Stretching your money when funds are limited

Our City

by A.F. Mayor Marc Beitia

I spent the middle of last week in Boise updating my teaching skills at the Idaho Career and Technical Education annual summer conference. I missed the regular city council meeting which council president Dan Hammond covered quite well for me. But, just because I wasn’t here didn’t mean that things like the council meeting didn’t get done. Quite the opposite in fact.

When you operate on limited funds you tend to make do and stretch those monies you do have to their fullest capacity. Street superintendent Daren Dahlke seems to be a master of that. Earlier this summer his department milled and replaced most of Whitman and Van Buren streets in the commercial district. He saved the millings, the old asphalt.

This last week the street crew placed and compacted those millings at the bottom of Fort Hall and Oregon Trail, fixing the permanently washboarded streets and corner. Millings were also placed on Grant and at the cul-de-sac at the east end of Snowflake. Next summer these compacted millings will be chip-sealed, effectively turning gravel roads into newly paved streets for no more than the labor and equipment cost; mere pennies on the dollar.

Like the street department our other departments practice frugality as well. As they do so they often call on others for help. Last Thursday superintendent Chris Fehringer and our new Willow Bay rental concessionaire Cris Schultz met with Margret Bibbey of the Bureau of Reclamation to discuss contracts and long term goals. On Monday of last week Fehringer and I conference called with our partners at JUB Engineering mapping out a plan to complete the study and design of the Ferry Hollow Trail project which, if things go according to plan, will cost in terms of real dollars between $80,000 and $100,000, of which only $20,000 will be required as a cash-match from the city and other partners associated with the trail.

If you have driven the Highway 39 bypass since last Thursday or driven up Hillcrest past Spring Creek Manor you may have noticed that the idle ground/fire hazard has been tilled under. Thank you very much Lance Funk Farms for being such a good community partner. It has yet to happen, but thanks to a productive meeting between the owners of ABC Auto on the north end of Pocatello Avenue, city police and county sheriff a mobile car crusher is being brought in to begin cleaning up what I hope is much of that property on both sides of the street. Police chief Brandon Wilkinson will also be checking with other car businesses in town to see if they too want to take advantage of the mobile crusher and clean up their property. The mobile crushing business is supposed to be here next week.

I can’t tell you how hopeful I am that this actually happens in all locations.

My thanks go out to and my hat is off to the chamber of commerce and Hunt Electric for all that they have invested and donated to the north and south city parks. At what I would have to say was one of the most successful American Falls Day celebrations since I have lived in American Falls, the need for more electrical power was finally met through the efforts of both the chamber and Hunt Electric. New services were installed at the south shelter, in south middle of the south park and on the back of the north park restrooms. Those services in conjunction with the new ones installed with the Music in the Park Pavilion made it possible for the 65 plus vendors at the American Falls Day celebration to display and sell their wares.

I fully believe that more is possible when responsibilities are shared and that truly successful communities come together in that sharing. I am no oracle, but I see a very bright future for our community. Too many care about and look for ways to make American Falls the best place to live for a bright and prosperous future for that not to happen.

Until next week…


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