City of Sandpoint releases council agenda for first meeting of 2020, notes ongoing surveys

By Zach Hagadone
Reader Staff

Owing to the holidays, the Sandpoint City Council won’t convene for its regular meeting until Thursday, Jan. 2, when Council members Andy Groat, Kate McAlister and Deb Ruehle will receive the oath of office. Mayor Shelby Rognstad, who was reelected by Sandpoint voters in November, will be sworn into office on Thursday, Dec. 26 with his second term effective Wednesday, Jan. 1.

Other items on the agenda include the election for City Council president, a position that has been held for two terms by Councilwoman Shannon Williamson. 

Newly elected candidates to Sandpoint City Council Kate McAlister, left; Deb Ruehle, center; and Andy Groat, right, will be sworn in on Thursday, Jan. 2. Courtesy photos.

The newly instated council will then receive an update on the War Memorial Field design, with City Engineer Dan Tadic and Dell Hatch of Bernardo Will Architects providing a presentation on overall design at 30% completion. 

Council members will vote on whether to rezone a portion of a 10-acre parcel between Samuelson Avenue and North Boyer Road from residential single-family to residential multi-family — though only on 5.2 acres of the property that are outside the airport overlay zone.

New business items include the awarding of a contract to Empire Boiler for a boiler replacement at the wastewater treatment plant. According to the agenda, the new boiler will cost $79,603.09 and update the small natural gas boiler in use since the 1950s. 

The council will again consider a matter related to the Memorial Field project when it takes up a grant application to the Idaho Parks and Recreation Waterways Improvement Fund for improvements to the boat launch. 

Aside from an executive session dealing with legal matters and the destruction semi-permanent and temporary records, the council will take up another grant application, this time the Transportation Alternatives Program to infill a shared use pathway on the west side of Boyer Avenue. The grant requires a 7.34% local match for the $451,760 project, amounting to $33,159.18.

Aside from the pending business after New Year’s, the city also made note of its ongoing series of surveys, available at, on the city’s website and Facebook page, as well as in hard copy at City Hall. The first survey, covering multimodal transportation, streets, sidewalks, paths and accessibility, closed on Dec. 22 while the next survey, addressing jobs and economic development, is slated to launch at 12:01 a.m., Sunday, Dec. 29 and close at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 4.

As of Dec. 20, the city reported 224 visitors to the first survey and 103 surveys completed — equivalent to 25.75 hours of public comment at 15 minutes per survey.

Feedback on the surveys is intended to inform ongoing master planning efforts and the Sandpoint Comprehensive Plan update.

Future surveys, all released on Sundays, include public facilities, services and utilities on Jan. 5; housing and neighborhoods on Jan. 12; community character and design on Jan. 19; growth and land use on Jan. 26; and natural resources on Feb. 2. Visit for more info and links to surveys and other planning documents.

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