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Friday, October 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Idaho

Flood Ordinance Adopted Despite Public Opposition

Associated Press

In a meeting that took less than 60 seconds, Idaho County commissioners unanimously approved a flood plain ordinance that has provoked threats, curses and now a possibility of recall from some county residents.

The highly anticipated Monday meeting was scheduled for 4 p.m., but people began milling the halls of the courthouse as early as 8:30 a.m.

Idaho County Sheriff R.E. (Gene) Meinen, after the advice of the county fire marshal, posted a sign outside the commissioners’ door setting seating capacity at 49. Close to 75 people showed up in the afternoon, though, many of them crowded outside in the hallway while the commissioners took action.

At least two people carried sidearms on their belts. Meinen said there is no law restricting carrying unconcealed firearms into the courthouse.

The flood plain ordinance is a minimally restrictive law affecting only new construction in a narrow floodplain designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. But it is necessary, the agency said, to allow people living in the flood plain to buy national flood insurance.

The commissioners created the ordinance after several people along the Little Salmon River south of Riggins lost property during this year’s early floods. Idaho County is out of compliance with state law requiring all governmental entities to adopt comprehensive land use plans. The flood ordinance is not a land use plan, but several people at the meeting and at a public hearing held last week said they fear it is the first step toward countywide land use planning.

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