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Part of the money to pay for the city wastewater plant upgrades was obtained through an Idaho Community Block Grant of $500,000. The money is from the Housing and Urban Development Act (HUD) enacted in 1974 for the purpose of helping rural communities fund public utility projects. The federal monies are given to the state and in this case funneled through the Idaho Department of Commerce. Terms of the grant include the city’s commitment to follow Fair Housing Act rules and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access requirements.

In late 2011 the Development Company, a firm based in Rexburg, was hired by the council to manage all the complexities of the paperwork required for the block grant application and then to follow through on grant administration. The money from that successful application is an outright grant and not a loan.

At the March 5 meeting of the Salmon City Council Rick Miller of the Development Company reported on a recent compliance inventory of city properties. He said that with the city’s appointment of a person to oversee the Fair Housing aspects, that part of the agreement is in compliance however there are a few ADA issues which need to be addressed.

There is only one minor problem in the City Hall building which can be resolved by changing a lock from one side of the door to the other on a bathroom stall. The Sacajawea Center needs to make several ADA improvements including a paved sidewalk from the parking area to facility buildings and restrooms. Miller said the Police Station has some ADA issues but since it is really not a place used by the public they don’t need attention at this time. The Meriwether Theater is another matter. It has been decided that making the old building handicapped accessible would constitute an undue financial hardship on the city therefore only limited use of the theater is recommended. If it is to be used there should be an alternative place where ADA people can view the theater presentations.

The city Swimming Pool meets all ADA compliance standards.

Miller said a paved pathway to restrooms on Island Park is needed along with a signed ADA stall. There is virtually no access to the old Pavilion. The facility gets limited use and a vehicle can be parked next to it. He said any city sponsored event should offer another location for ADA patrons or make upgrades to the facility.

Miller said the city Policies and Procedures look good. He advised providing some awareness training for the staff and consulting with ADA people when reviewing policies. He said that after going through all the policies and buildings he doesn’t think there are any major compliance issues. “With the amount of buildings you have it’s not too bad. You guys are really doing good and are in good shape with that.” He said his detailed report is a working document to be used as a guideline

Miller told the council the Development Company is looking at the end of April-first of May for completion of the $500,000 Community Block Grant close-out documents.

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