by A.F. Mayor Marc Beitia
Please join us Thursday, July 26, at 5:30 p.m. for the dedication and grand opening of the American Falls community tennis/pickleball courts. I wrote recently about the unwavering efforts of so many that eventually saw this project through to fruition. I know summer schedules are packed and busy, but please join us for this short celebration of what can be accomplished if we all work together. I look forward to seeing you there, it is something we as a community did together and can all be proud of.
Unfortunately, many are not saying the same about our city parks. We have been receiving calls daily about the state of the parks and their restrooms. Those concerns and frustrations are echoed by all of us at the city. The heat and wind has wreaked havoc on our green spaces, especially at the north and south city parks.
Beyond the weather the irrigation systems at the parks do need improvements. The systems need to have their main lines increased from two inches to four. Many of the sprinkler heads need to be elevated and replaced with ones capable of higher volumes and distance. These are infrastructure issues that we intend to address later this fall and early next spring. For the time being we will try and extend the time the systems are on in hopes of getting more water in the needed places.
The restrooms in the city parks and at Willow Bay, however, are a different matter. These are “people” problems, of which I have written before. If you don’t like gross skip to the next paragraph. Often times you may find the restrooms without paper products, this is because they most often are wasted and misused. Imagine having to clean used toilet paper and feminine hygiene products off the walls daily. Imagine having to clean human waste off the floors and out of the sinks because someone wouldn’t politely and properly do their business. Imagine having to dig cans out of the bottom of a full toilet because someone thought it would be funny to put it there. We will do what we can to remedy the problem, but we could sure use help assuring proper use.
Construction by DePatco will continue on the Willow Bay emergency access road this week. We expect that project to be completed by about this time next month. The construction schedule on the Fort Hall project was flip-flopped this last week as the concrete manholes for the new sewer lines that were delivered were the wrong type. The new water main and service hookups are being installed while we wait for the delivery of the proper manholes. The project remains on track and is still expected to be substantially complete by the end of next month or the very first part of September.
My thanks go to Lisa Bachman of JUB Engineering for successfully completing a Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG). This $15,000 grant will pay for stakeholder interviews on the Ferry Hollow Trail and early public involvement in the project. It will also be used in evaluating the conditions of the existing portions of the trail and to plan improvements. The RBDG grant will also be used as a match as we apply for an Idaho GEM grant for $50,000 that will be used to design new portions of the trail that we hope will one day connect Seagull Bay and Massacre Rock State Park.
These efforts tie in neatly with those of Superintendent Chris Fehringer as he works with Margree Bibbey of the Bureau of Reclamation on a new Federal Lands Access Program grant that could see Marina Road rebuilt and paved, the boat ramp parking lot repaved, all existing gravel lots and roads paved, along with having the trail rebuilt and paved with nature watching access points and other amenities. If you read these ramblings regularly you know I am more than a little excited about all these possibilities.
Thank you for your patience with all the road construction and the state of our parks. I again invite you to join us Thursday at the tennis/pickleball courts. If you have an interest in the success of the Ferry Hollow Trail and are willing to help to that end let me know.
Don’t forget American Falls Days on Saturday, Aug. 4, followed by the Power County Fair and Sale August 6 to 10.
Until next week…
Thanks for reading!
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