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HISTORIC vs. ECONOMICS 5-20-15 LMS

The Salmon City Hall building is one of 15 local sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Keeping that listing will be expensive according to a report by Community Development Project Coordinator Mary Cerise.

She told the May 20 meeting of the Salmon City Council that ever since a see-through-to-the-outside crack was discovered in one of the City Hall offices she has spent months researching grants for needed energy-efficient window and door replacements. The only grant she has found is for $2,000 through the Idaho Historical Society and it comes with many strings.

The building is what is known as Art Deco and was placed on the Register of Historic Places in 1982. In order to remain on the register any repairs have to be done without changing the original architecture and any repairs or improvements have to be preapproved by the Idaho State Historical Society. Cerise has found only one firm willing to work on a Historic Register building and the work is very expensive. The total quoted for replacing two windows and one door was a staggering $9,747.93. With the Historical Society grant of $2,000 the cost to the city would be $7,747.93.

During discussion with the council it was pointed out there are other City Hall doors and windows and steps to be replaced or repaired so that has to be taken into long term cost considerations. As far as anyone local working on the replacement project Cerise said installation could be done locally but the materials canít be purchased here.

Councilman Ken Hill was involved with restoration of the Odd Fellows Hall Building. He said restoration was part of the purchase contract so the work and investment were well worth it but in view of the quoted costs and knowing the historic process involved he questioned the benefits of keeping City Hall on the listing. Other council members agreed and asked Cerise to contact the Historical Society about taking the building off the register. She will explain the financial reasons behind her request and will also ask the county how they financed the window replacement costs on the historic Lemhi Courthouse building.

The council will await further information before making a decision.

Cerise also presented the council with a consulting agreement for the services of William R. Gibbs PLLC (Professional Limited Liability Company). She explained that engineer Steve Frazee is retiring and Gibbs has offered to step into the job. She said the agreement is the same one used for Frazeeís work and it states there is a stipend which is not to exceed $12,000 annually. The work is mostly that of a consultant who oversees city projects. The council approved the agreement with Gibbs contingent on his written consent to maintain a current certificate as a licensed professional engineer in the state of Idaho.


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