Snake River Canyons Park Board

Open Meeting Minutes

Thursday, August 10, 2023

19th Hole Restaurant, Jerome Country Club

Attending Board members: Chairman Bill Bridges, John Weston, Greg Moore, Jeff Pierson, Brenda Weekes, and Steve Paulsen. Guests were Larry Hall, Mike Tilka, Jerome Commissioner Art Watkins and Rebecca Wildman taking minutes.

Bill called the meeting was called to order at 11:00 a.m. followed by self-introductions.

Minutes: July 13, 2023 minutes reviewed. Brenda requested replacing “anthropology” with “archeology.” She said the 5-year plan did not receive an official request from rock climbing, but have received a request for a dog park, equestrian trails and camping. She also hasn’t seen Alan’s Off-Road request yet. With changes, Steve motioned to approve, Greg second, motion carried.

Treasurer’s Report: Bill reported $6,602.00 in the account. Southern Idaho Tourism (SIT) had promised $20k toward the Broken Bridge project and sent two $5k checks, one that Bill deposited, the second check is dated for August 17th. Southern Idaho Legacy Trails held a paddle fundraiser for the project, but since they are not a 501c3, they gave the funds to SIT. Unsure what that amount was but Bill will check.

Bill reported that Jerome Commissioners asked Tanya Stitt, EMT Director, to be SRCP Treasurer, but she still doesn’t have clear financial records. The Broken Bridge and RV Park need to know the balance from the county’s $60k. Art recalls two accounts that total $60, but a key person at the county is out for medical reasons. Bill is meeting the county Tuesday, August 15th and asked Commissioner Watkins attend. Bill noted a $2,400 IT amount for the website and $1.5k for signs. Discussion reminding the need for matching funds including Gerald Martens and Brockway Engineering expenses. Brenda noted her request at the City of Twin Falls Council meeting and that Twin Falls will be passing their budget on August 21st.

Link to Twin Falls Recommended Budget for 2023-2024

RV Park: Bill said they need a permit for the RVP Park sign, which is completed and sign post holes are dug. There will be other speed and directional signs coming. The cattle guard on north side is in. The second cattle guard will be installed at the South side of the park and is being relocated from the South side of the Broken Bridge. Concrete poured around pit toilet. Cattle will go in after October 1st so fence will need to be done by then. The other vault toilet will arrive in March and the second RV grant will go to cover its additional cost. Bill said first campers are there and he gave them an okay for five-day camping.

Website: Jerome county’s IT department may undertake the SRCP website. Jerome is in the process of changing their own site to a new provider, and they want to add the airport and other county assets. Bill noted we may be able to link to other user group websites. Others noted the current website contractors are doing a better job.

Broken Bridge: Selected contractor is Wolftone (Mike Walters) out of Kimberly with a bid of $158k. Gerald Martens knows them and it was the lesser cost of two bids. Ramp has been fabricated but decking still to be put on. Guard rails/railings had to be done with galvanizing and should be done next week. South end first to get connected, then the bridge and ramp will hold equipment to get to other side. Bill predicts it will be complete within 60 days. Brenda shared the recent Times-News story noting reporter Lorien Nettleton is very interested in covering future park accomplishments. Brenda would like to hold a ribbon cutting when the new bridge is finished.

Times-News: Lorien.Nettleton@magicvalley.com

KMVT: elizabeth.hadley@kmvt.com

Brenda spoke with North Side Canal Company (NSCC) asking about replacing the Yingst grade culvert and suggested a wooden bridge crossing over it. Bill added Alan Hansten with NSCC said they should be involved in this type of community improvement. Bill is hoping after the October water shut off the NSCC can bring in gravel for fill-in and possibly use their equipment to clean up a recent rock slide. Discussion about who is responsible for the culvert as NSCC said their responsibility stops at the upper edge. Questioned if it is BLM or F&G land? Brenda said when we get permit from the BLM for the right of ways, we will need to include it. Charlie said John Tjaden (BLM) found the original easement permit which noted we had 100 feet (50 off each side).

(John Tjaden, Field Specialist, (208) 732-7292 jtjaden@blm.gov)

Steve asked about re-veg efforts. The RV park rock has surrounding area that could use re-veg and Bill and Steve will schedule to meet and look at the area around the broken bridge and hopes re-veg work is considered. Bill noted SRCP had an easement from F&G straight south between that and the BLM land, but the easement expired before he joined board. We are reapplying for this and adding 100  feet to bridge. North side is below the water mark so it doesn’t involve BLM. New permit will be like a 20-25 year permit. Brenda asked about other side trails and not just the 100 feet to the bridge, and Bill thinks 95% of that would be covered. Not sure if the CSI fish farm still has an easement.

Shooting Range: John said the draft permit application will be submitted to county commissioners next. The subcommittee is working on the master plan and bylaws. The plan is staged with a 5-year to 20-years building process in sequence. He is working with Mark at the county to map the area of impact and with standard rounds of ammunition there is plenty of room for fallout. All positive responses with 150 people from the public survey.

Overlook: BLM is delayed in providing SRCP a permit to complete testing. Civil Science is the testing company and they are ready. Larry shared the 25-year lease renewal, which is part of the document attached to the North Rim master plan, states a 0.25 mile rim buffer. This is an issue that needs to be addressed. Explained that all the north rim land is in the Preservation District as zoned by Jerome County, except the Allen estate was pre-zoned for houses. The new recreation plan would wipe out the Preservation District, and would allow more options for development along the rim, and the Overlook would be part of that.

Discussion about the 0.25 mile rim buffer requirement and concerns about the effect on the overlook project. Jeff made a motion to not incur the survey/geo expense until we’ve met with the BLM for clarification, and to schedule a meeting with Cody (BLM) and Commissioner Charlie Howell as soon as possible. Steve seconded, all voted with unanimous consent to wait. Larry will wait to inform the engineers to see if this can be resolved.

5-Year Plan: Brenda shared a handout of Proposed Projects by Location, noting the need for maps showing locations. 1) East side of 700 Road added parking lot to support equestrian and rock crawling. 2) North of Ricketts RV Camp trails and possible mountain bike challenge course, trail modification. 3) West side of Hwy 93 off 600 Road dog park, parking lot and fencing with dog partners. 4) Canyon Rim future planned trail project to connect Twin Falls and Jerome County (15-mile loop for biking and hiking).

SRCP Outreach and Grant Opportunities: Bill will speak to the Jerome Rotary on Aug 15th, and outreach to Optimist Club, Mid Snake Rivers Resource Conservation District on September 22nd. Steve spoke to the Off-Road club and was well received. Discussion about other grant and community giving opportunities from First Federal, D.L. Evans, ICCU, etc.

Security: Two RVs are camping in the park now. BLM rangers and Jerome Sheriff have been seen patrolling.

Newspaper: Bill asked for ideas for articles.

Other: Charlie Howell is getting an appraisal of the 200 acre property owned by the Prescott’s to see if it can be purchased and incorporated into the park.

ATV rental person is out there with no issues. Bill mentioned possible horse rentals in the future. Bill has enough wood for 5 corrals and in September Sue is putting two corrals in by the RV Park.

Brenda updating brochure and adding to partners to the list including Idaho Power, Jerome County Soil Conservation District, ATV riders, and Southern Idaho Climbing Coalition. Suggested she add the Mountain Bike parking lot on East Side of Silver Beach.

Meeting adjourned at 12:48 p.m.

Executive Sessions may be held pursuant to Idaho Code 74-206(1) as needed during time such sessions are called.

Note: Any person needing special accommodations to participate in the meeting should contact the committee secretary, 208-293-2426; 48 hours prior to the meeting.                                                                             

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