Behind the eight ball

Our City

By A.F. Mayor Marc Beitia

We knew we were behind the eight ball going in, but we were still hopeful that the bids would be favorable and allow us to do everything on our list. Construction costs usually tell a pretty accurate story of the state of the state. After last Thursday’s Fort Hall Avenue bid opening at least eastern Idaho seems to be doing well. We knew we were about a month behind in the process but even in fast-track projects there is a certain amount of red-tape or public policy and procedures that needs to be adhered to; thus it is prudent not to circumvent steps and time consuming.

On Monday of this week I will have met with Street Superintendent Daren Dahlke, Clerk Robyn Herndon, Council President Dan Hammond and the engineers from Harper Levitt to determine exactly how much of our to do list we can actually get accomplished given the bid prices we received last week. Following that meeting our recommendations will be made to the city council Wednesday with a recommendation to award the bid to the lowest responsible bidder. I will also have met with Water and Wastewater Superintendent Pete Cortez on Tuesday to also discuss how much infrastructure we can afford to replace under Fort Hall during the project. Cortez will have been in Boise on Monday to learn more about the land application process of the compost from the treatment plant in an effort to save the cost of hauling it to Burley once or twice a week. All that being said, the lowest responsible bid came in very close to the engineer’s projections and our respective budgets. I am hopeful that much of what needs doing gets done.

And, as we look at things getting done, great job to the volunteers and their efforts on the American Falls MIP Bandstand this last week! No, we won’t have Dick Clark to MC the events to be held there this summer and the years to come, but we have someone every bit as capable in Tammy Ramsey. My sincerest thanks to Tammy and Mike and Gary Ferguson for their selfless dedication to this project. On Tuesday of this week there was another meeting between city personnel, Tammy and Pete Ramsey, the Fergusons, John Hunt and chamber of commerce leadership to determine if there is a fiscally and physically feasible way to piggyback electricity from the new bandstand to more of the South City Park. If possible this will address a long-standing issue for American Falls Days and other large events.

As we look for things to be done in and around town let me remind you that the students, teachers and administration of American Falls High School will be volunteering for most any type of project on May 23, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. If you are a business owner it would be helpful if you are able to coordinate through the chamber of commerce and Jacklyn Taylor. If not leave a phone number at city hall and I will contact you. Likewise if you are a home owner and need help please leave your number at city hall by May 16 so I can coordinate the help you need after speaking with you.

If you are a regular reader of this column you will recall that last summer we lost a favorite son. On Saturday, May 12, the parents, family and friends of Neil Andersen will host and sponsor the first annual Neil D. Andersen Jackpot steer and heifer show at the Power County Fairgrounds. With thousands of dollars in added prize money it is expected to be one of the region’s best shows. Even if you aren’t there to watch a particular 4-H or FFA member it would be good to see many of you there for the Andersen family as friends and supporters of them. I look forward to seeing and visiting with many of you.

Until next week…

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