Idaho Falls Citizen Journalism

Leslie Shumate News

IRON CREEK AND NORTH FORK OF IRON CREEK ROADS 7-19-17

The Forest Service wants to inform users of Forest Service Roads 60045 (Iron Creek) and 60056 (North Fork of Iron Creek) that exploration drilling and other mine-related activities are occurring on private (patented) lands in the area. The Forest Service has a right-of-way through these private lands, located on the Salmon-Cobalt Ranger District. However, the operators must comply with Mine Safety and Health Administration requirements to protect the public from potential hazards on the privately-owned properties. 

Forest Road 60045 is still open to public travel, but users are required to stay on the road and not exit their vehicles while travelling through the site. When approaching the site, approximately 9 miles upstream from the mouth of Iron Creek, be aware of heavy equipment operating and company personnel on foot in the area. If the road is blocked by equipment or personnel, stop and wait until you are directed by the operators to proceed. 

The berm on Forest Road 60056 will be removed or relocated to allow continued access on that route.

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DUMP FIRE 7-17-17

A new fire was reported in the Dump Creek drainage, downriver approximately three air miles from North Fork, at approximately 2:00 pm this afternoon. The Dump Creek drainage is located south of the Salmon River. 

The Salmon-Challis National Forest responded with a medium helicopter with a bucket for water drops, four heli-rappellers, and a 10 person hand crew. The fire is burning on the lower 1/3rd of the slope in heavy grass, brush, and scattered timber. 

The weather forecast for the next few days calls for continued hot and dry conditions with an unstable atmosphere.

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DOWNTOWN PARKING 7-5-17 LMS

In the opinion of the Salmon City Council the lack of convenient downtown parking is an issue that directly affects the business future of Salmon. For that reason an Executive Session to discuss the acquisition of currently vacant property was part of the council’s July 5 agenda.

Following the executive meeting discussions regarding the importance of parking space continued. Councilman Jim Bockelman expressed the opinion that the city should consider buying vacant property for that purpose. Councilman Russ Chinske said he was torn between letting the market be the market and the need for parking, With the thought there are a lot of other beneficial ways to use the money it would cost to buy property, he urged his fellow council members to be economically prudent, 

In Councilman Neal James’ opinion the parking space the city lost when the downtown corner aprons were built should be replaced. Council President Jim Baker said he favors purchasing downtown core property for parking and that he would be amenable to expending taxpayer money for the city’s future benefit. Councilman Ken Hill agreed.

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FOLLOWING COUNCIL DECISIONS 7-5-17 LMS

Even though the Salmon City Council voted to not impose the usual facility rental fees for the recent Preparedness Fair held at the Sacajawea Center on Friday, June 30 and Saturday, July 1, a refundable deposit of $500 for unforeseen expenses or damages was still required. Due to the organizers’ not abiding by the specific days originally reserved, not all of the deposit will be returned.

Members of the Salmon City Council, Mayor Leo Marshall, Sacajawea Center Director Lin Gray and City Clerk Mary Benton discussed the situation at the July 5 council meeting. 

Benton reminded the council they and the event organizers had first agreed to Thursday, June 29 as the day the vendors would set up their wares in advance of the start of the Fair. The organizers then decided they wouldn’t need the advance time therefore the set up time was rescheduled for Friday the 30th. . Benton said when participants started driving stakes in the ground to anchor the vendor tents on Wednesday the 28th, even though the center director told them they weren’t scheduled for that day the set up continued and Gray didn’t want to ask them to leave.

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ANIMAL HOUSING 7-5-17 LMS

In the last 12 months the Lemhi County Humane Society Animal Shelter has given refuge to 220 dogs and 130 cats according to an annual report given the Salmon City Council by Humane Society President Cindy Phelps.

Phelps broke down the numbers as to origin of residence at the council’s July 5 meeting. She said 20 percent of the dogs come from the county therefore that means about 80 percent of the canines are city residents. Only about two percent of the cats are brought in from the county and the rest come from the city. The shelter has a successful rate of home finding due to a network of other rescue organizations, one in Boise and two in Missoula. When the staff is unable to find a local home the animal is sent to one of the other organizations where Phelps said placement is usually achieved in a day or two.

She said the Humane Society runs the Animal Shelter and is able to supply Spay and Neuter coupons from grants as well as its own funds.

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FIRE SUMMARY JULY 10, 2017

Fire resources across the Forest have recently responded to six new fires. 

July 4th, the Mowitch Fire (three acres, lightning caused) was reported on the Middle Fork Ranger District near Indian Creek. 

July 5th, the Cliff Fire (0.1 acres), started by an ATV which had caught on fire, on the Lost River Ranger District on Mine Hill and the Jesse Fire (one acre, lightning caused) on the Salmon-Cobalt Ranger District between Jesse and Pollard Creeks. 

July 6th, the Ajax Fire (0.5 acre, lightning caused) on the North Fork Ranger District, near Ajax Peak. 

The Ajax, Jesse, Cliff, and Mowitch Fires are all out. 

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NEXT FISCAL YEAR 7-5-17 LMS

The Salmon City Council has tentatively approved the city’s proposed 2017-18 budget and a public hearing on that budget will be conducted at the July 19 City Council meeting.

City Finance Director Amy Fealko gave the council a brief overview of the tentative budget at its July 5 meeting. She said the budget total for next year is $4,952,237 which included a significant increase due to the council-approved sewer lift station upgrade. Engineering fees for the project will be $185,135 and actual construction costs will be around $1 million bringing the total to $1,185,135. Fealko said that as a result the sewer utility fund increased from this fiscal year’s $702,000 to almost $1.9 million.

She said estimated revenues will be $4,952,237. A summary of all state revenue funds shows funds have shifted somewhat since previous council budget meetings however, Fealko explained the overall total did not change.

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TRAFFIC CONTROL 6-21-17 LMS

The series of sawhorses running parallel to State Highway 28 next to City Park were placed there to prevent drivers from peeling off the highway onto the frontage apron and heading for the park entrance at highway speed. .

Alternative barriers were discussed by the Salmon City Council during its June 21 meeting.

Councilman Jim Bockelman said the goal is to try and control traffic and traffic speed. He said the state wants to limit apron access by using posts planted at intervals along the highway. The posts would be spaced so that there would still be parking opportunities. Councilman Rob Jackson said he would rather see a fence erected along the highway. Council President Jim Baker said the ultimate solution would be curb and gutter all the way to the Sacajawea Center. Second to that he would prefer a fence. Councilmen Ken Hill would like to see a fence along with posts to prevent four-wheelers from using the bicycle path and Bockelman said he would rather see a guard rail or curb and gutter.

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