A white Christmas and good things to come

Our City

by A.F. Mayor Marc Beitia

It’s the day after Christmas and I am writing about a week and a year that hasn’t even happened yet. I hope each of you enjoyed the white Christmas. As it happened it came at just the right time. It made more work for some folks, but that comes with the territory in Idaho.

As we are officially into winter now and I at least remain hopeful for more snow even though I know it will mean more work for me in its removal and relocation, I am okay with that as I know it will pay dividends this summer for everyone. Winter in Idaho generally relates directly to crop production and stream flows. Those of you who read these ramblings regularly know my interest in stream flows is not always purely professional, but more recreational.

Over the years I have learned during major snow storms that if I shovel my driveway to the right as I face the street, or at least not out into the street, it makes less work when the plow comes by and fills in the edge of my driveway because there is less snow in the street. It’s just one of those things I learned by doing it on the occasions that we had large snow storms.

The snow on the sidewalks gets shoveled onto the parking strip or yard. I don’t have an ADA ramp on my property but I do try to maintain accessibility to the sidewalk and street out of courtesy to at least the mailman. I know we each do what we can to make accessibility for ourselves and others easier during the long slog of winter. Thank you for that.

In that same vein of appreciation, I would also ask the businesses, entrepreneurs and friendly neighbors who use trucks with plow attachments to please make sure your vehicle and the edges of the plow are visible from all directions. Many blades these days are so big that the lights on the truck can’t be seen at night or in heavy snow; nor can the edges of the plow which creates a hazard for other drivers.

Again, I very much appreciate your efforts to help others. Please be careful and safe as your efforts continue.

It seems fitting at the end of one year and the start of a new one to give a special thank you to those who made everything possible within our ag program this past year. If you read this column regularly you know that our ag program is very successful in providing opportunities for all of our students. Most of those opportunities are made possible by our local farmers. On behalf of the students of the American Falls Ag Program and FFA Chapter a continuing debt of gratitude goes out to the following: Allen Farms, County Line Farms, Diamond K Farms, Driscoll Farms, Gehring Ag, Hofmeister Brothers, K Bar K Farms, Koompin Farms, Kress Ag, Lance Funk Farms, Nate Schroeder, Neibaur Farms, Pahl Farms, Richie Toevs Farms and Pumpco, Will Rowe, R and G Potato, Ruff Time Farms, Tiede Farms, Wada Farms/Shane Tilley and West Farms.

I also thank our business partners at AMS, CHS, Double M Ag and Irrigation, Idaho Ag Credit, Jaws

Transportation, Lamb Weston, Northwest Farm Credit, Pioneer Equipment, Seagull Bay Dairy, Simplot Soil Builders, Snake River Cattle and Stotz Equipment for making many other opportunities available to our students as well.

As I look at my calendar for the next eight months it is a bit overwhelming. It used to be busy, in an I can manage that kind of way, but now it will require real planning and forethought to make everything work. The city code book remains under review, but is close to being completed and ready for public hearings.

We continue to review the viability of annexation and having answers to your questions in that regard. The fiscal 2020 budgeting process will begin in a few months and it is my hope to have the city’s financial, billing and accounting software brought up to date long before then. We will be evaluating needed infrastructure projects and preparing projects already scheduled to begin when winter leaves us. In the coming month we will revisit and revise our city’s strategic plan.

One would think that with three teachers in an ag program where two years ago there was just me I would be less needed there and have more time for other things. That is not the case as we offer more opportunities to all of our students. My duties as the 2019 Idaho Teacher of the Year have me traveling and speaking more than I would have thought possible as well.

My purpose for telling you this is to let you know that as mayor my obligation is to you as citizens of American Falls. As always it is my goal to keep my door open to each of you should you have concerns or want to talk about anything. I look forward to the new year and will work to see that it was as successful as the last for all of us.

Until next week…

Thanks for reading!

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