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Pathways and public transportation plans for this area will be discussed at an October 10, 10AM meeting in the Salmon Valley Center meeting room. City Council members as well as city and county residents were invited to attend the upcoming transportation meeting by JoAnn Wolters.

Wolters issued the invitation at the October 3 meeting of the Salmon City Council. She is a co-coordinator of the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) Local Mobility Management Network (LMMN) for District 6A and a board member of the state Community Transportation Association of Idaho (CTAI). Wolters said representatives from the Targhee Regional Public Transportation Authority (TRPTA) will be in attendance along with ITD District Six Mobility Manager Jeff Osgood.

Wolters said local proposals will be presented which request that TRPTA provide a local contact for telephone calls and that same day service be offered. As it stands now someone desiring transportation has to call Idaho Falls for a ‘reservation’ a day in advance of the transportation need.

Previously when asked to supply such services TRPTA has asked the city to contribute extra funding. The transportation service is funded with federal dollars given to the state and distributed by ITD. The Medicare services the company provides supply the ‘in-kind’ matching funds equivalent for grants they receive through the state. Wolters said, “Our thing is, they [TRPTA] have not been able to show exactly where the money has been spent and we’re still holding tight and saying, ‘You used to have somebody here…what happened?’”

On another transportation subject Wolters said the LMMN group has submitted a Trails Action Plan which has been approved by Lemhi County and by Lemhi County Planning and Zoning. She said the County Commissioners agree the plan should be included in the area’s overall Transportation Plan under Alternate Mobility, Chapter Five. Although that comes under county purview Wolters said it affects the city because the planned pathways that radiate in various directions have to have a starting point. Plans call for walking, running and biking paths along Highway 93 south and north and east along Highway 28. Some sort of transportation to Lost Trail Pass facilities are also part of the LMMN strategy.

Wolters said the After Hours and Senior Van may be involved in supplying weekend transportation to the Pass. She said the van has been kept busy transporting 4Hers, downriver trips and runs to Challis for seniors and for educational outings to Lemhi Pass. The big news is a communications link for van use will be included in the communications grant just received by the county.

Wolters said the hospital has expressed the need of after-hours transportation for patients and that the Discovery Care Center would like to use the van to transport its assisted living clients to ball games and other evening events. She said the Lemhi County Ride van services will be offered to other businesses and organizations as well.

Bureau of Land Management Field Office Manager Linda Price delivered Trails and Pathways informational packets to each council member. She explained the BLM is a member of the LMMN team and is happy to be involved with the unique partnership opportunity that is focused on connecting the city to public lands. The detailed packets contained proposals, objectives, maps and goals encompassing immediate projects as well as those projected well into the future. She said the next step is a feasibility analysis on the first proposed trail segment which would run from Salmon to the Morgan Bar Recreation Site.

Price said the BLM is simply one member of the trails and pathways system team. She said the membership is expected to grow as word of the objectives spreads. Price quoted the project mission as being the development of, “…a safe system of trails that connects Lemhi County communities and assures access to public lands and rivers for everyone.” She said, “We just want it make it possible, either on foot or on a bicycle, to leave your house and get to public lands without having to use a car.”

Price indicated that the steps being taken now are necessary in order to reach the stage of actually being able to accomplish the trails and pathways goals. She told the council, “I personally think this is a really exciting opportunity for the City of Salmon. I think it’s an excellent opportunity for the BLM to make a connection with the community. I think that’s something we’re all about. And I’m excited about it.”

Wolters said creation of the diverse group that created the detailed trail system plan was made possible through grants obtained for this area by CTAI board member Carol Richardson.

Funding for the mobility transportation programs comes from Federal Transportation Administration monies that are given to the state and then distributed to the six regional transportation districts.

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