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A cross-connection is any point in the public drinking water system that is actually or potentially connected to a source of contamination or pollution that could enter the system through backflow. Common cross-connections include automatic sprinkler systems, soda fountains, fire suppression systems, and garden hoses among many others. All cross-connections require backflow prevention.
Backflow is water and/or other substances flowing in the opposite direction of the normal and intended course. It is the process by which a cross-connection can introduce contaminants into the public drinking water system.
There are two ways for backflow to occur: backsiphonage and backpressure. Backsiphonage happens when there is a negative pressure in a pipe, causing a vacuum, and water flows in the wrong direction. The vacuum can be caused by high water demand in another part of the system such as from firefighting or a water main break. Backpressure occurs when the pressure at one part of the system is greater than the pressure coming in from the water main. This can happen when a garden hose is connected to a faulty pressure washer, from an overheated water heater or boiler, or from the weight of water on a hill or tall building.
In order to protect public health, the City of Moscow has implemented a Cross-Connection Control Program as is required by The Idaho Rules for Public Drinking Water Systems (PDF) (IDAPA 58.01.08.552.06) and the Moscow City Code (PDF) (Title 7, Chapter 9).
FOG refers to Fats, Oil, and Grease from food preparation and kitchen clean up. FOG is found in such things as:
Residential households contribute FOG build-up in the sewer lines when grease is washed into the plumbing system, usually through the kitchen sink. FOG build-up must be physically removed from sewer lines by City of Moscow staff. This requires expensive equipment and is a time consuming process. FOG does not always wait until it gets to the city sewer lines before it starts accumulating on pipes. It can be a major contributor to many blockages in private sewer lines. When a blockage occurs within your plumbing system, you are responsible for removing the blockage. Doing so can range from inconvenient and unpleasant to quite expensive if a plumber’s service is required.
The easiest way to solve the grease problem is to keep FOG out of the sewer system in the first place. Follow the easy disposal tips listed below:
Legislation generally concerns governance of a large number of people and/or general categories of property or people or activities. When general legislation is applied to specific people or property, the matter becomes quasi-judicial because it is similar to how a court applies the general law to a given situation. A quasi-judicial matter generally concerns specific people, entities or properties and, therefore, needs to be handled with care so that it can be clear to everyone that any decision is based upon public discussion and public information and the record of the proceedings can be preserved.
Because there is some distrust regarding decisions made by Boards, Commissions and/or Councils regarding quasi-judicial matters, the Idaho Legislature has determined that the public has the right to comment on the proposal and to observe the discussion regarding the proposal where a quasi-judicial matter is being considered. This is meant to prevent concerns that a decision is made because of undue influence, bribery, kick-backs, and/or personal feelings or obligations regarding various parties or issues. In order to insure fairness, more structure is given to quasi-judicial matters than to legislative matters.
You can - but you must comment either in writing to the decision making board (not the individual member) or during the comment period within the public hearing. The Open Meetings Law of the State of Idaho prohibits ex parte contacts with decision makers. The law is meant to prevent undue influence being applied to decision makers. The public hearing process is meant to insure that everyone who reviews the public hearing can determine the basis of the decision because all comments made during that process become part of the record.
In fact, if a decision maker is basing any part of his or her decision on something not “in the record,” the decision may be overturned. If the decision maker believes that he or she cannot make an unbiased decision, the individual decision maker must withdraw from the decision making process on that matter. See the Public Service Handbook for more on conflicts of interest (page 4) (PDF).
The amount of time given to participants at a public hearing is determined by the Chair of the meeting. Because the applicant has the burden of coming forward to the decision making body to request action, the applicant is generally given sufficient time to make the presentation showing entitlement to the action the City Code allows. It is up to the Chair of the hearing to make sure that all of the relevant issues in the public hearing are discussed and that each idea or assertion is given a fair chance to be considered.
Priority should be given to over-all fairness rather than strictly to the amount of time given to particular individuals. As part of that decision, the Chair has the discretion to limit testimony where it is redundant or not directed at the issue(s) being considered.
The staff is there to insure, to the greatest extent possible, that the established process set out in the State Code and in the Moscow City Code is followed and that all appropriate information is considered. Many times, decisions which are otherwise appropriate have to be reconsidered because the process was not followed. The laws related to process are meant to make sure that any decision is fair, based upon public evidence and discussion, and consistent and predictable. Occasionally a City staff member such as the Community Development Director or City Attorney will interrupt the proceedings in order to “keep it on track” or to explain the law or process. Please forgive any temporary inconvenience or embarrassment this may cause.
Generally speaking you should be able to speak to a member of the decision making board at any time regarding a legislative matter or a matter of general concern. If there is a quasi-judicial matter scheduled or pending before the Board, Commission or Council, the decision maker should inform you of that fact and ask you to bring your comments for the public hearing. If there is no quasi-judicial matter scheduled or pending before the decision making Board, you should feel free to discuss with that member anything you wish. If a decision maker learns something from you that later becomes part of the decision on a related matter, that member will include that fact in the public hearing.
One thing to keep in mind is that the normal consequence of inappropriately contacting a decision making Board member is the inability of that Board member to participate in a pending matter, so please be patient and respectful if the decision maker does not talk to you directly until the appropriate time. You may wish to contact City staff for direction on when you may speak to the decision makers on a particular topic.
Agendas for public hearings are published in the newspaper, posted on the first floor of City Hall, posted on this website's agenda center, and are available at the office of the City Clerk on the 3rd floor of City Hall. They also may be requested by contacting the City Clerk at 208-883-7000 or by emailing the Clerk. Past notices are available also.
City Hall(City Clerk - 3rd Floor)206 E Third StreetMoscow, ID 83843
You may always email the Mayor, email any Council member via the City Clerk, email the City Supervisor or members of the City Staff if you have questions or concerns. In addition, each month on the first scheduled City Council meeting, there is a period of time which is specifically set aside for citizens to address the Council on any unscheduled issue of importance.
The City Supervisor’s office can be emailed regarding your questions. The Community Development Director answers email inquiries regarding community development issues. The City Attorney can answer legal or procedural questions related to the City - call 208-883-7003 or email Rod Hall, Attorney.
The City generally uses the structure of Robert ’s Rules of Order but has not formally adopted them. Because the City is of a rather small and familiar size and because Robert ’s Rules of Order sometimes have the unintended consequence of over-formalizing meetings, the City has not chosen to adopt the Robert ’s Rules of Order formally. Additionally, where city governments have adopted Robert ’s Rules of Order, courts occasionally have focused more on the formal and technical aspects of the rules rather than on the idea of basic fairness in the procedure.
You may wish to review the Public Meetings Handbook (PDF) which explains, generally, how the City decision making Boards and Commissions use the Robert's Rules of Order.
You may contact the City Attorney if you have a concern regarding potential conflicts of interest, failure to honor the procedures, and/or failure to follow the City Code. The City Attorney’s office will discuss the matters with you because it is part of the City Attorney’s job to insure that the Code is followed. If the City Attorney cannot answer your question because of a conflict or an ethical concern, you will be advised of that and directed to another person who can help you. If you believe a crime has been or is being committed, you may also contact the Moscow Police Department, the Latah County Prosecutor at 208-883-2246, or the Idaho Attorney General at 208-334-2400.
Please contact the City Administration Department for information. The Mayor directs the City Supervisor regarding what agenda items appear for consideration. The City Supervisor also works closely with the City Council members and City Boards, Commissions and Committees regarding important issues.
There is no specific formula to help you to determine this; however, there are some “rules of thumb” which, in general, apply specifically to each matter.
Legislative action occurs when a governing body (i.e., Council, Committee or Commission) guides or directs the public by enacting rules and/or regulations. It anticipates lots of public input. It is generally open-ended and broad in its scope and affects a broad class of individuals and a variety of situations.
Moscow City Code 4-10-6 (PDF) controls conduct of legislative hearings. Public input can be obtained in a variety of ways, both before and during a public meeting as long as the final decision related to the legislative action occurs in a public meeting.
Anyone recognized by the Chair can participate. You may wish to review the Public Meetings Handbook (PDF) (PDF) for more detailed information about how the public meeting is conducted.
Matters other than Legislative and Quasi-Judicial may include:
These matters are generally related either to doing the everyday business of the governing body or receiving information which may lead to further action by the governing body.
Although there are no specific rules which apply to every one of these matters, the Chair will generally make the preferred process known within the meeting.
Anyone permitted to participate by the Chair can participate during the meeting.
Quasi-judicial activity occurs when the governing body acts like a judge or tribunal in determining how a general rule or regulation should apply to an individual, small group or interest. Actions related to land use (i.e., zoning, plats, the Comprehensive Plan, subdivisions, etc.) and licenses (daycare, solicitors, alcohol, etc.) are usually quasi-judicial in nature.
Quasi-judicial matters are more formal and restrictive than other matters. Generally, the public can participate only during the "public hearing" portion of the meeting. This means that the public can not give input to governing board members prior to the meeting or after the public portion of the meeting has been closed.
The reason that public input is taken only during the public hearing is to ensure that the decision made is one based only upon evidence in the record and not based upon outside influences or information. See the Public Meetings Handbook (page 4) (PDF) for specific information about consideration of quasi-judicial items. Moscow City Code 4-10-4 and 4-10-5 control public hearing procedures.
The applicant, people in support or in opposition to the application, and those wishing to give general testimony may participate, as permitted by the Chair.
If you are located within Moscow city limits, no outside burning is allowed, with the following possible exceptions:
Our department offers an EMT class twice a year (Spring and Fall). Typically classes are Tuesday evenings from 6pm to 10pm for about 3 months. The applications are posted online in December for the Spring class, and July for the Fall class. You can follow our Facebook page for more updates on the classes being offered. The cost of the class is $450 and the application requires immunizations and a background check. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org .
No, we are not able to inspect or service fire extinguishers at any of our three fire stations. There are several businesses in Moscow that are able to provide this service. Though we can't recommend a specific business, a quick search online should lead you in the direction of several options in our community.
Our volunteers own and operate the fire department. The City of Moscow purchases fire trucks and built our newest station, and funds seven paid positions for management continuity and liaison. With this support, our approximately 100 volunteers perform the major work of responding to fire and ambulance calls. This is a talented, hard-working and dedicated group; they willingly give thousands of hours yearly in service to their fellow citizens (and account for a major savings of City budget dollars!).
You must be at least 18 years of age; high school graduate or equivalent; hold a valid driver’s license and be insurable under our driving insurance policy. Additionally, you must successfully complete an Moscow Volunteer Deparmtnet (MVFD) physical abilities (strength and agility) test and provide a physical (medical) examination which verifies that you are fit to perform typical firefighting/EMT duties. You must be eager to meet the considerable time commitment required. We will provide all necessary gear.
For firefighters, no prior experience is necessary and all training is provided. The Ambulance Company does require that you hold a current EMT certification to be considered for membership. Call our administrative office at 208-882-2831 for further information or fill out and submit an application (PDF). See full contact information.
Yes! We have a Resident program staffed by 20 full-time University of Idaho students. All living expenses are included, except food. These men and women bear the major responsibility of responding fire apparatus to emergency scenes, and are also assigned station cleaning and maintenance duties - all while maintaining a satisfactory grade average in their studies. Students in all disciplines are welcome, although many of the Residents plan a career in fire and/or EMS services. Former participants in our Resident program can be found in fire stations from coast to coast, and in jobs as diverse as University president and director of a major urban paramedic training program.
Give us a call at 208-882-2831 if you’re interested.
The Moscow Volunteer Fire Department participates in a Smoke Detector and Fire Extinguisher “Giveaway” program for residents of the City of Moscow who are unable to purchase these items.
Residents who are unable to purchase a detector or fire extinguisher may request to fill out a “Request for Free Smoke Alarm / Fire Extinguisher” form. Please contact the Moscow Volunteer Fire Department at 28-882-2831, Station Number 3:
N Main Street and Highway 95 North at 229 Pintail LaneMoscow, Idaho 83843
Resident firefighters are responsible for their own food and meals. A room, uniforms and firefighting equipment is provided to you.
There are two students per room. Residents share the kitchen facilities, lounge, restrooms and other facilities.
Resident firefighters are on duty once every fifth calendar day. Duty shifts are 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. on weekdays and 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (24 hours) on weekends. Residents are relieved of duties during breaks recognized by the University of Idaho.
Resident firefighters are expected to balance their school responsibilities with their fire department responsibilities. You may trade duty coverage with another student when any school conflict arises. Resident firefighters are required to maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA.
One to two EMT classes are available to be taken each year. MVFD members get first priority for admission to the classes.
Prior firefighting experience is not necessary. Upon admission as a Resident firefighter you will be required to complete a 100-hour basic firefighting course to prepare you for your firefighting and fire apparatus driving requirements.
Yes, provided you take some simple steps to enhance your safety. First be alert to suspicious people or circumstances. If something or someone doesn't seem right to you, go to a well-lit, populated area and notify the police. Travel in well-lit, well-traveled areas and try not to walk alone. Familiarize yourself with the locations of the courtesy phones around campus. If you ever have a problem, go to one of these and dial 9-911. Also remember that most crimes that happen on campus occur from around 1 a.m. - 3 a.m. and involve alcohol.
Contact the University of Idaho Facilities at 208-885-6246. Ask them to come and open your office. Be prepared to show the identification. After hours, you can also contact University Security at 208-885-7054 for assistance.
The police department does fingerprinting between the hours of Noon - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, for a charge of $20. The Latah County Sheriff Office provides routine fingerprinting service. Visit their website.For non-city license applicants please bring in an over sized pre-paid envelope for mailing since you cannot mail them yourself.
You may request a summary of any police report by coming to the Moscow Police Department and completing a Freedom of Information Act Request Form. These forms are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the website. It may take seven to ten days to process your request and costs 10 cents per page. If you have questions about this policy, please call us at 208-883-7054.
The State of Idaho maintains Idaho laws online on their website.The City of Moscow maintains a listing of our Moscow City Codes.
If the City of Moscow Police issued you the parking ticket, you can use this website or stop by the main lobby at 118 E 4th Street, between 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. to either pay or contest your ticket. You can also drop off a payment after hours at our drop-box in front of the main entrance. Other agencies in our area that can also issue parking tickets are:
You can request that a police officer give a presentation to your group by calling the following numbers:
To see if a position is available, go to the City of Moscow Human Resources webpage and follow their directions to apply.
This is our preferred hiring pool. If you are currently a police officer and are interested in a job with the Moscow Police Department, contact us at 208-883-7054.
Identify your belongings by engraving your initials or other markings identifiable only to you on them, recording serial number information, and taking videotapes or photographs of the item(s). List your valuables by serial numbers and identifying features on an inventory sheet. This sheet should be kept separately in a safe place, like a safe or safety deposit box. This not only helps us recover your property should it ever be stolen, it also helps prevent theft. Thieves are less likely to steal something that can be readily identified as stolen. Contact Officer Shaine Gunderson at 208-883-7054 for further information on crime prevention.
Yes. The patch is available to patch collectors for $5. If you're interested in receiving a patch, send $5 to:Moscow Police DepartmentAttn. Karen Potter118 East 4th StreetMoscow, Idaho 83843
Your comments are very important to us. If you would like to compliment or complain about an officer’s actions, please:For complaints, please call us at 208-882-COPS (2677) and ask to speak with a supervisor.For compliments please call us at 208-882-2677 or write a letter and send it to:Chief of PoliceMoscow Police Department118 East 4th StreetMoscow, Idaho 83843In all correspondence, please include the Officer’s name, approximate date and time you interacted with the officer, and the location of the interaction.
Officers are trained to minimize their exposure to traffic and potential danger from within the vehicle. At night, the bright lights illuminate the interior of the vehicle which is another safety consideration for the officer.
It is not uncommon for officers who are in close proximity to back each other up, even if they are not requested. This is just routine for safety reasons. It is also possible that the initial or secondary patrol vehicle may be a field-training unit, which consists of two officers, one of whom is learning how to become a police officer.
Technology now allows an officer to verify your driving status and check your vehicle registration directly from the patrol car. Because this information is accessed via computer and dependent upon its reliability, unanticipated delays may occasionally occur. While it may seem as if the officer has kept you waiting for a long time, it’s normally only for a few minutes.
Please don’t argue at the scene. You have the right to contest a citation before a judge at a later time.
Yes. An excavation permit is required from the Engineering office at 221 E Second Street. Usually there is a charge for the permit and a security deposit is required.
The City does not provide that service. However, there are a number of professional land surveyors in the Moscow area that do perform that service. The City crews occasionally find what appear to be property corners (monumentation) in the course of collecting field data for projects and will generally notify the property owner. Our Engineering staff can provide you with measurements and topographic maps to assist you in looking for your property corners.
No. We have no records indicating how private lines were installed. We can sometimes tell you where the private line connects to the City sewer.
We maintain record maps of many types of information from underground utilities to property addresses and the cost varies depending on the size of and process used to generate the copy. See the Engineering map web page for a price list of the most requested maps and the maps available for download. We do not provide computer generated digital maps to the public.
We maintain a set of City plat maps and willingly research right-of-way widths at requested locations. You can obtain this information in person or by a phone call to 208-883-7034.
Construction of building structures is not allowed on public right-of-way, however depending on the particular situation, a retaining wall may be permitted. Requests for encroachments are reviewed by Engineering staff to determine the impacts on public property. Engineering staff will approve or deny simple encroachment requests. More complex encroachments require City Council approval.
Present day codes require each home/structure have individual sanitary sewer service connected directly to the public sewer main. In earlier times, there were no regulations prohibiting multiple connections to one service. This is why one may hear of such conditions existing. Moscow does not allow additional homes/structures to be connected to existing private sewer lines.
City code allows residential driveway approaches (curb cuts) with a maximum width up of twenty feet (20'). If you live on a corner lot, you are allowed to have a curb cut on each fronting street. Commercial lots are allowed one thirty-foot wide, two-way approach, or two twenty-foot wide, one-way approaches. A permit is required from the City Engineering.
The City of Moscow established a policy years ago not to pave local and residential gravel streets. The City will, however, support property owners adjacent to gravel streets who wish to pave streets at owner expense. This support is offered through the Local Improvement District process.
The Engineering Division has a variety of maps and photos that may be used to approximately identify your property, lot line dimensions, and topographic features. We do not have accurate mapping that shows exactly where property lines are in relation to topography such as buildings, sidewalks and streets. For general site-plan preparations these maps can be very helpful and are available at a reasonable cost in the Engineering Division Office at 221 E Second Street.
The Standard Construction Drawings are available electronically, Standard Construction Drawings or paper copies of the City Construction Standards Specification and Standard Construction Drawings are available at the Engineering Division Office.
Automated collection utilizes mechanical lifting devises to lift and empty specialized solid waste roll carts into collection vehicles. There are two methods of automated collection. "Fully-automated" collection vehicles use a mechanical arm, operated from the cab of the collection vehicle, to lift and empty the roll carts from the side of the vehicle. "Semi-automated" collection uses lifting plates, mounted on the rear of the vehicle, to which collection crews wheel the roll cart and hydraulically lift and empty. Both methods will be utilized.
The City of Moscow has researched the benefits, municipal waste collection best practices and feasibility of a roll cart based system to satisfy a goal of the 2011 Sanitation Strategic Plan endorsed by the Sustainable Environment Commission and adopted by City Council. The City is always working to find ways to improve collection services, efficiency and manage costs. The roll carts have hinged attached lids, convenient handle, wheels for ease of maneuverability and a long life expectancy. Many lids, from garbage cans used in the past, were missing or had long since blown away.
Moscow receives over 27 inches of precipitation annually. This adds hundreds of unnecessary and preventable tons of water weight each year, to the waste stream and storm water system. This adds thousands of dollars each year to disposal costs. One garbage can, with a missing lid, can contribute over 300 pounds per year in preventable water weight to the waste stream. The roll carts enhance neighborhood health, safety, cleanliness and aesthetics.
The implementation is August 1, 2013. You will likely have your new roll cart delivered prior to that date. Older garbage cans will no longer be serviced due to the incompatibility with the automated collection equipment.
Each home may choose an easy-to-use roll cart, from 35, 65 and 95 gallon capacities, that best fits their individual needs. Simply place bagged garbage into the cart, ensure the lid is fully closed and roll it to the curb or alley, leaving the handle facing your home and free (3 feet) from any obstacles or other carts, on your regular collection day. Roll carts must be placed out for collection by 7 a.m. on collection day and must be promptly removed from the curb line or collection area(s) by no later than Noon the next day following the scheduled collection day.
It is important that customers choose a roll cart size that adequately contains their waste the vast majority of the time. If you have more garbage than fits in your roll cart, it will be subject to additional fees. Garbage tags will no longer be used or accepted beginning August 1, 2013. The monthly fee for the next larger sized roll cart will be less expensive than a single extra garbage fee. The appropriate sized roll cart choice, allows the space for occasional extra volume. It is also important to remember when filling the roll cart, materials should not be packed down, but placed loosely in the cart. Roll carts will not empty properly if materials are packed tightly. Remember, it is not required or encouraged to fully fill you roll cart each week.
Yes. The City of Moscow has a "volume based" system. The variable size, variable rate system allows residents to choose a roll cart size that best fits their needs. In this utility-like arrangement, the amount customers pay is proportionate to their level of trash service. Volume based billing reflects the ideology that residents who produce more landfill waste should be charged accordingly. Tailoring the size of the roll cart to the amount of waste produced and charging a higher fee for larger cart sizes encourages residents to recycle and reduce the amount of waste disposed.
No. The roll cart(s) will be supplied by the City's franchised solid waste collection company, Latah Sanitation, Inc. (LSI). The carts will remain the property of LSI. They will be registered to your specific property and service address (via serial number and RFID) and will stay with that address should you move.
Latah Sanitation, Inc. (LSI) will replace lost or stolen roll carts, subject to a replacement fee. Damaged roll carts, due to normal wear and tear, will be repaired or replaced, at no cost, by LSI. Damaged roll carts, due to misuse or abuse, will be repaired or replaced by LSI and may be subject to repair or replacement fee.
New services may request one size change, within the first 60 days, free of charge. Size change requests following this initial period, will be subject to additional charges. Roll cart size changes are generally conducted on your scheduled collection day. Crews will exchange carts after the routes are completed. This allows crews to exchange your cart after it has been emptied. Call the City of Moscow Utility Billing Office at 208-883-7043 to request service changes.
If your garbage is missed, call Latah Sanitation, Inc. (LSI) as soon as possible at 208-882-5724. In most cases your garbage can be collected the same day or by 5 p.m. the following work day. LSI will provide one free return service per calendar year. Depending on the circumstances, additional return services may be subject to an additional fee.
We currently have in our fleet 224 units from eleven City departments plus the Moscow Volunteer Ambulance and Moscow Rural Fire departments.
We have a three bay shop with two Technicians and a Shop Supervisor that service and maintain a wide variety of specialized municipal equipment including:
Most non-warranted repair and maintenance work for this equipment is performed by City personnel.
The Fleet is tracked by Computerized Fleet Analysis (CFA) program that monitors fuel use, notifies us when needed maintenance is required, and stores vehicle maintenance records. Fleet replacement is determined using parameters specific to our fleet use, maintenance history, anticipated useful life, and other requirements. The data is reviewed and adjusted annually to maximize our usage and value.
Fleet utilizes local resources for body repair, front end alignment, exhaust pipe replacement, major engine and transmission repairs, radiator repairs, truck and equipment tire repair and repairs that require certain specialized tools and skills.
Fleet is currently analyzing avenues to convert to more multi-use vehicles as technologies become available to assist in lowering total amount of units in our fleet.In addition, we conduct periodic "Low Use Reviews" to check on the necessity of vehicles that do not see much use.The Moscow EcoDriver Program was established to teach all operators of City vehicles methods for reducing fuel consumption and proper routine maintenance. We set annual goals for fuel consumption and have halted an annual increase of about 4% and actually reversed the trend. We also have Commercial Driver Training each year to help drivers understand methods of operation to save fuel and maintenance costs.We outsource yearly safety inspections on bucket trucks, Fire Department ladder truck and ground ladders and truck mounted cranes.
The Streets Division is responsible for the maintenance of multiple aspects of the City's infrastructure. This includes:
There are eight full time employees in the Streets Division, including the Streets Supervisor.
The Streets Division maintains approximately 190 lane miles of street with about 21 lane miles being State Highway on which we assist ITD with maintenance. There are also about 10 miles of alleys maintained by the Streets Division.
Within 12 hours of the end of snowfall we try to have travel lanes cleared on every through street in the City. It takes 24 hours to finish the final push-back with the graders for a typical storm, and about 36 hours to finish all of the cul-de-sacs and dead-ends. There are many factors that influence snow removal response from quantity and type of snow to temperature and equipment failures, but these are numbers that we can achieve for the majority of the storms.
Our snow removal work typically begins before the flakes start to fall. When there is a weather event forecast we will usually begin anti-icing operations using magnesium-chloride and rock salt. Snow accumulation of two inches or more will trigger our snow removal operation. We have three road graders equipped with snow gates, seven trucks with plows (four of which have spreaders), two one-ton trucks with spreaders, and two berm removal pieces of equipment. The City is divided into four areas. Initially, the graders will go downtown and start removal there while the trucks go to their assigned areas to open routes on all of the through streets, and spread traction-enhancing de-icing materials on hills and high volume intersections. After assisting downtown with de-icing, the one-ton trucks start on their cul-de-sac routes. Berm removal begins as soon as the graders have completed the downtown work. The graders then move into the areas to finish a final push-back as needed. Streets Division policy is to try to use the snow gates on the graders to attempt to minimize the accumulation of berms across residential driveways. This is a time consuming, and difficult process with over 5,000 driveways, but we do our best. After the streets are all plowed we move in to complete the alleys if the snow accumulation is sufficient.
There are 32 detention ponds maintained by the Streets Division.
The City of Moscow has 63.8 miles of storm drainage collection and conveyance pipe that is maintained by the Streets Division.
The City owns 413 street lights that the Streets Division maintains. They are primarily located along the state highway routes and downtown. Avista has 1,465 lights that they own and maintain in the residential areas.
We are all very proud of our Tree City designation, and we work closely with our City Arborist to maintain a healthy and functional tree-scape. City ordinance requires that trees that overhang the street be no lower than twelve feet above the ground and it also requires a minimum of eight feet of clearance over sidewalks. The homeowner is responsible for the maintenance of these minimum parameters. This ordinance allows for the safe flow of traffic on our streets. This also allows us to safely sweep the streets and plow snow along the curb line. As a service to our residents we trim one quarter of the City each year after notifying and giving the residents the opportunity to conduct their own trimming if they so desire.
The City of Moscow maintains streets with their current surfacing that the developer installed. At this time there is no plan to upgrade gravel streets or alleys to pavement. The City provides support through a Local Improvement District process for residents that would like to pursue the paving of an alley or gravel street.
Property owners are responsible for the repair and maintenance of the sidewalks adjacent to their property.
The design of the new multimodal bridge will occur during the fall and winter of 2017/18 with an intent to advertise for bids for construction in the spring of 2018. A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) from qualified consulting engineering firms was first published on September 2, 2017.Selection of a design firm for the project was completed in September and design work commenced in November.
The Multimodal Bridge is proposed to include two vehicular travel lanes, two bicycle lanes, and two pedestrian sidewalks. The width of the bridge is likely to match the existing roadway width on both sides of Paradise Creek. The bridge elevation will be set in accordance with floodplain requirements and as low as possible to minimize impacts on surrounding properties, sidewalks, and driveways.
The existing street on both sides of Paradise Creek was designed and constructed at elevations anticipated to accommodate future bridge construction. This is likely to minimize elevation discrepancies with surrounding properties. At this time, the City is not anticipating the need to acquire any additional street right of way, but confirmation of this situation will occur during the design process.
Public Works Department Staff started an assessment of the Corridor including review of existing traffic counts, sidewalk infrastructure, bicycle network opportunities, speed limits, school zones, intersection traffic control, lighting, and adjacent land uses. To assist in this process a request was made to the Transportation Commission to review potential traffic calming measures to identify which could be applied within the Corridor. Due to the short time frame between the adoption of the budget and the City Council’s intention to have the bridge construction in FY2018, a Subcommittee of the Transportation Commission was formed for an intense in-depth review of traffic calming measures. The Subcommittee was comprised of three Transportation Commission members, four members of the public, the City Council liaison to the Commission, an outside technical advisor, and the Public Works Director. The Subcommittee met eight times over a four week period between the Transportation Commission meetings of November 9th and December 14th.
One of the first tasks of the Subcommittee was the identification of major issues of interest within the Corridor. Based on the issues identified, the Subcommittee expanded the scope of their work to include many facets of the Corridor beyond simple traffic calming measures. These included the following:
Three plans were created through the work of the Subcommittee and City Staff. While each plan uses different approaches to modifying the Corridor to address identified issues, there are some proposed traffic management features that are consistent among all of the plans. A summary of those features and descriptions of their attributes is attached. A summary of the three plans, which outlines their characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages, is provided below along with estimated construction costs. At the conclusion of the Subcommittee’s meetings a report of activities and findings was presented to the Transportation Commission at the December 14th meeting. This report included information on the topics discussed, information gathered, and plans developed. The Subcommittee also conveyed a preference for Plan C to the Commission. Plan C proposes the use of Two Way Separated Bike Lanes on the north side of Third Street.
At the December 14, 2017 meeting, the Transportation Commission discussed how best to proceed with the information provided by the Subcommittee and the next step of the public input process. The Commission recommended starting the public input period as quickly as possible and desired to let it run long enough to provide ample opportunity after the Holidays to gather input. The January 2018 Commission meeting was postponed for two weeks to allow a longer input period. The public input period opened on December 22, 2017 and closed on January 21, 2018. During this time an exhibit was on display on the second floor of City Hall which included information on the overall process, Subcommittee, traffic calming measures, plan alternatives and features, and the estimated costs for each of the three plans. In addition, similar information was placed on the City’s webpage and two Open Houses with additional information were held in the Council Chambers on January 11th and 18th. Public input was received via comment cards at the City Hall display and Open Houses, emails directed to the Third Street email address, and by hand delivery of information.
The public input data was provided to the Transportation Commission for review prior to their meeting on January 25th. At that meeting the Commission discussed the input received, the advantages and disadvantages of each plan, and if the members were comfortable making a recommendation for the City Council. Also discussed were alternative approaches that varied from the three original plans developed by the Subcommittee. Of these alternatives, the one that received the most attention included the concept of standard bike lanes on each side of the Third Street rather than the Two Way Separated Bike Lanes concept in Plan C. For the sake of discussion, this option has been titled Plan D and Staff has created a supporting Plan D drawing. At the Commission meeting, and consistent with the public input received, the least supported plans were A and B. Plan C was considered the front runner, but concerns were expressed over maintenance activities, turning movement conflicts, and general understanding of how to enter and exit the separated lanes. The maintenance concerns primarily related to snow removal and street sweeping. The placement of the lane separation buffer seven to eight feet off the north curb line precludes snow plowing operations from accessing the entire street section and may result in decreased lane widths during heavy snow periods. Alternative methods of street maintenance have been discussed in depth, but significant challenges remain for operations with the Plan C concept. The issue of turning movements and potential conflicts between bikes in the bike lanes and cars in the vehicle lanes all entering the cross street intersections at the same time caused some consternation for the Commission. A suggestion was made to consider hiring a consulting firm which specializes in bicycle facilities to assess proposed Plan C to determine the best approach to implement it in a safe and functional manner. In the end, the Commission approved a recommendation to implement Plan C. This recommendation was made with recognition that a full description of the advantages and disadvantages of each plan be presented to the City Council and that an assessment of the viability of Plan C by a consultant would be beneficial.
On Tuesday February 6th, the City Council held a Special Council Meeting to discuss the Third Street Corridor. A presentation was made by Staff outlining the efforts of the Transportation Commission and the Subcommittee, the development of the Alternative Plans, the public input process, and the recommendations of the Commission and Staff. Public testimony was accepted by the Mayor and discussion of the Plan options occurred. The Council unanimously approved proceeding with Plan C (Separated Two Way Bike Lanes) and directed Staff to work with a qualified consultant to determine the best way to implement the new system. Design work on the common components of the plans is underway with the entire project anticipated to be constructed in the summer of 2018.
PARKINGThe selection of Plan C for the corridor will include the removal of parking along portions of the Corridor. As the existing parking areas are not marked for individual stalls, the quantity of parking removed is only an estimate, but it is anticipated that approximately 120 parking spaces will be removed. BICYCLE FACILITIESIn June 2016, the City Council adopted the 2016 Bike Routes and Facilities Plan. This was the culmination of several years of work by staff, the Transportation Commission, and the MMTP consultant to develop a new on-street bicycle network for the City of Moscow. The Plan includes the installation of new facilities on Third Street between Washington Street and Mountain View Road. Plan C includes Separated Two Way Bike Lanes along the north side of Third Street from either Washington Street or Jefferson Street to Mountain View Road.TRAFFIC CONTROL/STOP CONTROLMost intersections along the corridor have stop control on the side street approaches. All of the proposed Plans developed by the Transportation Commission and considered by the City Council included the implementation of four way stop control at the Hayes Street and Blaine Street intersections with Third Street.SCHOOL ZONE/ CROSSING GUARDSHistorically the Lena Whitmore School Zone boundary on Blaine Street was located just north of the Third Street intersection and the School Zone did not include any of Third Street. The School Zone was expanded in 2012 to start on Blaine Street south of Third Street and includes a portion of Third Street. The Moscow School District provides crossing guards at the intersection of Blaine Street and Third Street.The existing School Zone location was considered during the Corridor Assessment, and no changes to the School Zone or the crossing guard program are proposed. Time activated Warning Lights will be installed on the School Zone Signage along Third Street to raise awareness of drivers that they are entering a school zone with a reduced speed limit.SIDEWALKS/PEDESTRIAN FACILITIESA review of the current sidewalk system completeness and condition was performed as part of the Corridor Assessment. The completion of the system on both sides of Third Street was included as a component of all Plans developed. This will consist of approximately 1,200 feet of new or replacement sidewalks, primarily along the eastern portion of the Corridor. In addition, raised pedestrian crosswalks across Third Street will be installed in three high pedestrian use locations throughout the Corridor.
The water supply for Moscow comes from wells that are drilled in basalt which often contain sulfates. The sulfates are often converted to hydrogen sulfide in hot water heaters or other places where water may sit before it is used. This conversion is done by a harmless bacteria referred to as "sulfur reducing" bacteria and the side effect is the rotten egg smell. Even though the Water Division of the Moscow Public Works Department uses chlorine for disinfection the rotten egg odor can occur in low use areas where the chlorine has dissipated.
The water supply for Moscow comes from wells that are drilled in basalt which normally contains iron and manganese. The iron and manganese can accumulate on the inside of customer or City pipes and when water use is high comes off the pipe and makes the water yellow. We recommend that you wait for the water to clear before drinking or using for laundry. Experience has indicated the water is safe to drink after it clears but if you are concerned please call us at 208-882-3122.
Typically your water meter will be near a property line adjacent to the street. If you do not know where your meter is and would like to know please contact the Water Division.
The most common cause is a leak. Please check the commodes in your home or business to confirm that they are shutting off. Dye tables are available for free in the Water Division Office that can be used to check for a leaky commode. Also check the faucets in the home and look outside between the meter and the house for wet spots. If no apparent leaks or other issues are found just give us a call.
Call the Moscow Police Department at 208-882-2677 (882-COPS) and they will dispatch a Water Division employee.
Flush your cold water faucet for 5-10 minutes and it should clear up. If it does not, call the Moscow Water Division at 208-882-3122.
Open the meter box and you will most likely need to clean the lens that is on the top of the meter. Under the lens you will see a row of numbers. Read all the numbers to the left of the decimal point. If you are having trouble please contact the Water Division at 208-882-3122 for help.
Irrigation systems connected to the City of Moscow's water supply require appropriate backflow protection. Moscow City Code Title 7, Chapter 9 requires that all irrigation systems, existing or new, must be equipped with an approved backflow prevention assembly and must be inspected and tested annually by a State of Idaho licensed backflow assembly tester.A backflow assembly installed on your system is necessary to help prevent contaminates from entering the public water supply through what is known as backflow condition. Backflow is defined as, "the flow, other than the intended direction of flow of any foreign liquids, gases, or substances into the distribution system of a public water supply."The protection of Moscow's water supply is of critical importance to both the City of Moscow and its citizens. If you have any questions about your irrigation system, or if you know that your irrigation system is not protected by a backflow prevention assembly and would like a list of licensed professionals who can install and test the appropriate assembly, please email Kyle Steele or call the Water Division at 208-882-3122.
The official start of Moscow's outdoor irrigation season is announced annually. To learn the date, call 208-882-3122.
Please refrain from irrigating until drier soils and low precipitation necessitate the application of additional water. When you do apply water to the landscaping at your residence or business, please observe the following City ordinances to help conserve water. Thank you in advance!
During the irrigation season, sprinkler irrigation is only allowed between 6 p.m. to 10 a.m. while applying water with a hand-held automatic shut-off nozzle is allowed anytime. The use of a soaker hose or drip irrigation is not permitted until the irrigation season. If you have new landscaping that needs to be watered outside of allowed watering times you may apply for a variance with the Moscow Water Division at 201 North Main Street.
Avoid watering impervious surfaces such as gravel, asphalt, concrete, or brick.
The City of Moscow receives its water entirely from groundwater sources. This means that rather than being supplied with water from a lake or reservoir, we pump water from two main underground aquifer systems, the Wanapum Aquifer System and the Grande Ronde Aquifer System. Contrary to popular myth, aquifers are not underground lake or river systems. Rather, the water in the aquifer systems is located in the cracks, pores, and fissures of the basalt and sediment layers.
The Wanapum Aquifer System is the shallower aquifer system of the Palouse Basin and is found starting about 60 feet below the surface. This system supplies about 30% of the City of Moscow's water. Wanapum well levels in Moscow area wells fluctuate some due to pumping and recharge but appear to be fairly stable.
The Grande Ronde Aquifer System is the deeper aquifer system of the Palouse Basin and is generally found at depths below 300 feet, if it is available at all. This system is the main source of water for the City of Moscow and virtually the only source for Pullman and Washington State University.
In the Moscow area water is a precious resource. Research to protect the quality water in our aquifer systems is an ongoing venture. While more is learned every day, there are still many unknowns. The Moscow Water Division is working toward sustainable practices to ensure water will remain as accessible in the future as it is now.
Tips for reducing water use include:
No. Offensive odors are indications that something in the treatment process is not working correctly. To ensure the treatment process is working correctly, Plant Operators make daily assessments of the system checking for potential odor causing problems.
In accordance with our EPA regulated National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, the City of Moscow discharges the treated wastewater into Paradise Creek on the west side of Moscow.
The solids that are removed during the plant process are pumped to an on-site dewatering process. After dewatering the solids, then known as Biosolids, are trucked to an authorized processing facility for composting.
Directly across from the Palouse Mall in Moscow ID, our buildings have distinctive, and very noticeable, blue roofs.
Generally, the wastewater treatment process takes approximately 24 – 36 hours.
We use three different chemicals in our plant process. Chlorine is added to neutralize pathogenic, or disease causing organisms. After chlorination, sulfur dioxide is added to remove the chlorine before it is discharged into Paradise Creek. During the summer months we add a small amount of aluminum sulfate to coagulate, or capture, phosphorus that was not removed biologically in the treatment process. Phosphorus is an essential nutrient in plant growth yet excessive amounts can lead to eutrophication, an overabundance of plants and algae in a water body causing the depletion of oxygen needed for fish and other animals to survive.
Currently, we have 4 Plant Operators, 1 laboratory Analyst, 1 Administrative Assistant, 1 Transport Driver, and the Plant Supervisor.
On average, we treat approximately 2 million gallons of domestic wastewater per day. Our plant is designed to accept and fully treat 4 million gallons per day if needed.
Rain water tends to thin out the domestic wastewater allowing certain unwanted bacteria to thrive. Plant Operators make adjustments in the plant process to curtail the unwanted filamentous bacteria. The City works to identify where rainwater is entering the sanitary sewer system so that the flows can be permanently redirected to the storm water collection system.
While most Plant Staff have college degrees, working in wastewater treatment can commence directly after High School.
Millions and millions of microorganisms or "bugs" live in the wastewater treatment plant. They are essential for proper treatment and are directly responsible for pollution removal.
The microorganisms consume organic material such as fecal matter, ammonia, and other microorganisms. They cannot consume or break down inorganic material like metal, plastic, latex, or cinders.
The "bugs" are natural living organisms in human and animal excrement.
The microorganisms reproduce themselves approximately every 20 to 30 minute by a process called mitosis.
We look for several different types of microorganisms in wastewater. Our Lab Analyst collects daily wastewater samples, and uses a microscope to identify the most prolific number and type of organisms present at that time. This information is used to calculate how much solids material is removed from the system or how much material can be used in the process again.
The City of Moscow Wastewater Division recommends that these items be disposed of in the garbage rather than being introduced to the sanitary sewer system. All of these materials, and in particular, a combination of the three can create opportunities for plugging private sewer services and public sewer mains. Grease is especially challenging as it solidifies within the mains or floats through the system and through the WRRF.