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During the Salmon City Council’s November 6 meeting City Grants/Community Development Project Coordinator Mary Cerise reported progress on various projects having to do with transportation.

The city is in the beginning stages of updating its Transportation Plan. Cerise said that since the plan will be updated rather than re-written the work will be done by city staff thereby saving the cost of having to hire an outside firm. She said the update process was discussed at the recent Public Works Team meeting and a multi-jurisdictional transportation group approach was strongly recommended. The group would include representation from all taxing districts as well as Emergency Services personnel, the fire department, the County Commissioners, the city’s Public Works team and all such entities that could be affected by changes to the present Transportation Plan. Each will be asked to provide feedback on priorities. The first meeting of all entities will be Thursday, November 14 at noon in the Salmon Valley Center meeting room.

Cerise said she is preparing information and will be accepting any written comments. An initial organizational meeting will be held and a time and date will be announced.

At long last, the Pathway to City Park construction project has been finished. Cerise said the work performed by Dahle’s Construction and Engineer Steve Frazee is impeccable. The project is now in the paperwork reporting phase which when completed will be forwarded to the Idaho Transportation Department for city expense reimbursement.

The pathway will be chip-sealed next year which Cerise said will take care of any thin spots in the surface. She said the city experts have determined that one winter will not cause much damage to the path and chip sealing will resolve any initial surface issues. In answer to a question from Councilman Jim Kluesner, Cerise said that by having an ITD approved engineer on the job it is unlikely federal officials will feel the need to come check the work. According to the contract if federal officials should find, upon inspection, any flaws in the work the city would have to pay for the whole project. Kluesner said he thinks the pathway is really neat but doesn’t want the city to end up having to pay for it. Cerise assured him a lot of work went into making sure everything complied with all the federal and state guidelines.

Cerise said signs have been placed along the path in an effort to prevent vehicles from parking on the pathway and she is working at getting more signage.

Dahle’s Construction is doing the materials testing and inspection which means the work will be covered by the ITD grant. There were however, some extra expenses that required a change order. Cerise said the suddenly wet weather just as the project was nearing completion increased the estimated costs for quality control by $1,573 and raised the final project cost to $59,123. She told the council that even with the additional expense the city’s in-kind match of labor, equipment and materials is still well within requirements so no checks will need to be written. She also said everything is in order in case of an audit. The council approved the change order on a vote of five to one. Kluesner voted no. He said it was just to keep his reputation of ‘no’ votes on the pathway intact.

Councilman Fred Waidely pointed out that this is the second project this year that encountered unexpected weather related costs. He suggested putting an ‘act of God’ clause in all future contracts.

Cerise said many people are already using the pathway and that feedback from members of the community is very positive.

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