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Following an hour long public comment period at the June 2nd meeting of the Salmon City Council, the council returned to business under the leadership of City Council President Leo Marshall.

The first order of business was a rate increase request from Lemhi Sanitation. Under a franchise agreement with the city the city must approve any rate changes before they are put into effect. Lemhi Sanitation asked for a one dollar increase per month for residential service and a five percent increase for commercial customers.

Reasons cited for the increase was the cost of diesel fuel and other petroleum products as well as the escalating cost of truck parts.

The council felt the requested increase was minimal and reasonable and the rate increase for Lemhi Sanitation was approved. The rates will go into effect as of July 1.

A request from the Salmon Valley Chamber of Commerce for a street closure was unanimously approved. Water Street will be closed to vehicular traffic on July 2nd and 3rd during Salmon River Days.

Roundtable comments included congratulations to Parks Superintendant Charlie Cockrell from Councilman Bud Bartlett for how nice the cemetery looks this year.

Councilman Ken Gutzman reported on what comments he made during a call from KIVI Channel 6 news. He said he spoke about the major personality conflict between the mayor and police chief and the fact that rumors regarding police department cutbacks are exactly that, rumors.

Councilman Jim Baker said he will present a list next week, as required by law, of the phone calls he has received about the Chief of Police issue. Councilman Jim Kluesner will also provide the list of caller’s names. He said he didn’t appreciate the rudeness of some callers and the name-calling tactics. He said members of the council are doing their best and don’t deserve the personal attacks which only make the situation worse.

Marshall reported that around 80 percent of his calls concerning the police chief issue came from county residents.

Councilman Baker said he appreciates the entire community’s involvement and feels it’s a good policy to listen to everyone.

City Attorney John McKinney referred to the public comment period earlier in the meeting and said, “Tonight was an example of democracy in action. We had quite a crowd in this room, crammed into a short space and I thought it went rather well as far as behavior. It gives me more faith in the citizens of Salmon and I’m glad they came regardless of what side or tack they took.” He said, “I think you saw something good happen here in the city tonight.”

On another topic, Marshall recalled that at the last meeting the council voted to have a bulletin board installed at the corner of Courthouse Drive and Fulton, “…and boom! It’s there and it looks great.” The board is a volunteer effort provided by Bob Daniels. Marshall said the board will hopefully be used for the posting of flyers instead of the adjacent telephone pole.

The first reading of Ordinance 10-758 which lowers sewer rates charged to RV Parks to .13 was passed on a four to one vote. Bud Bartlett opposed the rate change. In favor were Ken Gutzman, Jim Baker, Jim Kluesner and Leo Marshall. The second reading of the ordinance will take place at the June 16th regular meeting of the Salmon City Council.

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