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KOOSKIA — The City of Kooskia’s draft Wastewater Facilities Plan was a major topic of discussion at the Nov. 18 and Dec. 16 city council meetings. Ryan Rehder of Mountain Waterworks presented the preliminary findings from the draft plan that the city has hired his company to prepare. The city is required under the terms of its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to conduct a wastewater planning study to address increasing wastewater flow, maintenance and updates, future capacity and regulatory planning.

The 300-plus page draft plan includes detailed information about the history and current condition of the collection pipes, manholes, lift stations, headworks and lagoons and recommendations for the priority for repairs. The plan will serve as the basis to apply for grant funding, according to Rehder.

Rehder expressed concerns that projected costs have gone up an estimated 20-30 percent since the original budget was set several years ago, but he is hopeful that grant funding will be available. After Rehder answered questions from council members, the council approved submitting the draft plan to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) with the recommended alternative proposed by Mountain Waterworks. This alternative includes priority 1 collection system repairs, lagoon sludge removal, earth embankment lagoon reconstruction and relining, headworks upgrades and hydrogen sulfide control and mitigation, according to the plan.

The council made several other decisions at its two most recent meetings.

At the Nov. 18 meeting, the council approved the city offering life insurance policies to council members, mayor, city officials as well as full-time city employees. The council agreed to pay $70 per month total for $25,000 coverage for a minimum of 10 people participating. Insurance would be offered through III-A (the City’s Health Insurance) through One America.

The State of Idaho allocated $22,800 through the Coronavirus Relief Fund. The city has paid for the UV disinfection system and Vital Oxide disinfectant totaling $7,425.27 out of the funds. With $15,374.73 remaining, ambulance Supervisor Phillip Legg requested permission to acquire a CPR Autopulse system, which would cost an estimated $14,200.

The council approved a donation of $300 donation to Animal Ark. This decision followed a statement from city clerk Teresa Lytle that Animal Ark volunteers have been very helpful to the city on many occasions with lost/found dogs and that she believes this is a worthy organization. The city most recently donated $250 to Animal Ark in 2018.

At the Dec. 16 meeting, the council appointed council member Alana Curtis to served as an ambulance liaison. This is intended to provide a direct line of communication between ambulance personnel and the council between meetings.

Council discussed and approved the continuation of the law enforcement agreement with Idaho County to provide services. The city provides office space, Internet and $25,000 annually for the county to provide two officers to “make their best effort to respond in a reasonable amount of time in the city,” according to the language of the agreement.

Carlos Martinez, public works superintendent, recommended beginning to replace the cracking fiberglass bases of the 26 decorative street lights with sturdier metal bases. Martinez said that he wants to avoid needing to replace them all in one year. Council approved replacing four of the bases this year. Martinez indicated he could cover the $4,000 cost within his existing budget.

The council approved $1,400 for City Clerk Teresa Lytle to purchase a laptop computer for her use offsite. Lytle shared that when an Airbridge representative saw the topic on the agenda, they offered $400 toward the cost of the laptop.

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