COMPLAINTS ABOUT MAIN STREET BRIDGE
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UNFINISHED BRIDGE DRAWS COMPLAINTS 12-1-10 LMS

During the December 1st Salmon City Council Roundtable discussion Councilman Ken Gutzman advised residents with questions concerning their tax bill to talk with the Lemhi County Assessor.

He said that after an announcement the city was not raising taxes, residents were dismayed to see their tax bills had increased. Gutzman explained that his conversations with the County Treasurer and Assessor revealed the reason for the raise is that values on commercial properties went down considerably this last year but private property assessments did not. Therefore the tax base shrank, putting private property owners in the position of having to pick up a larger portion of the tab for city services. As far as to why the commercial assessments went down so much Gutzman advised residents to talk with the assessor.

Councilman Jim Kluesner said he has had several calls about the condition of the Main Street Bridge. Specifically, the fact there is no barrier along the sidewalk to sufficiently protect pedestrians from the drop to the Salmon River located many feet beneath the bridge.

City Administrator George Ambrose recounted a history of communications he has had with the state concerning the lack of railing and the jarring entrance and exit that has been left for drivers at each end of the bridge. He said the contractor is awaiting arrival of the railing which had to be re-ordered due to an error on the first order. No more work is planned until the railing arrives which could be three to four weeks or more. Ambrose said when it does arrive there could be cold weather issues with the epoxy used in the process of attaching it.

Ambrose said there have been many complaints concerning the lack of smooth transition from Main Street to and from the bridge deck which is three inches higher that the roadway. He said residents have complained about vehicles being knocked out of alignment and there have been complaints from ambulance crews that say the roadway gap is jarring patients as well as equipment.

Ambrose said he has asked the state to install warning signs and that he found out the state thought the bridge roadway transitions had been completed. He said that as of that evening he had been assured everything would be fixed without his having to contact the Congressional Delegation. Money for the bridge project was part of the stimulus package the federal government sent to states.

Councilmen Bud Bartlett, Ken Gutzman and Leo Marshall indicated they have also had citizen complaints on the unfinished condition of the bridge.


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