The process to update the transportation plan for the city of Challis is underway now that the City Council approved an agreement with Keller Associates to do the work.

The city tries to update the transportation plan about every decade, former Mayor Mike Barrett said. A current plan is especially beneficial as the city applies for grants, he said. The regional transportation group that the city is a member of identifies and prioritizes street projects, in part based on each entity’s plans. The Challis plan will be completed sometime this year.

The city used a $30,000 grant from the Idaho Transportation Department to hire Keller and will spend about $5,000 from the city’s street fund. Traffic counters will be borrowed from various other government entities to help develop the plan, Barrett said. The counters — which lay across roadways — keep track of how many vehicles drive across them. The counters will be placed at strategic places in Challis where city officials want accurate counts of vehicle traffic to determine if traffic signs are needed or if existing signs need to be changed or if any other traffic flow modifications are required.

At their final council meeting of 2021, council members also approved an ordinance to zone the golf course subdivision as residential A. When that property was annexed into the city in 2003, for some reason no zoning classification was attached and that needed to be remedied. Barrett said research of the annexation effort revealed that the intent of the involved parties at the time was to zone it residential, so that’s the option the council chose. The city attorney recommended the land have a zoning classification applied.

The council also accepted two grants from Federal Aviation Administration. A $380,000 grant will pay to seal coat the new pavement that’s been installed at the airport in the last two years. A $55,000 grant will pay for improvements to the pilots’ lounge. The city has to match 5 percent of each grant and the state matches another 5 percent.

And, the council adopted the Idaho Building Code, as required by the Idaho Legislature and recommended by the city’s attorney.

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