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Day-use fee implemented at Bloomington

A busy summer day at Bloomington Lake.

New day-use fee implemented at Bloomington Lake

Beginning in 2019, the Bloomington Lake Day Use Area, along with several campgrounds within the Montpelier Ranger District, will be managed by a recreation service provider partner, Aud and Di. Once the fee tubes are installed, which is expected in mid-July, a $5 per vehicle day-use fee will be assessed at the popular Bloomington Lake Day Use Area. Holders of the Federal Recreation Annual Pass will pay $2.50 per vehicle. The fee will be used to service and maintain the day use area’s recreation facilities and invest in amenity updates.

While previously a no fee site, the continued popularity of the area and increased visitation has resulted in a significant strain on day-to-day operations. Aud and Di will use the day-use fees to maintain site amenities and ensure appropriate sanitation monitoring at Bloomington Lake.

“All our campgrounds, as well as the Minnetonka Cave, operate under a concessionaire permit,” said Montpelier District Ranger Mike Duncan. “We decided to add Bloomington Lake under this strategy to alleviate some of the constraints on our workforce.” Partners such as Aud and Di provide services and can respond quickly to customer needs and expectations. The day-use fee will allow the company the tools necessary to provide quality services to the high number of individuals accessing the site.

Bloomington Lake is a high elevation (8,200 feet) 10-acre glaciated lake with a healthy trout population. Access is by Bloomington Canyon by high clearance vehicles only. The last quarter-mile is limited to foot travel only. This area is managed as a Special Emphasis Area in the Caribou Revised Forest Plan for its unique geologic, ecological, botanical and zoological resource values.

Fee envelopes will be placed at the Bloomington Lake parking lot. Visitors will be required to fill out a fee envelope, remove the visitor portion for placement in their vehicle, and deposit the day use envelope in a fee tube. Additional information will be available on kiosks at the parking area.

Questions or concerns should be directed Mike Duncan, Montpelier District Ranger at 208-847-0375.

Preston City/Franklin County economic development partnership proposed

Preston Economic Development Manager Shawn Oliverson discussed cooperation between Preston City and the Franklin County on mutually beneficial developments at the June 24 county commission meeting.

The presentation specifically focused on the potential of a shared cost program that could be used to generate business and industrial growth. The various aspects of the program could include various tax relief scenarios, as well waivers of sewer and water fees by the city, and building inspection fees by the county.

Commissioners Dirk Bowles and Robert Swainston noted that any such agreement with Preston would also have to be applied to other cities in the county. The commissioners were aware that any such program would have to be addressed on a case-by-case basis, with the building inspection fee waiver receiving the most support.

“It’s clear that the population growth is coming north from Utah, and we need to have infrastructure in place, otherwise they will just go someplace else,” noted Commissioner Boyd Burbank. The presentation was of a general nature, and no decisions were made.

Building Inspector Randy Henrie updated the commission a on the proposed courthouse remodel project, specifically in regards to the law as it relates to using county funds or personnel to provide information to voters on the project as opposed to soliciting a specific vote. County Attorney Vic Pearson provided legal opinion on details of the law as it applies in such matters.

County Road and Bridge Manager Troy Moser informed the commissioners that the county crews are more heavily engaged in mowing grass along county roads this year than usual due to the heavy, late rains. Also discussed was the ongoing problem of fences placed within the county right of way, which is generally 25 feet both directions from the centerline of the road. In some places in the county, fences have been erected just a couple feet from the roadway.

“It’s a safety issue — there’s not a way to get off the roads if there’s a wreck,” said Commissioner Bowles. It is also a maintenance obstacle.

“Troy also runs into issues with road grading,” he said. When road are graded, he prefers to pull gravel back that gets pushed too far, instead of hauling in new gravel because he can’t get to what was pushed under a fence too close to the road.

The commission agreed that any new replacement fences will be required to be built at the 25’ right of way line, said Commissioner Bowles. He said he recognizes some of the reasons fences are built so close to the road, but they need to be moved back to where they belong.

“As a farmer I like my fences up to the road to avoid a weed zone, but it just doesn’t work,” he said. Farmers can mow or spray for noxious weeds within the right of way if they wish, he said.

During the meeting, the commissioners recessed briefly to open a Board of Equalization meeting to address a request by Jase and Jessica Cundick to reevaluate three acres of their property as agricultural for tax purposes, a similar request was made by Tyler and Lain Telford. Both requests were granted.

Following the commission’s executive session and lunch break, the members walked through the county fairgrounds to see a new sound system that was installed in the county’s indoor horse arena.

The system cost $6,35 and was purchased from Dish Wholesale. It was installed by Randy Henry and Commissioner Boyd Burbank, and paid for with funds provided by the county’s livestock committee as well as from the fair board’s budget.

“It sure sounds nice. It’s a 12 -speaker system hanging from the rafters and uses a wireless mic. The volume is all the same throughout the building. It’s a very nice system, said Commissioner Bowles.

“This will help so much during the (livestock) sale and show.” Commissioners felt the quality of the system may make the building marketable for other activities, such as school dances.

The commission also discussed where new bathrooms could be built. The location will be determined once the county decides how to get power, water and sewer to the site, said Commissioner Bowles. They hope to put it about 100 feet to the west of the current restroom.

The construction of the new restroom is an Eagle Scout project being organized by Mason Henry, who is currently trying to raise $50,000 for the materials to build it.

Jeppsen wins Idaho Days Pageant

Breanna Jeppson, 18, was chosen Miss Idaho Days Queen at the Miss Idaho Days Scholarship Pageant Friday, June 29. Her court is: Emily Crosgrove as first attendant, Sarah Crosgrove as second attendant and Hannah Anderson, as the recipient of the Spirit of Idaho Days award.

They were chosen from eight talented young women who competed for the title. Jeppson’s talent was a speed painting routine. She is the daughter of Steve and Janet Jeppson. Emily Crosgrove, 18, daughter of Steve and Julie Crosgrove, sang, and her 15-year-old sister, Sarah, played a piano solo. They are the daughters of Steve and Julie Crosgrove. Anderson, 16, is the daughter of Darin and Marie Anderson. Her talent was a dance.

For the first time in the history of the pageant, there was a tie but “the judges deliberated together and made a final decision,” said Farahlyn Hansen.

The program included Jacee Yardley accompanying herself on the guitar as she sang “The Show.” Ady Cox, fourth runner-up of the Franklin County Distinguished Young Woman (DYW) played “Mia & Sabastian’s Theme Song” on the piano. Aftyn Hale, DYW third runner-up played “Midnight Rhapsody,” and Katelyn Oliverson, Franklin County DYW, performed a ballroom solo to “Stand in the Light.”

Other contestants and the their talents were: Britney Bowen, boxing/physical fitness routine; Rachel Merrell, monologue; Shawna Pabawena, Ulali Mother Tribute Dance; and Jenna Veselka, Irobot Dance.

New this year was a $200 check to each girl, with no stipulations, given by John and Barbara Packer. Miss Idaho Days receives $350, the first attendant, $250, second attendant, $150, and recipient of the Spirit of Idaho Days award, $100. Each contestant receives a $100 scholarship to be applied to registration of a college of their choice during the next five years.

Farahlyn Hansen, Chairman of the pageant, welcomed the audience to the pageant and introduced the theme: “Thank God I’m A Country Girl.” The current 2018 Miss Idaho Days Queen, Angela Wallentine, and Tracie Jensen were masters of ceremonies. Wallentine sang “Think of Me” before her final walk as reigning queen.

Hansen thanked the program’s sponsors: Travis Kunz (accountant), Jacee Yardley (make-up, poise and walking), Julie Dietrich and Kathleen Robinson (stage design and decorations) and Jessica Womack (script).

Her talent was a speed painting routine. She is the daughter of Steve and Janet Jeppson. Her hostess is Sue Womack.

Preston police officer earns honor

Officer Scott Royer

Officer Scott Royer, a veteran of the Preston City Police Department was recognized for earning the title Master Peace Officer, by Chief of Police Dan McCammon during the June 24 Preston City Council meeting.

The honor is the result of 15 years of law enforcement experience, a degree in Administration of Justice from Washington State University, as well as numerous professional classes and schools. The entire city council, Mayor Mark Beckstead, and the assembled citizens in the council chambers applauded Royer and thanked him for his hard work, dedication, and professionalism.

Royer has been with the Preston Police Department for 15 years.

The certification is based on the number of years an officer has worked and the amount of training he has received, said Chief McCammon. A masters requires a minimum of 15 years service and 1,500 hours training.

“That’s a lot of training. You are dedicating your career to what law enforcement is about,” he said. “Scott has done a great job for the department with all the investigations that he’s done. Whatever we give him he does with a lot of energy and he’s very thorough with everything that he does.”

Also during the meeting the council granted a new business license to Kody Golightly, 70 West 800 South, for Kody Golightly Painting. The council also voted to refund a $5,025 swale bond check to Higley Homes, 114 East 1100 North, because the company built the swale in compliance with city ordinances.

There was a council discussion regarding the meeting with the Federal Aviation Administration and Franklin County Commissioners, as well as Mayor Beckstead last week. The meeting took place at the airport, and ended with a general agreement by all parties on how to proceed with the runway improvements, known as the “U10 Design Grant for Airport.”

The engineers will move forward with their work. Construction could begin in 2021 if all goes well with the engineering phase.

The commitment to participate in the runway upgrade was made by the city council years ago. The city will be responsible for as much as 3.5% of the total cost of the project, which is estimated at around $150,000. The city’s cost may be partially offset by a possible land swap at the industrial park, which is adjacent to the airport, with the airport, and other unspecified, in-kind works.

The council tabled further discussion of water usage and rate increases until the next council meeting. The employment of an third party to conduct a water rate study, could cost the city several thousand dollars, but Mayor Beckstead observed that the use of an outside professional company is more likely to result in fact-based information rather than emotion-based sentiments.

City Engineer Tyrell Simpson was tasked with the job of contacting the Department of Environmental Quality, to explore possible funding of the study. He will report back to the council at the next meeting.

There was a brief discussion of certain amendments to the city Personnel Policy Manual. The amendment will allow retired city employees to continue to purchase city health insurance at their own expense until they reach the age when they are eligible for Medicare. The amendments were passed, and will not be a cost to the city.

Dayton set to celebrate July 4th

Dayton City’s annual Independence Day Celebration will commence July 4, at 6:45 a.m. with a flag ceremony.

At 7 a.m. the one-mile fun run will commence. The 5K run begins at 7:30 a.m.

Breakfast will be served from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and will be followed by a patriotic program at the Dahle Fine Art Center from 10:30 -11:30 a.m.

Lunch will be served from noon to 2:30, except for a break at 1 p.m. for the parade. Those who want to be in the Parade, the lineup begins at 1 p.m.

Games and entertainment will follow from 2-4 p.m. There will be games, a bounce house, turkey shoot, and a pond with live fish. The para plane will drop prizes from the air.