Chief Fry Makes an Announcement

In this summary video, we cover the Moscow City Council and Latah County Commissioner meetings from February 20th, 2024. Highlights include Police Chief Fry’s announcements, and a brief explanation of what it means to hold a water rights application in “protest”.

Read the full transcript of the video below:

Hello again y’all. Aiden Anderson here with the Moscow Minutes. I’ve got the highlights from the Latah County Commissioner and Moscow City Council meetings for this week, and we’re touching on everything from updates to internal county systems to the retirement announcement that you just saw. Let’s get into it.

Let’s begin with the county. The commissioners had a pretty typical run of action items, with some highlights being a couple of water rights applications, which they held in protest. How does that work? Well, to start, a water rights permit doesn’t actually come from the county. It comes from the state, and must pass through the county on its way to the state as part of the application process. Now, Latah county looks for certain indicators on these permits in order to decide how they move forward, one of those being the volume of water in terms of cubic feet per second, that the applicant is applying for.

The state offers some guidance on what the applicants should write down in that category, but the county has itself more precise measurements as to how much water one can apply for, measurements that the state rarely accounts for. This means that the commissioners see a lot of water rights applications come in with volume numbers significantly above the county’s thresholds. When this happens, the commissioners hold the request “in protest,” which is to say, they prevent the application from moving forward, so that they can have a conversation with the applicant, and hopefully make an appropriate and acceptable adjustment to the volume of water being applied for.

The commissioners also held their monthly department heads and elected officials meetings this week. The main highlights from that included a major update to the county wide intranet, which is used internally by county departments and staff to protect sensitive online materials, and conduct county business securely. There was also a brief discussion of logistics regarding the upcoming department re-shuffling in the county annex building, and a cause for celebration, as the sheriff announced that his department is now sufficiently staffed for the first time in several years.

The Moscow city council had a simple meeting this week. During the Mayor’s public comment period, Police Chief James Fry announced both his retirement from the Moscow city police as well as his candidacy for Latah County Sheriff, running against the incumbent sheriff Richie Skiles. We’ll have more information on candidates county-wide in the next couple weeks when campaign filing officially opens up.

Beyond that, the city heard a report regarding the use of its stormwater utility, and set the budget hearing date for FY2025. That date will be August 5th, 2024, and while a draft of the new budget is not yet available, I would definitely keep that date in mind, as the setting the budget is one of the most important decisions the city council has to make, and we as citizens should care deeply about how our money is spent.

That’s all I got for you for now. As always, we’ll have the relevant links posted with this video, and if you have questions, please reach out. I’m Aiden Anderson and this is the Moscow Minutes, see ya next time.

Leave a Comment