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A February review of city finances by the City Council Finance Team showed all departments are on track with the projected yearly budget.

Councilman Jim Bockelman told the April 6 meeting of the Salmon City Council that as of the March 9 Finance meeting City Finance Director Amy Fealko was still working on the city’s move from Wells Fargo Bank to Summit Bank with only a few loose ends to complete.

He said the team discussed its desire for a Planning and Zoning bi-annual report and that the idea will be pursued. Bockelman said monthly readings of water meters were set to begin in March and that during winter months the city uses estimated usage to determine billing amounts. He also mentioned that the Annual Audit should be concluded this month. It will then be reviewed and presented for approval to the City Council.

This year’s budget season will start in May and continue into June. Bockelman said the Finance Team feels that a work session style meeting between the council and department heads sometime this month would be beneficial to the budget planning process.

Attorney Chase Slavin and property owner Julie Kelly gave the Finance Team details of Kelly’s offer to sell the city the vacant, unimproved lot at the corner of Shoup and Center Streets. If the city wants to proceed with the idea of city owned off-street downtown parking it would have the option of taking over the current contract or paying for it outright. The team felt the issue should be presented to the full council for discussion.

Bockelman said City Clerk Mary Benton presented the Finance Team with the idea of councilmen going electronic so they could receive meeting packets and other city related information directly, on city owned lap top computers. The lap tops would be in the possession of council members and brought to the meetings. They would replace the load of paperwork currently carried from meeting to meeting. Benton said the full council would need to be on board with the process and a computer-use policy would need to be in place. She said the cost savings would probably be minimal but the upgrade to how the process works could be beneficial.

Bockelman said Council President Jim Baker will test the process on his own lap top and Benton will be testing the process with staff members who now receive the same city information. The idea will be further discussed by the full council.

Bockelman has volunteered to look into finding a solar energy consultant with the aim of seeing if solar energy would be useful to the city.

The next meeting of the City Finance Team will be April 13 at 11AM in the City Hall Conference Room.

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