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The Salmon City Council has approved eight Location Option Tax funding requests for a total dollar amount of $19,200.

In his July 18th report to the council LOT Commission Chairman and Councilman Jim Bockelman said that the LOT revenue gathered from a local lodging tax is ahead of last year to date figures by $1,945. He said if the current trend continues the commission thinks there will be enough revenue to fund the current funding recommendations at the time the expenditures are scheduled.

One thousand LOT dollars will go towards funding a Volunteer Concert. The event is sponsored by the Lemhi Education Project and is to honor the many local volunteers who devote so many hours to the community.

A Lemhi County Economic Development Association (LCEDA) project called “Buy Local” was also awarded $1,000. Before approval Councilman Jim Baker asked how the campaign fits into city promotion and development. Bockelman said the commission viewed the project as city development and Councilman Fred Waidely commented that preventing money from leaving town is the same as bring money to town. The funding was approved with Baker and Councilman Jim Kluesner voting ‘no.’

Another LCEDA proposal was approved involving paying a professional marketing firm to create a Development Plan to address improving business revenues during the off season times of year. The two phase request was for a total $5,000. Two thousand dollars will go towards the fact finding, data gathering and first draft marketing plan of Phase One. If the plan created is then approved by the LOT Commission and the Council, an additional $3,000 will be expended for implementation.

City Administrator George Ambrose asked if the county was participating in the project and LCEDA Executive Director Tammy Stringham said the county hasn’t been asked since it does not have budgeting for such a thing. She also said the time frame on Phase One is expected to be 60 days. Bockelman reiterated that if the plan does not meet with approval the second phase will not be funded.

Council President Baker stated he likes to see a written proposal attached to requests that come before the council. He said the commission may have all the information on a proposal but as a councilman making a decision, he doesn’t and that’s not sufficient. Bockelman replied, “For you that’s not sufficient Jim but that’s how the ordinance is set up. The [LOT] commission will handle it and then will move it forward to the council.”

The approval vote was Bockelman, Jessie Bender, Ken Hill and Fred Waidely in favor, Baker and Jim Kluesner opposed.

A $700 request to support the late fall Festival of Trees fund raising event was passed without opposition. Recipient of the proceeds this year will be the Search and Rescue organization.

The council approved an up to $4,900 request from the Knights of Columbus which the organization will use to advertise and promote a September 29th Oktoberfest. The fest will be marketed locally as well as in eastern Idaho and southwestern Montana.

A $1,600 request to help fund the upcoming “Luau on the River” fund raiser was approved by the council. Proceeds from the evening go to Salmon Search and Rescue. This is the second year for the event which proved very successful last year.

After some discussion a majority approval was given to directing $5,000 in LOT funding towards a building fa?ade face lift for the Lemhi County Historical Society Museum.

Baker questioned whether remodeling money would be given to another Main Street business and Bockelman pointed out the museum is a nonprofit entity. Councilman Waidely commented on what a great asset and huge attraction the museum is for the community and that it is recognized statewide as a premier museum.

The request was approved unanimously by the council and later during a public comment opportunity Historical Society President Hope Benedict thanked the council and the Local Option Tax Commission on behalf of the society and museum for their support. Elaborating on Waidely’s earlier comments she said, “We were awarded the highest honor in the state given to any museum on January 3rd, 2012. It was awarded to us by the Idaho State Historical Society, the Idaho Heritage Trust and the Idaho Humanities Council. So, we’re a pretty good organization and I thank you for recognizing that.”

The LOT money will be added to funds the Historical Society has collected from various other sources and the award winning museum will now be getting a new look.

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