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The Salmon City Council granted three requests for letters of support at its January 20 meeting.

The first went to the Salmon Search and Rescue organization. At the January 6 council meeting Search and Rescue asked for a letter of support to attach to a grant application for funds to build a parking lot adjacent to the Search and Rescue building on Broadway. The organization was asked to submit a formal request in writing. At the January 20 meeting long-time Search and Rescue member Dale Ford explained the proposed parking lot on Neyman Street will relieve traffic congestion on Broadway as well as give people an alternative to blocking access to the S&R building. Plans include adding some meeting rooms in back. He said the front of the building will still be used for dispatching rescue vehicles.

Ford also asked the council to consider giving the organization a building permit fee waiver. He said the Planning and Zoning Board still has to approve the project which will require a Special Use Permit. In answer to a question of whether the county is going to contribute Ford said the County Road and Bridge Department will help build the parking lot.

The City Council approved writing a letter of support for the grant application and asked Ford to come back with a written formal fee waiver request after the P&Z decision is made along with the actual amount of the projectís filing fee and building permit. The waiver request will have to be listed on a published council meeting agenda before action can be taken.

The next letter of support was given to the Lemhi County Humane Society to be included in its Community Development Block Grant application. If awarded the HUD funding, distributed through the Idaho Department of Commerce, would go towards turning the upstairs of the society owned Odd Fellows Hall on Main Street into a Community Center/Opera House.

Humane Society President Cindy Phelps said if the funding is granted the organization will hire the Development Company of Rexburg to oversee the many details required when federal funds are involved. She said the only city obligation would be having Finance Director Amy Fealko write checks related to the funding which will pass through a city account. The reason for city involvement is HUD funding can only be granted to governmental entities.

The motion to approve writing the letter was unanimous minus Councilman Ken Hill who recused himself from voting due to his being a Humane Society Board member.

The third letter of support went to the Whitewater Park Association for inclusion in an application to the Idaho Land and Conservation Fund for a Waterways Improvement Grant to fund relocation of the Island Park boat launch ramp. Green said the cityís support is needed because the funding has to go through a government entity. She said the grant is a reimbursable so there would be some city administration time involved.

The reason for the project is to relieve potential congestion in that area when the new Island Park Bridge is built.

Brianne Green told the council the plan is to build a two lane ramp north of the present ramp and to also replace the launch ramp at the north end of the island. She said the Idaho Fish and Game Department has given its approval and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation is happy about the proposed project.

Councilman Jim Bockelman asked that a formal written request for a letter of support be supplied and Councilman Jim Baker requested a map of the proposed locations for the ramps. Councilman Rob Jackson confirmed that no matching funds would be required from the city.

The deadline for submitting the grant application is January 29 which is before the next scheduled council meeting.

Councilman Neal James made the motion to grant the letter of request contingent on receipt of a formal written request.

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