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The fees being charged for use of city facilities were one of the topics discussed by the Finance Committee Team at its February 7 meeting, according to a report to the City Council delivered by Finance Committee Team Chairman Jim Bockelman

Councilman Bockelman said some changes to various sections of the fee schedule were recommended and other sections will be discussed by other committee teams as the draft schedule develops. Results will be brought before the council for approval.

Portions of city resident tax monies go toward maintaining facilities that are used by residents of both the city and the county as well as visitors.

The inequity of county residents paying the same use fees as city residents who are already paying for the facilities was another subject discussed by the Finance Team. That discussion will be continued.

City Finance Director Amy Fealko explained the city’s financial workings and procedures to the newly appointed members. Bockelman said Fealko also presented a draft resolution pertaining to grant signing authority. The resolution includes a description of the process as to who prepares and eventually approves grant applications. She will prepare some suggested clarifications brought up by the team before the draft resolution is presented to the full council.

Fealko will also be meeting with city department heads to determine which Capital Improvement projects need to be researched in order to determine cost and prioritization Results of the research will be delivered to the next Finance Team meeting.

Bockelman said that Calvin Lehman was a guest at the meeting and expressed his thoughts on why city financial information should be more transparent and accessible to residents. Lehman feels availability of the information on an Internet web site will serve to better inform residents and possibly encourage more involvement.

Bockelman said the Association of Idaho Cities (AIC) had been contacted regarding the information access request. He said the AIC’s response was the association has had discussions on such a requirement however; “… the point remains hypothetical at this point.” Bockelman said AIC further commented on the cost of posting the information versus the number of residents that truly have an interest and it mentioned the ease of access to public records which currently exists. According to AIC the only legal entities now required by the state to post financial information on-line are school districts.

Bockelman said the city currently makes public the annual budget and places city quarterly financial reports on the city’s web site at www.cityofsalmon.com . The 2011 audit will be posted there after it is officially approved by the City Council.

The Finance Committee Team has decided its meetings will take place at 11AM on the first Tuesday following the first council meeting of the month. They will usually be held in the meeting room of the Salmon Valley Center. Due to the March election next month’s meeting will be in the Learning Center of the Sacajawea Center.

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