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The Salmon City Council has, on a unanimous vote, made a written commitment that the city is willing to contribute up to $109,000 in matching funds towards construction of the Island Park Bridge.

The commitment will be used by Community Development Project Coordinator Mary Cerise in her search for bridge funding. The written commitment states that the city would make $109,000 available in the form of a force-account or in cash. She explained that “force-account” is the new jargon for what used to be called “in-kind.” Either way it means putting a dollar value on the amount of work, time and materials contributed to a project by city crews.

Cerise said the city’s written commitment of funds will be included in grant applications that are being submitted.

In other actions at its January 7 meeting the council unanimously approved a contract, not to exceed $3,500, with Aspect Consulting LLC. The local firm will handle all details of the permitting process required for construction of the new bridge.

The reappointment of Craig McCallum for another three year term on the Local Option Tax Board was unanimously approved. The appointment came with praise from several council members including LOT Board member Jim Bockelman who cited the good work McCallum has been doing while on the board.

A request for a water fee adjustment at 209 Fairmont Street was denied by the council based on research of the city’s water records for that address.

City Resident Evelyn Benedict used an opportunity to voice her opinion during the council’s last Public Comment period of the evening. She referred to the proposed White Water Wave Park as a constructed safety hazard and said she can’t understand why the council supports a project that would jeopardize city residents. She said wave parks create drowning hazards for other boaters and floaters. She compared the wave park in Missoula to the proposed local site saying the Montana water park is located on a wide, moderately flowing stretch of river with room for other water users to get around it. Benedict said the Salmon site is narrow with no room around it and that the high velocity flows make it only useable by highly skilled Kayakers. She said using that popular section of the river for a wave park will make it unusable for the less experienced and affect visitor use. Benedict urged the City Council to protect the safety of city residents and visitors by ending further consideration of Island Park access for a White Water Wave Park.

The next meeting of the Salmon City Council will be January 21 at 6 PM in the Salmon Valley Center meeting room.

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