Community review, reviewed

Meeting highlights progress in American Falls since 2008

by Daniel Moore
Press Staff Writer

In November of 2008, a group of outside experts on community development met with dozens of community members in American Falls. Their purpose was to create a “community review”– a blueprint of ideas for where locals wanted the community to go.

Now nine years later, representatives from the Idaho Rural Partnership came to assess how the review has helped the community. The Idaho Rural Partnership spearheaded both the review and the followup meeting.

The revitalization project in downtown American Falls was the most obvious change since the Idaho Rural Partnership created the community review, stakeholders said.

“It changed the look of downtown,” said city council member Kurtis Workman. “It is the most noticeable thing from an infrastructure standpoint.”

The community review laid the groundwork the city needed to apply for grants for the downtown project, said Kristen Jensen, the executive director of the Great Rift Business Development Organization. She is also on the city council.

“I always go back and attribute the project to the community review,” she said.

Since the completion of the downtown project, several good things have come about for the community, stakeholders said. There is an increase in the number of activities in the downtown area, like the Music in the Park series of concerts, and one new office building was built since the downtown project. …

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