LemhiWeb Citizen Journalism

AGAINST THE FLOW 11-2-16 LMS

City Project Development Coordinator Mary Cerise told the November 2 meeting of the Salmon City Council that in spite of above average river flows the Island Park Bridge replacement project is progressing as planned.

She said that when the bridge building project actually began in September water in the Salmon River was flowing at approximately 900 cubic feet per second. At the end of October flows had reached around 2400 cubic feet per second which is well above normal readings for this time of year.

Cerise said all structures are holding and that all rip rap below the water line has already been placed. Footers on the west side are in place and the west wall was scheduled to be poured on the 3rd. The bridge deck will arrive on the 16th along with a very large crane from Bozeman, Montana which will put the deck in place. Logistics of getting the crane and deck into the limited space available are being studied. Cerise said the slope on the east side of the island is taking shape. She said a lot of elevation has been added and the end result will be similar to the elevation of the Main Salmon River Bridge. The elevation complies with the 100 year flood event requirements plus a two foot variance for floating debris.

The Norton Ditch Diversion Extension has been pulled thanks to the cooperation of the ditch users who communicated what they needed and when they were finished using the diverted water. Cerise said it is hoped work on pulling the upper diversion will begin soon.

She thanked the agency partners who have been working hard on the project and also thanked Doug Westfall and his crew for meeting all the challenges. Cerise said everything is being built in accordance with the approved design.

City Clerk Mary Benton presented the council with a draft of the proposed changes to city code regarding livestock and wild animals. She said the codes regarding animals come from the City Development Code. Councilman Rob Jackson requested one change be made to further define the term ‘temporary.’ He asked it be changed from “10 successive days” to “10 days within a calendar year.” The council passed the document unanimously and Benton will make the requested change then give the council a final draft for their approval.

Comments during the evening’s Public Comment periods came from Robin Phillips and Bob Wiederrick.

Phillips encouraged the council to support the new Salmon Whitewater Park Association agreement to show the city does not discourage new businesses. She said that Main Street could certainly use some entrepreneurs taking the incentive to open new businesses.

Wiederrick noted there have been extensive and significant changes to the new City/Salmon Whitewater Park Association agreement document and that there should be a public hearing before acceptance. He said he is going to contact the Idaho Counties Risk Management Program (ICRMP) regarding the deletion of the reference to public safety. ICRMP is the city’s insurer and he wants it to double check on whether removal of something that will decrease public safety on the river puts the city at risk.

He began his first comments with recalling how people supported the History Park initially and thanked Tom McFarland and the Bennet Trusts for giving the city a chance to purchase the property. Wiedderick\'s second public comment came after Councilman Ken Hill’s announcement that he is buying the park and donating it to the city. Wiederrick thanked Hill profusely for his generosity and thoughtfulness. He said he hopes to be one of those who contribute to the park’s upkeep because it is such an important part of this community. 

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