Snake River Canyons Park Board

Open Meeting Minutes

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Blue Lakes Country Club, Jerome, Idaho

Attending Board Members: Chairman Bill Bridges, Stephen Haag, Jeff Pierson, Becky Dean, John Weston, Mark Reyes and Brenda Weekes. Not present: Greg Moore, Sue Williams, Alan Clawson and Steve Paulson.

Guests: Advisor Mike Tilka, Jerome Commissioner Art Watkins, Matthew McGregor with Jerome County IT department, and Rebecca Wildman taking minutes

Bill called the meeting to order at 11:00 a.m. with a quorum present.

Self introductions were made with a welcome to new board member Steve Haag.

Minutes: John motioned to approve the May 9, 2024, minutes with unanimous approval. 

Treasurer’s Report: $10,677.38 in the account. The $60k annual budget has $6,820 spent, so $52k is left with 3 months remaining. IT only billed 4 months for this year. The RV Park account is complete with bills submitted. Waiting for State RV Association grant funds; Bill estimates $29,700.

Tent Camping Development: Estimate is $100k mostly for road and grading. Suggestions on funding/fundraising. Noted the Broken Bridge/Yingst Grade budget is separate with roughly $60k left in that account. Yingst will need a fix on the Mermaid Cove drainage system once water is shut off this Fall. Brenda motioned to use $50k of the remaining $52k budget for developing tent camping area, Becky Dean seconded followed by unanimous approval. Bill added this is dependent upon Commissioners’ approval.

RV Park: Draft of the new ordinance was shared for the Board’s approval. Discussion about how much use the RV park has seen and if any are overstaying. Suggested publishing the new ordinance in the North Side Journal and to do so in English and Spanish.

Website: Matthew from IT reported the website migration was complete with only two days of downtime. Agreed for contact form to go to Bill and Mark. Matt set up a google account that can be used as an intermediary address. IT now has a 15GB central location for SRCP file storage and Bill and Matt will work to get data saved there. Bill will be designated to respond to the contact form. Bill for website has been turned into the county and will fit within the SRCP’s IT budget. Bill and Mark will have website access for simple edits with more complex edits to Matt.

Facebook: Matt has passwords but hasn’t logged in and suggests using google account login. Instagram is blocked on county website by default, and Matt will work through that.

Broken Bridge: Railings back up after high water flows this Spring. Bill needed help to do this and shared the two bottom rails had bolts instead of pins. Contractor indicated they will fix. If water flows are under 3,000cfs then rails can stay up. Discussed flow notification apps/emails and ways to lock rails down, lockable hitch pins, consulting with the contractor on how to manage rails and safety, and having others to help with this task.

Yingst Grade: Plan to change out the Mermaid Cove drainage pipe this Fall. Discussion about possible trail widening, locations, and assessment of emergency response options. Bill’s focus now is to move concrete blocks and with gate option to allow better emergency access. Discussed bench ideas suggesting Brenda contact Clay Wilkie, CSI Welding department, and Realtor association as they may be interested in funding. Two picnic tables are ready to be placed at bottom of grade and near the top. Discussed need for strong help move tables and drill and pining to secure.

Shooting Range: Feasibility grant funds are coming and now searching for someone to complete the study noting the estimated cost has increased. John handed out a new range design and shared features including lead recovery and two separate ranges (pistol on the right and rifle lower left). John will research who can complete the feasibility study within budget.

Shoshone Falls Overlook: Project is second in priority with the BLM. Mark and Brenda agreed to pick up where Larry Hall left off since his is now retired from Jerome 20/20. BLM has a new real estate person beginning in July, so Fall is the earliest for BLM, which puts this project into the 2026 budget year. Brenda will stay on it with the BLM noting they have the proposal documents from Larry.

IDL Trail and Highway District: This winter there were cattle on BLM ground east of Highway 93 that crossed the cattle guard due to snow build up. Dilemma on who is responsible to fix this problem and its delay on the proposed canyon rim trail project, with discussion on how to resolve. [After the meeting and with further research, Brenda stated that the Jerome Highway District does have an easement with IDL and asserts that it is the Highway District, and only them, who have the responsibility to maintain the road, adding that they are the only ones with the power to close the road to fix the problem. Art will work to get the problem resolved.]

Volunteer Service Awards: OHV group received their award at their annual cleanup in May. Cleanup covered by KMVT press. June 18 12pm SRCP will award Gerald Martens and Dave Thibault their award at the EHM Engineers office.

Volunteer Group: Bill would like to assemble a volunteer group to help with rails, cleanups, etc. outside of the need for a maintenance person. Bill will create a list of tasks.

Maintenance Budget for Next Year: Mark found a less expensive portable toilet company who is also willing to clean the vault toilet facilities. Discussion led to clarification of the Board’s two-prong focus: 1) serve as advisors to county commissioners, and 2) friends of the park to raise funds and get projects done. Bill shared SRCP is a 501c3 so they can accept grant funds. Bill would like a CPA to come advise this board and Steve will make some inquiries of one.

Other: John shared seeing an antelope and two fawns near the watering hole by the Morley Arbor.

Meeting adjourned at 1:00 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.