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Topics under review by the city Public Works and Safety Committee at its November 10th meeting were brought before the full City Council November 17th and initiated some in-depth discussions.

Committee Chairman Bud Bartlett is chairman of the committee and reported the topics covered involved a request by Lemhi Auto Recycling for a city sewer and water connection, a recommendation that Mark Troy’s non-conforming use permit be extended and two issues regarding cemetery lots.

When a sub committee makes an official recommendation to the council the topic is then placed on the next council meeting agenda so formal action can be taken.

The Public Works and Safety Committee had recommended approval of the Lemhi Auto Recycling request to be connected to city water and sewer services, however the request was voted down by the council pending further information. The business is located in the city impact zone but outside city limits. The company was willing to pay development agreement connection costs and had agreed to be annexed into the city at a later date. Council members were uncomfortable with the lack of specifics, such as a time frame and potential future development plans. When more detailed information is made available the council will reconsider the request.

Mark Troy has appealed the building inspector’s decision to deny a non-conforming use permit for a storage structure. The committee recommended that the permit be extended for the good of Troy’s business. When Public Works Chairman Bartlett placed a motion to extend the permit before the full City Council, the motion died for lack of a second.

There is a small area at the Salmon Cemetery that was set aside in 1993 for a sanctuary. According to City Parks Superintendent Charlie Cockrell no one knows exactly what the original purpose or intent was for the area since it is quite small. There is a larger area of cemetery land where there is room to plant trees and create a nicer sanctuary space. The recommendation of the Public Works and Safety Committee was to abandon the present ‘sanctuary’ and let that land be sold for grave sites. The City Council approved the committee’s suggestion.

There is a very old section of the cemetery which pre-dates existing records. It is known that many of the original wooden markers have disintegrated over the years leaving many unmarked graves. The policy has been to not sell any plots in that area due to not really knowing if they are already occupied. Possible ownership of unoccupied plots is another unknown since cemetery records do not go back further than 1938. To avoid the risk of double selling, no plots in that area are made available for sale. City Attorney John McKinney commented that even though never recorded, old deeds could still be in existence and would be valid.

The question of selling a grave site in the old section was brought up by a local resident who wants to buy a plot in that specific location because it is near his family’s burial sites.

The council will research costs involved in modern technology used for burial site location and if feasible will include funds for that purpose in next year’s budget. In the meantime the council voted to consider selling the plot, only if the interested resident would be willing to go to the expense of a high tech search to verify whether or not anyone is buried in the gravesite he wishes to buy.

The cemetery is in need of a permanent rest room facility to replace the porta potty now in use. Upon recommendation of the Public Works and Safety Committee the City Council voted to use funds from the Cemetery Reserve for the installation of a pre-fabricated concrete toilet.

The next meeting of the Public Works and Safety Committee is scheduled for December 8th in the Salmon Valley Center meeting room at 4:45 PM. Members of the public are welcome.

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