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At its April 20 meeting the Salmon City Council discussed the possible purchase of a vacant property being offered for sale. The thought was it could be used for downtown parking which is what it is being used for now.

The property at Shoup and Center Streets is being offered for $60,000 and could be bought outright or by taking over current payments. There has been no appraisal offered and Councilman Neal James said that would be up to the seller to provide.

Councilman Russ Chinske adamantly opposed any consideration of the purchase since the land is already providing parking. Councilman Rob Jackson recused himself from any discussion or vote on the matter because the land belongs to his sister.

Community Project Development Coordinator Mary Cerise referred to city codes that require a certain amount of parking be available for any new business. Council President Jim Baker said the downtown area needs parking and the council needs to take a look at the offer and/or sponsor a meeting to get public input. Councilman Ken Hill said the need-for-parking issue needs to be addressed. Councilman Jim Bockelman said the council needs to look at what needs there might be ten years in the future and it should at least talk about a possible purchase and obtain an estimated property value.

A motion to have the property owner supply an appraisal was turned down by Hill, Baker and Bockelman and approved by Chinske and James, therefore it did not pass. A motion to postpone further discussion on the possible sale until the May 4th council meeting passed unanimously.

In view of the council’s very long agenda Humane Society President Cindy Phelps gave a very abbreviated report on Animal Shelter statistics. She supplied a written report to the council and said the shelter houses around 300 dogs and cats per year and costs about $100,000 a year to operate. Operation costs include insurance, which was $2,600 last year and is expected to go up, as well as building maintenance and other expenses such as electricity costs which she said are increasing. The city usually contributes $12,000 a year and Phelps is requesting $14,000 for this year.

Before her Humane Society report she gave rave reviews to the work put into readying the upstairs Odd Fellows Hall for the High School Drama Club’s presentation of “Les Miserables.” She said the young people built a revolving stage complete with wings and a curtain and did a great job. The Lemhi County Humane Society owns the Odd Fellows Hall which is situated above its very popular Rags & Wags Store on Main Street. Phelps said there was no charge to the students for using the hall because they make such a wonderful contribution to the community. During the council’s Roundtable discussion Councilman Jackson added his praise of the production. He said the Drama Club did an amazing job and the caliber of the play and the talent was phenomenal.

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