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So Help Me God?

January 11, 2024

Reporter F3

Idaho Falls City Council

The agenda was as follows:

1.0    Call to Order

2.0    Pledge of Allegiance

3.0    Consent of Agenda

4.0    Public Comment:  None presented at this time.

5.0    Municipal Services: 

5.1    Second Quarter Impact Fee Report; No discussion

5.2    Idaho Falls Power Board Meeting minutes from Dec 2023; No discussion.

5.3    City Clerk;  All current license applications have been approved.  No discussion.

6.0   Regular Agenda:

            6.1   Mayors Choice Awards presentations for Community Enrichment; Education Award; Community Spirit; Community Service; Community Empowerment; and Community Contribution.  No discussion.

            6.2  Installation of new Council Members and presentation of Certificates of Election

            6.3   John Radford, and Michelle Ziel-Dingman were re-elected.  New member is Kirk Larsen.  All three were sworn in and given the option to include …” so help me God…”  at the end of their statements.  None of them did, which I found somewhat disturbing and disappointing.

            6.4  Council reorganization and committee assignments were then completed.  New President of the Council is Lisa Burtenshaw, and the vote was unanimous.

            6.5  Idaho Falls Power Peaking Plant-CAT Generators.  The city is soliciting bids for a new power plant to augment current power production.  The plant will burn natural gas, or can be retrofitted to burn Hydrogen.  There are three responses to the RFP.  The cost is $ 11 million dollars. Maintenance and service coverage for 60 months is also purchased.  The project was approved with no debate.  I was somewhat disappointed that nuclear options were not considered, and with the Administration’s war on fossil fuels, I am surprised that the plant is designed for natural gas.  The council recognized that based on the city’s growth, the additional power production will be critical. 

            6.6  A resolution was adopted for the Public Works to submit a WaterSmart Grand Application to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to purchase and install 250 commercial water meters in the city.  Private home owner metering can’t be far behind.   Discussion centered around the assumption that metering normally encourages conservation, and the area can no longer assume unlimited supplies of water.

            6.7   Approval of an easement vacation in Lot 4, Block 5 of the amended plat for Channing Way addition No.5.

            6.8  Approval of easement vacation for Lots1-3, 6 and 7, Block 1, of the Hodson Division

7.0   Consent Agenda:

            7.1  Approval of the airport terminal renovation and expansion construction documents and schematics.  Approved with no discussion.

            7.2  Idaho Falls Power, three items:  (1)  Underground Locating Services bid sheet;  (2)   Street Light Pole Inventory by D & S Electric bid;  (3)  Fiber Aerial Encloser Inventory.  All three were passed with no discussion

8.0   Municipal Services:

            8.1  Bid award for two Freightliner 114SD Side Discharge Spreader for Public Works.  No discussion.

            8.2  Appointments to City boards, committees pursuant to Idaho Statute by the mayor;  no discussions.

            8.3  Approval for Idaho DOT  grant of $20,000 for Airport improvements in IF.  Runway improvements and snow removal equipment will be purchased.  No discussion.

            8.4  Approval of Idaho First Funding Grant with Idaho DOT of 1 million dollars for the current terminal expansion project.  No discussion.

            8.5  Approval of fleet vehicle lease agreement with United Fleet Services for five years for 1.5 million dollars to support vehicle needs for the IF Police Force.  No discussion.  This item uses federal money, but the nature and amount were not discussed.

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