GRANGEVILLE — Idaho County Commissioners Denis Duman and Ted Lindsley attended the Oct. 12 meeting, along with the county’s civil attorney, Matt Jessup and Bette Polack. Commissioner Skip Brandt and County Clerk Kathy Ackerman were in Salt Lake City, Utah, attending the meetings of the Western Interstate Region of the National Association of Counties.
The county commissioners approved a request from the sheriff’s office to host the annual trunk-or-treat Halloween event. It will take place on Sunday, Oct. 31, from 3-5 p.m. in the back parking lot of the courthouse.
Idaho County’s Weed Superintendent, Joe Slichter, discussed three large noxious weed control projects with the commissioners. After reviewing the bids for a project along U.S. Highway 12 and the rock pit project, the commissioners approved awarding both contracts to Graning Ranch.
The first contract includes early detection of new weed invaders and pre-established and previously treated weed areas along 101 miles along U.S. Highway 12 between Kooskia and the Elk Summit Road, according to Slichter. It also involves treating weeds in established pull-outs along the same section of U.S. Highway 12 including some dispersed camping areas like Boulder Flats. “We are trying to control, to knock back knapweed,” said Slichter. Graning Ranch was the only bidder at $29,737 for the project.
The second contract is for weed treatment at 18 rock pits across the county, and it received two bids with Graning Ranch coming in slightly lower at $29,945.50 for the 271-acre project. Slichter confirmed that he had requested bids from three contractors for the projects.
The commissioners approved Slichter’s request to move forward with the public notice of the comment period on a draft environmental assessment for the Teepee Springs weed treatment project. It is located in the Lake Creek area along the Salmon River upstream of Riggins, explained Connie Jensen-Blyth, the former county weed superintendent. It is a project funded by FEMA for a portion of the Teepee Springs Fire area that burned in 2015. FEMA has prepared the draft assessment for the project. It consists of a biocontrol and inventory component plus a riparian restoration and revegetation project. Jensen-Blyth described the riparian project as managing blackberries. She explained that after all the trees burned in the fire, “the blackberries blew up when they got full sun.” The blackberries will be masticated and replaced with shrubs and grass, according to Jensen-Blyth. She clarified that the FEMA funds can only be used on private lands. “A lot of time has gone by but the funds are there,” explained Slichter.
Duman and Lindsley approved signing the landowner consent form to proceed with the Elk Creek bridge project at Elk City. The Nez Perce Tribe is planning the project, which consists of replacing the existing structure with a bottomless culvert to provide fish passage. It is being funded by the Pacific Coastal fund. Prior to making the decision, the commissioners amended the meeting agenda to add the Elk Creek bridge decision. Duman stated, “a financial emergency exists. We don’t want to risk losing the money for the project.”