Shirley Bame

Firth councilwoman Shirley Bame was sworn into office on Wednesday at the Firth City Council meeting.

FIRTH – Shirley Bame was sworn in as a councilwoman at the Firth City Council meeting on Wednesday. She was voted in last November.

For the majority of the meeting, council members heard about the progress on the Firth sewer project.

Dave Noel of Forsgren Associates Inc., who designed the sewer project, brought documents to the meeting to ask the council to approve the design. The plans were approved and submitted to Rural Development before the end of the week.

The two additional EQ ponds are regarded by the funding agencies as a separate project from the original sewer project. The original sewer project was approved by voters in November 2017. The EQ ponds will cost $575,000.

Yet to be determined is the user rate analysis, waste water fixed cost and variable cost

Ted Hendricks, Ted Hendricks, director of the Community and Economic Development with the East-Central Idaho Planning and Development Association (ECIPDA), is working to obtain grants to fund this project.

“After Rural Development received this information, they have told me it will take approximately six weeks to review the information to determine the need of the project and the financing of the project,” Hendricks said. “The review is called underwriting. The good news is, President Trump’s budget has been approved; the Army Corps of Engineers has received its funding.”

Hendricks suggested that a user rate analysis needs to be done for Firth and Basalt. This analysis is based on equivalent residential units (ERU).

For example, in determining the ERU of a school, the number of restrooms, if there is a cafeteria, and the number of faculty and students are taken into consideration in determining its ERU. To determine ERU for a bar, the number of stools is counted.

A formula for the flow of waste water from Basalt and Firth also needs to be determined.

“Cash for this project will be borrowed from a bank,” Hendricks said. “Bonds are not issued until construction is completed. This regional plant is good for Firth and good for Basalt. Both communities are better off by partnering.

“Bids (for construction of this project) cannot be awarded until everything is approved but you can start advertising.”

He estimates building should begin in the spring.

To be able to apply for a block grant from Rural Development, four resolutions were introduced and passed by the Firth council.

These resolutions were:

- Resolution 2020-1 is a policy prohibiting the use of excessive force against non-violent civil rights demonstrators.

- Resolution 2020-2 states the City of Firth “will replace all occupied and vacant occupiable low- and moderate-income dwelling units (if they are) demolished or converted to a use other than as low/moderate income housing in connection with an activity assisted with funds provided under the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974.”

- Resolution 2029-3 deals with a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of disability.

- Resolution 2020-4 addresses equal employment opportunity. “It is the policy of the City of Firth to be an equal opportunity employer.”

All four resolutions were approved by council members.

Hendricks also recommended the council look into hiring an architect.

“An architect would be able to identify and determine the cost of making the Firth City Hall compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act,” he said. “A transition plan would lay out everything you need to do.”

The council approved looking into hiring an architect for this project.