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The Salmon City Council granted three Local Option Tax funding requests at its November 6 meeting for a total of $17,040. Most of the money is going into professional promotion for the area and its businesses rather than for special events.

A multi-faceted Marketing Campaign proposal presented by the Salmon Valley Chamber of Commerce was awarded $12,540. The money will be added to a grant from the Idaho Travel Council and used to hire Steel Branding, a well known professional marketing and public relations firm.

Chamber Executive Director Charleane Hermosillo told the City Council the firm has extensive experience in marketing tourism, a good track record of results in other areas and has visited with local businesses. In its proposal Steel Branding suggests integrating all forms of marketing from creation of a new logo for the area to management of social media including the Chamberís web site and Facebook, developing a newsletter and devising surveys to find out why people want to come to Salmon. Those who take time to participate in the surveys will be rewarded with a T-shirt.

In a breakdown of how the $12,540 will be spent Councilman and LOT Commission Chairman Jim Bockelman said $3,400 will be for development of a five year marketing plan and $1,840 will go for development of print ready T-shirt and hat designs. One hundred shirts and hats will be produced for $2,500 and $3,000 will be used as matching funds for a $26,000 grant from the Idaho Travel Council. Bockelman said one of most appealing parts of the professional plan is a built in way to measure results of the promotional efforts.

The council approval was unanimous.

Lemhi County Economic Development Association Executive Director Tammy Stringham explained that its $2,000 request for LOT funding will be used as a grant match for a $3,000 grant from Idaho Power plus a $1,000 contribution from LCEDA. With the additional funds from LOT a total of $6,000 will go towards Business Recruitment Marketing and updating the LCEDA website so that it will be more consistent with business recruitment marketing. The funding will also be to assist existing businesses.

Stringham told the council that Steel Branding is a known commodity and has worked in Idaho for a long time. She said she has approached the firm about creating a local marketing brochure that would target the areaís heritage and community. The brochure will be included in materials sent to relocation inquiries and will highlight reasons for moving to Salmon such as low taxes and affordable power bills. She added that they are not out to oversell the community since it is not for everyone. Stringham said LCEDA is looking for small businesses that will fit well with the area and that are sustainable. The brochures will be taken to the next Sportsman, Hunting and Outdoor Show in Las Vegas where local and state representatives will meet with potential businesses.

The council unanimously approved the request.

The third funding request came from the Stream of Dreams Murals Societyís Public Art Education Project and was for $2,500. Terry Myers explained to the council the art project will be a mural along the fence on the Challis Street side of the high school and will be created by school students. She said a nonprofit group from Vancouver, British Columbia will come to Salmon and conduct an educational seminar with the students during which time the fish art will begin. The muralís intent will be to depict the cultural, economic and recreational value of fishing resources in this area. Meyers said the fence hangings will also include interpretive signs and visibly improve the look of that area while raising awareness of the importance of a healthy watershed and the benefits it provides to this community. She said the school has agreed to maintain the art work and keep it going as new students evolve into the program.

Other funds for the art and education project which will ultimately amount to around $7,900 have come from the Steele Reese Foundation, Salmon Valley Stewardship, Idaho Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Trout Unlimited as well as private donations. The council approved adding $2,500 in LOT funds to the project.

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