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A request to vacate part of an alley between Van Dreff and Main streets was passed after a public hearing before the Salmon City Council’s March 2 meeting.

The request was made a few weeks ago by Steele Memorial Medical Clinic to clear the way for its new medical office building.

Interim Chief Executive Officer Abner King presented reasons for the request during the public hearing portion of the meeting. He said the vacation is not for the entire alley and only extends back to where there are other businesses. He said the alley never did go through to other properties because the old hospital used to stand on top it.

Mike England and his wife Esther are owners of adjoining properties and he spoke in favor of the vacation during the public comment portion of the hearing. There were no other speakers either for, against or neutral. After the hearing, the council passed a motion by Councilman Ken Hill to adopt Ordinance 16-814, read by title only, and allow a waiver of the three reading rule so that it could be passed immediately. The motion was unanimously approved.

During the evening’s Roundtable Discussion Mayor Leo Marshall informed the council it would not have to decide whether or not to write a letter of support requested by the city of Driggs, Idaho. The issue involved a proposed change in liquor licensing. Marshall said the letter he received from Driggs said that because the state legislature wanted to end its session as expediently as possible proponents have decided to introduce the liquor license legislation next year.

Councilmen Jim Bockelman and Russ Chinske focused their remarks on this year’s hockey season. Bockelman said it has been another successful year which is great for Salmon’s winter-time economy. He said he is proud of his past involvement with the program and proud of the Hockey Association. Chinske said that the last weekend in February there were over 200 skaters plus their friends and families in town for an Adult Tournament. He said the tournament was a great success, the weather was good and people had a lot of fun. Chinske quoted Hockey Association statistics that estimate hockey contributes $1.5 million seasonally to the local economy. Marshall commented that one business he knows is able to stay open year around thanks to hockey in the Winter.

The Local Option Tax, upon written request, helps fund the hockey program. LOT monies are based on a voter supported ordinance which decrees an extra fee be collected from visitors staying at local lodging facilities. Robert Dunlop is the owner of one those facilities and stated during the closing public comment opportunity of the evening that his campers don’t play hockey and apparently do not need a bridge because last year was the best year his business has had since the “bed tax” went into effect. He said LOT is teaching young people and others that they can dance without paying the fiddler. Dunlop said there should be an analysis on how much money is taken out of the town to get people into the town.

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