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The Salmon City Council has decided to move forward on development of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the city and county regarding Lemhi County Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Administrator Gary Goodman assuming city P&Z administration duties.

The MOU will contain an agreement that the city will pay the County Building Department $10,000 a year to cover the extra staff duties and office expenses assumed by the county personnel. The MOU will be in effect for a year and include cancellation options for both entities. The move will save the city approximately $37,000 a year.

The issue of whether or not to maintain a city’s P&Z office was brought about by the resignation of City P&Z Administrator Dan Maiyo and an offer by Goodman to assume those duties.

At the October 1 Salmon City Council meeting a vote to accept Goodman’s offer was preceded by much discussion which included support for the idea from some council members and questions from others. Councilman Fred Waidely said that even though he was willing to allow the arrangement on a temporary basis he thought the action was contrary to good business practices in that there should be more discussion as to other options. He said a big part of Maiyo’s job was being on hand to help developers, realtors, public officials and the general public with land use, zoning and annexation inquires.

Councilman Ken Hill thought the trial basis with the county was a reasonable approach as did councilmen Russ Chinske and Rob Jackson. Councilman Jim Bockelman saw the MOU as a temporary solution and urged a search be made for someone to fill the on-site job at City Hall. Council President Jim Baker said he was comfortable with an MOU arrangement. He said the services that will be provided by the County Building Department include finishing the Area of Impact details and he pointed out there is still a long way to go with completion of the City Development Code. He said in view of what the city will potentially be saving, the $10,000 payment to the county doesn’t bother him a bit. Hill added the services provided will include code enforcement.

On a unanimous vote the council directed City Attorney Fred Snook to draft a Memorandum of Understanding between the city and county for County Planning and Zoning Administrator Gary Goodman to provide the city’s planning and zoning services. The MOU will include details on the $10,000 per year annual fee for services as well as other fee structures and will be in effect for fiscal year 2014-15.

The council asked that records be kept on the Building Department’s staff time and expenses so that the city as well as the county can see exactly how much extra planning and zoning work is involved.

The council also unanimously passed a motion by Baker to prepare a legally required Resolution to officially give Goodman the authority to administer city codes.

The MOU will take effect upon approval by the city and the county.

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