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A new law has caused a setback in the selection of a design engineer for the Island Park Bridge project.

The Salmon City Council had appointed a committee of councilmen and city staff to oversee the process of selecting a design engineer. The task included asking for proposals and obtaining cost estimates. Three proposals have been received. Two of the three submissions listed dollar amounts.

At the December 18 meeting of the council it was announced that based on a new law there can no longer be requests for cost estimates related to professional services. Based on that information those who have seen such figures; Baker, Waidely, Public Works Superintendent Harry Shanafelt, City Community Development Project Coordinator Mary Cerise and Mayor Leo Marshall, cannot voice any opinions on the proposals.

The figures have been removed from the proposals and the council has appointed a new committee. Those selected are County/City Planning and Zoning Administrator Gary Goodman, City Parks Superintendent Charlie Cockrell, City Planning and Zoning Commissioner Dick Pape, Councilman Rob Jackson, Councilman Russ Chinski and Councilman Jim Bockelman as a committee alternate.

Creating rating criteria on which to base a selection will be one of the committee’s first duties. Examples recommended included proximity to the project’s location. Engineer Steve Frazee suggested other rating ingredients should include experience in bridge building, experience with projects of similar size, supervision abilities, any travel costs plus experience with anadromous fisheries issues.

The criterion will be put in draft form and presented to the council for approval. The committee was asked to meet prior to January 7 and prepare a recommendation for presentation to the full council.

The council passed a motion to give the job of obtaining all the required permits involved in the bridge project to Michelle Tucker of Aspect Consulting. Because the permitting process can take as long as six to nine months, and a bridge design is not needed to begin the process, getting started now was deemed a priority.

In other business the council unanimously passed a motion to accept a December 14 offer from Professional Planning Consultant Teri Ottens to work on the city’s Development Code and an update of the city’s Comprehensive Plan. The motion reads as an extension of her 2012 contract agreement. Her job quote was $800 plus mileage for both documents. City Clerk Mary Benton explained the very reasonable offer with a reminder that Ottens has worked on both documents in the past and still has all the files in her computer system. Ottens’ plan is to update the Comprehensive Plan first to insure the Development Code is in agreement with the comprehensive overview of the city’s future direction.

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