SHELLEY – The Shelley City Council met Tuesday night to discuss an agenda of mostly business and traffic-related items.

Bridge construction

Road construction will begin on July 15 on the bridge over the Snake River on E 1274 N next to the North Bingham County Park. Public Works Director Justin Johnson informed the council that the purpose of the construction project will be to rehabilitate the deck on the bridge. The work will take approximately two weeks.

One lane at a time on the bridge will be closed while being resurfaced. The other lane will be open and traffic will be regulated by stop lights on either end of the bridge.

A couple of side roads will be closed to all traffic in the area of the construction, including W. River Road (550 E.) at Shelley West Road, and Cinder Butte (600 E.) and Shelley West Road.

Councilman Jeff Kelley said on Facebook Wednesday this could be problematic for people living in Journey’s End and other developments in that area, as they will have to go through the Woodville townsite to travel to Shelley.

Hanson Avenue

The council took action on amending Shelley’s truck traffic resolution due to the potential for street damage by heavy equipment due to soft ground conditions. Large farm vehicles can damage streets when turning around where fields are adjacent to roads. This was a problem last spring on Hanson Avenue.

The council considered amending the city’s truck traffic resolution to include language specifically prohibiting truck turn-arounds that can harm city streets. City attorney B. J. Driscoll pointed out to the council that the city already has a provision to collect when city property is damaged: “under our current ordinances, city damage has to be paid for, subject to proof.”

“If someone does more damage to a road that’s more than reasonable and expected wear and tear, we want to charge for that,” Kelley pointed out.

Hanson Avenue land owner Ken Carlson was at the meeting to discuss truck damage and how to avoid it in the future. Carlson said he would speak to the farmers who lease his land about the city’s concerns.

The city council, public works department and Hansen came to an agreement about laying down gravel along a portions of the shoulder on Hanson Avenue during susceptible ground conditions. Carlson would cover an estimated $854 cost for gravel and the city would cover the remainder of costs and labor.

Johnson calculated that the cost to the city would be approximately $5,000. “This will protect our investment in the road,” Johnson said.

“We just want to protect our streets,” added Mayor Stacy Pascoe.

City park rental

A car show that currently takes place in Idaho Falls has inquired about the cost of renting all of Shelley’s park for a weekend next June. If the cost and terms are favorable, the car show is considering moving to Shelley next year.

“This is really a family oriented event,” said councilman Earl Beattie. “It would bring people and business to Shelley.”

The city currently charges $70 per day to reserve one of the two shelters in the park but currently has no fee schedule or policy on renting out the whole park.

“We will have to have a public hearing if you want to set a new fee,” pointed out city clerk Sandy Gaydusek. “You could get around that if you just charged them for the shelters.”

After a brief discussion, the council decided that a new fee would be most appropriate since there would be other costs to defray for the use of the entire park.

“When there’s a cost associated with the use, I think a fee is reasonable,” stated Driscoll.

“I am worried about fairness,” remarked Kelley, pointing out the city currently does not charge for the use of the park by non-profit organizations like youth groups.

In order to come to a decision on the matter, the council decided to work on a park usage and fee policy at their upcoming work meeting before taking further action.

City finances

Gaydusek reported that the city is currently working on its payroll projections for the 2020 fiscal year. “We will be meeting with all the departments on July 22 and 23,” Gaydusek said while updating the council on the progress for next year’s budget.

The budget work meeting is currently scheduled for July 25 so there will be adequate to publish the preliminary budget proposal as required by law.

The city has scheduled the public hearing on the 2020 budget for August 25 at 6 p.m. at city hall.

The council also discussed whether to increase wages for city officials.

“If you want to do that,” Gaydusek pointed out, “it has to be done a minimum of 75 days before any election, so you would have to decide by August 22 since it has to be publicized in advance.”

The council decided not to change what city officials, including themselves, get paid.

“We’re not doing this for the money,” remarked Kelley.

Other business

The council approved a building permit for apartments on Opal Court, contingent on payment of the application fee. They also approved a business license for a Verizon agent and a farm stand run by the Christensens.

The council also amended the city’s standards for road construction to specify that the chip seal coat must be completed within one year and guaranteed for two years.

The recreational program discussion that was scheduled for Tuesday’s meeting has been moved to the agenda for August.

The council also discussed concerns over water pressure and asked the public works director about the timing on the completion of a booster station to service new subdivisions along the north end of the city and the adjacent impact area, especially near Riverview Elementary School.

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