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COUNCIL APPROVES FUNDING INCREASE 8-3-11 LMS

The second reading of the 2011-2012 City Budget Ordinance was passed by the City Council August 3 with a motion attached that approved a $3,000 increase in funding for the Lemhi County Humane Society Animal Shelter.

The additional funds bring the city’s total budget contribution towards the shelter in fiscal year 2011-2012 to $10,000.

The shelter building itself costs approximately $15,000 a year to operate. During the council’s July 20 meeting Humane Society President Cindy Phelps pointed out that statistics show 63 percent of the dogs housed at the shelter are from the city, along with 75 percent of the cats. She said that 63 percent of shelter operating costs amounts to $10,000 and the council felt that seemed a fair basis on which to compute the city’s contribution. The additional $3,000 needed to bring the initially proposed $7,000 for the shelter up to $10,000 is to come from separate funds currently within the city’s proposed budget.

The previously proposed and advertised overall budget figure of $3,541,271 will be increased by $1,000 to $3,542,271 however there will be no need to raise taxes since the money being accessed already exists in contingency. Because the budget is listed as ‘proposed’ there will be no need for further hearings due to the change, since changes to the proposed budget are allowed during the three reading process. The budget becomes final when the third reading is passed by the council.

Prior to the second reading vote Finance Committee Chairman Jim Baker said the committee recommended that $2,000 be taken from the law enforcement budget, which resides in the General Fund, and that $1,000 be taken from the separate City Cemetery Contingency Fund. That thousand will be transferred to the General Fund and expended from there. Baker said the committee also recommended that $1,000 of the funding be earmarked for the Humane Society’s spay and neuter program.

Baker said since the services provided by Animal Shelter/Humane Society volunteers so often result in a savings of police officer time, the committee felt that using funds from the $668,172 law enforcement budget would not be too unreasonable. He said Police Chief KV Felker could rearrange the department’s budgeted monies in whatever way he thinks is best and he will be consulted before the ordinance is read for the third and final time.

When the time came for a roll call vote Councilman Ken Hill recused himself due to a conflict of interest related to his being a member of the Lemhi County Humane Society Board of Directors. His fellow council members approved the second reading unanimously.

In a public comment period following the ordinance reading Humane Society President Phelps thanked the council and the City Finance Committee for the $3,000 increase in the shelter’s allocation. She said that during a time when the Humane Society is pinching dollars until they squeal it is a real help to have $3,000 extra ones to pinch. She also thanked the council for recognizing the importance of the shelter’s spay and neuter program. Phelps said as far as she knows this is the first time the Humane Society has been allowed to use city funding for that purpose. She said the program’s benefits will be directly returned to people in the community.

On another subject Phelps said two local projects were awarded top honors during a recent Rural Idaho Conference Forum in Boise.

Prior to the conference rural communities from all over the state had been asked to submit presentations no more than 100 words in length about any community project they wished to showcase. Fifteen of those submissions were chosen for presentation during the conference. Two project presentations from Salmon were in the final fifteen. They featured the Lemhi Education Project and the Lemhi County Humane Society’s Odd Fellows Building Project.

At the conference, each project was allowed a tightly-timed five minute presentation in which up to 20 slides could be shown at 15 second intervals as the narrator spoke. The rural community representatives from throughout the state were then asked to vote on which projects they felt were most important.

Phelps said both Salmon projects were chosen. The Lemhi Education Project received third place honors and the Lemhi County Humane Society’s Odd Fellows Building Project placed first in the People’s Choice Awards. She said everyone in the community may be very proud of those awards.

The third and final reading of the city’s 2011-2012 Budget Ordinance is scheduled to take place at the August 17 meeting of the Salmon City Council.


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