Sometimes the best efforts aren’t enough

Our City
By A.F. Mayor Marc Beitia

While it is seldom the case, sometimes the best efforts of many are not enough; sad but true.

Such has become the case with the tennis court project. At the beginning of the endeavor it was estimated that, combined with the labor and equipment from city and county crews that the $20,000 donated to AF Impact by community members and businesses, the $15,000 donated by the school district, the $10,000 from the county commissioners and the additional $10,000 in cash from the city totaling $55,000, there would be enough to complete the project.

This week I learned that sadly the total of cost of just getting the asphalt and playing surface installed for the courts will exceed $80,000. That cost does not include nets or any other amenities. So that leaves me and any other interested individuals or parties in search of more than $25,000. I will be in contact with our initial partners in this project this week to set up a meeting where options can be discussed. I will post the date, time and place of the meeting in the following week’s column; if you are interested in helping please join us.

On a much different note and tune, at the University of Idaho Vandal gathering in the city park last week I talked with Tammy Ramsey on the phone and Mike Ferguson in person. They are both under the impression that the means are available through donations of cash and labor to construct a new performance stage around the existing gazebo in the south city park. As I talked to Ramsey on the phone a young girl’s dance recital was concluding on the existing structure. Through the efforts of those interested in this project, I look forward to watching a variety of performances on the new semi-enclosed stage and structure. If Ramsey’s and Ferguson’s hopes are realized that may well be by this fall. It is true that much can be done through the collective efforts of community volunteerism. My thanks to all who choose to have a vested interest in this, yet another, worthy project.

In that vein I will be writing a grant this week to properly landscape the public eyesore that is the front of city hall. With a bit of luck, by the end of the summer city hall will blend nicely into the rest of the landscape that was part of the downtown revitalization project on Idaho Street. As with the two projects above, the completion of the beautification project will include a combination of sources including labor by city personnel, the grant funding and landscape materials provided by several sources. Sometime I feel like I have my hand out for any kind of help or support that may be available; but as I try and make the most of what we have it seems like in many cases a collective effort is needed more times than not.

In a collective effort the American Falls Historical Preservation Committee (AFHPC) initiated its review of June’s blooming gardens in the city. According to their report, an early drive on A.F. streets found many homes where early gardening efforts are providing beauty for residents and visitors to enjoy. The first pass list is provided below and was rated on a scale of 1 to 10. The first pass review below was determined by the evaluators to all be in the 7 to 10 scoring group. Washington Street, 266, 275, and 355; Adams, 475; Jefferson, 385; Van Buren, 373; Pocatello, Swan Trailers #9; Hillcrest, 612, 680, 905; Calder, 435; Gifford, 537; Reed, 710, 904; Stevens, 715; Polk, 231, 408; Ralph, 510; Bennett, 650; Falls: 748, 905, 930; Taylor, 225, 279, 527; Tyhee: 722, 767; Teton, 575, 680; Fillmore, 720, 835; Pierce, 750; Elm, 545; Idanha, 315, 446, 460; Buchanan, 350; Howard, 193; Fort Hall, 729, 758; Lincoln, 222; Grant, 114, 207, 335; Hayes, 121, 126, 156, 436; and McKinley, 246, 425, 460.

On a summary pass, the determination of the members of the AFHPC concluded that the “Best of the Bunch” scoring 9+ include two outstanding yards: 905 Hillcrest and 114 Grant. The “Contenders” scoring solid 9s include: Washington, 266, 275; Stevens, 715; Falls, 748; Taylor, 279; Howard, 193 and Hays, 126. “The Best of the Rest” scoring 8s include: Washington: 355; Adams 475; Pocatello (Swan Trailers) #9; Hillcrest 612, 680; Calder 431; Reed, 904; Tyler, 241; Polk, 408; Ralph, 510; Falls, 905, 2004; Teton, 575; Pierce, 750; Lincoln, 222; Elm, 545; Hayes, 126, 156; and McKinley, 246.

On behalf of the City of American Falls I thank all of you who choose to make the most of what you have. In choosing to make your homes truly the best place to live; and in doing so continue to make American Falls the best place to live. It is amazing what a little hands-on, tender loving care can produce. As a community member or visitor if you take the opportunity to look at the homes above you may appreciate like I did that regardless of means we all have the potential to make the most of what we have. I also thank Todd Winters, Mary Annen, Leona Jackson along with Don and Suzanne Johnson, for their efforts as the AFHPC in selecting the best homes for June blooms. The efforts of all truly more often than not make many things possible.

Until next week…

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