Idaho Falls Citizen Journalism

Leslie Shumate News

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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.

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In answer to resident questions about this year’s “Spray Days” County Weed Manager Jeremey Varley told the Lemhi County Commissioners, there won’t be any.

At the Monday June 26 meeting of the commissioners he said that as it stands now no spray days are scheduled, only Work Days which concentrate on specifically targeted noxious weed species. Varley told the board the Weed Department is picking one species of concern in specific areas and everyone in that area is welcome to participate in the work day.

He said many areas of work belong to absentee owners, and the county ordinance requiring property owners to eliminate any noxious weeds on their land, will be enforced. If the county has to do it the property owner will be billed for the work. Varley said that over the years local property owners have come to expect the county to supply the spray free of charge as well as to do the work.

As to why the Spray Days program was eliminated by the state it is because it was abused.

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The Salmon Challis National Forest has awarded a contract to complete the Corn Creek Ramp Improvement Project during the fall of 2017 with a proposed starting date of August 20. Work priorities associated with this project include parking lot improvements, ramp extensions and widening of a portion of the top of the boat ramp. 

During the project period, the Corn Creek Boat Ramp and Campground area will become a construction site and will be closed to the public.

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Acting City Planning and Zoning Administrator Teresa Morton informed the Salmon City Council at its June 21 meeting there were some errors in the technicalities pertaining to the vacation of Cooper Street. She said that in reviewing the Plats and Record of Survey, issues were found in the legal description and that no Amended Subdivision Plat had been filed indicating changes in the Benjamin Addition and the Highland Addition subdivisions.

Morton said she has spoken with Steve Frazee who originally requested the vacation and that he is happy to provide the legal documentation needed.

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Salmon Valley Hospice representative Cindy Clark has requested a Special Use Permit for property located at 120 State Street. Clark is proposing that the property, now known as the Salmon River Apartments, be granted a Special Use Permit so it can be used as a Hospice Care Unit. The Building Department sent her to the Public Works Team to check on the availability of city utility lines. 

According to Public Works Team Chairman and City Council President Jim Baker the team provided Clark with information on the existing city utilities. He said Public Works Superintendent Harry Shanafelt will check into the size of the existing water main on State Street and its present static main-line pressure. Baker said the location and size of the existing sewer line will also be checked. Building code requirements for the intended services will dictate the size requirements of sewer and water line service.

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By the year 2021 the Environmental Protection Agency and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality will be mandating that waters collected in city storm drains be treated before being released.

The city’s Public Works Team has been discussing ramifications related to the pending regulations as well as a growing list of downtown requests to hook into the city’s storm drain system. 

At the June 21 meeting of the Salmon City Council Public Works Team Chairman and Council President Jim Baker reported on topics the team has discussed so far which include creation of a graduated fee structure based on the amount of water discharged into the system from heating and cooling units and how to measure it. According to Councilman Ken Hill, a ten ton heat pump will discharge two tons of water. The amount of discharge is directly related to the size of pump which is why a graduated fee seems appropriate.

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The Boundary Creek Road #40-579 and #40-568 is now passable. The Salmon-Challis National Forest wants to remind visitors to slow down as the road is still rough in places and speed increases the size of existing potholes. Road maintenance is scheduled for the Boundary Creek Road and Salmon River Road (#030) in July. Please use caution as there will be equipment in the area. 

Many areas are experiencing high water. Damage to roadways and trails from the high water has been documented. Use extra caution around eroded banks and roads. Floodwaters may undercut the road surface leaving an unstable area that can collapse without warning dropping people or vehicles into the water. Turn around when encountering flooded roads. It is unknown what is under the water and the road may be gone causing your vehicle to be swept downstream with the water flow. Drivers should continually be on the lookout for damaged roads. The Forest encourages extra caution for travel at night and during periods of low visibility. Damaged road surfaces may not be marked and can be very hard to identify in the dark.

It was a big snow year and many roads are not opening as early as in years past.

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For several years Salmon City Councilman Rob Jackson has been attempting to get the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) to lower the posted speed limit between the Highway 28 intersection with Lemhi Road and the Sacajawea Center. The department goes by traffic counts and speed studies and as a result local speed reduction efforts have failed.

Jackson’s latest efforts have gone into moving the City Limit Signs to the actual current city limits. He thinks that if the signs are moved, city speed limits will apply which could possibly lower present speeds on the Highway 28 section of road. He said he has spoken with ITD local representative Jeff Eagle about moving the signs and he agreed to do it however; the signs have not been moved as yet. Jackson asked if the council would approve sending a letter of request to ITD officials.

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