Idaho Falls Citizen Journalism

Leslie Shumate News

BOUNDARY CREEK ROAD 6-27-17

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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CITY LIMITS 6-7-17 LMS

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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LEMHI EDUCATION PROJECT 6-7-17 LMS

In 2011 a local group of concerned citizens created the Lemhi Education Project with a goal of establishing a way to bring educational opportunities to local residents. The founders were concerned that the area’s remote location isolated residents from any possibility of continuing college or technical school and hoped that providing educational opportunities it would make it easier for people to stay here and raise families. Its mission was and is to improve the lives of Lemhi County residents by offering in-person professional expertise and crucial educational resources.

Six years later the LEP is still in existence and has an impressive list of accomplishments according to the LEP Director Deb Truelock. She said the LEP is working with the Eastern Idaho Technical College (EITC) and that LEP may someday become an outreach center for the community college. 

In her June 7 report to the Salmon City Council she said during the last year 16 participants have become Certified Nursing Assistants. She said that the CNA program, in conjunction with EITEC and the Discovery Care Center, will continue this fall and Winter on an as-needed basis.

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MOTIONS TO ACCEPT 6-7-17 LMS

Under the terms of a Memorandum of Understating (MOU) between the city and the Lemhi County Economic Development Association (LCEDA) a start-up loan for Lemhi Ride will be paid back to the city in increments of not less than $100 per month.

Arrangements for the repayment had been discussed in previous City Council meetings and the council had made a few changes to the original MOU which were approved by LCEDA, the city’s Finance Director and City Attorney Fred Snook. The council votes for approval came from Councilmen Jim Bockelman, Neal James, Jim Baker and Ken Hill. Prior to the vote Councilman Rob Jackson pointed out that at the rate of $100 a month it will take 12 and a half years to pay off the loan. He cast the only ‘no’ vote. 

At the request of City/County Building Official Gary Goodman, Teresa Morton of the Building Department has been appointed as acting City Planning and Zoning Administrator.

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REPORT FROM KELLER ASSOCIATES 6-7-17 LMS

During the May 17 meeting of the Salmon City Council the firm of Keller Associates Incorporated was given the go-ahead to develop a contract with the city for engineering and designing a new wastewater lift station as well as proving details on the insertion of a High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pipe into the system’s underwater delivery line. 

At the council’s June 7 meeting Keller Division Manager Jim Mullen presented the document which will serve as the basis for the project’s bidding process. He advised that before proceeding with the actual work a contractor should be hired to pull a 20 inch diameter ball through the existing underwater line in addition to running a video camera through that pipe to make sure plans to line the pipe are feasible.

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AHEAD OF THE FLOOD CURVE 6-12-17 LMS

Even though the cost is high for city and county crews working around the clock to maintain some semblance of control over where the flood waters go, it is nothing compared to what the damages would have been without all the work, according to the Lemhi County Commissioners and Lemhi County Emergency Services Coordinator Janet Nelson.

When speaking of the County’s Road and Bridge Department Commissioner Chairman Ken Miner said, “They have done way above and beyond and we really appreciate [Road and Bridge Supervisor]Chris Frederickson and his crew. The county should be very grateful that they are on top of it.” Commissioner Brett Barsalou added that workload wise, “…they’ve been hammered since the middle of the Winter.”

Nelson is crediting all the workers as well as the many volunteers for saving a great deal of taxpayer money and an inestimable amount of repair and rebuilding costs for homeowners.

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RULE OF THUMB 6-7-17 LMS

On March 9 of this year, based on information available at the time, an order was issued from County Zoning Administrator Gary Goodman which stated the River City Shuttle business at 512 Guleke Street could no longer operate a business at that location.

Lorall Simmons immediately filed an appeal against the ruling. Filing such an appeal requires paying a fee of $500.

Included in the appeal request was a letter from the city written to Simmons’ father on June 14, 2004. The 2004 letter documented that the River City Shuttle business had been classified as ‘a legal, pre-existing non-conforming use’ operation. That letter had not been available during Goodman’s original research of the Guleke property’s history.

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CREWS RESPOND TO RECENT FIRES 6-12-17

Several thunder storms have passed over the Salmon-Challis National Forest recently and as a result three (3) new fires were reported. The Hidden Mouth, Bob Moore, and Mill Creek fires were all 1/10 of an acre and were controlled last week. 

The Hidden Mouth fire was east of Mackay up Pass Creek, the Mill Creek fire was northwest of Leadore up Mill Creek, and the Bob Moore fire was northwest of Salmon south of Morning Glory. 

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ROAD REPORT

Seasonal gates/routes were scheduled to be open on 5/22/2017 on the Leadore, North Fork, and Salmon-Cobalt Ranger Districts.

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