Gooding Community Newsletter

September, 2018 #7

City of Gooding Holds Meeting to Discuss Water Increase

On Monday, August 27th, the Mayor and City Council along with Keller Associates engineers held a public meeting to discuss the rate increases to the water and sewer bills which will soon be appearing on the utility bills for city residents. The meeting, which was held at the council chambers, was well attended with an overflow of people spilling into the hall. While there were many people there with many good questions, there are probably still many people who have questions. This article will attempt to explain the increases you can expect to see and answer some of those questions.

Residents on city water within the city will still be charged for water based on the amount used. The amount charged increases as the amount of water used increases. Each city resident has a water meter which is read on a monthly basis, and that reading is used to calculate this charge. In a study conducted when the water improvement project first began, it was figured that the average city water user paid $23.04 per month for this usage fee.

The water debt service portion of the water bill will be increasing by $10.98 a month to bring this charge to a monthly total of $20 per EDU (equivalency dwelling unit, meaning one per household and perhaps more for businesses and larger entities). This increase is to pay for the Rural Development loan that is now coming due as the water improvement project work is completed. This was the project that voters approved back in 2013 when the decision was made to abandon the flood irrigation system. Since shortly after the time of that vote residents have been paying $9.02 per month for the water debt fee. These payments were going to pay for the interest on the construction loan through Zion's Bank which was necessary to get the project started.

Residents will continue to see the same rates they have seen for sewer and garbage services. The sewer debt service fee, however, will also increase this year, as well as next year and the year after. These increases are to pay for the wastewater treatment plant upgrades that the city is required to make based on a judicial confirmation that happened earlier this year. This year the sewer debt service fee will increase from $10 to $19, a $9 increase. There will also be a $9 increase around this time in 2019 and a last $9 increase in 2020. The city council made the decision to stair-step these taxes 1/3 each year instead of waiting 3 years and then hitting the community with a large increase all at once.

Other than these charges and the individual user rates, residents should not see any fluctuations on their utilities bills. The number of EDUs will be checked each fiscal year, and should that number go up or down (by having people move into or out of the community, for example) then slight readjustments may need to be made.

The increase tax payers can expect to see this year is $19.98, with $10.98 for the water debt service and $9 for the sewer debt service. This is much less than was first reported, good news for Gooding residents! The original figure reported was the result of a miscommunication between what the city wanted to share (the amount being increased) and what the engineers thought the city wanted to share (what the average water usage bill would look like, factoring in the average usage fee of $23.04 per month).

If you have any questions about your water and sewer bills, including your own personal usage amounts, please contact the city offices and discuss with one of the clerks.

Concerns were voiced at the meeting that those residents who live on SSI and other types of fixed incomes may have a hard time paying for these increases. The city council is currently discussing options for ways we may be able to alleviate the strain this could create for some people. One idea discussed was a "pay it forward" account where those who could afford to help others could potentially contribute more to their own water bill with the express purpose of using the extra funds to help their neighbors who don't have as much. KMVT News reported on the meeting and shared that plans like this were under discussion, but that no plans had been set yet. From social media sharing the story some people took this to mean that no plans had been set at the meeting to formally increase the rates, but that is not the case. These price increases will be added to Gooding residents' utility bills this year. You should see the increases on November, 1st, which will be the charge for October's billing.

If you have any suggestions on how we can better help and serve our neighbors, please let us know!

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City Council Finds a Way to Bring Back Cardboard Recycling

At the August 20th city council meeting the council decided to make an agreement with Western Waste Services to provide the city with a new cardboard dumpster. Readers will remember that last month it was reported that Southern Idaho Solid Waste had decided to remove the cardboard dumpster that has been located behind the city offices for years. This was not the city's decision, but rather the decision of that company based on the currently low prices for recycling and the large expenses associated with providing these dumpsters.

The city of Gooding will be paying $50 a dump (basically $50 a week) for residents to still have access to the cardboard service, now through WWS. However, all residents need to know that this dumpster is only for cardboard, not for newspaper or any kind of trash! If any other contaminants end up in the dumpster, the city will be charged extra and the dumpster may have to be permanently removed. Similar to the situations we have had the past two months with our parks being vandalized, we ask that you all do your part to help this community be able to offer all that it does. Please break down your boxes and do not put anything inside the dumpster besides cardboard, and if you see anyone abusing this service please notify the city right away. The service has only been available again for just a couple of weeks, but we are already seeing that it is not being used correctly (as seen below). Please help us spread the good news, but also please be responsible. Thanks!

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Movie in the Park This Thursday!

The Gooding Volunteer Group is continuing fund raising for the proposed improvements to the West Park. This Thursday, September 6th, there will be a movie in the park night at the Gooding East Park. For the crazy low price of only $1 per person you and your family can come and enjoy the movie Ferdinand under the stars. There will also be concessions available for purchase to help raise funds. The gates open at 8:30 p.m. and the show starts at 9:00. Hope to see you there!
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Fundraising Efforts for the Schubert Theatre Roll On

GREAT, Inc. – Gooding Restoration for Entertainment, Arts and Theater has received a $25,000 grant from Glanbia to complete the final phase of the roof project for the Schubert Theatre which will begin the second week in September. This project, costing nearly $90,000 + has been funded by the generosity of the Idaho Community Foundation, Harv B. Bickett and Lucile Stevens Bickett fund, the BRM Fund and Kings within the Idaho Community Foundation; Idaho Heritage Trust, Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation, Union Pacific, Northwest Farm Credit, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation for architectural fees to the premier firm of Myers-Anderson, Pocatello. We wish to thank all our volunteers and local supporters who have given generously of their time, energy and financial support of this restoration project – Ridleys, M&W, Pioneer Federal Credit, Edward Jones-Gooding, Wells Fargo, Sabala Farms, Apex Adventures, The Franklin Group (Franklin Building Supply), and many more.

2018 Board of Directors are – President Charmy LeaVell, Vice President Jeff Brekke, Secretary Shanna Koyle, Treasurer and CPA Gary Atkinson, Director Ruth Simerly, Director Julia Oxarango-Ingram, Director Mike Anderson, and we are happy to announce our new Directors, David Anderson with Glanbia and Sharlyn Jackson with the State School for the Deaf and Blind.

Fundraising for the next phase to begin the restoration inside has begun and we will be holding a Halloween fundraiser in the theatre and Santa in the theatre again this year to kick it off. If you wish to become involved in planning our 2020 -100 year celebration, contact Charmy at 539-0202. Legacy Donations and personal Donations are gratefully accepted and can be sent to GREAT, Inc. P.O. Box 433, Gooding, ID 83330.

Below is a photo that was taken at the Charity Golf Challenge dinner awards banquet. Wilf Costello presenting with Glanbia and Charmy LeaVell receiving the award notice.

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Cruisin for Caden to hold another fundraiser event!

On Saturday, September 15th, the Cruisin' for Caden fundraising group will be holding another event in Gooding to help a child suffering with a rare illness. See the flyer below on how to participate and help raise funds for baby Niklaus Reincke, who suffers from a painful skin disorder that causes pain and blistering. Thanks to all of you, and prayers to young Niklaus and his family.
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A Note from Police Chief Fisher

The Gooding Police Department would like to welcome its newest Police Officer, Samantha White. Samantha comes to us as a certified officer which means she will not need to be gone for four months to complete academy training. Officer White lives in Gooding and is excited for the opportunity to serve in the community that she is a part of. She will be assigned as a patrol officer as we recently added a second School Resource Officer position to our ranks with the help of the Gooding School District. Officer Green is assigned to the grade and middle schools while Officer Becker is assigned to the high school.

Summer is nearly over and the kids are back in school. Please think about our kids going to and from school and observe the speed limits. I recently had a citizen ask about our speed limits within the city. Speed limits within the city are all 25 mph with the exception of south Main from 21st Ave ( at the Sandwich Shoppe ).

The police department is looking for assistance in locating some stolen property, and specifically bicycles. In the last month, two have been stolen and not yet recovered. One is described a red Schwinn tricycle with a basket on the back of it. The other is a black 29” Genesis High Tide touring bike with lime green and white rims. If you have information that would help in locating these bikes, or assisting in other crimes within the city, please contact the Police Department at 934-8436. Dispatch and after hours please call 324-1911.

CSI Office on aging offers free class for Grandparents and relatives as parents

On Monday, September 10th, the College of Southern Idaho will be offering a free class from 10:00 am. to 11:30 a.m. for grandparents and other relatives that are raising children. This is actually a support group that meets on the second Monday of each month. If you feel you could take advantage of this community service, please contact Shawna at 208-736-2122 to reserve your space!
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School is back!

With the start of the North Valley Academy this Tuesday, all Gooding community schools are back in session! Gooding Elementary and Middle Schools will be having picture day on Thursday the 13th. That same evening GES will be hosting a Migrant Family Event at 5:30 p.m.

This week on Tuesday Gooding Middle School will be having a special guest coming to visit the 5th and 6th graders: New York Times bestselling author Ridley Pearson! Mr. Pearson writes books for adults and children, and he is generously making a special appearance in Gooding. He always hopes to be able to convey a love of writing to young people.

Elementary principal Brandee Sabala would like to thank the Gooding Pharmacy located at the North Canyon Medical Center for their generous donation of school supplies this year. These supplies will help those students whose families may have struggled providing the required items for this school year. She would also like to remind families that if the attendance goal of 95% average attendance is met through October 11th, students will be able to dress up for Halloween this year.

Good luck this year students!

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Gooding Public Library to Host Summer Reading Celebration

This summer GPL held a "Libraries Rock" reading event. Students and adults alike were encouraged to read throughout the summer. Students filled out reading logs to track their progress and received "library bucks" that they could spend on small prizes in the library throughout the summer. Adults filled out books reviews which are still being displayed in the library so patrons can get suggestions from fellow community members on good books to read.

This Friday, September 7th, at 6 p.m. the library will be having an end of summer event to celebrate these summer reading activities. All students who filled out reading logs and all adults who submitted book reviews will have the opportunity to win prizes which include awesome things like gift cards and (reportedly...) Amazon Kindles! There will also be games at the bash and the live prize drawings.

If you have been engaged in the "Book Nerd" challenge, you still have time to complete your 50 books this year. See a library employee for the list of categories. If you have read this far in the newsletter, a reading challenge like this might be right up your alley!

Check out all of the September happenings at GPL in the calendar below.

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City Notes and Other Events

As many of you know, last year we completed construction on a new dog pound for the city of Gooding. It is a great facility, but we would like to stress that the pound is for the containment of dogs only. Rabbits, cats, and turtles have all recently been dropped off, but unfortunately these animals can not be taken care of.

On September 12th from 6-8 p.m. the Gooding County Democrat Picnic will be held at Gooding's East Park. Anyone interested is encouraged to get together over an old fashioned picnic spread with fried chicken and local fish, lemonade, potato salad, and whatever delicious items you would like to bring.

October 6 at 9 p.m. the Street Car Shootout will take place at Snake River Dragway, 1974 S 1600 E, Gooding. Tickets are available at

And finally, the city is looking for an individual to finish the summer season working in the Parks Department. The position is open now through October, and applications are available at city hall.


The Gooding Community Newsletter is a publication designed to share the positive happenings in our community. If you have an event or news item you would like to share, please send along your information to the email address listed below. Should you have an idea you think could improve our community, we encourage you to bring those ideas to the city council with plans on how we can work together to make our city even better. Thanks for listening and sharing!