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AIC Highlights Noteworthy City Clips

Friday, October 25, 2019  
Posted by: Payton Grover
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City Clips October 25, 2019


Check out noteworthy things done and honors received by cities around Idaho as they work to create quality cities.


The City of Caldwell had their 7th annual Caldwell Youth Forum hosted by the College of Idaho. The Caldwell Youth Forum is a one-day leadership seminar that encourages students to step out of the background and lead the way in making positive changes within their schools and communities. The forum began in 2011 as part of the Caldwell Youth Master Plan, which was adopted to provide a framework to enhance the life and safety of Caldwell’s youth and children.

The Forum brings together students from multiple different schools around the area and uses team-building activities, advocates and lectures to facilitate brainstorming from the students themselves about how to make a positive impact in their own capacity. “It’s On Us” has been the theme of the Forum over the last few years. Each student is encouraged to think about their own role in school and beyond and how taking action can influence others.

Since the Forum’s inception, students have conceived and implemented ideas such as a birthday calendar at Caldwell High School, “Random Acts of Kindness” or “Ractivist” [rack-ti-vist] club at Ridgevue, and the hosting of their own “It’s On Us” forum at Vallivue.

The City of Boise had the 40th Hyde Park Street Fair. It is a near-perfect, end-of-summer Boise ritual and this year was no different.

“We don’t try to reinvent the wheel,” longtime event coordinator Carl Scheider likes to say. “Just polish the spokes.”

The atmosphere was inclusive and family-friendly. There was tons of music, food, and crafts. Oh, and tie-dye.

The City of Boise opens Fire Station #9! Station 9 has been under construction for a year and it replaces the building that was originally erected in 1975.

This station has unique energy saving features that make it projected to be 65% more energy efficient than a building meeting the energy code minimum standard. Some of these features include:

Solar Tubes in the day room to allow for more natural light

HVAC system designed to be highly energy efficient

System to recover waste heat water to increase system efficiency

Landscaping requiring very little water

This station fits perfectly into what the City of Boise is doing to reduce energy and water usage. It is energy efficient and going beyond that it also utilizes low flow plumbing fixtures throughout the station to save water. That includes using a hot water system with 95% thermal efficiency – the water heaters are designed to minimize the time for hot water to reach a fixture in order to reduce water consumption. Something else worth noting, the solar panels on this station will produce an estimated 33,600 kilowatt hours per year. This is equivalent to the yearly energy usage of three average homes.


The City of Nampa’s Public Library kicked off the Be Well Nampa Project. The Nampa Public Library was awarded a $91,943 grant from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) for a project called, “Be Well Nampa.” The primary objective of the Be Well Nampa project for the NNLM All of Us Community Engagement Award is to improve the quality of life in our community and enhance access to existing health services by serving as a centralized, neutral location. Health appointments, dental visits, counseling services and programs are provided to patrons free of charge.

The Library also eliminated fines and wiped out existing debts. Additionally checked out items will be renewed up to two times if the item does not have a patron hold or reservation on it.


The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) has announced that the Idaho Falls Zoo was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.

AZA accreditation signifies Idaho Falls Zoo’s active role in protecting our world’s wild animals and wild places while providing exceptional animal care and meaningful guest experiences,” said AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe. “Fewer than 10% of animal exhibitors registered with USDA have achieved AZA accreditation, so Idaho Falls Zoo is truly a leader in the zoological profession.”


The Idaho Falls City Council celebrated the city’s 100 percent clean and carbon free energy portfolio and committed to pursue clean energy use and policies throughout the city in areas such as infrastructure, building design and vehicle purchases.

“Maintaining our carbon free electricity portfolio and leveraging it to the benefit of our community is of paramount importance to us,” said Idaho Falls Power Director Bear Prairie.  “All across the country there is continuing policy and legal discussion about restrictions on carbon emissions and electricity production.  It is really remarkable that while states and cities and power utilities are struggling in the face of increasing regulation, Idaho Falls has already attained a 100 percent carbon free portfolio.  That is a real credit to our city leaders and a huge benefit to our ratepayers.”

The council voted unanimously to pass the resolution establishing the city’s formal commitment to maintain clean, carbon free electricity generation and to integrate clean energy use across all city operations where economically viable.  Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper echoed the words of the resolution and emphasized the importance of clean energy and a commitment to pursing economically and environmentally sustainable policies.

“We want to ensure that we manage our City resources in a manner that ensures a resilient and sustainable future,” said Mayor Casper.  “We’ve worked very hard to establish Idaho Falls as a leader in clean energy production and use and we want to continue to pursue new, economically viable and environmentally responsible policies and practices throughout the city.  From sustainable building design and electric vehicles in our fleet to how we plan for the future growth of our community, we want our goal to always be to provide the most cost effective and sustainable ways to do those things.”


The Idaho Falls City Council unanimously voted to expand the Idaho Falls Fiber network following analysis of a fiber network pilot project. The motion included the qualifiers of remaining within the budgeted funds and following the business model that Bear Prairie, general manager of Idaho Falls Power and Idaho Falls Fiber, has provided the council.

The vote was the culmination of an experiment that began in September 2018.“It was unique what we set out this year do and (that) was to prove that we could leverage our existing electric utility infrastructure to bring fiber-optic connections to residential homes throughout the community and do it at a price that’s economical,” Prairie said.

The pilot project involved installing more than two miles of overhead fiber, more than 10 miles of fiber in existing conduit, more than 12 miles of new fiber in new conduits and more than 13 miles of new electrical conduit. Approximately 1,250 homes were included in this pilot, according to a city of Idaho Falls news release.

The new fiber network is meant to increase internet speed and improve connection. It will cost residents $25 per month to use it. Prairie estimates that building the network will take four years.

Mayor Rebecca Casper believes being a “fiber city” will be important for businesses that rely on fast internet speeds and those with home-based businesses.“The city of Idaho Falls has just now taken I think a major step toward greater economic vibrancy,” Casper said. “We have sort of future-proofed our city.”


The City of Moscow is hosted an official celebration of the newest addition to the Moscow park system, Itani Park. The event was free and open to the public and it included an official ribbon cutting and light refreshments.

The park includes a playground for 2-12-year-olds with both adaptive and standard swings. The park also features tile safety surfacing, an accessible path to the playground, and recently completed landscaping. Further amenities will be installed in the future as funding allows.

The Moscow Parks and Recreation Department underwent a robust public input process providing citizens the ability to recommend their preferred playground through an open voting process conducted both on-line and in-person.  The Moscow Parks and Recreation Commission vetted results of the voting process and then recommended approval from the Moscow City Council. The City Council officially confirmed the playground selection on June 18, 2018.

The City of Pocatello WPC project earned a regional ward form ASCE Region 8. After earning top honors at the local level, a collaboration between the City of Pocatello Water Pollution Control and Engineering Departments have now taken home a regional award.

At the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Fall Planning Meeting, the Region 8 Board of Governors selected phase one of the Water Pollution Control Department’s phosphorus removal project as Region 8’s 2018 Top Project of the Year over $10 million. The award highlights a project that “improves or has the potential to improve the quality of life of people impacted by the project, contributes to the economic development of the profession, area or region, is environmentally very responsible (sic) incorporating the principle of sustainable development,” and “recognizes the contributions of many engineers.”

“This award represents the collaboration and dedication of City employees to accomplish difficult projects,” said Jeff Mansfield, Public Works Director for the City of Pocatello. “It also demonstrates the City’s commitment to protecting the environment and enhancing the lives of those who live in the community.”

The Marshall Public Library in Pocatello has gone fine-free for youth. the library stopped charging overdue fines for youth ages 17-years-old and younger. Any child or teen who has a late fine can now have their fines waived and have a fresh start with the Marshall Public Library. 

“Our core mission is to promote reading and anything we can do to encourage more children to pick up a book, the better,” said Eric Suess, Marshall Public Library Director. “Children often do not have the means to return materials themselves and could be excluded from checking out new materials. We want to make sure their visit to the Marshall Public Library is a positive one, which will help instill a lifelong love for reading.”

A joint project from the City of Pocatello Planning & Development Services and Public Works Departments, Community Builders, Team Better Block, and Idaho State University is getting praise from the Gem State’s planning community.

At the Idaho Chapter of the American Planning Association’s Annual Conference, the group bestowed the 2019 Public Outreach Award to the project partners for the Terry First effort. The honor highlights “a plan, project or process that meaningfully engaged the public through information, consultation, coordination, collaboration and/or empowerment means.”

“The award acknowledges the many outreach methods used to engage citizens, business owners, ISU faculty and students with project partners in cultivating a vision for the Terry First corridor in only 5 months,” said Matthew Lewis, Senior Planner with the City of Pocatello. “This project exemplified a cooperative working relationship among numerous City departments, ISU faculty and students, Bannock Transportation Planning Organization, Idaho Transportation Department District 5, business and property owners, and the many community volunteers.”

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) presented the city of Bliss a Certificate of Achievement in recognition of outstanding efforts to protect drinking water through the development and implementation of a certified source water protection plan.


The City of Meridian has become the first Treasure Valley city to pass a ban on handheld phone use while driving. The city council approved an ordinance that bans the use of handheld devices any time a vehicle is in a traffic lane.

The ban does not include hands-free devices and has other exceptions.

The council began conversations about the ban earlier this year, at the prompting of the police chief.

After weeks of discussion, city council put the controversial ordinance to a vote. The vote split the council 3-3, and Mayor Tammy de Weerd provided the tie-breaking vote.

Exceptions to Meridian’s ordinance include:

Hands-free use of a device, such as Bluetooth.

Use of a navigation feature, as long as the driver doesn’t hold or manually enter information into the device.

Use of the device in an emergency.


If your city has done something noteworthy or received an honor and you would like it listed in City Clips, send the information to Payton by e-mail or fax 344-8677.

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