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MATTERS OF FINANCE 11-16-11 LMS

The city would like to be earning more interest on its investment funds however a question of procedure arose regarding city code policies related to making any investment changes.

City Finance Director Amy Fealko told the Salmon City Council at its November 16 meeting that before proceeding with other investment options the city code will have to be changed by way of ordinance. The city Finance Committee will be discussing the drafting of an ordinance at its December 7 meeting so the ordinance process can begin as soon as possible.

Councilman Jim Baker is Finance Committee Chairman. He said that the current ordinance says the city is limited to depositing monies at Wells Fargo Bank, US Bank, Bank of America and the East Idaho Credit Union. He said those community firms are paying an interest rate of around .25 to .3 percent. The committee will pursue whatever changes need to be made to broaden investment opportunities. Baker said the city has approximately $1.3 million in investment funds.

Earlier in the month the City Council agreed to be a partner in the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) high efficiency heating system rebate program. The city acts as a conduit in distributing rebates to qualified residents who upgrade to more efficient systems. The DEQís main goal is to improve air quality in the city by getting rid of as many old wood burning stoves as possible and replacing them with more efficient models or with a different form of certified heating system.

City Clerk Mary Benton told the council that when participation in the program was approved it was approved for zip code 83467. She said the program was meant for city residents only and that the DEQ didnít know 83467 is the zip code for the entire county.

Benton reported that with enough interest itís possible that by next year the program could be expanded to include the whole county.

The original DEQ budget for the program was $11,000. The department has since indicated $20,000 could be made available if more people become interested.

As of November 16th there had been six applications for a heating system rebate. Benton said four have been approved by DEQ and sent on to the main office in Boise. The program that provides up to $1,000 to qualified residents has been extended beyond its original end date of December 30th.

The council approved an amendment rewording the agreement to indicate DEQ rebates are only being offered to residents of the city.

For more information about the program and details on how to apply, contact City Hall at 756-3214.




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