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Trees being cut down on dykes along the Lemhi River brought calls of outrage last week to city offices and to members of the City Council.

During the January 15 City Council Roundtable discussion Councilman Jim Baker was the first to bring up the subject saying that a former council person had requested him to look into the matter. He said he is aware there is an easement on the dyke for maintenance work but adjoining property owners really need to be notified in advance.

The easement is owned by the Army Corps of Engineers and maintenance work is performed periodically to protect the integrity of the river dykes. According to Mayor Leo Marshall the Corps ordered the city to do the work at which time City Clerk Mary Benton did send a notification. The notice was sent around mid-December announcing that minimal maintenance would be done. It said nothing about cutting down trees which Baker stated is not minimal maintenance. Councilman Russ Chinski was also approached on the subject and said he agreed that when trees are cut down on someoneís property it can really fire up the property owner.

Baker said there is no argument with following the Corpsí maintenance directions itís just that there is a need for better advance communication. Councilman Jim Bockelman said this is the second time in a month the city has not been informed as to Public Works plans. The first time was the tree trimming on Island Park. He said the council should be updated twice a month with reports from the Public Works Supervisor.

As of that evening, January 15, there was confusion on the mega load schedule. Councilman Waidely was told the second mega load was due to drive through town that night. Mayor Leo Marshall had been informed that the second mega load was staying put until road conditions allow the first load to proceed over Lost Trail Pass. The second mega load has been parked on Highway 28 at mile post 130 waiting for the first load to move.

Robert Dunlap spoke during both council Public Comment periods. First he welcomed the new council members. Then he explained that due to his Riverfront Drive business not being correctly pinpointed by Google there needs to be a sign at the Riverfront Drive intersection for those who still resort to street signs when GPS fails. He also told the council that one of the signs alerting drivers to the pedestrian crosswalk at the west end of the Main Street Bridge is missing. At the conclusion of the meeting his public comment was in regard to an earlier discussion on restaurant sewer rates. He urged the city to rethink those rates and consider basing the charges on water usage. The cityís Finance Team is researching that topic and will report findings to the council.

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