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SIDEWALK CHOICES DISCUSSED 8-21-13 LMS

At the request of Councilman Jim Bockelman a further discussion of the Community Choices for Idaho grant for which the city has applied was held during the council’s August 21 meeting.

The grant would come through the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) and would fund sidewalk replacement on both sides of Main Street as well as a pathway from the city to the Shoup Bridge five miles south of Salmon. The city’s grant application partners are the Bureau of Land Management and the Salmon Valley Stewardship.

The council voted to proceed with a grant application at the August 7 meeting however questions were raised at the time that Bockelman wanted to pursue such as, how many total feet of sidewalk replacement is estimated and what is the estimated cost. Also, what are the requirements for a municipal sidewalk and what would be the cost of correcting the problems that have been identified? Those figures would be of use with or without the grant since replacement needs have been substantiated.

Councilman Jim Kluesner pointed to the code that names the adjacent property owner as responsible for sidewalk condition and repairs and asked if that code would have any meaning if the grant is awarded.

City Attorney Fred Snook replied that if a grant is awarded for the purpose of funding sidewalk replacement it would supersede the property owners’ responsibility which is one of the benefits the grant would provide to people on both sides of Main Street. He added that there is also a big benefit to the city in that the new sidewalks would bring the city an immunity to trip and fall law suits for many years.

In answer to the suggestion of only replacing damaged portions of sidewalk the subject of uniformity of slopes and gradients was mentioned by Councilman Ken Hill. Councilman Fred Waidely said that next summer the ITD is going to resurface all of Main Street and will be installing new curbing. He said if the sidewalks don’t match the state specifications of curbing, tripping hazards could be the result.

Bockelman asked that an engineer’s estimate of the identified deficiencies in the sidewalks be placed on the agenda for presentation at the next council meeting.

During the first Public Comment portion of the council meeting Lloyd Jones invited council members to attend Tea Party meetings that are held the first Thursday of every month in the Salmon Public Library basement beginning at 7PM. He said the next meeting will feature a report on topics covered by speakers at the recent third annual Idaho State Liberty Summit which took place in Burley. He emphasized the party’s goal of educating the public about local issues as well as concerns on a national level.

Jones also wished to comment on non-governmental organizations partnering with the elected government. He said it appears every one of the groups has its own agenda and to many people he knows, the organizations appear to be nonregistered lobbyists. He referred to the Global Biodiversity Assessment, also known as Agenda 21, which is an over eight pound, 1100 page document printed in 1995 by the United Nations. Jones said it supports all governments being governed by non-governmental organizations as the primary justification for UN membership

Other input he has received from people involves a Main Street ban on parked pickup trucks loaded with wood. He said the city’s action looks very elitist and discriminatory since there are wider vehicles still allowed such as; campers, motorhomes and flatbed trailers loaded with float boats. He said he doesn’t know why parked wood hauling pickups are called a safety issue when there are so many other vehicles that are harder to see around.

Gary Grance of the Salmon Strike Zone questioned the council as to why the water and sewer rates are so high and said that has never really been explained to him. He said it makes staying in business very difficult and wondered if there is a way to reduce the bills or make a partial payment to avoid shut off.


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