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Councilman Jesse Bender opened the Salmon City Council’s Roundtable August 7 discussion with high praise for city and county crews, the Police Department, Idaho Power crews, the volunteer Fire Department and all the emergency response to the incredibly intense hail storm that struck Salmon on August 1. Bender said everybody was out working within minutes of the storm and roads were cleared immediately. She said she really appreciated the quick response and dedication of the employees and volunteers.

Councilman Jim Baker said he met with Shanda Fitte after the storm about some drainage problems near the Precious Cargo Day Care Center and will pass along the concerns to the Public Works Team. Baker said Chase Slavin spoke to him about right of way road access on West 2nd in the Monk Street area. Baker said he assured Slavin that if any committee meetings are scheduled to discuss the matter he would let Slavin know in advance.

Baker is a member of the Urban Renewal Board and he announced the agency has completed the sale of its property across the street from City Hall to the Summit National Bank. Baker said the sale will allow Urban Renewal to clear all debts and to finish the three projects to which it has committed; a restroom in the Town Square Park, reconstruction of the Grizzly Bear statue site and completion of the parking lot to the south of the bear. Baker said the three projects are coming along well and that plans are on schedule for the termination of the Urban Renewal agency when the projects are completed.

Councilman Fred Waidely updated the council on the Fulton Street sidewalk project and said it was 95 percent finished. At present the contractor is waiting for some hardware for the handrails. Work on the sidewalk, curb and gutter in front of the Courthouse is scheduled to begin within the week and should be finished by the end of August.

Waidely also said a meeting has been held on the pathway to City Park project which is running a bit late due to HK Paving Contractors not being able to do the work until mid-September. Other than the delay Waidely said everything else about the project looks good.

Mayor Leo Marshall referred council members to an article about efforts being made in an eastern community to administer contraception to the does in its deer population. He also commented on the interesting week created by zoning issues contained in the new Salmon Development Code. He said he wanted to state that since his city career began, first with five years on the city Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) then in 2001 with the City Council, the city has never annexed anyone’s property without being asked to do so.

Marshall went on to say the Constitution provides for freedom of speech and freedom of the press but says nothing about whether or not what is being said is true. He then presented a card he found on his office desk to City Attorney Fred Snook and asked him to determine if what was said in the card could be construed as a threat or as slander.

The council went on to approve several construction change orders having to do with the Fulton Street/Courthouse Drive sidewalk project as well as on-going work at the city’s water treatment plant and it tracked down the topic of a new restroom at City Park to the next meeting of the Public Works Team.

During closing public comments Jim Sustaire expressed disappointment that the health and safety hazards of dirt streets had not been considered in the council’s decision to apply for a sidewalk replacement grant. P&Z Commission member Gregg Lowell commented that he believes the council will listen and respond to public wishes on issues related to the proposed Salmon Development Code.

Lowell then spoke of his concerns about the Mayor’s action earlier in the evening when, in front of an audience of people that was there to express individual opinions, the mayor handed a ‘mystery letter’ to the City Attorney to review for possible litigation. Lowell felt the action could be perceived as a veiled threat to those who had exercised their freedom of speech at the meeting and in newspaper letters to the editor.

Mayor Marshall assured Lowell the letter in question had nothing to do with the current Planning and Zoning issue and he would be happy to meet with him later to explain the situation.

The next meeting of the Salmon City Council will be August 21 at 6PM in the Salmon Valley Center meeting room.

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