Michelle Bly photo

Michelle Bly of TD&H Engineering discusses the timeline and funding for the city’s wastewater system improvement project.

KOOSKIA — At the July 14 Kooskia City Council meeting, councilors approved a request from the Chamber of Commerce for Kooskia Days, the last weekend of July. This includes closing off both side of A Avenue for the band and the dance, using the south end of the park for the logging show, the north end of the park for vendors and other activities and the airstrip for the ping pong ball drop. They also waived the open container and noise ordinance through Sunday at 2 a.m. when the bars close.

“We are facilitating this to the best benefit of the city,” said Michelle Bly of TD&H engineering, the grant administrator for Kooskia Wastewater improvement project. Bly told the council that an additional $2 million may be available for the city’s wastewater system improvement project from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. According to Bly, Rural Development, they will find out in three to four months if Kooskia will be able to access the funds.

“If we get $2 million more, we can replace more pipe. We are trying to maximize what we can get done,” said Carlos Martinez, public works superintendent for the city of Kooskia. “What it does basically is to get every line in town done,” continued Martinez. He explained that without the additional funding, they will only be able to complete priority 1 and some of the priority 2 and none of the priority 3 lines.

Brian Main, one of the new owners of the former McCoy Trailer Park land in east Kooskia, approached Martinez concerning an approximately two-acre piece of property, adjacent to their property, that a recent survey revealed as land belonging to the city. Martinez described the 50-foot-wide property as “a chunk of no man’s land”. Main and his partners would like to purchase the land. “We didn’t know we owned it, have no need for it, and could get some tax revenue for it,” said Martinez. He also said the city acquired the property in 1903 when a probate judge gave it to the village of Stuart (the previous name for Kooskia).

Kirk MacGregor confirmed the city needed to put the parcel up for public auction. “It’s pretty step-by-step process. We’ve done this before,” said Mayor Don Coffman. Council approved a suggestion from MacGregor to hire a local Realtor to issue an opinion letter to help establish the minimum bid price, after councilor Danette Payton suggested setting a minimum price.

Martinez described the allowable uses for the $71,000 of ARPA funds recently received by the city. The money, which the city has three years to spend, can be used for bonuses for essential workers, grants to small businesses and water, sewer or broadband infrastructure upgrades. At the recommendation of Kooskia City Clerk Teresa Lytle, council approved placing the money in the city’s local government investment pool account, until they determine the best use for the funds.

Ambulance supervisor Phillip Legg said they responded to 33 calls last month. Kamiah (Fire Rescue) covered some partial days (including seven ambulance runs) for Kooskia since some of Kooskia’s volunteers were working on area wildfires.

Legg reported that four of the students from the recent EMT class passed their EMT tests and are working on getting their licenses from the state. Angel Dominguez (a CVHS senior) and her mom, Lisa, both passed the test, along with Jeremy Kappler and Jerod Bean.

Fire Chief Mark Anderson said they responded to two grass fires recently, one ignited by a lawnmower, the other by a van. They have also assisted with the Too Kush 2 Fire.

Anderson also reported that the Idaho Survey and Rating Bureau recently met with Kooskia and Stites Fire departments to review fire trucks and test fire hydrants. Anderson is working with the departments to try to improve their fire protection class ratings.

Kooskia’s is currently rated 5 on a scale of 1 to 10. (1 is the best rating and 10 has no fire protection.)