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Salmon City Finance Team Chairman Jim Bockelman reported to the April 16 meeting of the Salmon City Council that city finances are looking good at the half way point of the city’s fiscal year. The city’s General Fund shows $83,000 more revenue than expenses.

Councilman Bockelman told the council that according to City Finance Director Amy Fealko she will begin to distribute budget material to city department heads so they can get started on the 2014-15 budget. He said Fealko is suggesting beginning budget workshops in early June. The budget related materials will include capital expenditure request worksheets which she feels will make the process more formalized.

Bockelman said the Finance Team is still discussing the base sewer fees for restaurants and has reached no determination or recommendation regarding the formula the city uses in calculating sewer and water fees for restaurants. At present the fees are determined by the number of seats in a restaurant and the number of times meals are served daily such as breakfast, lunch and dinner. He said if a restaurant owner wishes to update the information the city should be contacted.

One motel has been listed as delinquent in Local Option Tax payments since last September. Bockelman said payments have been received for November 2013 through February 2014 but September and October 2013 are still outstanding. It is not known if this is an oversight or if a future payment is planned. City Attorney Fred Snook will be looking into the situation.

Bockelman said the Finance Team discussed the on-going problems with the City Hall building’s well and its heat pumps. He said the problem has been isolated to the well not producing enough water for efficient heat pump operation which is what causes maintenance problems.

Bockelman said there are two possible fixes; a new well or a pit system water source.

The Finance team feels it is an issue that needs to be solved by a City Council determination on the best direction to take. He said action could possibly be taken through the capital expenditure process. A recommendation has also been made that a heat pump replacement program be put in place. Councilman Ken Hill said the Odd Fellows building is using a pit system water source with great results.

The best procedure for billing the Salmon Valley Chamber of Commerce was discussed. When the Chamber closed up shop it owed back rental payments for office space in the City Hall building. There was also a matter of an inadvertent, duplicate Local Option Tax payment it had received and needed to return. The question was where to send the billing statements. Bockelman said it was decided they will be sent to Cindy Olson at Summit Bank.

The Finance Team heard an update from Mary Cerise on new procedures being considered for LOT funding requests and dispersal. The Local Option Tax Commission will continue to work on the possible changes and then present them for City Council study.

The city’s Finance Director is recommending updates to policies regarding city employee use of credit cards. She will rework the policies and report back to the Finance Team.

The next meeting of the City Finance Team is set for May 14at 11AM in the Salmon Valley Center meeting room.
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