeting with the groups that manage the Arco Science Center Museum and the City to discuss staffing and managing the Science Center in the coming summer.  Date and Time to be announced once it is set.

Councilman McCurdy made the motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:17 p.m.  Motion passed.  The next city council meeting will be held Monday, November 28, at 7:00 p.m.



        Grady Parsons                                                     Maribel Cahalan                                      

    Grady Parsons, Mayor                                  Maribel Cahalan, Deputy Clerk

Relevant Documents

  • City Council Meeting Minutes
    • 2021 Meeting Minutes
    • 2020 Meeting Minutes