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At the December 4 meeting of the Salmon City Council Local Option Tax (LOT) Commission Chairman and Councilman Jim Bockelman relayed a recommendation of funding for the Professional Association for Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) Certification Workshop that will be held here next April.

The four day event will draw from 12 to 15 participants from around the country and will cost the Whitewater Therapeutic Recreational and Riding Association (WTRRA) approximately $7,000 to host.

Bockelman presented the organization’s $5,000 request and LOT’s recommendation to the council then invited WTRRA Advisory Board member and Certified Instructor Merry Logan to fill in the details.

She spoke of the huge benefit therapeutic riding provides to local people of all ages with all kinds of special needs and/or barriers to overcome.

Logan thanked the council for last year’s LOT funding approval and said the PATH Certification Workshop hosted by WTRRA was attended by 45 people and was the largest on-site certification clinic the national association has ever had. She said some people were just auditing and some just did the class room workshop. Logan said the PATH workshop was held here because Whitewater is known as a premier facility with premier horses. She said the local arena has become the site to come to in the Western United States because of the facility’s strict adherence to PATH guidelines, rules and regulations as well as the horses that have proven to be so trust worthy, which is not always the case elsewhere.

Logan described the four day workshop and clinic for people interested in becoming certified instructors as ‘grueling.’ The first two days are classroom and workshop oriented followed by a two day riding and teaching clinic capped off with an actual 20 minute horsemanship class presentation from each participant. The participants have already had to pass on-line tests to qualify them for the workshop and have to put in 25 certified hours of teaching time before being eligible to take the instructor’s test.

WTRRA’s role as host includes providing lunches and breakfast snacks plus footing travel expenses and accommodations for instructors and judges. Logan said there are fees charged for the workshop which help offset some expenses however financially it is a break-even event at best.

The council unanimously approved the $5,000 funding request.

In other LOT business Bockelman said there is one motel that is delinquent in paying the LOT taxes. Owners have been notified and if payment is not received in December the council will be asked to discuss how to handle the problem.

A Post Event Report form has been developed by councilmember Jesse Bender. An organization will be giving the draft form a test run to see how well it works.

The LOT Commission consists of nine members and six of those members will be leaving at the end of December. The commission has recommended to the mayor that Eric Bender, Robin Watkins, Mary Cerise, Barbara Soper and Lin Gray be named to the board along with one of the newly elected council members.

The next LOT meeting will be January 28 at 5:30 PM in the Salmon Valley Center Meeting Room. The public is welcome to attend.

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