Idaho Falls Citizen Journalism

Leslie Shumate's picture


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. He said there is a finite space for parking and that extra parking space would keep the downtown core intact so that downtown businesses are able to expand.

The city staff was asked to look at current assessed values of any available properties and obtain comparable land values from local realtors. Baker asked City Attorney Fred Snook to give the council his views of current property values at the next council meeting.

City Clerk Mary Benton told the council a letter has been received from the US Army Corps of Engineers offering to participate in the restoration of any public lands damaged by flooding. She said that Public Works Superintendent Harry Shanafelt and Parks Foreman Gordon Stevenson will take pictures of damages and she will coordinate any feedback received from the Corps. The Parks and Recreation Team is currently assessing what damages have occurred to Island Park.

During the council’s Roundtable Discussion Bockelman commended “burger flipping Councilman Chinske” for the time he donated to the Hockey Association fund raising booth at the Demolition Derby. Bockelman also asked the Finance Team to research the budget for areas where money could be held back for designated future purposes.

James mentioned two street lights, one on North Andrews and one on South Andrews which need attention. Shanafelt will check on them.

For the fourth year in a row, Councilman Rob Jackson will be donating his time to the upcoming Beaverhead Endurance Run. He said the event, which starts on the Continental Divide and ends in Geertson Creek, has grown substantially. There were 51 runners at the first event in 2014. He said this year 270 runners are expected to participate. Jackson said that with each runner having a support team that equates to a large number of people spending two nights in Salmon. Jackson tends the Jahnke Lake aid station. He said anyone with a four wheeler or a side by side is welcome to stop by, “The more the merrier.” 

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