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COUNCIL BUSINESS- sprinkler systems- 8-7-13 LMS

At its August 7 meeting the Salmon City Council passed the second reading of Ordinance 13-790. The ordinance contains details of the cityís Fiscal Year 2013-2014 budget which totals $3,539,607.

The council also appointed Kathy Brown to a three year term on the City Planning and Zoning Commission. As per her request her term will be as a member of the commission not as its chairman. The vote to appoint was passed on a three to two vote with Ken Hill, Jim Baker and Fred Waidely voting in favor, Jesse Bender and Jim Kluesner voting against.

At the suggestion of Councilman Jesse Bender, a special electronic calendar is going to be developed specifically for council members. It will contain listings of pertinent events in which members might want to be involved as well as beginning and end dates of the various contracts and agreements between the city and numerous associations. Bender was appointed to assist City Clerk Mary Benton in the calendarís development.

City Parks Foreman Gordon Stevenson proposed installation of an underground watering system at City Park that would eventually be able to irrigate all five ball fields. He has obtained estimates on the total cost, broken into increments of one section at a time, starting on the east end of the park with the two baseball fields and the softball field. The three field project was estimated at approximately $24,000. He had also obtained a cost estimate of $5,600 for an irrigation system at the Sacajawea Centerís picnic area. Stevenson said he would prefer to see the small fields done first which would eliminate the need for a seasonal employee. It was explained that if the city decided to proceed with the sprinkling system proposal, a formal bidding process would be initiated.

A motion was made to approve up to $32,000 for underground sprinkler systems at the three City Park ball fields and the picnic area at the Sacajawea Center contingent on research of the centerís water rights. The water right is based on acreage, not usage.

City Clerk Mary Benton clarified that all allowed acreage under the Centerís current irrigation water right is being irrigated. An application to increase that acreage has been submitted to the Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR). She said the increased acreage requested would still not cover the picnic area or any other location therefore any additional irrigation would have to be tied to the cityís treated water system.

The Sacajawea Center is operating with a Lemhi River Irrigation water right as well as a connection to the cityís water system. Each water source is used for specific purposes and during the council discussion the Water Master for the Jesse Creek Drainage, Greg Farmer Lowell, was asked to explain the various water rights involved. He said the Lemhi water is currently under severe restrictions. He added that if IDWR does approve the application for increased acreage at the Center the approval will probably carry a very junior water right which means that in cases of diminished water supply the junior rights are the first to be shut down.

The council voted to limit expenditures to a maximum of $32,000 and proceed with the proposed sprinkler systems for the three City Park ball fields plus the Sacajawea Center picnic area. It was felt that a good portion of the Capital Fund expenditure will be offset by not having to pay someone to irrigate and that in the long run automatic systems may actually use less water than is being used now.

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