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At its meeting earlier this month the city’s Public Works Team was presented with a rough draft of the City Transportation Plan. Team Chairman/City Councilman Fred Waidely told the August 20 City Council meeting that Public Works Team members offered some ideas for consideration and returned the plan to City Grants/Community Development Project Coordinator Mary Cerise. She will complete the draft and schedule a review and comment period in order to gather input on the plan from the public. The draft will then be sent to the City Council for an official public hearing.

Waidely also reported that renewal of the Local/State Maintenance Agreement between the state and city of Salmon for District Six highways is overdue. He said Cerise will follow through on updating the agreement and present it to the City Council.

Waidely explained a fee waiver request that was presented to the team by Willard Davis.

Waidely told the council that Davis has requested a partial waiver of the usual $4000 fee for connecting a property to city services. He asked for a $1,000 reduction on each of four properties. The standard hookup fee is $2,000 for water and $2,000 for sewer plus $1,000 for a meter.

The team’s recommendation to the full City Council was to deny the fee waiver request.

When it came time for the City Council to review the request it discussed a letter to the city in which Davis said the fees for hookups are based upon the actual cost expended by the city for materials and labor. He said two of the properties will share the same cut in the asphalt along with the same trench for the water lines and he volunteered to provide labor where necessary. Waidely agreed that in fact fees are based on actual city costs but there is also the ‘buy-in’ element to be considered. It has to do with a new customer buying in to an existing infrastructure system for which other taxpayers have been paying all along to build. The hookup fee allows new users to invest in the system and help defray the operational expenses of those who have paid to build it. Waidely said that to date there has been no contribution to the system made by these particular four properties.

City Attorney Fred Snook clarified that the two lots fronting Tendoy Street now belong to brothers Willard and Clarence Davis and that there are two other lots located elsewhere. Snook said in effect Willard is asking for waivers on his own behalf and for the other brothers.

Council President Jim Baker noted that years ago the elder Davis, from whom the property has been inherited, opted out of a Local Improvement District (LID) and was therefore not taxed for the area improvements. Baker said years later comes another request not to be taxed.

A motion to deny the fee waiver request was passed unanimously.

The next meeting of the Public Works Team will be September 20 at 2PM in the Salmon Valley Center meeting room. A topic on the team’s agenda is what Mayor Leo Marshall called a unique possible answer to the Courthouse Drive/Main Street/Highway 93 North intersection otherwise known as ‘Malfunction Junction.’

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