by A.F. Mayor Marc Beitia
Some of you may remember the adage of that often times “things come in threes.” Or multiples of three as is the case this week. I think the actual adage is that bad things come in threes and I guess if I were going to write about gloomy, rainy and windy days that could be the case. But, I am happy to report these six things are not bad. As a matter of fact they are pretty cool.
About a month ago I received a call from Bobbi-Jo Meuleman, the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for Governor Brad Little, who wanted to arrange a date the last week in May to have American Falls be the Capital for a day. As I explained my conflict with school and finals this week our search moved to June. You may know that my June schedule is almost worse than my May schedule but we did find a day that worked for the Governor and his staff and your Mayor. Governor Little will be with us on June 26th and American Falls will be Capital for a day. The “Capital” will be set up in the Community Room of the library from the hours of 10:00 am. to 3:00 pm. As more information and a schedule come together I will make sure it is made available to you through the Power County Press and on the City Website.
Not long after my phone call from Ms. Meuleman I received an email from Greg Wilson, the Senior Education Policy Advisor for Governor Brad Little, asking that I serve on the Governor’s “Our Kids, Idaho’s Future” Education Task Force. I didn’t say no. The task force will be focusing on four primary goals which include K-12 Budget Stability, Underserved and Rural Districts, Operations: School Facilities and School Safety and the Teacher Pipeline—Recruiting and Retaining our Most Effective Educators in Idaho Classrooms. The group will be divided into subcommittees as well and in a conversation yesterday with Mr. Wilson I may be serving on the Underserved and Rural District committee or the Teacher Pipeline committee. Our first meeting is next Monday, June 3rd in Boise. At the Scholarship and Awards banquet last Monday in the AFHS Fine Arts Auditorium, School Board member Joel Beck expressed his hopes of what I may be able to add to the committee. I hope I don’t let him or you down.
The day prior to my call from Mr. Wilson I received a call from Lana Duke with USDA Rural Development. The funding for the long awaited Fire Grant will be available shortly. These grant funds along with matching funds from the Rural Fire Department and the City will be used to purchase ten new sets of firefighting personal protective gear (turnouts) and helmets. The funds have become available just in time as many of our current turnouts our very much out of date and past their useful life span. I know the volunteer firefighters are excited to have the new equipment. I want to thank the Rural Fire Commissioners JP Kruckeberg, Bruce Winder and Brad Huse for working with me on this project. And, I am sure as the funds become available and the paperwork complete Fire Chief Pete Williams will be ordering the turnouts for our volunteers. These turnouts, the new self-contained-breathing-apparatuses (SCBAs) and the new fill station for the SCBAs puts the Fire Department in pretty good shape. On behalf of the citizens of American Falls I want to thank Chief Williams and all the volunteers for their work and patience in getting the Department and its equipment back up to speed.
The other group of three things includes a potential Block Grant for our parks that Councilwomen Jensen and Mendez, Superintendent Fehringer and I will be working on as many of you read this on May 29th. We will be meeting with Michael Patton, the Community Development Specialist, for the Southeast Idaho Council of Governments. The second item is credited to Water and Waste Water Department head Scott Dalling for working with Idaho Rural Water Association for beginning an internship program in our Waste Water department so that we can get our personnel licensed in a more timely manner. The third thank you is extended to Lamb Weston and Jon Schutte for providing the Summer Swim bus that will be taking our youth to Indian Springs at no charge to the children. My understanding is the School District is providing the bus and Lamb Weston is paying for the swimming all summer. That may be the coolest thing I have written about! Great things are possible as we continue to work together to make life better for all of us. The super cool thing about it is that it is not that hard to do!
Until next week…
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