Thursday, July 31, 2014

City of Boise Files Last-Minute Permit for Smart Meters, Hoping to Avoid Removal of Street Sensors

Posted By on Thu, Jul 31, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Boise City Council President Maryanne Jordan is flanked by council members TJ Thomson, David Eberle and Elaine Clegg.
  • Boise City Council President Maryanne Jordan is flanked by council members TJ Thomson, David Eberle and Elaine Clegg.

Crews from the Ada County Highway District fanned out across the streets of Downtown Boise Thursday afternoon, placing orange "No Parking" signs at select parking spots, in anticipation of taking a jackhammer to the pavement in the next 24 hours and ripping out sensors that are attached to the city of Boise's "smart" parking meters.

But city officials filed an 11th hour permit application with ACHD in response to the highway district's demand of a week ago. The permit application is expected to stop those jackhammers ... presumably.

You may remember that on July 22, ACHD hand-delivered a letter to Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, giving the city 10 days to remove the sensors or accept ACHD's most recent proposal for a master license agreement and proper permit applications.

"The City had hoped to enter into a broader licensing agreement with ACHD to manage the ... meters," said Council President Mayanne Jordan Thursday afternoon. "But since that appears to be impossible, the city instead is applying for a single permit for installation, just as any utility would when installing a gas or water line."

The city's permit would cover 611 new sensors. City officials say they have already filed a permit for the first round of sensors—about 200—as long ago as June 2013, but ACHD still hasn't acted on that. To date, 68 "smart" meters have been installed and 132 others await installation in a local warehouse.

But no one is moving until ACHD considers the two permit applications from the city.

And as for the license agreement? Jordan, who was joined Thursday by council members TJ Thomson, David Eberle and Elaine Clegg, said a license agreement is a moot point because no utility, gas, electric or cable would require a license agreement, only a permit for installation.

Simply put, the ball is in ACHD's court.


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