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UPDATE ON WHITEWATER PARK 4-20-16 LMS

Spokesperson Breann Green told the April 20 meeting of the Salmon City Council that much was accomplished during the February 25 pre-permitting meeting between members of the Whitewater Park Association and the nine government agencies in charge of granting or denying permits for the proposed project. Green also provided the council with a written synopsis of that meeting.

She said the fact the permitting agencies could see the local interest was great and said the meeting also brought up special issues the agencies must address.

Green said the organization is currently working mostly with NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) and the Idaho Fish and Game Department to determine the best water velocities for juvenile fish. She said it is very important that the park design meets fish passage criteria. Green said they are also working on a report to address navigation safety and risk assessment issues brought forward at the February meeting by the Coast Guard representative. She also said Councilman Jim Bakerís comments on the projectís design have been passed on to project engineers.

At the February meeting Councilman Rob Jackson brought up the need to detail the project step-by-step as well as address maintenance and liability issues. Green thanked him and said work has begun on his suggestions and will be part of Phase II.

The projectís Phase I agreement expires in September. Green said that by then the permit applications will have been submitted but the organization will still be working on the permitting process and will not be ready to proceed to Phase II at that point. Therefore, they will probably be asking for the remaining one-year extension on Phase I which was part of the original agreement with the city.

Green said the Phase II spotlight will be on long-term maintenance of the park and liability issues. She said the membership has been working on those issues and has what she thinks are some great ideas to share with the council. She asked how best to present the ideas and suggested a possible work session. The council decided a date can be set for some time after the budget process has been completed.

Her report drew public comments later in the meeting from Dave Gusky. He pinpointed her mention of maintenance and liability issues. He said he has always been told there was no issue with either but now according to what Green said there are issues with both. He also wanted to know if the organization reports are available to the public.

Gusky said he is not opposed to the Whitewater Park. What he opposes is the city being involved with it in any way because of maintenance and liability aspects. He urged the council to separate itself from any further official association with the proposed park and not to enter into a Phase II agreement.


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