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City council gets update on Moyie Dam rehab

by ROSE SHABABY
Staff Writer | September 9, 2021 1:00 AM

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Moyie Dam in 1948 (Photo courtesy of the City of Bonners Ferry)

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Arial photograph of the Moyie Dam in 2018 (Photo courtesy of the City of Bonners Ferry)

BONNERS FERRY — The Moyie Dam spillway rehab project was the focal point of Tuesday night’s City Council meeting. Concern over the spillway’s deterioration, which led to crumbling, missing chunks of concrete and significant cracking, prompted the project.

City Engineer Mike Klaus updated the council on the project, sharing before and after photographs of the work as it was completed. As he shared the photos, Klaus told the council about the project and how the concrete has deteriorated over time along both the wingwalls and spillway.

The original plans for the project were to remove a four-inch layer of concrete, replacing it with six inches of new concrete. However, during the rehab process, workers found that there were pockets of rock that didn’t have enough cement to hold the concrete together, leaving 16-inch deep grooves in some places as they chipped away the old concrete.

While additional materials and labor were needed, adding around $77,000 to the cost of the project, city officials said it was still within the proposed budget. The project is currently about half finished with the second half scheduled for completion in 2022.

Klaus said the deterioration was significant but that the spillway was stable and the project was a long-term fix to prevent any future issues or further deterioration.

The council also heard a request from Police Chief Brian Zimmerman seeking funds to purchase equipment for electronic tickets. Funds will be reimbursed from a grant through the Idaho Transportation Department's Office of Highway Safety, he told the council

Zimmerman said the average traffic stop takes between 8-10 minutes; however, e-ticket systems reduce that timeframe to around three minutes. Additional advantages include being able to eventually sync up with dispatch and the sheriff’s office, receiving needed information quickly, hookup with their report writing system, and submitting reports from the patrol car.

E-ticket equipment includes a laptop, vehicle tower needed for the laptop, a driver’s license and vehicle registration scanner and a printer. The total cost of equipment will be between $30,000-$35,000, Zimmerman said.

The City Council approved the purchase.

The council also heard from City Administrator Lisa Ailport, who advised that Ruen-Yeager & Associates intends to raise its hourly rates for planning services, beginning Oct. 1.

Ruen-Yeager offers services like long-range planning, day-to-day zoning administration, code updates, comprehensive planning, grant writing, zoning and comprehensive plan map updates, and more.

Current rates for their services are $65 an hour for a senior planner, $50 an hour for an assistant planner, and $40 an hour for a permit technician.

The new rates would be $85 an hour for a senior planner (a 30% increase), $60 an hour for an assistant planner (a 20% increase) and $45 an hour for a permit technician r (a 12.5% increase). They have also added rates for clerical work at $35 per hour, plus the cost of paper copies.

While Ailport expressed appreciation for the work that Ruen-Yeager has done for the city, Mayor Dick Staples felt that the increases were significant enough to warrant tabling the discussion until they could attempt to negotiate rates with Ruen-Yeager. Council members agreed to discuss the matter again at their next meeting.