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  • IF CITY COUNCIL MARCH 14

    BCRCC Meeting Report Meeting attended: ___City Council Meeting for 14 March 2024; 7:30 p.m. Reporter: ___F3                                              Date: __14 March 2024 Items discussed/ What stood out to you? 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 this evening. 5.0    Consent Mayor Agenda  (all of the following items in this section were approved with no comment or discussion as a group): 5.1     Municipal Services; Third Quarter Impact Fee Report;  Bid for pumps and motors for Well 13 project;  Bid for Transfer Switch equipment for Well 13 Project;  Approval of Change Order for Fuel Dispenser Replacement and Upgrade. 5.2    Public Works;  Bid award for Seal Coats for 2024;  Bid award for Pancheri Bridge Rehabilitation 5.3    Idaho Falls Power;  Upper Plant Right Dike Rip Rap Bid Sheet 5.4    City Attorney;  Amendment to Downtown Parking MOU between IF Development Corp. and IF City 5.5    Office of the City Clerk;  Minutes from City Council meetings. 6.0   Regular Agenda: 6.1   Airport:   Approval of taxiway pavement maintenance for 2024.  Crack seal, seal coat for taxiways A, B, and C.  Part of this funding will also go to the Airport Improvement efforts.  Cost is $650,00.00.   Approved with no discussion. 6.2  Municipal Services; Addition to Parks and Recreation fleet, one Groundmaster mower.  The city finds itself mowing and trimming and caring for several canal banks in the city.  Cost is $146,063.33 and was approved with no discussion. Specialty Vehicle Up-Fitting for the Police Dept.  Install new operating equipment in vehicles.  Cost is $1.5 million and was approved.  The only discussion was that it was necessary to support our Police Force in the city.  A local company, Data Wireless Systems,  will do the work.  Discussion centered on doing what is needed to support our Police force, which considering the atmosphere around the country recently, was very good to hear. 6.3  Public Works: Proposed Ordinance Revision for the City Sewers.  Changes being made in response to comments by Idaho DEQ.  Passed unanimously with no discussion.  No costs identified. Amendment to Consultation Agreement with Keller Associates for Rails to Trails Project.  This is for turning the old railway track systems in the city no longer being used into walking paths.  The areas mentioned are by the City Library and the Power Building .  Passed unanimously with no discussion.  No costs identified. 6.4  Community Development Services: Legislative Public Hearing for annexing 1.791 acres in the Southeast ¼ of Section 6, Township 1 North, Range 38 East.  Parcel is at the corner of 65th South and 5th East.  Requested by the City as zoned P, Public Zone.   Passed unanimously with no discussion.  No discussion as a to why this was being done.  P and Z approved. Legislative Public hearing, annexation of 28.408 acres in Northwest ¼ Section 4, Township 1 North, Range 38 East.  Parcel is east of 15th East and 49th South.  P and Z approved the annexation with initial zoning of R2 and R3A.  Discussion as follows: -         Debate over R1 or R2 was most appropriate.  Comments by neighbors wanted R1 as the area is surrounded by R1, and better served by R1.  R1 more appropriate as area has horses and cattle nearby and reduces traffic and will not adversely affect power.  Final vote was for R2. -        The R3A area was cut back and made smaller, as it is a high density, to appease property holders. -        Opinion of Councilors was that the reduced R3A area and R2 area adds variety, and fits into the Comprehensive Plan. Final vote approved unanimously as R2 and R3A.  Passed with the reduction of the area of R3A. Quasi Judicial Public Hearing; Re-zone from L&M, Industrial and Manufacturing, Limited Commercial, to LM and Heavy Commercial of 3.44 acres of Lots 10 and 11, Block 1, McNiel Business Park Division 4, as well as 1.465 acres of the South 1/2 of the East, ¼ of the Northeast, ¼ of the Southeast, ¼ of Section 25, Township 2 North, Range 37 East.  This request comes form the owner, Mr. Rolle Walker, where the current U-Pick Pumpkin Patch and Park are currently located.  The ground currently has two different zoning codes, and Mr. Walker would like the entire area zoned as the same designation, LM, Light Manufacturing and Heavy Industrial.  This will enhance his ability to use the property, and perhaps in the future put in more features. There was extended discussion, and input from local homeowners.  Please note: -         There was also discussion at the P & Z meeting;  this passed in that meeting on a 4 to 3 vote. -        Approval by the Council would allow, under the new zoning, the owner, Mr. Rolle Walker, to build more features and attractions on the property, which the local homeowners did not want.  They are very concerned about more traffic in the area, annoying lighting into the night hours, more noise, and more and more crowds.  Would also allow for year-round operations.  The residents were also concerned about the zoning that would allow heavy commercial, and were against that. -        The council noted that the re-zoning is in line and consistent with the Comprehensive plan. -        The biggest concern expressed by the residents, Council Freeman and Council Frances, and others at the meeting was that the parking is completely inadequate now, during the fall season when the park is open.  As noted above, possible expansion would make that problem even worse.  Rollandet is not configured for parking on both sides during the season, and in fact in  some areas through that section is regulated as no parking, which the residents maintain is ignored.   Parking is available across the street in an area currently undeveloped by the Zoo, but the Zoo leadership has made it plain that that could change.  There is also parking behind the Red Barn lot to the west, on McLain St., which can be used.  This is the road that Burns Bros Concrete is on, and walking there may be hazardous also.  The owner of Burns Bros. stood during the public comment period and supported the owner.  All were concerned that someone walking on that section of Rollandet when the park is open will be seriously hurt by traffic. -         The change was ultimately approved, because the zoning change has nothing to do with the parking situation. -        Hopefully the owner will be sensitive to the parking issues, and all will find ways to minimize risk to pedestrians and homeowners. Dynamics of the Committee/ counsel/ board? (disagreements, division, etc.?) Freeman and Frances voted no.  Council Radford spoke in favor of the Red Barn Park as a good place for community members to gather, and a fun feature, for the local citizens, and a good activity for families in the fall. Action items? (i.e. upcoming events, votes, things we need to be aware of?) Again, as I have noted previously,  we need someone to attend and have input to (during public comment periods) the Planning and Zoning meetings, and review their guiding documents, particularly the Comprehensive Plan that I hear repeated reference to in these meetings, and appears to have a great deal of influence on zoning, growth issues, development, etc.  Or, who does this plan belong to?  Which agency? Additional notes: The Mayor, Mayor Casper was absent, in Washington D.C., with Councilwoman Burtenshaw.  Councilwoman Ziel-Dingman chaired the meeting on this night.

  • IF CITY COUNCIL MARCH 28

    BCRCC Meeting Report Meeting attended: ___City Council Meeting for 28 March 2024; 7:30 p.m. Reporter: ___F3 Date: __28 March 2024 Items discussed/ What stood out to you? 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 this evening from the public attendees. However the Mayor discussed something that Council Radford apparently mentioned in another meeting. She was somewhat annoyed that he had commented that the Consent agenda does not include costs of the items, and he felt that this would appear to be hiding this information from the public. The Mayor rebutted that this was not true, and that the cost information, as well as other background information on the items, are contained in a longer more detailed document called the “Packet”, which is available on line for those interested. This was the end of the comment period. 5.0 Consent Agenda (all of the following items in this section were approved with no comment or discussion as a group, and are accepted on one vote): 5.1 Office of the Mayor; Appointments to City Boards and Commissions 5.2 Municipal Services; - Impact Fee Advisory Committee 2023 Annual Report. Considering the issues with this topic a few weeks ago, this report should be read. - Purchase of Superpave Hot Mix Asphalt for Public Works - 2024 Concrete Replacement for Public Works - 2024 Water Line Surface Repair for Public Works - Electrical and Variable Frequency Drive Equipment for Well 13 Project - Treasurers Report for 2024 5.3 Public Works; Bid award for Seal Coats for 2024; Bid award for Pancheri Bridge Rehabilitation 5.4 Idaho Falls Power; - Sugar Mill Substation Upgrade, Transformer Purchase - Idaho Falls Power Board Meeting Minutes 5.5 Office of the City Clerk; Minutes from Special Meeting, Budget Planning Meeting. If available on line, this should also be looked at. 6.0 Regular Agenda: 6.1 Bid rejection; Brodbecks Addition Waterline Improvements 2024. On 18 March Bids were opened for this improvement project. The only bid received was $1.2 million over the city engineer’s estimate. The council rejected the bid on a unanimous vote. The project will be bid again in 2025. The bid was from Knife River. Action items? (i.e. upcoming events, votes, things we need to be aware of?) The mayor announced that in May there would be a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new I. F. City Police building which is no completed. There would also be tours of the waste water plant coming soon if anyone is interested. Additional notes: This meeting was very short, and only lasted for 45 minutes, which was refreshing.

  • It’s Urgent, Politics is Urgent

    For as long as I can remember, people have said this is the most important election of our lifetime. Maybe it's true. Maybe it's been true for a while. It does seem as if every year the importance of politics becomes greater. With crushing inflation, brewing international wars, civil liberties under attack, and runaway government promoting misguided values, the situation is becoming more dire. Viewpoints about basic concepts of freedom and society are diverging. Many Idahoans feel this, and several have moved here from other states to escape bad policy and government growth. We can no longer assume that all members of our society share our common values. There is a battle for the heart and soul of our community, but this is where we can effect an actual change. Kudos to Bonneville County! With the candidate filing deadline recently behind us, there were a record number of candidates seeking the Republican Party nomination. Twenty-Four people applied to be state legislators, seven applied for the two open county commissioner seats, seven more are running for congress, and several others applied for other local races. A whopping 95 applicants have volunteered to serve as local precinct officers (PCOs) in the Bonneville County Republican Party organization. While many of our neighboring county GOP Committees struggle to even fill seats, Bonneville citizens will have multiple choices on their ballot for choosing a precinct officer to actively promote the Republican values in our Party Platform. There will be opportunities to meet and speak with these state and local candidates in the coming weeks. To stay informed on these, and other dates, follow the Bonneville County Republican Party Facebook, Instagram, and X pages, or sign up on the website. Interest in politics has been growing. Citizens can follow along as legislation is considered, debated, and voted on. Regular updates appear on many news outlets, and there are multiple metrics in our state now where the voting records of our representatives are scored and graded according to different priorities, platforms, and criteria. Many of these links are found on the Bill Tracker page of our website. This activity shows that citizens are paying attention, becoming active, and are involved in determining their own destiny through self-government. The Idaho GOP Platform states that: “The Idaho Republican Party believes that government works best when its citizens become actively involved. The Party encourages all citizens to engage in healthy debate on all issues that will increase citizen control of government. We can and we must choose our own destiny. The responsibility has never been bigger, but with great responsibility comes great rewards. The reward for us if we participate, and create sustainable outcomes, is that our children and our children's children will live in a community and society which gives them the blessings of freedom and prosperity. That's why Idahoans, more than ever, are waking up, paying attention to politics, and getting involved in their local Republican Party. For more information about how you can get involved locally, visit BonnevilleGOP.com. Beverly Kingsford Executive Assistance, Bonneville GOP

  • Idaho Falls Planning Commission

    Reporter I3 March 5, 2024 Public Hearings 1. APPROVED- Annexation and initial zoning- Central commercial project for property located north of the Mountain America Center east of Interstate 15, south of interstate 15, west of Pioneer Rd. 2. APPROVED- Rezone from I&M Industrial and Manufacturing to HC High Commercial. Located north of Sunnyside Rd, east of the Snake River, south of Pancheri Drive, west of South Yellowstone Ave. 3. APPROVED- Planned Unit Development for the Reserve at Snake River Landing Phase II. Located N of West Sunnyside Rd, east of Pioneer Rd, south of Event Center Drive, west of Snake River. 227 units with 9.96 units/acre well under mandatory of 35 units/acre. It is a community being built by Ball Ventures. R3A zoning. 470 parking stalls, 13 stalls for the clubhouse, and 15 extra stalls. The units will be 3-4 bedrooms. There will be on street parking. It will be built in 5 phases with 1 amenity in the first phase. They will be 2-3 story buildings. It will be a walkable and multi-family development. There will be a clubhouse, walking trails, hot tubs, pool, tennis courts and tot lots. They will be built as duplexes and up to 7-plexes. Side by side with front or rear garages and alleys.

  • Choose Your Party

    An important choice is coming up in May. It's not the President, or the Governor. No, it's your neighborhood Precinct Officer. This May, affiliated Republican voters in Idaho will choose whether their political party is a grassroots organization standing for platform principles like low taxes, traditional values, and free markets . . . or whether their political party will be a tool in the service of lobbyists, politicians, and special interests. For months, rumors have persisted of certain unhappy politicians secretly planning to upset their own party organizations in Idaho and here in Bonneville. After ugly mudslinging via anonymous publications before the Presidential Caucus, now confirmation that’s likely just the beginning. Apparently, a group of lobbyists, politicians, and donors hired professional political operatives nine month ago that have recruited and reportedly gathered over ONE MILLION DOLLARS of dark money with the intent of using it to oust current party volunteers in favor of ones loyal to their own agendas. Because political party organizations are entirely voluntary, when too few patriots choose to participate, it’s sometimes possible for special interests to essentially “buy” a political party to their own liking. This unfortunate reality sometimes causes people to despise parties because they see them as nothing more than unprincipled loyal supporters of the power-hungry politicians. I pray that reality never occurs in Idaho or Bonneville County. Like it or not, political party organizations are important. Freedom depends on active informed citizen participation. Americans understand the principle of self-government, and our right to petition our government is severely limited if citizens cannot effectively associate and work together in the world of politics. Alone our voices are lost in the wind, but when we do the hard work of organizing, we can make a real impact. The Bonneville GOP has made a real impact in our state precisely because of the active participation that happens here. The Bonneville County Republican Party will continue to welcome all volunteers who wish to advance the principles of the Republican Platform. Participation in the GOP has been steadily growing over the years in Bonneville, but as a volunteer organization, we always need more help, and we thank anyone who encourages and inspires more people to participate. As a party, we welcome reinforcements to our cause. As individuals, each registered republican voter will have choices to make. The decision, about which of your neighbors should be selected to serve as a Precinct Officer, will determine the direction of your party. In turn, the party’s direction will impact our laws, our freedom, and our children’s children. Inform yourself and choose wisely. The deadline to volunteer as a Precinct Officer year is Friday March 15th , and those passionate about Republican values are needed. More info is available at https://www.bonnevillegop.com/position-requirements and candidates file at the county election office. Eastern Idaho is a wonderful place with incredible people who are overwhelmingly conservative supporters of freedom. I believe in the people of our community, but freedom is never free. It’s essential that good people step up, and that between now and May, citizens get to know those who are seeking to become the Precinct Officers making up their local political parties. --- Nicholas Contos Bonneville Country Republican Party Chairman

  • DOROTHY MOON PROTECTS REPUBLICAN VOTE! Time for Caucus

    CAUCUS LOCATION SECOND LINK: INFORMATION YOU NEED REPUBLICANS RISE UP AND VOTE!!!! "Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the REPUBLICAN from their VOTE". FIND YOUR PRECINT https://elections.sos.idaho.gov/ElectionLink/ElectionLink/ViewPollingLocation.aspx (caucus location in link below) FIND YOUR CAUCUS LOCATION https://www.idahorepublicancaucus.com/bonneville-county

  • ANOTHER REPORTER VIEW

    Why do we need multiple "eyes" in the room, because each of us hears and sees another perspective. This helps "we the people" understand the issues. On this report scan down to 6.0 issues that would impact the citizens, take action where needed. And thank you to all citizens willing to get out there and listen and report. Cheryl Papke Feb 22, 2024 Reporter F3 BCRCC Meeting Report 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 this evening. 5.0 Consent Mayor Agenda (all of the following items in this section were approved with no comment as a group): 5.1 Mayoral appointments to committees and commissions pursuant to law. No discussion 5.2 Municipal Services; purchase replacement for Sweeper for Public Works. Bid awarded to SWS Equipment LLC. No amount mentioned. No discussion. 5.3 Public Works; Bid award for Meppen Canal Trail pedestrian hybrid beacons. No discussion. 5.4 Idaho Falls Power; Path and Landscaping; no location specified. No discussion. 5.5 Idaho Falls Power; Electric Conductor Wire purchase. No discussion. 5.6 Idaho falls Power; Board Meeting Minutes for February 2024. No discussion. 5.7 Office of the City Clerk; Minutes from City Council meetings. No discussion. 6.0 Regular Agenda: 6.1 Idaho Falls Power; Resolution amending the Idaho Falls Power Service policy. Changes are available on line. The document is updated every year about this time to keep it current with customer needs. No debate or discussion other than appreciation by the Council to keep the document current and customer friendly. Approved. 6.2 Public Works; Easement Vacation for Lot 6, Block 1 of first amended plat of Westridge Commercial Plaza, Division 1. Owner of the property requested the easement. City staff reviewed and approved. No discussion or debate. Approved. 6.3 Community Development Services; Final Plat and Standards for Rising Sun Plaza Division No. 1. P and Z has recommended approval. Approved with no discussion and no change in zoning. 6.4 Legislative Public Hearing; Annexation and Initial Zoning of 118.320 acres in Southeast ¼ of Section 30, Township 3 North, Range 38 East (farm ground directly to the North, across 65th North, from Sage Lakes Golf Course). Developer initially applied for R1 zoning, but P and Z came back with R2. The developer responded that they could live with R2. It is now zoned and planned for R2 (single family and twin homes). At least they did not force high density zoning as they have done elsewhere out there. The parcel is in an Airport Overlay Zone. The Council could have decided for R1, as one of the Council’s stated objectives in these kinds of projects is to support the property owner (I have never heard this before at any meetings I have attended). But the Council approved R2. Only discussion centered around R1 vs R2. Council member Burtenshaw voted no, and wished to leave it as R1. Eagle Rock Engineering did the engineering. 6.5 Impact Fee Hearing, Appeal of Impact Fee Certification, Sayer Nissan New Dealership Sales and Service. This issue revolves around a City ordinance that allows for impact fees to be determined in a single structure, like an auto dealership, according to the various areas inside the building and what they are used for (office, industrial, retail, etc.). Mr. Sayer was objecting to the fee being determined as counting his shop area as retail area, or support for a retail establishment. If the fees had been determined with the shop area as industrial, the fees would have been much less. This is a clear example of one of the problems with government in general. It was clear from the discussion that the ordinance is unsettled in its application, and when proposed, should have been thought through more carefully, and the impacts thought through more carefully. The ordinance in question clearly allows for this kind of partitioning to arrive at a fee assessment, but Council Frances was adamant that the shop was not industrial, it was retail support. Three of the other members agreed. In my mind, no one can seriously consider an automotive machine shop and repair shop as a retail space. Mr. Sayer lost his appeal on a 4 to 2 vote. There was concern that the council not reverse the decision of the Fee Administrator, Pam Alexander. Also, there was lengthy discussion on what precedent might be set by the Council reversing a Staff decision like this. To my thinking, no one could possibly equate an automobile repair and machine shop as a retail space. The Council members admitted that the ordinance would need clarifying and refining in the near future (the ordinance is 3.5 years into its 5 year run, and will need some work). Council members Radford and Freeman supported Mr. Sayer and his petition. I believe this was very unfair. I realize the City must have some means to estimate the impact that new construction has on City services, but this particular case was very poorly managed. There was also discussion about how Boise performs this function, which I found inappropriate. They only consider traffic impact, the number of trips in and out of a facility. 6.6 Payment of Impact Fees Under Protest, Southbridge Division 1. The meeting ran over quite late and I was not able to stay and report on this outcome. I am assuming that this one, like the Sayer matter, was not approved. I am sure that the outcome is on the council’s web page, but I have not looked at it. DISAGREEMENTS: The only disagreement was noted in the section referencing Mr. Sayer’s appeal. How the functional areas inside a building are assigned value must be readdressed carefully. Action items? (i.e. upcoming events, votes, things we need to be aware of?) None. Additional notes: The impact fee procedures need to be scrubbed in the near future, hopefully with public comment

  • Stay Tuned in to Idaho Falls

    IDAHO FALLS CITY COUNCIL MEETING 02/22/24 Reporter B1 1. Idaho Falls Power- Approved- Resolution Amending the Idaho Falls Power Service Policy 2. Public Works- Approved- Vacation of an easement 3. Community Development Services- Approved-Application for the Final Plat and Reasoned Statement of Relevant Criteria and Standards for Rising Sun Plaza Division No. 1 4. Legislative Public Hearing- Approved- Annexation and Initial Zoning of R2 Mixed Residential Use- 118 .320 acres. This property is north of Sage Lake golf course. The builder had requested an R-1 zoning upon application though the building and zoning department changed the zoning to R-2 in order to be approved. Their reasoning was that it would be more cost effective in bringing in utilities to the development and more compatible to the comprehensive plan of the city. One of the council members commented that they have never seen the developer ask for an R-1 and have the P/Z department change it to an R-2. Both council members Burtenshaw and Freeman opposed the zoning to be an R2 but did approve the annexation. Note: R-1 is typically for low density residential use, R-2 is to stabilize and protect the residential characteristics of a district where a compatible mingling of single-family dwellings and multi-family dwellings is likely to occur. 5. Municipal Services a. Impact Fee Hearing- Payment of Impact Fees Under Protest, Southbridge Division 1. There seemed to be a dispute between the builder and the city as to the classification of the development whether it be single family residences or multi. This classification affects the impact fees charged. The request for a protest was denied and the fee schedule remained. b. Impact Fee Hearing- Appeal of Impact Fee Certification, Sayer Nissan New Dealership Sales and Service. A discrepancy has arisen as to the breakdown of the property and resulting fees charged. Sayer Nissan felt that the development was a mixture of industrial, retail and office space. The impact fee as originally charged was $132,000. Sayer Nissan request would be a fee of $53,000 if so approved. Much discussion ensued as to the definition of industrial use. It was decided by all council members but Burtenshaw and Radford that the legal definition of industrial did not apply to any area of Sayer Nissan. The final outcome was that the development could be divided into office/retail and no industrial area as per what was determined to fit the legal definition at their disposal.

  • Eye on the IF City Council

    Idaho Falls City Council Meeting Reporter: F3 Date:  8 Feb 2024   7:30 p.m We will begin with Reporter F3’s personal Comments. Let me Preface Reporter F3’s comments: From a Local Government Perspective, it takes many voices to counter changes “We the People” see and do not like.  Contact us and join our network of individuals going out and “observing” Bonneville Government in Action.  Help us inform citizens.  YOUR VOTE AND VOICE COUNT.  Why don’t our Republican Representatives support our Values in the Platform? From:  Reporter F3 I am very concerned about the direction the Planning and Zoning Commission is taking relative to approving new subdivisions. Every meeting I have attended, there is an item to approve a final plat. Everyone I have seen is for a very condensed, high-density apartment complex or highly compacted townhomes, etc. I am afraid that our city and county are losing their character and heritage buy building such areas. I am also afraid that the occupants, largely moving here from out-of-state, don’t possess our values, and are voting Democrat. The Council essentially rubber-stamps these items when presented, with little or no debate. I am assuming therefore that we need to meet this head -on by challenging this at the planning and zoning meetings, and challenging their property development procedures that encourage this. In my area alone, Fairway Estates, we have no fewer than six of these complexes, and more under construction. Also, I am concerned about the local politicians being able to operate in their positions and run for office and not declare a party affiliation, so citizens that are voting can at least form some form of an opinion on where the candidate stands. I know this is state law, but I would love to see our Republican leaders get it reversed. I know why they do it. If you are a Democrat or RINO in this state, odds are you will never be elected, or will have problems getting elected or garnering any support. I believe this is gutless. I am a proud conservative constitutional Republican, and I am not afraid to admit it---anywhere---anytime. If they are so convinced that their ideas and methods are superior to mine, or Republicans, and are better for our state or our country, then let them say it. Put a “(D)” behind your name, and make your case. Report: The agenda was as follows: 1.0 Call to Order 2.0 Pledge of Allegiance 3.0 Consent of Agenda 4.0 Public Comment: One gentleman questioning the cost of painting and decaling the gym floor of the Recreation Center which is about to be refinished. Explanation was that sponsors will pay the cost. Some have already been identified. The work is discussed in subsequent section. 5.0 Consent Mayor Agenda: 5.1 Mayoral appointments to committees and commissions pursuant to law. No discussion 5.2 Municipal Services; Quote for purchase of Replacement Crack Sealer for Public Works. Approved with no discussion. 5.3 Idaho Falls Power; Gem State Vault Toilet-Precast, bid tabulation. Approved with no discussion. 5.4 Idaho Falls Power; Bid for Recloser Switch, bid tabulation. Approved with no discussion. 5.5 Public Works; Bid award for North Highland Park Concrete Improvements. Approved with no discussion. 5.6 Bid Award for Jefferson Ave Water Line Replacement from Science Center Drive to Micro St. Approved with no discussion. 5.7 Office of the City Clerk; Approval of minutes from City Council meetings. Approved with no discussion. 6.0 Regular Agenda: 6.1 Final Plat and Development Agreement for Sand Creek Estates Division No. 2. Approved with no discussion. 6.2 Addition to Public Works Fleet; one John Deere 60 P Mini-excavator for $124,987. Approved with no discussion. 6.3 Idaho Falls Power solicited for request the best qualified company to build a peaking plant. ESI response considered the best one. Contract amount for $25 million. Discussion ensued about the plant using natural gas and not being a “green plant” and therefore not producing carbon emissions. Commissioner Radford expressing the most concern. At one time he stated he would not support, but is supporting now. The plant can be configured in the future to burn hydrogen. I did not realize that our local leaders had bought into this extreme agenda, which is disappointing. Project approved and is proceeding. 6.4 Tautphaus Park Tennis Court re-construction project; amount is roughly $475,000. Sourcewell chosen in a competitive bid process. Approved with no discussion. Apparently the concrete there is in very poor shape. 6.5 Sole Source Bid for the project to demolish and re-construct and re-finish the Idaho Falls Recreation center wooden court floor. Floor is extremely old and needs to be replaced. Has several flaws and soft spots in the current floor. Cost is about $190,00. Sponsors will help with the costs. Approved with very little discussion.

  • STOP The Gaslighting about Public Education

    By: Doyle Beck Senator Kevin Cook and Representative Stephanie Mickelsen wrote in a recent op-ed that “we see firsthand the results” of Idaho’s education system. They claim we already have school choice, so, heck, why bother expanding it more, especially given Idaho’s constitutional obligations to “public” schools? First, let’s examine the results to which they speak, and then let’s look at school choice, and finally, the reality of the state’s constitutional obligation. In the Bonneville School District 93 and Idaho Falls District 91, which Cook and Mickelsen call “incredible” here are the most recent test scores: District 93 Idaho Standards Achievement Test showed ( https://idahoschools.org/districts/093/achievement) a passing rate of 52 percent in English, 40 percent in math, and less than 38 percent in science. District 91 reported (https://idahoschools.org/districts/091/achievement) English proficiency at 48 percent, math at less than 38 percent, and science at about 35 percent. According to Senator Dave Lent, 20% of children entering the 9th Grade never graduate from High School, and only 1/3 of our population graduate from college. Nowhere in the world would anyone call that “incredible.” On the whole, these results would be labeled as failing. And it is also what passes for normal on a statewide basis. Our local school districts are not an anomaly when it comes to test scores. Nor are Idaho’s government-run schools different from their peers across the country. In short, the public school system has been failing our kids for some time. Parents are compelled to pay for their kids to attend public school. This puts non-public schools out of reach for many of our local families. Saying these parents have a choice is like saying you can buy your groceries wherever you want but you still have to pay for the spoiled vegetables offered at the government grocery store. To solve this problem, more than a dozen states across the country allow parents to take advantage of tax credits, education savings accounts, and vouchers. These programs are popular because parents want an option other than government schools. In short, they want their money to follow the student to the education arrangement that best meets their needs. No longer are families, at least in those states, forced to pay for an education where the prospect of quality experience is a coin flip. Those states also have constitutional obligations, the same as the one in Idaho, requiring that the state “establish and maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools.” As it turns out, courts have defended this position, the obligation for states is to ensure the existence and funding of the system. However, the system need not be confined to school buildings run and operated exclusively by the government. The system can also include private schools. This concept is consistent with the beliefs espoused by the Republicans across the country and specifically in the Idaho GOP platform, which calls for the expansion of education choice. Cook and Mickelsen complain that education choice means “We won’t know how your tax dollars will get used or the education a student receives.” Well, we know what students are getting now, and it isn’t great. I trust the parents directing the funds to the school that best fits their child, shoot you never know the government-run schools may want to be attractive enough a parent would choose them. It’s time to do what’s right for Idaho’s school children and their families. Let’s expand education choices in Idaho.

  • Legislative District 33 Votes to Censure

    GOP Legislative District 33 Votes to Censure Representatives Lent and Erickson for Not Following the GOP Platform IDAHO FALLS, ID, FEBRUARY 16, 2024 As per the new rule, Article XX, adopted by the Idaho Republican party, which was put in place to hold legislators accountable to the professed Republican Party ideals, Legislative District 33 voted to Censure Representatives David Lent and Marco Erickson. The vote to censure was for not following the GOP Platform which they signed and pledged to accept as the standard by which their performance as candidates and officeholders should be evaluated. Our goal as a legislative district committee is to work with our elected representatives. We are grateful for their dedication and commitment. We urge them to learn more about the principles of natural law upon which the Idaho and U.S. Constitutions and the Republican Party Platform are based and vote in accordance thereof. We also thank the PCOs who studied the objections and cared enough to express their desires and concerns. More information can be found on the LD 33 webpage at https://www.bonnevillegop.com/ld-33-platform-reviews Jilene Burger Chair, Republican Legislative District 33

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