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Several discussion topics were listed on the February 5 Salmon City Council agenda and one of them concerned developing a written maintenance plan for Island Park.

Council President Jim Baker suggested having the Parks and Recreation Team create a long range plan that would include tree care as related to age and species, replacement species and any other anticipated changes to the park. It was decided that since the cityís Public Works Department does much of the park maintenance it should be included in preparing the plan.

The reason behind a need for such a plan was the cutting of trees on the island which took place with no forewarning to either the public or the council.

Public Works Superintendent Harry Shanafelt has since reported the tree cutting was prompted by a rotted, 40 inch diameter tree falling directly across a walking path. It has been photo documented that many of the old Cotton Wood trees subsequently cut down were hollow and therefore dangerous to the public.. The incident also proved the need for better communication. It was felt cooperative development of a park maintenance plan is a good start.

Another issue brought forward by Baker was the councilís legal inability to answer questions asked during a public comment period. State statutes dictate that the designated time set aside for public comment is just that and not a time for discussion, therefore the council cannot directly respond to the speaker which is sometimes difficult for the public to understand. Baker thought that in some cases answers to non-issue questions should be provided.

City Clerk Mary Benton asked the Association of Idaho Cities for a legal opinion and was told the best way to handle the situation is to place the question on the next council agenda. The AIC also said that the majority of simple yes or no inquiries can be handled by the mayor.

City Attorney Fred Snook defined the purpose of published agendas as a means to alert the public to issues the council is going to decide so citizens interested in a specific issue can be in attendance.

The bottom line was in order to follow Open Law legal procedures there can be no discussions that are not listed on the agenda. Therefore, there should be no conversational exchange between council members and those making comments. The mayor can respond by giving an answer or redirecting the question to an appropriate source.

City Planner Dan Maiyo has compiled all that has been discussed regarding the proposed City Development Code into written form and the document was delivered to council members for their review. The summary will be studied and discussed at a later date.

At a previous meeting a motion made by Councilman Baker was passed to change present zoning in the area South of Main Street and West of Highway 93 South to Low Density Residential-2 in order to allow duplexes. At the councilís February 5 meeting Baker said he would like to add the allowance of multi-family apartments to that motion.

After discussion of which proposed zoning changes should be recommended for the proposed Development Code, Councilman Bob Jackson suggested simply rezoning the area to Medium Density Residential which allows for duplexes and apartments. Baker withdrew his original motion and Councilman Fred Waidely moved to zone the area as Medium Density Residential. The motion passed four to two with Jim Bockelman and Ken Hill voting against it. The vote was to recommend the zoning change. There would have to be a public hearing prior to any zoning change actually being made.

A discussion on changing a Shoup Street zoning recommendation to Medium Density Residential will be placed on the February 19 agenda.

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