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The City of Salmon has signed on with Keller Associates for an evaluation of the present waste water lift station located at Lemhi Hole Road.

Under the agreement, for a sum of $14,850, Keller Associates will evaluate the present lift station in terms of re-building or replacement and will also provide a cost estimate on rerouting the present sewer line which runs under the Salmon River.

Keller Associates Vice President and Professional Civil Engineer Jim Mullen addressed the City Councilís September 7 meeting and presented a scope of work and contract for the councilís consideration. He said the firmís goal is to prepare a technical memorandum which will identify possible options as well as costs involved. The reasoning behind relocation of the present sewer line is that building a lift station on the south side of the river and running a line across the Main Street bridge would eliminate the siphon which is now located at the bottom of the river. Mullen said the siphon has been a concern for many years because if that line were to be washed out or otherwise damaged it would leave half the city without sewer services for quite some time.

Mullen said Keller Associates representatives will return in a couple of months to present the evaluation. Keller Associates was the firm that designed the Environmental Protection Agency mandated multi-million dollar upgrades to the cityís waste water treatment plant. That project was completed in 2014. The vote to approve Keller Associates most recent scope of work and contract was unanimous.

The council also unanimously approved a motion for Steele Memorial Medical Center to proceed with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recommended traffic control measures on VanDreff Street.

Steele Memorial Chief Operating Officer Abner King told the council the hospital has been working with the FAA to relocate the present helicopter pad and the agency has asked that for safety reasons traffic be restricted on a short section of VanDreff during helicopter arrivals and departures.

King said after rejecting an initial design the FAA has approved a plan that involves two traffic controls on VanDreff. The first control is that no parking zones on the north and south sides of the street be established to avoid any car-moving necessities when a helicopter is coming in for a landing. The second control will be a motorized swing type gate constructed of pipe and a system of red flashing lights when the gate is closed. He said the railroad crossing technique of raising or lowering barriers was discarded due to not wanting any raised obstructions in the path of helicopters. King also said the FAA would have preferred to close the section of street permanently but accepted the flashing lights design. When there is no air traffic the gates will be open to normal traffic flows.

He said if the city does not approve the plan, helicopters will have to use the airport for life flights which means delays for patients as well as extra mileage for Emergency Medical Services transport.

The council motion to move forward with the plan was contingent upon a written agreement with the medical center which will include gate maintenance and ownership designations.

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