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COMMENTS 5-18-16 LMS

Concern over the city becoming financially involved in the proposed Salmon Whitewater Park was the focus of two speakers during the Salmon City Council May 18 public comments opportunity.

Dave Gusky said he is not against the park but is against any city involvement in the project. He questioned the need for a scheduled work session with park proponents and said that when the current Phase I agreement ends the city should divorce itself and, for the good of all citizens, not be further involved.

Bob Wiederrick asked the council to review the City Council meeting notes from August 15, 2012 where City Attorney Fred Snook stated, “The city shall not be responsible for any funding for the project.” He quoted other statements made by Snook affirming the city does not own the proposed Whitewater Park and will not manage the park. Wiederrick quoted the purpose of the Whitewater Park Association as being to develop and fund the park in addition to funding and developing a park maintenance strategy. He said the city bears no responsibility for any of those things. On the subject of maintenance Wiederrick said that over an eight year period maintenance for the Missoula Whitewater Park has cost $450,000. He said the first year of the Cascade, Idaho Water Park was an enormous failure and now costs $100,000 a year to operate. He questioned the advisability of the city’s being involved in the boat ramps or the park. He then asked if anyone one has a final Whitewater Park construction plan and advised the council to re-read the 2012 meeting transcript.

During the council’s Roundtable discussion Councilman Jim Bockelman thanked Ken Beller for his work on the boulders around the bear statue. He said he would like to know what the Parks Department maintenance schedule is on that site as well as the Town Square Park. Bockelman said now that the park is to become a memorial to veterans it is even more important to make sure it is well kept. He also noted needed work at the end of VanDreff where the street meets the river and urged a more proactive approach to the grounds. He also requested a status report on the city code updates.

Mayor Leo Marshall reported on his Leadership Skills Day with students at the Pioneer Elementary School. He commented on the high level of energy the youngsters generate and called them “great kids.” He thanked Councilman/elementary school teacher Russ Chinske for inviting him to attend the leadership event.


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