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A change in a Christmas tradition brought comments from the public and the Salmon City Council at its November 20 meeting.

Janet Radford told the council she was disappointed to hear there will be no Christmas tree next to King’s Department store this year.

Mayor Leo Marshall and City Attorney Fred Snook are both members of Rotary and were quick to offer explanations. Marshal said the club will be decorating the Main Street trees this year and Snook pointed out that there will be a tree, it will just be in a different location.

In fact there will be several lighted trees. In addition to lighting the Main Street trees the Rotary Club will be lighting and decorating trees in Town Square Park as well as the park’s Pavilion. The traditional tree lighting immediately following the annual Parade of Lights will be taking place at the park. The Rotary Club likes the idea of using live trees for the Christmas display. Members feel the park will provide more room and be safer for holiday gatherings.

In the past large trees have been donated by residents. The City Public Works crew has performed the cutting, transporting, setting up and taking down duties and the Rotary Club has provided the lighting and decorating.

Other topics during the council’s Roundtable Discussion included a follow-up to the November 12 joint meeting of city and county officials where the possibility of hiring a mediator was discussed. The purpose would be to find an equitable way for the city to share expenses of Sheriff’s Office Dispatch services. Council President Jim Baker said because the subject was not listed on that evening’s council agenda no decision could be made and he suggested postponing the matter until January. Attorney Snook advised the council that a mediator has no power to decide anything, only to gather all information and suggest resolutions.

Council President Jim Baker told the council that an underground fuel tank was found at the site being prepared for the Grizzly Bear statue and water feature. He said the Urban Renewal Agency immediately informed the Department of Environmental Quality which immediately issued the proper department guidelines for its removal. . The old tank has been removed and Baker said the problem will be solved. He said that if it had to happen it was good that it happened now and not next Spring when whatever remediation is necessary could have meant delays for the project.

Councilman Jim Kluesner said that a resident has brought concerns to him about the traffic flow on Water Street related to the number of trucks using the street, café customer parking, the EMT facility and the Carmen Charter School Bus loading and off-loading students at Town Square Park.

Public Safety Team Chairman Ken Hill said the situation has been discussed but nothing decided. Options include eliminating parking on one side of the street or once again rerouting Dahle’s trucks. Hill said the team will continue to work towards finding a solution.

In other city business the council postponed a decision on a bid proposal for a Wheel Loader for the Public Works Department until more information is obtained from Public Works Supervisor Harry Shanafelt.

The City Council meets the first and third Wednesday of every month. In 2014 the first Wednesday of the month falls on January 1st. The council voted to move that meeting to January 8th, pending availability of the meeting room.
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