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Ammon residents will have a new outlet for their traffic concerns after the Ammon City Council created a commission for those issues Thursday night.

The Ammon Traffic Commission will handle the complaints and suggestions from the public about the streets, from parking tickets to the location of new signs and regulations. Those issues had previously been brought to the council during public hearings and the committee is intended to provide those questions directly to the city experts.

"With our snow tickets this winter, they would go to the traffic commission as soon as it is established to appeal their tickets," City Administrator Micah Austin said.

Austin will sit on the committee along with Ammon's public works director, city engineer, city planner, code enforcement officer and one appointed city council member. After being approved by the city council Thursday night, the committee will begin meeting monthly to handle the city's traffic concerns.

Later in the meeting, sparks flew as council members debated the details of the proposed new water meter rates. The debate was kicked off by the rate for unmetered properties in the city but quickly became a larger debate about whether the city was moving forward too aggressively with its improvement projects at the expense of the poorer residents who would be paying for them.

"Pushing them all together over a few years affects everyone more and is why some of these rates are going up 50 percent," councilman Byron Wiscombe said. He wondered if the council should reconsider taking out a water bond instead of the planned rate increase.

The City Council will not vote on the official plan for the rates until March 7. But Ammon has already approved the plan to install water meters throughout the city and the engineering report the city commissioned supports the higher unmetered rates as necessary to pay for the water system.

"You're having a discussion with professionals who are saying this is how it is and you still keep asking about this," councilman Russell Slack said to Wiscombe.

At Thursday's meeting, the council also approved a new contract with Eagle Rock Sanitation to place them in charge of the commercial business trash in the city and selling them some of the city's dumpsters and trucks in the process.

Contact Brennen with news tips at 208-542-6711.

Kauffman reports on health care and city events for the Post Register.

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