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City Finance Director Amy Fealko reported to the city’s January 14 Finance Team meeting that once all the fiscal year first quarter state revenues have arrive December financial figures will fall into place. She said the 2013-14 closeout budget is still pending however the audit is almost complete.

In his report to the Salmon City Council January 15, Finance Team Chairman and Councilman Jim Bockelman said that one motel has not made a Local Option Tax payment since the end of September 2013. He said correspondence from Fealko has gone unanswered and that a more formal letter from Mayor Leo Marshall will be the next step. Bockelman said there is some concern that the notices are not getting to the right party. The team will be checking legalities as it continues looking into the problem.

As to the status of the city making payments to County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Services Bockelman said the process is awaiting a city decision on participating in mediation. At a November joint city/county meeting the city decided it wanted to wait until new City Council members were seated to decide on the next step. Bockelman said the Finance Team feels the question of mediation should go before the full council for discussion.

The topic of the Library Building was discussed in regards to a possible purchase, future budgeting and where does the city building end and the library building begin. The team recommends all the questions be discussed by the council after the team reviews the city/library association agreement.

Bockelman said representatives from the Alliance for Control of Animal Population Inc. (ACAP) were in attendance to discuss its funding request. The question to decide is if the city should expend monies not budged for this year or wait until the requested funding can be included in the next budget process. ACAP has received $1,000 from the county and has requested $2,000 from the city. The money is to help fund the organization’s feral cat control program. Bockelman said the Finance Team thinks the council should review the ACAP request again and also should address the subject of unbudgeted financial requests.

Water and sewer base fees for restaurants were discussed. Bockelman said the water charges are based on usage and the sewer rate is based on the number of seats in the restaurant and how many meals are served daily. Bockelman said the rate is taken from a standard that is not arbitrarily formulated by the city and allows for peaks and valleys in customer volume. He said the team discussed the possibility of using water usage to compute the sewer rate for restaurants as is done in other cities. Of course restaurants using disposable plates and beverage containers would use less water than those having to wash dishes. The question raised was, is it fair for those using less water to have to pay by the seat? Bockelman said Fealko will work on a comparison based on water usage and the team will continue to work on the issue. He advised that any changes in the rate would need to be tempered with the cost of running the sewer and water plants.

Idaho Power electricity rates have increased and a billings report from Fealko is forthcoming. A renewal of the city/Golf Course Association agreement is being reviewed along with an update on the 50/50 split of the irrigation water pump’s power bill. The Finance Team is also discussing water funds and management and is recommending the council be updated on a regular basis as to what needs to be replaced and from what source the money should come. It was also agreed that City Grants/Community Development Projects Coordinator Mary Cerise will give the Finance Team a quarterly report on how grants are progressing.

The next Finance Team meeting will be on February 11 at 11AM in the Salmon Valley Center meeting room.

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