Bingham County Commissioner Ladd Carter attended the regular city council meeting Tuesday, Feb. 13 to address council members present about Patriot Field in Blackfoot. Council members present were Mary Leisy, Brian Schneider, Alan Summers and Karl Vollmer. Karalee Krehbiel-Bonzon and Denise Wahlen were not present.
“Several years ago it was brought to our attention that Bingham County doesn’t have a fitting tribute to our veterans, who have sacrificed so much on our behalf. To correct this, the commissioners and others have been working on a Veteran’s Memorial Park, to be known as Patriot Field. This project has been funded with county funds and matched with funds from Blackfoot Urban Renewal. However, we would like to invite the citizens to join us in funding the statue. The artist, Ben Hammond, is a hometown boy who will create a one of a kind, work of art, that will help us to “Never Forget” those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom,” Carter said.
He said they have a monument that has the names of Bingham County veterans. He was given a list by Gary Abercrombie but they don’t want to miss anyone. He asked that anyone who has or had veterans who served to contact him or go to patriotfieldmemorial.com. The website is dedicated to honoring the veterans of Bingham County. There are stories on the site.
They are looking for donations from anyone to help with the unique statue. Donations can be made on the website, or checks can be mailed or dropped off to Bingham County Courthouse, 501 N. Maple, Blackfoot, ID 83221. Contributions can be made to The Bingham Economic Development Corp (BEDC), which is a public charity. There is also a drive for children so they can add to the fund.
The statue will cost $110,000 and the BEDC is about half way raising the funds. They are hoping to have the statue unveiled at Memorial Day but if not by Memorial Day then by July 4.
Krystal Harmon, with SICOG, reported she is helping develop a block grant for the Aberdeen Senior Citizen Center. The grant will be for $150,000 to improve the kitchen and ADA access for the center. The Senior Center needs the city to be the government entity that will take the money in and disperse the funds as they are used. There will be two public hearings on the grant. The first was Tuesday, Feb. 10 at noon. Harmon also said she would like the city to name SICOG as the grant administrator. These issues were approved by the city council.
Amy Manning, executive director of III-A, gave the council their annual report. III-A is the self funded medical insurance that the city has. Manning reported that no agencies dropped their benefits this past year which proves they are doing what they set out to do – help with people’s insurance needs. She said they have changed their banking institution. In doing that their goal was to earn interest instead of paying fees. They hoped to earn $40,000 in interest and earned $54,000. They are working on standardizing the prescription benefits.
She said they want their insurers to encourage and focus on the wellness program. They will have a different aspect to focus on wellness each month. They also have on site wellness fairs and on site flu shots.
Manning asked the council if they want them to continue with the ability for the insureds to purchase life insurance. Of the 705 employees that are insured through III-A, only about 30 were interested. In order to do the insurance they would need about 150. Aberdeen council members said Aberdeen had most of them ask about the insurance so they would appreciate it if III-A would continue. Manning said she will keep them updated on the life insurance.
Manning introduced Lisa Fritz as III-As account manager. Fritz reported they have added a $3000 hearing aid benefit. That benefit can be used be the insured every other year. They also are working to cover the 3-D mammograms.
Steve Morris voiced his opinion on alley clean up. He said the Aberdeen residents pay $80 per household for sewer, water and garbage. They don’t want to pay more for clean up.
“It’s our garbage. We put it in the alley. We should take care of it,” he said. “There are better things the city can spend that $20,000 on instead of alley clean up, like streets. We need to take care of our own garbage.”
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