A brief meeting discusses county business

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SANDPOINT — Commissioners declared April Child Abuse and Neglect Awareness Month, allocated more than $1 million for county expenses and named a new address administrator.

At the start of the meeting, the commissioners approved the consent agenda containing six minor land divisions and the minutes of the previous meeting.

The first item on the main agenda was presented by the clerk’s office. Commissioners approved $1,127,421.52 for claims and batch expense requests for the county.

Claims and Demands Batch Expenses, Simplified, are for routine bills, costs and purchases necessary to maintain county services, including those of emergency medical services.

Next, Engineering sought approval from the commission to begin spending money from Solid Waste’s $8 million construction loan with Columbia Bank for the solid waste improvement project. The ministry will have to withdraw money from the loan on a monthly basis to settle the financial transactions for the project. The bond was approved by voters in 2021. The project is expected to be completed in 2024. Commissioners have approved spending on the project.

The planning department presented a resolution before the commission releasing 50% of a surety agreement between the county and Idaho Club Estates. This is the remaining half of the bond agreement, the other half was released last year upon completion of the six-lot residential project. The county is involved because the Idaho Club has committed to public improvements in their project.

A surety agreement is a promise between two parties to achieve a common goal and is typically used in large financial transactions, construction projects, or posting a bond.

Planning director Milton Ollerton said half of the bond was retained by the county for a year after construction was completed to ensure materials and construction were not faulty.

The commissioners approved and signed the resolution releasing the bond.

The GIS presented a memorandum of understanding to the commission appointing Mike Bolling as the department’s new address administrator.

“An address administrator is primarily responsible for administering and enforcing road naming and addressing policy,” Bolling said.

Bolling is also the department’s interim administrator. The commissioners approved the nomination.

Solid Waste sought the commissioners’ approval to award a $124,444 lease-purchase agreement with Columbia Bank for the purchase of a Case 580 backhoe for use by the department. The four-year lease carries an interest rate of 2.78%, totaling $3,459.54.

The commissioners approved the rental agreement.

The final item on the public agenda was brought forward by the Board of County Commissioners declaring April Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month.

The proclamation to raise awareness of the issue comes after federal legislation attempted to turn Kinderhaven, a local children’s shelter, into a two-week-only shelter.

Kinderhaven is a group home for local children in crisis. The only facility of its kind in northern Idaho, the nonprofit provides shelter and emotional support to those in their care.

“State and federal legislation has really tried to change our service a bit,” said Jennifer Plummer, executive director of Kinderhaven. “I am very happy to tell you all today that after some contract wrangling over federal legislation…we have signed a contract with the state in which the children, again, have no limit of time in Kinderhaven.”

Since opening in 1996, Kinderhaven has supported over 1,500 children. For those who want to learn more about Kinderhaven or donate, visit their website at KinderhavenSandpoint.com

“Kinderhaven is more vital than ever, more needed than ever – there are so few foster homes in our area. And we are very happy and delighted that the county is making this proclamation,” Plummer said.

The commissioners approved the proclamation.

Shortly after, Bradshaw suspended the meeting before reconvening for the executive session. Four points were seen in the private agenda. Human resources brought two elements, one concerning hiring and the other concerning personnel. Technology has brought an element regarding scheduling service software. Finally, Davillier Law Group presented an element concerning a dispute concerning parcels at Sandpoint airport.

The Board of County Commissioners holds public meetings every Tuesday at 9 a.m. in the Administration Building at 1500 US 2. Those interested in attending virtually can do so via Zoom. A live stream of the meeting can be viewed on the Bonner County YouTube page, where an archive of previous meetings can be viewed.

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