Excavator

In a photo from early May, this behemoth excavator owned by Edstrom Construction of Rexburg was speeding the work of digging a trench for the Snake River School District’s sewer line ending at the Groveland Lift Station, from which effluent from the junior and senior high schools would be carried to Blackfoot’s wastewater treatment plant.

GROVELAND – The Groveland Water and Sewer District held its regular monthly meeting Thursday night. The meeting dealt with routine business despite a two-hour court session a few hours earlier over GWSD’s lawsuit against the City of Blackfoot.

Lawsuit

GWSD is currently pursuing legal action against the City of Blackfoot. Both parties appeared at a hearing before Judge Darren Simpson Thursday afternoon. The hearing dealt with two motions in the case: one by Blackfoot to have the case dismissed and one by GWSD to impose a preliminary injunction on Blackfoot.

The only discussion of the lawsuit during the Thursday evening meeting was over timing. Simpson did not render any judgments in court. GWSD chairman Marc Pange noted that Simpson now has 30 days to issue his ruling on both motions.

COUNTRY HAVEN SUBDISTRICT

GWSD adviser Clem Yancey reported on the progress for the Country Haven Subdistrict. In the Nov. 5 election, the residents of the subdivision voted 34-0 to create a water and sewer subdistrict of the GWSD.

“According to Idaho State law 42-3218A, the next action required by the district is to submit the legal description of the subdistrict and the GWSD minutes showing our approval for its creation,” Yancey explained.

“Once we receive the legal description from Harper Leavitt Engineering (HLE), we will put subdistrict on the agenda for the December meeting. Then I will submit the description and minutes to the (Bingham County) Commissioners.”

WILDFLOWER SUBDIVISION

GWSD board member Lyle Yancey reported on concerns over the “will serve” notice for the Wildflower subdivision.

“HLE is concerned about the will-serve letter (from the City of Blackfoot),” Yancey explained. “Scott Briscoe (the developer) needs to start construction in March.”

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) must approve of the plans for waste water treatment for all new development. A will-serve letter is Blackfoot’s statement that it will treat the waste water for the new subdivision.

Until Judge Simpson rules on GWSD’s request for a preliminary injunction against the city, it is unclear whether Briscoe can obtain a will-serve letter to take to DEQ.

Since May, the city has required a signed petition to annex as a condition for creating new sewer hook-ups. Many customers of the GWSD, including Briscoe, have protested against this action and refuse to sign. GWSD has requested an injunction against the city to halt this practice.

Until the lawsuit against the city is resolved, it is unclear if DEQ will approve future construction without will-serve letters for GWSD patrons.

The GWSD board decided to seek the opinion of its legal counsel on getting will-serve letters for its patrons.

GWSD board member Paul Chambers reported that some of the meter boxes installed at the subdivision site were below grade and one had been buried under gravel. Building standards require that meter installations must be at grade and accessible.

“We need to work with (the developer) Scott Briscoe to tell him that there are problems with several of the meters,” Chambers noted.

Pange will write Briscoe a letter to inform him of the situation and take steps to mitigate the below-grade meter access.

OTHER BUSINESS

The GWSD board voted its approval for HLE’s plan to extend the Porterville sewer line. HLE can now submit the plan to DEQ for approval. The extension of the sewer line will provide improved waste water treatment access in an area currently experiencing growth.

Clem Yancey reminded the board that GWSD must renew its water right in 2020.