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Finance Committee Chairman Jim Baker brought the May 18th meeting of the Salmon City Council up to date on all the topics discussed when the committee met earlier that day.

Baker said a funding request presented by the Lemhi County Economic Development Association was discussed at length. The funding would be for the Lemhi Education Project which is aimed at creating local, accredited college level educational opportunities in conjunction with North Idaho College.

The county strongly supports the Education Project as something that would be of great benefit to this community. On April 25th the Lemhi County Commissioners announced the county will match any financial donations offered to the project by private individuals, up to a $20,000 limit. The offer to match donations does not apply to organizations, only to private contributions. For those reasons Baker said the City Finance Committee suggested that each individual council member could personally donate to the Education Project. Baker also proposed that a council seat recently vacated by Ken Gutzman could remain vacant until the November election and the salary already budgeted for that seat could instead be given to the Lemhi Education Project. The salary amount through December would be $3,150.

Discussion of the individual donations and the proposed salary contribution will be placed on the June 1st council meeting agenda.

The city is entering decision-making-time for the next fiscal year budget. The Finance Committee and City Finance Director Amy Fealko have requested that the full council attend a weekly budget work session beginning June 8th and the council has agreed.

Baker said the committee discussed whether or not present fees connected to Sacajawea Center programs should be raised to generate more revenue for the facility and also talked about the creation of a County Recreation Card for introduction in 2012.

Sacajawea Center Director Judy Barkley recommended against raising fees on any center programs since several of the programs are just being introduced this year.

Another fee issue was related to fee waivers for the 11 Sacajawea Center partners. It was determined that any changes in partner use fees could be made by way of an ordinance amendment. The committee will draft an amendment related to the portion of the cityís fee ordinance that pertains to the center. It will be presented at the June 1st council meeting.

The subject of other fee structure changes will be considered during the budget work sessions.

Sacajawea Center Director Judy Barkley had requested that any revenues in excess of the centerís budget be used for maintenance and wages. Her request was directed to the Finance Committee and its recommendation was; parts, repairs and maintenance shall be done as needed and that there should be no increase in the personnel budget for this fiscal year. Barkley was asked by the council to submit job descriptions for the Sacajawea Center employees so their wages can be more accurately evaluated.

The next meeting of the City Finance Committee will be June 1st at 10AM in the Salmon Valley Center meeting room.
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