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A discussion item listed on the June 21 agenda of the Salmon City Council meeting was “Kid’s Creek Action Plan.” It was not specifically about the Kids Creek which flows through town, it was about what is feeding that creek and according to Council President Jim Baker the main source comes from the drainage ditch, better known as “Borrow Pit,” along US Highway 93 South.

He told fellow council members he has driven south and found agricultural irrigation water from fields overflowing into the ditch as well as water from ditch companies located along the route. Baker said that in essence there is a four mile long ditch delivering water to Kids Creek and ultimately the city takes the brunt of the excess. . He said recent rain storms have been a reminder that there is the potential for a lot of water and he would like to know who is using the highway borrow pit for run off. He said the fact there is no diversion or relief ditch, for the water that flows north to the city, has never been addressed and he would like to see an engineering study done on that area.

Councilman Rob Jackson suggested the state be asked to look into the problem. When Baker mentioned possible law suits against the city, City Attorney Fred Snook said the city’s only responsibility is city culverts. Councilman Russ Chinske said it is ultimately the responsibility of home owners living in the flood plain to have flood insurance. Councilman Neal James recommended the Idaho Department of Water Resources be contacted for possible study funding and the council agreed that would be a good place to start.

Speaking of flood damage and “Where do we start?” Councilman Jim Bockelman is wondering what kind of damage will be found on Island Park when the river water recedes. He said he knows that the US Army Corps of Engineers is in charge of the river banks however, other help may be needed. The City Parks and Recreation Team was assigned to look into other possible avenues of aide.

Limited downtown parking led Bockelman to suggest the city should reconsider buying the vacant property that is for sale at Shoup and Center streets. James made a motion to contact the owners regarding possible acquisition. Because Rob Jackson is related to the owners he recused himself from voting on the motion which passed with five councilmen in favor.

The next meeting of the Salmon City Council will be July 5 at 6PM in the Salmon Valley Center meeting room.

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