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A proposal to vacate a half block of Copper Street and possible property exchange was presented to the Salmon City Council at its July 20 meeting.

Steve Frazee told the council the vacation would involve a half block of Copper Street located between Bryan Avenue and Courthouse Drive which actually runs through property that belonged to his late father. The portion of street is located between Bryan Avenue and Courthouse Drive and dead ends at Courthouse Drive. In exchange for the vacation he said he and his wife Cindy would be willing to deed a triangle of property the city could use to widen the portion of Courthouse Drive right-of-way which narrows to only nine feet.

Frazee predicted that traffic in the area of Cleveland Avenue and Courthouse Drive will continue to increase as development occurs along 10th Street and Blackrock Road. He said the area is prime for a future subdivision and it’s only a matter if time before the Cleveland/Courthouse Drive area will become a main collector for traffic from the Bar Hill to downtown Salmon. He said the nine foot wide portion of Courthouse Drive will then become a problem for the city.

In the discussion following Frazee’s presentation it became apparent there are other options the city is willing to have Frazee pursue before it makes a decision and the proposal was tabled pending further information.

The agreement between the city and the Salmon Hockey Association is that city approval is needed before the association makes any expenditures over $10,000. In keeping with that agreement Salmon Hockey Association Vice President Jared Bragg and volunteer grant writer/ hockey player parent Michelle Tucker described association plans to initiate a capital campaign to obtain money for improvements to the Hockey Rink Snack Shack and rest rooms.

There are from 100 to 110 youth players yearly. The Hockey Association also maintains the public skating rink and wants to make some improvements there as well.

Tucker quoted figures from survey statistics which show an average of 60 teams a year come to play hockey in Salmon, some from as far away as Portland. She said the local outdoor rink has become a novelty.

A 2013 survey showed each visiting hockey team spends approximately $5,000 per weekend which results in direct spending in the community of $300,000. Tucker said the economic impact of hockey in Salmon amounts to $1.5 million per year.

She said the importance beyond the income is what the sport means to the local players and their families.

According to Bragg there are some challenges such as upgrading an “undocumented sewer system” or figuring out the best way to tie into the city system.

The association has been working on the plan for over a year and has contacted the Steele Reese Foundation and the Community Health Foundation. Tucker has also researched what other communities have done. She said by comparison this project is modest in its $50,000 to $100,000 price range and the grant possibilities are good.

Public Works Supervisor Harry Shanafelt confirmed the project would be beneficial to the city since other area facilities could also tie into a sewer line extension.

The City Council showed its support of the Capital Improvement Campaign with a unanimous vote in favor of the Hockey Association’s goal.

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