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Roundtable Discussions

Darrell Bolz, Caldwell, reported:
Canyon County is continuing to experience a lot of growth, which has both its positive and negative effect on the county.  From a positive aspect the growth is providing for new businesses and job opportunities.  The negative aspect is that of urban sprawl into valuable prime agricultural land.  The county has already lost some of its sweet corn production due to this growth.  Concerns over water for agricultural purposes are becoming more prevalent.

Caldwell has seen the opening of the “Plaza” in downtown which is projected to attract people to the area.  Also recently opened in downtown is an 11 theatre movie theatre.  Several new manufacturing businesses have either opened or are in the process of building in the local area.

All of this is certainly having an effect on the infrastructure, especially transportation in the county.  School districts will also feel the impact of the increased population.  The cost of purchasing a home has also increased to where it is going to be more difficult for new potential homeowners to purchase either existing or new homes.

All of this is causing some discussion on land use and land use planning,  Hopefully it not too late to prevent the valley becoming another Orange County, California or a San Jose, California.

Ken Frederick, Idaho BLM, reported:
BLM Idaho's main focuses right now include:

  • Wildland fire suppression and prevention
  • Phosphate mining projects in Eastern Idaho
  • Grazing permit renewals 
  • Protecting and enhancing critical wildlife habitat, particularly sage-steppe landscapes
  • Planning some burned area recovery work for this fall
  • Lands issues (rights of way, land conveyances to cities, etc.)

Kim McGourty, Idaho Transportation Department, reported:
ITD Office of Communication partnering with the Office of Highway Safety to develop safety videos emphasizing Engaged Driving, specifically within and around construction work zones. Employee safety is the major focus of the Department this year, as part of ITD’s strategic mission “Your Safety, Your Mobility, Your Economic Opportunity”. We are also seeing an increased emphasis on safety from the Federal Transit Administration, which is the governing body my office answers to within the public transportation field. We have seen two new safety rules come out, further demonstrating the focus on passenger safety, and safe transportation systems.

We are in the 100 deadliest days of summer, according to the Highway Safety Crash Data Report. As a reminder to continue to drive safe and be engaged while on the road.

One Time Funding
The issuing of public funds to support public transportation operations throughout Idaho is a critically important function of the Public Transportation Group. There are a number of opportunities for local companies and groups to become involved and apply for funding. The two standard opportunities to apply for funds are for Idaho’s annual Federal Transit Administration (FTA) appropriation (application occurs every two years) and what the Department terms “One-Time Funding” which is applications issued on an ad-hoc basis for either unspent FTA appropriation from the previously mentioned funding opportunity or discretionary grants that are issued by the Federal Transit Administration.

The ITD-Public Transportation Office will be opening a One-Time application this fall for capital projects that would be ready to implement October 2019. More information will be made available at the end of this month, posted to our website. https://itd.idaho.gov/pt/ (Application Program TabàOne Time Grants).

Share the Ride Idaho
SharetheRideIdaho.com is your resource to find the commuting option that makes the most sense for you. It will make it easy for you to find the best route, locate a park and ride lot, map your route, or even find a commuting buddy based on your work schedule or neighborhood. With it’s easy to use ride match tool, you’ll be put in touch with other smart carpoolers like you who are looking to save money and time. For more information visit the Share the Ride Idaho website at https://www.sharetherideidaho.com and view the Frequently Asked Questions.

ITD Office of Communication partnering with the Office of Highway Safety to develop safety videos emphasizing Engaged Driving, specifically within and around construction work zones. Employee safety is the major focus of the Department this year, as part of ITD’s strategic mission “Your Safety, Your Mobility, Your Economic Opportunity”. We are also seeing an increased emphasis on safety from the Federal Transit Administration, which is the governing body my office answers to within the public transportation field. We have seen two new safety rules come out, further demonstrating the focus on passenger safety, and safe transportation systems.

We are in the 100 deadliest days of summer, according to the Highway Safety Crash Data Report. As a reminder to continue to drive safe and be engaged while on the road.

Long Range Plan
The state of Idaho is committed to preserving and maintaining the existing transportation infrastructure in the State Highway System.  An updated Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) would outline the Idaho Transportation Department’s (ITD) 20 to 25 year vision on how the state would keep that commitment with the current and projected resources.  This would include goals, objectives and performance measures on maintenance, safety, and operations while factoring in economic opportunities.  The commitments ITD makes are based on current and projected resource availability.  Should the economics, funding or needs of the state change over the next 20 to 25 years, the LRTP should also serve as a guiding document for navigating those changes.

Jim Werntz, Idaho Environmental Protection Agency, reported:
On July 1, 2018, the EPA issued program approval to Idaho DEQ to issue Clean Water Act permits.  This was a culmination of a tremendous work effort by DEQ over the last decade to take on this significant permitting and compliance program.  Known as IPDES, for the Idaho Pollution Discharge Elimination System program, the first phase of DEQ permitting will be focused on municipal permits.   In 2019 and 2020, additional portions of the program will be phased from EPA to IDEQ.  On June 5, 2018, former Administrator Pruitt visited Idaho to announce the program approval in a ceremony in the Governor’s Office.

On July 30th, EPA published a rule change in federal register pertaining to the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Class II Program.   Idaho had requested to transfer the UIC Class II Program responsibilities to EPA in August, 2017.  Under the rule change, EPA will be responsible for issuing Class II well permits, which apply to deep well injection activities (disposal of process wastewater) associated with oil/gas development.    

Today (August 8), the EPA awarded $1,217,516 to the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to support the state’s air quality program. The grant helps fund the attainment and maintenance of Clean Air Act standards in Idaho communities, protecting people from harmful air pollutants.

Barbara Petty, University of Idaho – Extension, reported:
Summer is an exceptionally busy time of year for UI Extension as we are in the midst of the growing season; we are growing crops, livestock, communities and of course the 4-H youth and adults.  We are also trying to eliminate the pests and diseases that are growing so everywhere you look we are all about “growing.”

UI Extension has partnered with Apple, Inc. to deliver Inspire Idaho, which is a training program to teach app development. INL has supported these efforts as we are working to strengthen the Idaho work force.  By knowing how to develop apps, individuals can make a livable wage from anywhere, including Idaho. This program was started by Dr. Charles Buck and partners in northern Idaho and is being hosted in six different locations across the state.

UI Extension 4-H has been working on increasing the “go-on” rate by delivering a program “Build Your Futures” which targets potential first generation college students. Through funding from University of Idaho, a pilot program was implemented in Jerome.  It was so successful, we have applied for and have been awarded a Children Youth and Families At Risk (CYFAR) grant for nearly $500,000 for the next five years to continue work in this area.  In addition, we will be asking the legislature for funding for four regional STEM educator positions to be located in each of our four districts, focusing on each of the areas of STEM.  The responsibilities would include training volunteers to lead STEM 4-H projects and to coordinate the STEM educational opportunities within the local communities.

To address career exploration in college students, we funded 29 college student interns this summer throughout our county offices and research and Extension centers.

UI Extension Community Development Specialist Paul Lewin is offering a free online course that teaches entrepreneurs how to start or expand their own business.  The course is offered in English and Spanish.  Participants work at their own pace to complete 15 online modules.  This course DreamBuilder has already attracted 150 entrepreneurs.


I am excited about our future as we are working to be leaders in building a thriving, prosperous, healthy Idaho.

Art Beal, Idaho RC&D, reported:
The RC&D Association has entered into any agreement with the Natural Resource Conservation Service to fund two to four hour a week of Idaho Soil Conservation Districts administrative assistants time to track how much time is spent on different programs within the NRCS.  The idea is to know what to ask for in funding.  The state association is taking this on for the first year of a five year program.  The individual RC&D’s were not sure how it would and they felt 7% was not enough to make it worthwhile. 

The Southwest Idaho RC&D supports two forest coalitions.  So far the courts have supported our efforts.  The coalition looks at every project and makes recommendations on each site. 

The US Forest Service has some monies to establish a monitoring project to look at the forest before action and after action when establishing forest health measures.  This project will be carried out this fall.  Several Conservation districts in southwest Idaho are working with the Idaho Fish & Game to manage an overabundance of elk.  One rancher winter’s 400 head.  He would like his land back. 

It is an election year for some of the conservation district supervisors.  Districts are going to be looking to highways to increase their bare ground as a fire precaution measure.  The BLM already has started measures in southern Idaho to achieve these results. 

Dale Lish, USDA – Rural Development, reported:
Anne Hazlett, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development, visited Idaho the week of July 23.  In addition to attending the NTCA Rural Broadband Association Regional Conference in Coeur d’Alene, where she spoke about the importance of rural broadband, Anne and Layne Bangerter, Rural Development Idaho State Director, met with:

  • Coeur d’Alene Tribe: Tribal members including Ernie Stensgar, Tribal Chairman, Valerie Fast Horse, Tribal IT Director, and Leta Campbell, Council Member, to discuss issues affecting the Tribe, including Opioid Misuse and Broadband connectivity.
  • City of Kellogg:
  • Mac Pooler, Mayor, and other local leaders to discuss regional water and sewer projects that Rural Development has invested in with local communities.
  • Mark Aamodt, Fire Chief, Shoshone County Fire District, to discuss the proposed new fire station being developed with Rural Development assistance.
  • City of Wallace: Lynn Mogensen, Mayor, and local leaders to discuss partnerships and rural prosperity.
  • Evening Dinner: Kelsey McCall, Health Education Specialist, Panhandle District 1, and Jon Barrett, Executive Director, Idaho Rural Partnership, to discuss Opioid Misuse and economic development opportunities.
  • USDA Seeks Input on Rural Broadband Funding Pilot.

Rural Development is asking for suggestions about how to implement the e-Connectivity Pilot Program, which would involve public-private partnerships to deploy broadband in rural areas. The framework outlined by Congress allows $600 million in new federal funds to be deployed in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less. Entities eligible for funding include incumbent and competitive rural telephone and broadband service providers, rural electric cooperatives, private firms (but not sole proprietors or partnerships), nonprofits and governmental bodies.

Rural areas that don’t have internet service speeds of at least 10 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 1 Mbps upload available to their households will be eligible to apply for the money. The USDA seeks input on the best options to verify broadband speeds and potential project benefits for rural industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, e-commerce, transportation, health care and education, using readily available public data. USDA is specifically interested in how to make the most effective use of these new funds through utility partnerships. 

Comments are due on or before 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Monday, September 10.  See the “Notice of Inquiry and Request for Comments” provided by Joe Bradley, Rural Development Telecommunications Field Representative, which was sent out to everyone by Vickie on July 26. 

We encourage comments; in particular, we encourage comments from anyone on the Broadband Task Force and the IRP Broadband Working Group as this is an opportunity to help shape this new program to best “hit the mark” for Idaho communities.  


Erik Kingston, Idaho Housing and Finance Association, reported:

  • Statewide averages for rental vacancy rates are at 1.4% and at or below 1% in some markets (0 .4% Boise and Ada County). This means folks displaced when rental units change owners and rents increase have few options other than shelters in many cases.
  • IHFA launched its Housing Hotline in 1998; only during the current housing crisis has Erik started hearing from Idahoans contemplating suicide when they are unable to find housing, so he now sends a link to the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline with all emailed housing materials.
  • Many local governments and planners are looking at Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) as a low-cost way to expand their affordable housing infrastructure.
  • The Housing Company is renovating the historic Bonneville Hotel in Idaho Falls to create low-cost residential units with retail on the first floor.
  • Avenues for Hope is in December, so start thinking about your favorite local housing or shelter provider! They are also looking for corporate and business sponsors to provide matching funds to encourage donations in December.

Stephanie Cook, INL, reported:

IDAHO FALLS — Battelle Energy Alliance, which manages Idaho National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy, announced today that it is accepting applications for the fiscal year 2019 Community Giving and Technology-based Economic Development campaigns. Each program focuses on a distinct audience and purpose. Applications for charitable or philanthropic donations for both programs will be accepted until Oct. 15.

Fiscal Year 2019 Community Giving Campaign

The INL Community Giving program provides BEA corporate-funded donations in select areas, such as human services, health, environment, arts and civic projects.

“The Community Giving program provides funding to numerous nonprofit agencies in eastern Idaho, where INL employees live and work,” said Lori Priest, INL Community Relations Program manager. “The program’s primary mission is to give to organizations that support the basic needs of children and the underprivileged. We care about our community and we are committed to providing support to programs that help feed the hungry and provide basic shelter and safety to those in need.”

Since 2005, the program has provided support for a variety of outreach efforts.

“For those of us fortunate enough to work at INL, this is a wonderful opportunity to make a contribution in our communities,” said Amy Lientz, director of INL’s Partnerships team. “As an institution, we strive to be good neighbors and a positive force that helps improve the lives of those in need.”

Fiscal Year 2019 Technology-based Economic Development Campaign

The INL Technology-based Economic Development program targets projects aimed at spurring regional economic development, technology-based economic development, talent pipeline and entrepreneurship throughout Idaho.

Last year, INL awarded grants that supported veterans transitioning into the workforce, helped create lending libraries in rural Idaho for online coding classes, provided 3D printers to entrepreneurs, and helped members of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes build grant-writing skills.

“Across Idaho, INL Technology-based Economic Development grants are making a tremendous impact,” said Stephanie Cook, INL Technology-Based Economic Development and Technical Assistance programs manager. “I’m inspired by the people committed to improving Idaho and happy INL could play a small role in their success.”

Application information and submission process for fiscal year 2019 Community Giving and Technology-based Economic Development campaigns

Eligibility criteria: Organizations must be 501(c)(3) nonprofit entities. A copy of the IRS tax-exempt letter must accompany the form. INL’s charitable donation program does not fund political or religious organizations, emergency response, courtesy advertisements, athletic programs or events, individuals, contests or extracurricular school activities. This funding does not include requests for K-12 education donations.

For further information on K-12 science, technology, engineering and math educational funding requests and grant cycles, contact Brenda Greenhalgh (brenda.greenhalgh@inl.gov).

Submit 2019 donation request forms by Oct. 15. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be included in the review process.

Decisions about 2019 contributions will be made by Dec. 17. Notifications will be sent to requesting organizations informing them of funding awards. Funds will be for projects for the period of Oct. 1, 2018, to Sept. 30, 2019.

For full details on both programs, or to download the 2019 request for donation form, visit INL’s website at www.inl.gov. From there, mouse over the menu in the top right — over “Partner with INL,” then choose either “Community Involvement/Community and Education Outreach” or “Economic and Workforce Development.”

INL is one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratories. The laboratory performs work in each of DOE’s strategic goal areas: energy, national security, science and environment. INL is the nation’s leading center for nuclear energy research and development. Day-to-day management and operation of the laboratory is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance.

See more INL news at www.inl.gov. Follow @INL on Twitter or visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/IdahoNationalLaboratory

Registration Link:



Thu, September 6, 2018

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM MDT

Add to Calendar


Gowen Field Activities Club

4762-4830 South Junker Street

Boise, ID 83705

View Map


Free employer training to

  • Learn how to use GI Bill benefits to offset training cost
  • Learn about transitioning service members
  • Learn about Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act (USERRA)
  • Learn about different veteran services to help benefit your company
  • Make your job openings attractive to veteran job seekers

An expert panel to answer all your veteran hiring questions.

Please send one person from your hiring team to this great workshop. Lunch will be provided.


Roy Valdez, Idaho Department of Labor, reported:
For the tenth consecutive month the state of Idaho’s unemployment rate was under three percent.  The labor force is currently at 850,000.  Job growth for nonfarm grew by three percent.  Increase in jobs include: professional services, hospitality, education, health services, construction, transportation, and utilities.  On September 11th the Idaho Business for Education Conference will be held at the JR Simplot Headquarters building downtown.     


Shannon Madsen, Small Business Administration, reported:
The top priority for the SBA is rural economic development.  The Agency has tasked each District with increasing the percentage of loans and contracting assistance to small businesses.  We will be hosting our Associate Administrator, Jason Simmons, tomorrow (August 9th) and will include meeting with Rural Development, our top rural lender, and Department of Commerce to see how we can expand our rural footprint.  We will be collaborating with all our partners and stakeholders to bring our programs to the local communities.

We will begin promoting our Small Business Person of the Year application and encourage any of you who knows a small business who has had any form of SBA assistance such as a loan, visiting the SBDC or SCORE, or have participated in any of our programs to contact us.


Lori Porreca, Federal Highway Administration, reported:
T2 Deployment Funds Grant will be available soon.  It’s through the FHWA Division Office and it’s generally focused on EDC initiatives and technology transfer.


Donna Pence, reported:
The fire north of Gooding destroyed several sheds.  The fire in the Hailey area is still burning and is turning towards Copper Canyon.  The Gooding city sewer system needs upgrades.   


Tim Solomon, Rocky Mountain Power, reported:
Idaho needs to generate more power which means more transmission lines but folks “don’t want them in their backyard.”  It’s a catch twenty-two.  Rural towns understand this.  On August 16th and 17th Rocky Mountain Power with the University of Utah driven by the Association of Cities will have conversations around opioids.


Carleen Herring, Region IV Development, reported:   
On August 28th economic development folks will meet in Boise for a working session on how to conduct swat analysis.  They will also work on data collection.  An addition has been built at the Hagerman High School for a commercial kitchen and processing area.  The CASA School in Canyon County is redeveloping their tech center as they have out growth their space because the program is so successful.    


Brian Dale, HUD, reported:
Brian is still the only one in the Idaho office for HUD.  He is handling all the questions and dilemmas that come across his desk and phone.


Chanel Tewalt, Idaho State Department of Agriculture, reported:ISDA has busy people out in the fields.  The inspection program for invasive species has done over 100,000 boat inspections and are finding some.  By the end of the year Director Gould will have traveled twice to Taiwan, Japan, Mexico and Canada for agriculture trade deals.