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TOO FAST FOR CONDITIONS 9-18-13 LMS

Even though the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is content with a speed limit of 45 miles per hour past businesses, the Sacajawea Center and City Park, the city is not.

Salmon City Councilman Fred Waidely brought the state Highway 28 topic before the council at its September 18 meeting. He, along with Mayor Leo Marshall, Mary Cerise and City Planner Dan Maiyo, had met with the ITD recently and voiced concerns over the speed limits posted between the Lemhi Road intersection and the Sacajawea Center.

In response, officials referred to a study done two years ago from which they said state engineers concluded the 45mph was appropriate. Waidely questions the validity of the limited study because it was conducted in late October of 2009. He said, “Traffic in this area during Spring and Summer is tenfold what it was when ITD did their study. To do another study during heavy traffic will only consume more time, putting many people at risk of injury or death.” He thinks common sense should prevail. He said lowering the speed limit to 35 mph is more than justified and needs to be done now.

The council unanimously approved a motion to send a letter to ITD citing safety concerns and listing all the traffic generating events that take place throughout the year at the Sacajawea Center, City Park and the various businesses which line the route. It was pointed out this does not just involve an intersection accessing a highway; it involves highway entrances and exits all along the 45 mph thoroughfare.

In other business research is still underway as to what legal or fiscal responsibilities would be attached to accepting Summit Bank’s offer to lease the parking lot across from City Hall. The bank doesn’t anticipate building on the property for a few years and has offered to lease it to the city for one dollar per year.

A brief public hearing was held on the wastewater improvement project. The project is partially funded by a $500,000 Idaho Community Development Block Grant and the hearing is a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requirement that must take place when the project has passed the half way mark.

The Development Company is administering the grant funds and federal requirements for the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The company’s Rick Miller told the council the project is now 60 percent complete. He said approximately $397,000 of the grant funds have been expended plus about $1.9 million of the DEQ monies for a total of around $2.3 million.

Miller said the hearing was to allow public comments or questions about the project. No comments or questions were offered and the hearing was closed.

Prior to the hearing Skyler Allen of Keller Associates reported the waste water treatment plant project is going very well and that contractor Dick Anderson Construction is doing a great job. He said the project is on schedule, on budget and that change orders to date are less than one percent of the construction total which is excellent for this stage of the project. Allen said most of the concrete work and underground work is complete and that’s where any unexpected major problems are most likely to occur. In short, he reiterated everything is going very well.

Later in the meeting a payment of $421,217.46 to Dick Anderson Construction, Inc. was approved on a roll call vote. The payment was included in the total amount of expenditures mentioned earlier.
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