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Councilman Jim Kluesner used the April 4 Roundtable Discussion portion of the Salmon City Council meeting to remind everyone of the upcoming City Auction.

He said on April 18 a collection of city vehicles will be sold at auction. The inventory includes cars, a dump truck and a water truck. Kluesner said the sale starts at noon on the 18th and they’d like to have as many people in attendance as possible. The auction will take place at the City Shop.

Councilman Jesse Bender inquired as to whether city employees are eligible to bid on the auction items. She said that City Clerk Mary Benton conferred with the Association of Idaho Cities and was told the mayor and members of the council cannot buy the auction items but there is nothing against employees participating unless the city has a policy against it. The City of Salmon does not have a policy regarding the issue. Bender recommended that to avoid potential problems a policy should be established and that whatever the policy turns out to be it should also extend to family members of the mayor and council. It was agreed that a discussion on the matter will be placed on the next meeting agenda.

To further clarify, City Attorney Fred Snook said that absent of a policy being in place there is no law against an employee taking part in the auction. He agreed the city does need to create a written policy.

Mayor Leo Marshall announced he asked City Administrator George Ambrose to speak with Fitness 7 Center management about rental rates for the Seniors\' Exercise Class. His findings will be relayed to the city’s Finance Committee Team.

In other business Marshall noticed a Public Works Team recommendation on a utilities hook up fee waiver for the EMT’s needed to be acted upon. At the council’s March 21 meeting the team had outlined what work city crews would provide at the new Ambulance Building and that the EMT’s would pay for the $950 water meter. The council officially approved the Public Works recommendation.

The city has received an application from Steele Memorial Hospital to vacate a 500 foot portion of VanDreff Street between Church Street and Daisy Street.

A discussion to determine the need for a public hearing on the vacation request was on the council’s April 4 agenda. City Planner Dan Maiyo said there is no code requirement regarding holding a public hearing on the request therefore whether or not a hearing will be held is up to the city’s discretion. He also stated the 2003 Transportation Plan is silent as to any future plans or statistics for that street. Maiyo said the city will be relying on the applicant to provide all the information needed for the council to make a vacation determination.

Councilman Fred Waidely made a motion, seconded by Bender, for the city to hold a public hearing. He said the reason behind his motion was a public hearing would provide due process for the applicant as well as for the citizens of Salmon. Waidely said a hearing would also supply the council with intelligent information on which to deliberate and make a good decision.

Councilman Jim Baker was not opposed to the idea of a hearing but pointed out the council has not yet heard any formal presentation from the applicant. He thought such a presentation may answer any council questions. Marshall suggested placing a presentation from the hospital on the next council agenda and waiting until afterward to make a decision on whether to hold a public hearing. Maiyo interjected that according to the research he has done into state codes, the council’s having an informational meeting prior to a public hearing could result in a conflict of interests.

When consulted, Attorney Snook said a vacation request on a little used alley-way would obviously not need a public hearing. VanDreff Street on the other hand is one of the city’s main thoroughfares. Snook said the school is considering selling its land across the street from the hospital. He recalled that years ago an effort was made to extend VanDreff to Highway 93 South and the idea might be revisited if the school sells the property between the hospital and the highway.

Snook said the city is obligated to respond to the vacation request. He said the council has the power and discretion to just go ahead with the vacation but considering the importance of the street in his opinion the city would be remiss in not hearing how the public feels.

A vote was taken on Wadley’s motion to hold a public hearing. It passed with Waidely, Bender and Baker voting in favor, Ken Hill and Jim Kluesner voting against. Councilman Jim Bockelman was absent that evening.

A public hearing date of May 2nd was selected and will be advertised. The hearing to gather public opinion on vacating the portion of VanDreff Street between the hospital and Church Street will be held during the council’s regular meeting.
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