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SNOW DEBATE CONTINUED 12-2-15 LMS

A decision to vote on the second reading of Ordinance 15-812 was postponed at a December 2 City Council meeting until the council’s next meeting.

Ordinance 15-812 has to do with newly proposed snow removal policies for city residents that were first introduced at the council’s November 17 meeting.

Councilman Jim Baker maintained that involvement with snow removal procedures makes the city “too nit-picky.” Councilman Jim Bockelman asked if the city having a snow removal policy would relieve it of potential liabilities. City Attorney Fred Snook said the city has never had an ordinance about snow removal and doesn’t have to have one. Councilman Fred Waidely suggested that having one in place might result in some court forgiveness in the event of any liability actions.

One area of agreement was that the snow removal ordinance should have some enforcement power connected to it but that it should be in the form of an infraction, not a misdemeanor. Police Chief KV Felker preferred the infraction approach in that it will give law enforcement an opportunity to talk with the property owner before any fine is levied. He suggested adding the infraction language to the ordinance itself. The matter was postponed while the failure to comply violation is added to the ordinance and until there is more research into the city’s sidewalk ordinance which delegates responsibility for sidewalk maintenance to the adjoining property owner.

A motion to postpone passed with Councilmen Jim Baker, Rob Jackson, Russ Chinske, Fred Waidely and Ken Hill voting for the motion and Councilman Bockelman voting against it.

The Snow Removal Ordinance applies to all business owners on Main Street as well as all property owners within the city limits and presently states, “It shall be the property owner’s responsibility to remove snow, hail, sleet and/or ice from sidewalks to allow citizens to use the sidewalks in a safe manner.”

The council unanimously approved sending a letter of engagement for auditing services to Searle, Hart and Associates, LLC (Limited Liability Company) of Idaho Falls.

City Finance Director Amy Fealko explained that Searle, Hart submitted the lowest of two bids for the services and is the company that performs auditing services for Lemhi County, School District 291, the Lemhi County Airport and several other local businesses. She said Searle, Hart is buying Certified Public Accountant Bob Baker’s audit practice. The company’s bid for city audit services was $12,500 compared to a bid of $14,500 submitted by Pulliam and Associates of Boise.


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