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TOPICS FOR FINANCE TEAM 9-17-14 LMS

Water and sewer fees for the Salmon Strike Zone bowling alley were discussed by the cityís Finance team at its September 10 meeting according to a report to the Salmon City Council by team Chairman /City councilman Jim Bockelman.

Bockelman told the September 17 meeting that the rates were discussed at the ownerís request. City Finance Director Amy Fealko reported the bowling alley business has a standard base rate water fee of $30 but the sewer fee is set at .5 equivalent units per lane which amounts to $140 for eight lanes. Bockelman said in the teamís opinion four times a normal household sewer fee is high for the businessís potential usage. He said one possible solution is to adjust the fee classification. Fealko will consult the Challis bowling alley to get a comparison on fees and classification.

The team has heard one presentation on solar energy alternatives and Bockelman said there are other possible vendors yet to approach in the teamís search for all available information.

The Salmon Arts Council and the American Red Cross are currently the only groups who are not charged rental fees for the use of city facilities. The team agreed that all other groups without specific agreements with the city must pay the full rental rate. As to rental rates in general it was determined they are comparable to other facilities. It was suggested perhaps city residents should pay less since they already pay taxes. The other side of that idea is that some would say the city is in competition with the private sector if rental rates were lowered.

The Finance Team wants to schedule a meeting with the Senior Center Board to discuss the present agreement, a fee schedule and possible grant monies available for senior centers.

Bockelman said the Finance Team feels a formalized process of City Code Violation notification should be in place as well as identification of who does the notifying. The process would also include a list of follow-up steps to take in the event the notification yields no result.

Engineer Steve Frazee and Public Works Supervisor Harry Shanafelt presented information gathered on alternatives to correcting water source problems for City Hall heat pumps. Results of the report were discussed during the September 17 City Council meeting.

The Odd Fellows Hall, Fiesta En Jalisco Restaurant and Councilman Ken Hillís Fitness Center all use the pit well system and Hill said they operate very successfully. He said water levels in a test hole for the Odd Fellows building pit well do not vary more than two feet year around.

The city has been told the heat pumps at City Hall require 70 gallons of water a minute to operate efficiently which is a lot to expect from a regular well but is no problem for a pit well system. The lack of water supply has caused on-going costly repairs to the City Hall heat pumps. With a pit well system once the water goes through the heat pumps it is returned to the ground water aquifer at a slightly cooler temperature but with no net loss in quantity.

The council voted unanimously to proceed to the next step which will be digging a test hole. City crews would be able to dig the 18 foot deep pit. The project would cost less than $50,000 therefore would not have to be put out for bid. Local contractors would be invited to submit estimates. Water level wise, November would be the best time to do the installation if the test hole proves such a system would be viable.
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