City of Salmon, ID

08/07/2019 | Press release | Archived content

IS THERE A NEED?

Proposed Ordinance 19-840 would amend Salmon City Code Title 4 Chapter 4 for use of self-contained portable toilets within the city.

At the Salmon City Council's August 7 meeting Councilor Fred Waidely began a motion to suspend the three reading rule on ordinances and adopt Ordinance 19-840 on the first reading when Councilor Robin Phillips started a discussion by asking why such an ordinance was needed.

Waidely said the ordinance is needed for special events or active construction and City Clerk Mary Benton said according to City/County Building Administrator Gary Goodman there is nothing in city code that prevents setting up and using a porta pottie. Phillips responded there is already an ordinance requiring properties within the city be connected to the city sewer system and that every time a new ordinance is enacted it takes away other people's freedoms. She said there is an establishment in town that is not connected to the sewer system and has been using porta potties for years. Benton reiterated there are no codes pertaining to the use of porta potties.

Waidely intervened with a point of order reminding the council that he was making a motion and was interrupted. He completed reading the amendment to the Public Health and Safety Chapter 4 which defines allowed uses, prohibited uses and maintenance requirements and the discussion resumed with City Attorney Fred Snook asking if there is a problem. He cited the porta potties set up seasonally at the High School football field.

Councilor Jim Bockelman recommended having policies about porta potties on the record and suggested that an audience member might have added information. Mayor Leo Marshall acknowledged Wendie Peterson of Pep's Septic. Peterson has studied the proposed amendment. In answer to Snook's question about the football field units she said they are cleaned every week and could be removed and reinstalled weekly but it would be a whole lot of work that doesn't need to be done. She said those units could fit into the amendment's 'application for waiver' under code 4-4-6 and the school could come before the council to obtain the waiver.

Phillips thought seasonal porta pottie use to accommodate an establishment's extra visitors is quite acceptable and that, more importantly, the ordinance about being hooked to the city sewer should be enforced.

Waidely's motion to suspend the three reading ordinance rule was passed on a four to two vote with Baker and Phillips voting 'no.' Ordinance 19-840 amending code 4-4-6 pertaining to porta pottie use within city limits passed four to two with Ken Hill, Neal James, Waidely and Bockelman voting 'yes' and Baker and Philips voting 'no.'

After the vote Baker objected to pushing ordinances through the normal three reading process.