BL County Commissioners

Commissioner Brad Jensen, Chairman Vaughn Rasmussen, and Commissioner Rex Payne.

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The Bear Lake County Commissioners held a special meeting Monday, July 27, 2020. All three commissioners were present. Amy Bishop sat in place of Clerk Cindy Garner.

Chairman Vaughn Rasmussen gave the Health District Update. He talked about the COVID-19 Regional Health Plan that is found on the Southeastern Idaho Public Health Department web page and was accepted on July 24. This health plan determines risk levels that are applied to a town, city, county, geographic, or regional level within the Southeastern Idaho Public Health District. Different parts of the region may be at different risk levels and the risk levels can increase or decrease. The Minimal Risk Level is the baseline, then moves up to the Moderate, High, and then Critical levels. Determining exposure, health officials will also be monitoring and taking into consideration available date, trends in positive cases, turnaround time of test results, PPE supplies for healthcare workers and first responders, effectiveness of contact tracing, COVID-related hospitalization and deaths, and healthcare provider visits with COVID-like symptoms.

Chairman Rasmussen discussed the fact that Bear Lake now falls within the Moderate Level with eight active cases and one unconfirmed case at the time of this meeting. Bear Lake, however, is not testing at this point because they have run out of testing equipment. We are only three or four cases from moving up to the next level. It is determined every 14 days.

Chairman Rasmussen says that his main concern is still starting school since we are so close to being in the High Risk category, which will be when we reach 12 confirmed cases.

Scott Esquibel then spoke about solid waste policies. He mentioned that the residents in the west side subdivisions were first set up so that each resident was assessed a charge and then that dollar figure was what they paid for garbage pick up. That amount was figured as the correct amount to cover pick up twice a week on Monday and Friday. Then it went to Monday, Friday, and Saturday to cover the amount of garbage they had. That meant paying an employee time-and-a-half for the extra truck on Saturday. Then last summer it went to Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday to get the volume of garbage due to the influx of people. It will be difficult when the district takes over. The county is losing money now and they need to look at what needs to be done to take care of the charges.

It was decided that a committee of Commissioner Brad Jensen, Scott Esquibel, Tricia Poulsen, and Amy Bishop will put together a feasible plan for taking care of this issue. They will look at Teton County and Star Valley’s plans for ideas of how to put forth their plan. Chairman Rasmussen also asked them to look at Coeur d’ Alene’s plan as well, even though it is a city plan.

As for the rest of the summer, they will leave it as is until a plan is put together.

Joe Coles and the Triathlon COVID Plan was discussed. He was tasked with sending his plan to the State Health Department, and he has done so. They discussed that the triathlon was originally set to be on North Beach at the Hot Springs. Some go completely in to Utah, but most just go to the state line and back. It is a timed race so it is easy to space them out. The food will be prepackaged. Maggie at the Health Department suggested a few other things, but they will be dealt with. A motion was made to approve the event upon Mr. Coles obtaining his insurance and the fees being paid.

The commissioners then went into a budget workshop to discuss wages and salaries for county employees.

A motion was made to go into Executive Session at this point. No decisions were made in the Executive Session.

More of the budget meeting was held discussing wages and salaries.

A motion was made to adjourn the meeting, and the meeting was adjourned.

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