Lemhi County Citizen Journalism

Leslie Shumate's picture


In her January 17 report to the Salmon City Council, City Finance Director Amy Fealko advised council members the fiscal year is 25 percent complete, 15.2 percent of revenues are in and 21.1 percent of the projected expenditures are spent.

The city’s Finance Team has been discussing whether or not a formal resolution should be adopted dedicating an agreed upon amount each year to a Contingency Fund. The purpose of having such a fund is a budget stabilization measure which would allow the city to respond quickly in the event normal avenues of revenue were to be unexpectedly interrupted by economic uncertainty or natural disaster. 

The city has been operating on the premise that 35 percent of the annual budgeted General Fund amount will be held/reserved in existing contingency funds however; there are no records showing an official action ever taken in that regard. The council is considering formalizing the intent as a Resolution and is also considering increasing the amount that is reserved every year.

Fealko discussed what percentages of increase translate to in dollars and cents. As an example she said if the present annual 35 percent of the General Fund that is placed in reserve were to be increased to 40 percent, the current $496,000 would grow to $568,000. The present Contingency Fund balance is $840,000. 

Councilor Jim Baker said any of the figures can be changed as the discussion continues and he believes that if the council moves ahead with the resolution proposal it would be a balanced approach to moving monies into specific areas to be considered by the council. 

The figures presented by Fealko will be studied by the full council and the discussion will be continued.

During the council’s Roundtable discussion Councilor Jim Bockelman challenged fellow members to develop a list of projects each wants to identify as a goal for his or her council term, then present the goals to the full council. He also applauded city crews for all the sidewalk sweeping being done and said it is great to have that equipment on hand and is a benefit to the city.

Councilor Robin Phillips reported there were 34 people in attendance at a meeting to discuss starting a Chamber of Commerce organization. She said a group of seven was formed to find a name for the group, write a mission statement for the organization and decide on some bylaws. The core group of seven will be meeting every week. Phillips said the next general meeting is set for 6PM on February 8 at the Elks Lodge. She said there is a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm from the business community and that organizers want to keep the momentum going.

City Attorney Fred Snook took Councilor Baker’s concerns regarding the survey done on the old library building back to Wade Surveying and what was thought to be missing, the closure on certain points, was found in the small print. Baker will recheck.

The next meeting of the Salmon City Council will be February 7 at 6PM in the Salmon Valley Center meeting room.

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