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At its May 4th meeting the Salmon City Council approved three requests for Local Option Tax (LOT) funding and denied one.

LOT Commission Chairman Jim Bockelman presented and explained each request that had been recommended by the board at its April 26th meeting.

The council approved $500 for a Community Festival of Trees three day event scheduled for early December. Bockelman said the money will be used by organizers on rental of the City Center meeting room and for advertising. The festival profits will go to the EMT Ambulance Building fund. Trees, wreaths, centerpieces and ginger bread houses will be offered for sale and there will be vendor booths, an auction, live entertainment and other activities to usher in a “spirit of giving” season.

The Salmon Motocross Association requested $3,000 to help offset costs of hosting two motocross events scheduled for mid May and early July. Bockelman said each event has over 400 participants, many coming from out of town and spending three nights in local lodging establishments. Local young people are employed as flaggers on the race course and any monies over and above costs are used by the association on other events as well as the Salmon Motocross Park. Bockelman said the LOT money would be used for paying the flaggers and for EMT services. The council approved the request by unanimous vote.

The third request recommended by the LOT commission and approved by the council was a $1,060 to help facilitate the June 4th Jeff Allen and Shane Heath Memorial 5k/10k run. The event is to pay tribute to fallen and injured firefighters and to raise money for the national Wildland Firefighters Foundation. Bockelman said the purpose of the foundation is to provide some financial assistance to injured firemen and their families. He said from 100 to 200 visitors are expected to come to the area for the event.

The one request denied by the council was $700 for the Salmon Wave Park-Riverfest event which took place at the end of April. Bockelman explained that this group is separate from the organization working to create the proposed Whitewater Kayak Park. He said the Riverfest organizers could be considered as a promotional arm of the park if and when it becomes a reality. The LOT Commission and the City Council have already approved $15,000 towards all the steps that need to be taken towards the required permitting process which in itself could cost between $50,000 and $60,000. He said creation of the proposed Kayak Park could well become a $500,000 project and take from ten to 15 years to complete. Meanwhile, the Salmon Wave Park group which organized the Riverfest is beginning a campaign to raise money for the project.

Councilman Jim Baker objected to the request being presented after the event has taken place. Bockelman said when a request is made for LOT funding someone must be in attendance to explain reasons for the request. He said when the initial Riverfest request was made no one from the Wave Park group was there so it wasn’t considered prior to the event taking place. Bockelman said he personally is tending towards favoring after-the-fact requests because the actual cost figures are documented. He will present his post payment thoughts to the commission’s May 24th meeting.

When it came time for the council to decide on the $700 request for River Fest expenses no one was willing to make a motion therefore the request died due to no action being taken.

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