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In his Finance Team report to the Salmon City Council May 15, Councilman and Finance Team Chairman Jim Bockelman said the 2014 budgeting process has begun and that all Capital Investment project ideas need to be delivered to City Finance Director Amy Fealko by the end of this month.

At the teamís May 7 meeting City Administrator George Ambrose reported that bids for the Courthouse sidewalk project had been turned in and the City Hall roofing project is awaiting the contractor. Bockelman said the administrator asked all council members to tour city facilities with an eye towards possible repairs, maintenance and improvements to ward off major future expenditures. He pointed to the condition of bathroom facilities at City Park, between the pool and the large pavilion, as an example of gross neglect and said it could be a capital project along with a security camera system. Ambrose also told the Finance Team that the council should look at doing a Transportation Plan update which includes advising the state of a need for a bridge. The state is scheduled to resurface Main Street in the future and curb and gutter interface problems will be corrected at that time.

It was announced that no bids were received in response to the cityís offer to sell the Idaho Street property it owns. The team also discussed the importance of a sidewalk inventory and inspection.

Alan Howell, Jo Schroeder and Tammy Stringham presented the Finance Team with information on the Lemhi Education Project (LEP). Bockelman said the team suggested a presentation be made to the full council on how much money is needed to hire an LEP coordinator.

The Finance Team discussed the question of whether or not a sewer and water base fee should be assessed Idaho Adventures now that it has been determined no hook up is required. The team passed the question on to the full councilís May 15 meeting. Councilman Jim Baker referred the council back to the recent decision made by City/County Building Inspector Gary Goodman who said the building was given a Class B designation at the time of original construction which meant no sewer or water hook ups were or are required. For that reason the council decided no fees will be assessed. Idaho Adventures has a written agreement with the neighboring Summit Bank for use of rest room facilities.

Another matter passed on to the full council was the issue of a pay increase for the mayor and council members. Research has shown wages being paid to the mayor and council members are comparable to other cities the size of Salmon and a pay raise for the mayor would place him in the midrange of the pay scale.

The council did not feel comfortable voting itself a pay raise even though there has been no salary increase since 2004. A suggested $25 per month increase would have raised the present council member salary of $5,400 to $5,700 a year.

On a vote of four to two the council did add $100 per month to the mayorís salary. The no votes were based on not yet knowing what can be done for staff salaries, not on any personal issues with the mayor whom they believe is doing a good job. If the raise successfully passes the required three vote ordinance process, beginning in 2014 the salary for Salmonís mayor will become $11,400 per year.

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