Negotiations continue between city and ITD for rest area

Portable toilets line the sidewalk of the Snake River Rest Area along Interstate 84 eastbound, as seen on July 20. The city of Fruitland and the Idaho Transportation Department are reviewing the terms of their agreement to connect the rest area’s permanent restrooms to the city’s sewer system.

FRUITLAND - The details of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City of Fruitland and the Idaho Department of Transportation were on the agenda at Monday’s regular meeting of the Fruitland City Council.

The MOU is in response to the Snake River Rest Area on Interstate 84 closing for approximately ten months due to saturation of the septic system drain field and seeking to connect to the city’s sewer system.

At the meeting on Monday night, the current draft of the MOU was reviewed. In evaluating the agreement, the council and City Attorney Stephanie Bonney found some of the wording required further clarification from IDT, including use of the word “jurisdiction.”

Fruitland City Administrator and Zoning Administrator Rick Watkins explained what happens next for the city in an email message received on Tuesday afternoon.

“The City had requested a “consent to annex” clause be included in the Agreement that would require Idaho Transportation Department to proceed with an annexation request regarding the property being served by city services at such time as the city limits were contiguous to it. We believe there is some confusion as to the term “jurisdiction” with the ITD Board and their counsel. Our City Attorney and City Transportation Engineer (Bill Russell) will make contact with the appropriate individuals to clarify the meaning of “jurisdiction” in this matter,” said Watkins.

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