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As of May 11, meetings had been conducted with all city of Salmon department heads and all paperwork had been distributed to facilitate moving ahead with the individual department budgets according to a Finance Team report from City Councilman Jim Bockelman.

He said that City Finance Director Amy Fealko is planning on compiling the draft budget May 23rd through the 27th. Bockelman told the May 18 meeting of the Salmon City Council that the team discussed the big dollar items the council should keep in mind when developing the budget. He said Fealko has created a template for creating a multi-year city-wide Capital Expenditure list. The team also discussed imposing a bad check fee to help recover the expense of dealing with bad checks. That fee will be discussed and handled during the budget process which will begin with the councilís first budget work session scheduled for June 8 at 5PM in the City Hall Conference Room.

Bockelman said the Finance Team discussed the possibility of having an engineer/consultant on staff or on contract for future projects. Fealko commented that after the current projects are completed that need may no longer exist. As to the issue of delinquent Local Option Tax payments Bockelman said progress is being made with payments and back returns being received by the city.

The Finance Team suggested that during the budget process the council should keep in mind the public perception that city residents are paying twice when the city and the county both extend financial support to a program. It was recommended the same thought should apply whenever the city and county are working together.

The city owns a piece of residential property on Idaho Street and now that the real estate market is moving again the Finance Team thought the full council should discuss the subject, which it did during its May 18 meeting. According to state statute the property must be formally appraised and advertised and that by law it can not be listed with a realtor. A public hearing must be held and a decision made as to whether or not to set a minimum amount the city will accept. The property would then be sold at public auction to the highest bidder. City Attorney Fred Snook said the council has the authority to sell the property if it deems that is what is in the best interest of the city. He advised setting a salvageable minimum price. It was decided that details of past attempts to sell the property will be researched as to distance from utility lines and potential costs for a buyer.

Bockelman said the team liked City Clerk Mary Bentonís idea of providing lap top computers for council members and also said the current system of paper works well. Team members are appreciating getting the pre-council meeting packets by way of email prior to picking up the hard copy. The recommendation was the lap top idea should be discussed again by the full council.

The next meeting of the City Finance Team will be June 8 at 11AM in the City Hall Conference Room.

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