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Requests from six local organizations for Local Option Tax (LOT) funding were approved March 6 by the Salmon City Council. Upcoming events to which LOT will be contributing are: the Spokes and Chrome Father’s Day Car Show; Knights of Columbus Oktoberfest; the Youth Employment Program “12 Hours of Disco” bicycle event; a Whitewater Therapeutic and Recreational Riding Association Therapeutic Horsemanship Instructor Workshop and Certification seminar; the Supportive Outreach Solutions Mentoring 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament and some Salmon Rodeo Team expenses related to the District One High School Rodeo Finals.

Each award is granted for up to a designated amount. The combined total maximum amount approved by the council at the request of the LOT Commission was $27,750.

City Councilman and LOT Board Chairman Jim Bockelman led the council through specifics of the six requests including percentages of event expenses each request represented.

Up to $4,000 was approved for Spokes and Chrome’s Father’s Day Car Show and Parade which is 44 percent of what the organization spent last year. The annual show is known to draw many visitors to the area. The organization supplied post event profit and loss numbers with its request. Council approval was contingent on a 2013 budget being submitted to the March meeting of the LOT Commission.

The second annual Knights of Columbus Oktoberfest scheduled for September 21 was awarded $3,500 of a requested $5,500. The commission stipulated the funding not be spent to buy glass ware since there was some left over from last year. Profits from last year went to the organization’s Coats for Kids program. Doug Bezaire said other donations were given to the Mahoney House, Pregnancy Options and the Lemhi After School Promise program. He said the group hopes to be able to raffle a steelhead fishing trip at this year’s Oktoberfest and that incentives will be added to encourage more out of town visitors. During discussion Councilman Fred Waidely questioned LOT monies funding someone else’s fund raiser but felt it would be acceptable if the profits were leveraged well. Bockelman said there is nothing in the LOT ordinance against giving money to a fund raiser and that it has been done many times. He also mentioned the ordinance does not require proof of ‘heads in beds’ results. The roll call vote for council approval was five to one with Ken Hill voting against it.

Last year’s “12 Hours of Disco” endurance bicycle event was very successful for the Youth Employment Program (YEP) in many ways. It drew 71 riders from eight states and also provided proof of YEP’s community involvement which ultimately led to obtaining additional funding for the non-profit organization. Bockelman said the organizers are aiming for 100 riders in this year’s May 18 event. He also explained the ‘disco’ part of the event title refers to Discovery Hill. He said the LOT Commission feels last year’s race put Salmon on the map for this type of bicycling and introduced cyclers to the area’s many possibilities for mountain and trial bicycle riding. The amount requested is 58 percent of the event’s total budget.

During council discussion of the $7,500 request, YEP co-founder Steve Adams explained that last year’s 12 Hours of Disco fund raiser, sponsored in part by LOT monies, is what prompted the generous grant which made it possible for the organization to purchase its own building. Adams said the event showed YEP’s involvement in the community and that involvement is what helped to secure $189,000 in grant monies from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust Foundation and from the CHC Foundation. This year’s YEP focus is on trail improvement projects. He said if there are profits from this year’s ride the organization will make application to the CHC Foundation for additional tools and equipment for use towards the trail improvement goals.

Adams clarified there is absolutely no connection between this request for LOT funding and an effort underway to raise travel expense money for some local cyclists wanting to meet with Idaho’s Congressional delegation in Washington DC for a discussion about local trail conditions and potential funding possibilities.

The council vote to approve YEP’s funding request for the bicycle endurance run was five to one with Councilman Jim Kluesner voting ‘no.’

The council unanimously approved a request of $5,750 needed by the Whitewater Therapeutic and Recreation Riding Association to host a four day Therapeutic Horsemanship Instructor Workshop and Certification seminar April 25-28. The training seminar is a national event required for those wishing to become a therapeutic riding instructor. People from seven states in addition to Idaho have already enrolled.

LOT funding was approved for the Supportive Outreach (SOS) 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament. The council approved $3,000 for the new event that planned to include teams from outside the area. All proceeds will go to the SOS program which was created to provide adult role models for youngsters through one-on-one relationships.

Up to $1,000 of LOT funds were unanimously approved for required ambulance services and up to $3,000 was approved for awards to be given at the District One High School Rodeo Finals which is hosted by the Salmon Rodeo Team. The Rodeo Finals have been being held in Salmon for over half a century. Bockelman said the finals bring over 300 participants to town for from three to four days. He said money for the event awards usually comes from scholarships and donations collected by the Salmon Rodeo Team however this year’s economics has made extra financial help necessary.

Bockelman was recently reinstated as LOT Commission Chairman by Mayor Leo Marshall and the commission has elected this year’s officers. Year to date LOT revenue is $1,116 ahead of last year at this time.

The next LOT Commission meeting will be March 19 at 5:30PM in the Salmon Valley Center meeting room and is open to the public.

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