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At a December 2 meeting of the Salmon City Council Lemhi County Economic Development Chairman Allen Howell thanked City Councilman Fred Waidely for all the time and effort he has contributed to the LCEDA/Lemhi Ride Transportation Committee. He said Waidely has been a great asset.

Howell told the council they would like to continue to have a council member or designated representative on the LCEDA Board of Directors.

Howell’s next topic dealt with needing a roof over the Lemhi Ride Buses. He asked the council to consider discussions about a facility for bus storage on the city owned property below the Business and Innovation Center. He said if the city would agree to such a use for that land the property could be used as a match for grant money to build a structure. The land would remain under city ownership as would the structure built on it.

Howell said it is estimated the bus barn would have to be 60 x 60 or 60 x 80 feet in size. He said use would be under a Memorandum of Understanding. The land is currently being used as a place to dump snow from city streets.

It was decided the city’s Public Works Team will begin discussions on the facility request.

Lemhi Ride Operations Manager Candy Forshay reported that since Lemhi Ride’s official beginning earlier this year it has transported 6,535 people.

She said 45 percent of the riders come under American Medical Response (AMR) program, 35 percent are senior citizens and 20 percent of the riders come from the general public. Forshay said that thanks to a grant anyone over 60 years of age rides free. The grant money for the free rides is almost totally expended but she has applied for another $5,000 to finish the rest of the year. She doesn’t know if that will come through or not. Grants have been approved for 2016-2018 Lemhi Ride operations and a grant has been approved for some new vehicles. Forshay also said research is underway on the logistics of providing scheduled rides to Idaho Falls.

Forshay said the Idaho Department of Transportation (IDT) conducted a compliance audit of Lemhi Ride and found no issues to fix. The IDT did have some suggestions regarding being prepared for national, state or local emergencies that would result in emergency transport needs. Forshay said in the future all transportation service companies will be required to have such plans in place.

Mayor Leo Marshall asked if the Lemhi Ride extension of hours to 9PM has drawn interest and Forshay said it has. She said it is mostly from people wanting to dine out or who have evening meetings. She said Lemhi Ride is presently working with the Community Choir to provide transportation to the choir’s planned concert performances.

The Lemhi Ride Bus system began operations on April 1, 2015.

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