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Roundtable Discussions

Darrell Bolz, Caldwell, reported:

Transportation:  Transportation issues continue to be important to the Treasure Valley as well as the entire state.  The work on the section between Karcher Road and Franklin Road in Nampa has begun with the old Karcher overpass being torn down and work on the construction of a new wider overpass beginning.  The total project is expected to take a couple of years to complete.  The widening of I-84 between Karcher and Caldwell is in the planning stages but it will be a while before total funding and construction can be done.  A concern that I have is that with a lot of traffic being diverted to I-84, such as the completion of Highway 19 from Highway 26 to I-84, is that we keep adding traffic to I-84 but we do not have any alternative routes should I-84 encounter problems.

Caldwell Plaza:  The Caldwell Plaza continues to be one of the focal points of Caldwell.  During the winter the ice rink and ribbon were quite popular.  It will be interesting to see how the summer activities that are planned will be attended.

Pennywise Drug Store:  The old Pennywise Drug Store building is to be torn down and a building housing Terry Reilly Clinic will occupy the main floor with the above floors being built for apartments.

Right to Farm: I have a meeting with the Canyon County Commissioners to discuss Right to Farm in terms of opening discussion on how a Right to Farm disclosure might be included when a purchase of property in an agricultural area is made.

Brian Dale, HUD reported:

The Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly program provides Capital Advance funding for the development and operation of supportive rental housing for very-low-income persons aged 62 years or older and project rental subsidies in the form of a Project Rental Assistance Contract (“PRAC”) to maintain ongoing affordability. This program provides very-low-income elderly persons with the opportunity to live independently, but with important voluntary support services such as nutritional, transportation, continuing education, and/or health-related services.

Capital Advance funds must be used to finance construction, reconstruction, moderate or substantial rehabilitation, or acquisition of a structure with or without rehabilitation. (See Section II.C. for additional information). Section 202 program funds cannot be used to construct or operate assisted living facilities. Capital Advance funds bear no interest and repayment is not required when the housing remains available for occupancy by very-low-income elderly persons for at least 40 years.

PRACs are used to cover the difference between the tenants' contributions toward rent and the HUD-approved cost to operate the project.  PRAC funds may also be used to provide supportive services and to hire a service coordinator.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD") seeks to fund Section 202 properties that advance housing for the elderly as a platform for living independently and aging in community even as residents may require more assistance with activities of daily living over time. HUD seeks to fund properties that will be at the forefront of design, service delivery and efficient use of federal resources that will provide models for replication by other providers of supportive housing for very-low-income elderly persons. To meet this outcome, HUD expects successful applicants to demonstrate best practices or innovation in both physical design and supportive services. Proposals must promote the long-term physical and mental health and wellness of very-low-income elderly persons and the efficient delivery of government assistance. Finally, HUD aims to provide Capital Advance funding to those applicants who leverage Capital Advance funds with other financing sources to meet the goal of building supportive housing for very-low-income elderly persons and to demonstrate ways to maximize the number of units created per dollar of HUD funding.  For more information about specific Review Criteria see Section V.A.

Funding for this program was last provided in 2010.  Since that time there have been major changes to the program delivery systems in several areas including emphasis on the following:

  • Physical design standards that will facilitate aging in place; and
  • Mixed-finance development that leverages Capital Advance funding with other sources.                                                                                                                                                                                       

Please be sure to carefully review updated program requirements and regulations referred to in this NOFA.  In addition, HUD encourages applicants to demonstrate best practices and innovation in physical design and supportive services based on the evolution in private sector service delivery since the program was last funded.

Funding of up to $50,000,000 is available through this NOFA.


James Werntz, US EPA – Idaho Operations, reported:

  1. EPA Realignment of Regional Offices:   Effective next week, EPA Region 10 (Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska) is reorganizing.   The new organization will ensure that the 10 EPA Regional Offices have consistent structures.
  2. Ballard Mine:   The EPA is developing a Record of Decision for proceeding with the clean-up of this phosphate mine site in SE Idaho.   It includes a unique approach, where Bayer (formerly Monsanto/P4), will integrate re-mining into the clean-up.
  3. Idaho Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (IPDES):   EPA approved Idaho’s program in July, 2018, and last week the IDEQ issued its first IPDES permit to the City of Shoshone.   EPA continues to work with IDEQ to implement a 4 year transition/phase-in for this large and complex Clean Water Act permitting and compliance program.
  4. Funders Fair:   Congressman Simpson and Senator Risch are sponsoring Funders Fairs on May 15 (Twin Falls) and May 16 (Idaho Falls).  For more information, contact linda.culver@mail.house.gov

Randy Kemp, Idaho Commission for Libraries, reported:

He attended the National Association for Workforce Boards Forum and came away with a deeper sense of the many actors in the workforce development ecosystem. He joined a discussion on rural issues related to workforce boards. He learned at that session of a pilot effort from US Telecom, The Broadband Association, to map in a couple of states, detailed broadband penetration (existing maps are notoriously inaccurate). Further, even if broadband is deployed in underserved areas, will residents sign up for service? Open question in some communities. A second issue discussed was the opioid crisis in rural communities and the need to use a lens of trauma-informed care when providing services and interventions. This includes communications across and through multiple stakeholders including teachers, counselors, superintendents, workforce boards, CTE, employers, etc. Third, transportation is a concern in many areas and remains a difficult conundrum to solve. In one locality, the transportation agency partnered with the shuttle service provided for elderly residents.

Art Beal, Idaho Resource Conservation and Development Association, reported:

With the shutdown several things are not happening in a timely manner.  The forest coalitions suspended action for three months as the US Forest Service was not able to participate, and it has taken the Forest Service that long to catch up with programs.  Several other meetings on rural issues didn’t happen for the shutdown.  Other USDA programs on the ground have been delayed, the data gathering and monitoring that affect local application of programs for one.  This is one area the RC&D is involved in.  Another is coalitions. 

From the Idaho Ag Summit we were made aware that the food package we reach for today is more table ready than it was just a few years ago.  It contains more natural, (as opposed to processed), local and organic.  Right now, 13% of all the produce sold is organic.  Right now, in the economy organic is a $46 billion-dollar business.  Plant based protein is on the increase.  The products coming out of rural Idaho need to be socially acceptable, environmentally friendly and economical to produce to allow sustainability. 

From the Noxious Weed Conference, using the same herbicide year after year produces plants resistant to the herbicide.  Look for other ways to control the problem.  It has been over ten years since any new herbicides have been developed.  Rural Idaho is now using unmanned aircraft in weed location and control in several areas.  It is faster and cheaper.

Conservation and rural community evaluation is not a onetime fix – it is an ongoing process that changes all the time with new technology and needs.       




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