Idaho Falls Citizen Journalism

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Leslie Shumate's picture

GOVERNOR’S TRAIL COMMITTEE GRANT 10-18-17 LMS

Sacajawea Center Director Lin Gray informed the October 18 meeting of the Salmon City Council that the Governor’s Lewis and Clark Trail Committee has approved a very significant grant for the facility.

She said she has been informally informed, by way of email, that the committee has approved a fully funded grant to replace the facility’s aging fishing weir, brush lodges and tipis. In partnership with the Shone-Bannock Tribes, Gray applied to the committee for a $9,675 grant to rebuild the replications. Tribal students will do the rebuilding.

Gray told the council that because she will be out of town, she hoped the council would approve acceptance of the grant so she can notify the tribe before she leaves. Councilman Rob Jackson said he would like to see the official letter before approving the grant’s acceptance. Gray said her concern is that in her absence the council won’t approve the acceptance and she wouldn’t know why or be able to defend the grant.

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Leslie Shumate's picture

COUNCIL ROUNDTABLE 10-18-17 LMS

The deer population in town has again come to the attention of the Salmon City Council. During its October 18 RoundTable Discussion Council President Jim Baker said he has been informed of three dogs being killed by a deer. He didn’t know if any official report had been filed. He said the council has not talked about the deer problem for a number of years. Councilman Ken Hill said the instance was a matter of a doe protecting her fawn. Baker said he had asked the individual who reported the incident to him, to file an official report so the council will have something with which to work.

Baker also said that the sewer connection to the Hockey Rink is underway.

Councilman Neal James said he has had some complaints about overgrown trees along the driveway beside City Park.

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Leslie Shumate's picture

ALLEY VACATION GRANTED 10-18-17 LMS

A request to vacate a portion of an alleyway between 9th and Copper streets was granted by the Salmon City Council at its October 18 meeting.

The action took place after a formal Public Hearing which included comments by the applicant. There were no other comments of any kind either in favor or opposed to the vacation. 

Marion Turner is the applicant and she explained the so called ‘street’ is shown on city maps but actually does not exist and is therefore not used for anything. By law any vacated property is divided equally and turned over to adjacent property owners. Turner said she would like the half of the non-existent street which adjoins her property to become hers.

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Leslie Shumate's picture

MONEY MATTERS 10-18-17 LMS

City Finance Director Amy Fealko presented the October 18 meeting of the Salmon City Council with a preliminary summary of the fourth quarter FY2017 report.

With the fiscal year one hundred percent complete General Fund revenues are at 91.3 percent of projections and expenditures are at 87.3 percent.

She said focusing on the city’s top four revenues is a way to get an excellent understanding of the revenue picture since they account for 90 percent of the total General Fund Revenues.

The top four are property taxes, sales taxes, revenue sharing and liquor revenue coming in at a total of $1.3 million which was just over the projected budget.

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SIGN OF THE TIMES 10-18-17 LMS

The local Air Quality Advisory Steering Committee has recommended that a digital sign be installed somewhere on Main Street to advise drivers of current air quality conditions. The exact location has yet to be decided.

At the October 18 meeting of the Salmon City Council Ryan Rossi, Regional Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Air Quality Monitoring Coordinator, said the current favorite site is at the west end of the Main Street Bridge where the Salmon Arts Council sign is located. Rossi added the sign can also be used to advertise community events and would be larger than the present Arts Council sign which could be incorporated into the new sign. Councilman Jim Bockelman is a member of the Air Quality committee and he agreed that is a good location since it accesses the Bar Hill population. 

The previous idea of incorporating the new digital into the old Deluxe Motel sign has been discarded due to research done by City Clerk Mary Benton and acting City/County Planning and Zoning Administrator Teresa Morton. Benton told the council the old sign is in the state’s right-of-way and according to the state it is the owner’s responsibility to remove it. She also said it could be in the way of future Americans with Disabilities Act access.

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Kelly Lance, a 49-year-old endurance runner from Pocatello, climbed Idaho’s nine 12,000-foot peaks (the 12ers) in a 119-mile, 78-hour push starting on Sept. 2. Unlike the others who have climbed the 12ers in a single push, Kelly did it completely self-propelled.

The 12ers are Mount Borah, 12,622 feet; Leatherman Peak, 12,228; Mount Church, 12,200; Diamond Peak, 12,197; Mount Breitenbach, 12,140; Lost River Mountain, 12,078; Mount Idaho, 12,065; and Hyndman Peak, 12,009. These peaks are located in three eastern Idaho mountain ranges, with one each in the Lemhi and Pioneer ranges and seven in the Lost River Range. The fastest time for the 12ers utilizing a vehicle shuttle is 1 day, 4 hours, 18 minutes by Luke Nelson of Pocatello and Jared Campbell of Salt Lake City in 2014.

While discussing his motivations, Kelly said: “... A couple years ago, some guys I know did a fantastic job with the speed attempt. And kind of jokingly I said, ‘Nobody’s ever done it without a car.’ Once I said it, I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I had to do it.”

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Idaho’s unemployment rate has fallen to the lowest on record.

     In September, the statewide unemployment rate was 2.8 percent, which is the lowest since the Department of Labor’s record-keeping began in January 1976.

“September’s decrease was due to a robust increase in the number of Idahoans working and a continued drop in the number of unemployed,” the Department of Labor said in a news release. “Employers in five of the state’s 11 industry sectors increased their payrolls in September, pushing Idaho’s total nonfarm jobs up to 715,000 from 714,400 in August.”

     Blaine County’s preliminary rate for September was even lower, at 2.3 percent.

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Salmon, Idaho:  The Salmon-Challis National Forest has spent the past several months documenting the current conditions and trends on the forest and in the surrounding communities. That assessment will soon be available in draft form. A series of public meetings November 6-14 will feature a chance to talk to the Salmon-Challis’ leadership and forest plan revision team about the findings.

Forest Plan Revision team leader Josh Milligan said members of the public, as well as federal, state, local and tribal representatives have helped his team better understand what’s important to forest stakeholders, and what needs to change.

“Since February, we’ve been meeting with members of the public, county commissioners, tribal leaders, and state agencies.  We’ve been very pleased with the information sharing that is happening.  With the release of this draft assessment and a preliminary need for change statement, it’s time to check back in to make sure we’re getting this right,” Milligan said.

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North Fork, Idaho: The Salmon-Challis National Forest Road Crew will be blasting rock on the Salmon River Road today,Tuesday, October 24, 2017. Crews anticipate the road will be closed from approximately 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM. The temporary closure is needed for public safety. Forest visitors should keep in mind that the closure could take place as early as 8:00 AM but no later than noon. The location of work is approximately 24 miles west of North Fork, near Dutch Oven Creek, which is located between Pine and Panther Creeks. For project specific information, please call Jay Winfield, District Ranger at 208-756-5247.

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The following is a news release from Regional Economic Development of Eastern Idaho.
 
BLACKFOOT — Vancouver, British Columbia based eCobalt has announced plans to develop a cobalt mining operation in Salmon and hydrometallurgical refinery on a railhead in neighboring Blackfoot. The Salmon mine is the only environmentally permitted primary cobalt project in the United States.
 
With pre-construction activities already underway, the vertically integrated Idaho Cobalt Project is designed to produce cobalt for the rechargeable batteries market. The total capital and reclamation cost is estimated at $288.1 million.
 
“We are thrilled to announce eCobalt’s massive investment in our community that could create 60-90 full-time, well-paying jobs,” said Blackfoot Mayor Paul Loomis. “The Idaho Cobalt Project is projected to support mining and refining capabilities through 2029. We’re excited to welcome eCobalt to Blackfoot and support their Idaho Community Block Grant application requesting funds to build a new railroad spur here, vital to improving their mine to refinery transport capabilities,” he said.
 
Refinery jobs will pay in the $60,000-$70,000 range. Approximately 125 jobs will be created at the Salmon mine.
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