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Requests for Local Option Tax (LOT) monies totaled $170,040 from the 25 eligible applications submitted for this year’s first cycle of funding allocations. The LOT Commission had $49,000 to allocate and had to limit the application list to 16.

Robin Watkins of the LOT Commission told the May 4th meeting of the Salmon City Council that a newly adopted method of ranking applicants by way of a preapproved scoring matrix helped commission members make the decisions and trim the list of applicants to 16. She said the applications were heard by the commission on February 17 and that of the 27 applications submitted, two were ineligible. Watkins said the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) applicants did not have all the required paperwork and the application form from the Father’s Day Car Show was illegible.

Councilman Fred Waidely noted the two ineligible applicants have always been funded in the past and asked if they had been given adequate notice. Watkins replied that they had and said that was the reason for the well-attended LOT educational training session which took place earlier in the year. She said the reason the PRCA Rodeo was ineligible was lack of a tax form.

Councilmen Jim Bockelman and Rob Jackson are members of the LOT Commission. Bockelman said there is still some fine tuning to be done to the process since not all ranking points are applicable to some requests but overall the system worked well. He said the Idaho Association of Cities will be reviewing legalities of the process since more cities are choosing to adopt Local Option Tax ordinances. He said one thing which makes for difficult decisions and scoring is that Salmon’s Local Option Tax Ordinance does not specifically state funding preference must be given to the events that produce the most “heads in the beds.” Jackson said he liked the way the individual scoring of the ranking point process averaged out the overall scores. He said he thought the way the commission did this round of funding recommendations, was easier than in the past and at the same time more difficult.

Watkins said another Commission meeting is planned before the second cycle of funding to make things clearer to commission members and applicants. She said the new ranking process is better for the LOT Commission because it provides more accountability to applicants and levels out individual favorites. Watkins said there is still room for more fine tuning and further defining of the LOT Ordinance.

On March 4th the Salmon City Council unanimously approved the following LOT funding recommendations:

Salmon City Swimming Pool - boiler repair, chlorine room upgrades, facility repairs, deck and pool repairs-$15,000; Lemhi County Historical Society - visitor directory development and advertising - $3,500; Beaverhead Endurance Race-Ace supplies, timing, emergency services, race services-$5,000; Salmon Arts Council-marketing campaign for 2015-2016 season-$4,000; Salmon Marathon-race supplies, timing system, race support-$4,500; Salmon River Days-fireworks and advertising-$3,500; Sacajawea Center-Marketing Plan 2015-$3,099; Redside Foundation-Idaho River Rendezvous spring 2015 lodging and facility rental $3,000; Salmon Whitewater Park Association-River Fest 2015, marketing, insurance, band fees, film festival-$3,000; Idaho Outfitters & Guides Association-outfitter rendezvous during Salmon Select Sale, entertainment, marketing- $1,000;Youth Employment Program - 12 Hours of Disco support marketing-$1,000; Century Ride - marketing and support services for ride-$500; Salmon Search & Rescue - Luau on the River marketing and band fees-$500; Salmon High School Rodeo - District 1 High School Rodeo Finals EMS services-$1020; Salmon River Fly Fishing Club - Spey Clave Event marketing-$500; Lemhi Education Project-marketing-$500.

The list totals $49,619.00 which is how much money was available for this funding cycle.

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