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Four recommendations by the Local Option Tax Commission were approved June 4 by the Salmon City Council

Councilman and LOT Commissioner member Rob Jackson reviewed the requests and recommendations for the City Council.

The Calvary Chapel is planning its first three day Rock the River, family event and asked for $7,450 to pay for marketing, artist fees, and associated rentals. Jackson said the LOT Commission was happy to see a new event in Salmon. He said some were concerned over its being held the same time as Heritage Days and others felt that would be a good thing for both events. The commission recommended that $3,850 be approved and the council unanimously agreed with the recommendation.

Salmon Valley Stewardship asked for $1,500 to reprint the Mountain Bike Trail Guide. One thousand of the brochures were printed last year and were all distributed. It was felt that many of the brochures were collected by local people and now that they have them, the new supply will be more available for visitors to the area. The goal of the brochure is to entice visitors to ‘stay and play’ in Salmon. Printing of 500 brochures will be done locally. Last year the Idaho Travel Council (ITC) funded production of the Mountain Bike Trail Guide through the Salmon Valley Chamber of Commerce. Due to a redirection of the ITC funds, brochure money was not available this year. The council approved the $1,500 request on a five to one vote. Jackson cast the single ‘no’ vote because in his opinion the funds should be coming from ITC monies.

Lemhi Youth Baseball asked LOT for $4,500 to help fund the Max Hemmert All Star Tournament. The council accepted the commission’s award recommendation of $3,450 to be specifically used for hiring professional umpires, supplies, dumpsters, porta-potties and grounds maintenance in preparation for the tournament.

The Salmon Whitewater Park Association asked LOT for $4,000 to assist with $73,000 in engineering costs. The association said some of the engineering work would include the bridge leading to Island Park and for replacement of the ten inch city water pipe that goes from east to west under the river. The commission recommended giving the association $3,000.

When considered by the council President Jim Baker’s first question was why is the city moving towards funding Whitewater Park plans? Councilman Jim Bockelman replied, “The city is not. LOT is.” Bockelman acknowledged it is a fine line however; he said LOT consists of lodging tax money to be specifically put towards community development. As to engineering needs for city owned property Baker said he wanted to know exactly what the needs are. Councilman Fred Waidely said the condition of abutments on the small bridge needs to be checked and Bockelman said the bridge and the underwater pipe engineering would be included as part of the required Whitewater Kayak Park engineering, as a bargaining chip that would save the city money.

LOT Chairman Robin Watkins said the commission took note of all the active fund raising and grant writing efforts being made by the association. She also said the request for LOT money had to do with needing extra funds to cover the permitting process.

Baker said he is not unfavorable to the project but is questioning the additional funding requests and whether the city will get anything out of it.

Public Works Supervisor Harry Shanafelt described the pipe in question as a ten inch water line installed in the late 40’s or early 50’s that has reached its age limit. He said the Whitewater Association will do the permitting required to replace the pipe while the river channel is de-watered for park construction. He added replacement may not be needed since it’s possible a liner could resolve the issue.

Jackson remarked this funding would reduce the LOT financial buffer for the rest of the year. Bockelman pointed out that the funds would come out of the 2015 fiscal year. He amended the motion to indicate that if the Whitewater Kayak Park Association fails to obtain all the money to pay for the required engineering and permitting, there would subsequently be no need for the $3,000 from LOT.

The council’s approval vote of the $3,000 recommended by the LOT Commission was four to two with Bockelman, Chinske, Waidely and Ken Hill voting in favor, Baker and Jackson voting against.

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