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FINANCE TEAM REPORT 12-20-16 LMS

Sprinkler suppression systems, additional sewage dumping at the Wastewater Plant and hooking into the cityís storm drain system were all discussed with Public Works Superintendent Harry Shanafelt at the City Finance Teamís December 14 meeting.

At its December 20 meeting the Salmon City Council heard a report from Finance Team Chairman Jim Bockelman. Bockelman said Shanafelt explained sprinkler suppression systems require larger meters and/or water lines which are generally not used to capacity due to being used so seldom. The team asked Shanafelt whether the extra charge for the larger meter and lines is appropriate and he said where larger meters are required the city has to provide the infrastructure needed.

Shanafelt also advised the team that additional dumping at the Wastewater Treatment System, of waste generated by Middle Fork River recreational users, may require a fee increase. He said a $200,000 upgrade is in place to handle that type of dumping and a fee increase would be appropriate. City Finance Director Amy Fealko will research what other cities charge.

Bockelman also quoted Shanafelt as saying regulations are on the way regarding runoff storm water. The added regulations are coming from either the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) or the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.) Shanafelt said because of this the city may have to charge for the service of hooking into the city storm drain system. Fealko will check charges in other cities and also ask the Association of Idaho Cities about the new regulations.

Regarding a proposed vacation and/or land trade the city is being asked to consider Shanafelt favors the idea. The proposal includes widening Courthouse Drive where it connects with Cleveland Avenue. The Public Works Superintendent said at present the street is only 15 feet wide and contains a city sewer line, a water line and a drain line. Part of the proposal would include widening the street to 24 feet which Shanafelt feels would be advantageous to the city even though 31 feet would be better.

Bockelman reported that City Clerk Mary Benton recently attended an Association of Idaho Cities meeting where she learned cities may take back cemetery plots purchased years ago but never used. Benton does not favor taking the lots but would like to see a local buy-back policy where the city would pay the original price of the plot as long as a deed for the plot is available. She will check legalities and rules of the program. The team will then discuss the topic further.

Bockelman favors a city/downtown businesses cost-sharing program for sidewalk repair and replacement. The city has received a grant for upgrading some of the sidewalks downtown and he feels the monies could be used to repair more sidewalks if expenses are shared. The subject of cost-sharing for sidewalks not included in the grant will go to the full council for discussion. In the meantime Bockelman said the team discussed possible formation of a Local Improvement District (LID) where the city would pay the upfront cost of improvements and the district would make payments over an extended period of time. Such a plan would have to be citizen-generated.

The Finance Team also discussed the need for a management plan for the sidewalk project and possible additional expenses due to the fact City Development Project Coordinator Mary Cerise is no longer working for the city.

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