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HIGH FINANCE 7-15-15 LMS

City Finance Director Amy Fealko has restructured the payments of the cityís water bond and the early payoff will save the city over $27,400 in interest.

Fealko told the July 15 meeting of the Salmon City Council that by making an extra payment of $100,000 this year, another $100,000 payment in early 2016 and a $50,000 payment in 2017 the bond will be paid off four years early with a great savings.

The council voted unanimously to proceed with the payment plan.

During a pre-advertised Public Hearing on the cityís proposed $3.661,693 fiscal year 2015-2016 budget Fealko explained how even though there has been an increase in the charge for water services, a decrease in the charge for sewer services offsets the water rate increase. The end result is, the single residence monthly $65.00 fee for sewer and water services will remain the same. Sewer rates for hotels and restaurants are based on equivalent units meaning, the number of rooms or number of chairs. Fealko said because the sewer rates have been lowered from $35.00 to $28.00 those units will now be multiplied by $28.00. Rates for a triplex have been raised from $56.50 to $69.50.

The proposed charge for one inch meters has been raised to $69.00. Inch and a half meters will go to $175, two inch meters will go to $225 and four inch meters will be $515.

Fealko said the cost of turning on and off water services will be raised from $15 to $25 and the cost for turning on sewer services will be $100. It will cost $25 to turn them off.

Fealko said fees to use park facilities will be charged on an hourly rate rather than for a full day. The city hired BDPA, an outside human resource consultant, to complete a Classification and Compensation Study. Through the process the city has been presented with updated job descriptions and market salary comparisons. Based on that study a five percent increase in wages has been budgeted to bring certain employees up to wages comparable with other cities of this size. She said overall, the proposed budget represents a zero percent tax increase to city taxpayers.

When it came time to approve Ordinance 15-801 which deals with the fee increases and decreases and included a $600 increase in yearly council salaries, Councilman Russ Chinske said he was against the council raise. He made a motion to remove the salary increase from the ordinance and place it in a separate ordinance. The vote on his motion was four to two against with Councilmen Bockelman, Hill, Jackson and Waidely voting no and Councilmen Chinske and Baker voting in favor.

It was pointed out that the $50 a month increase would be the first council raise since 2003.

The council went on to unanimously approve the first reading of Ordinance 15-801.

Ordinance 15-802 contains the overall budget figures and the council unanimously passed its first reading. The budget ordinances will undergo two more rounds of discussion and voting before a decision is made to officially adopt them. Due to deadlines related to the November election, Ordinance 15-801 which contains changes to fee structures must either be passed or not passed by August 20 so that vote will have to take place at the councilís August 5 meeting.


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