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Robin Watkins of the Local Option Tax Commission presented Salmon City Council’s June 17 meeting with some recommended changes to LOT’s Policy and Procedure Manual.

She said grant restrictions have been added to prevent any efforts by groups to propagate religious or political beliefs or agendas. Any projects that discriminate or are private events will also be excluded.

The time frame to submit receipts of expenditures has been extended from 30 to 60 days and a City of Salmon Contract for Reimbursement form will be added to the application packet. Watkins said it is a standard basic agreement with the city.

Another recommended change is removing the requirement that funding requests have to be made in person. She said that with the new application process everything is already spelled out on paper. In addition, any business applying for LOT funds needs a state registration in order to receive money from the city. A tax document such as a 501c3 or a W-9 form suffices and is what is commonly used. Watkins also requested ‘no more phone calls please,’ once applications have been submitted and funding decisions have been made.

The commission is suggesting percentages allocated to the various categories identified by the ordinance that created LOT. It recommends 40 percent of the monies be given to the swimming pool, and 19 percent to City Promotion and Development. The remaining categories would each receive eight percent except for the one percent set aside for administration of the program. Watkins said if any monies are left over in a category they can be moved where needed.

Watkins said the LOT Budget has been simplified and so has the scoring matrix used to rate events. More points will be given if matching funds have been secured or if the event has positive impacts for the community. Fewer points and less emphasis will be placed on having a detailed budget.

Overall, Watkins said the LOT Policy and Procedure Manual is just being ‘tweaked’ to make things more understandable for applicants. The City Council unanimously approved a motion to accept the changes.

The Salmon Valley Stewardship (SVS) is applying for a Technical Assistance and Planning grant from New Mobility West on behalf of the Salmon Valley Trails Committee

Rachel Layman of SVS explained to the June 3 meeting of the Salmon City Council that New Mobility West is interested in helping rural communities in the Rocky Mountain West improve their individual mobility choices. She said the grant is not a cash award. It would provide direct working assistance in developing a connectivity plan throughout the city that would feature safe routes for walkers and bicyclists and would not impede vehicular traffic flows.

Layman said she is asking the city for a letter of support and that no matching funds are required. A commitment for some time from staff members would be the city’s only requirement. Councilman Jim Baker wanted assurances that the council would be involved in a final approval of the planned routes.

Councilman Rob Jackson was not comfortable with not seeing the letter before it is sent. The letter was due by the end of the week. It was decided the councilmen could review the letter at City Hall if they desired. A motion to approve sending a letter of support passed on a five to one vote with Jackson casting the no vote.
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