City of Idaho Falls Hosts “Area of City Impact Boot Camp”

Idaho Falls, Idaho:  The city of Idaho Falls will host an “Area of City Impact Boot Camp” for area city and county officials.

Training will be presented by Elaine Clegg & Deanna Smith from Idaho Smart Growth, and Jerry Mason, legal counsel for the Association of Idaho Cities.

When:                 Wednesday, Feb. 4; 8 a.m. – noon

Where:                Idaho Falls City Council Chambers, 680 Park Avenue

What:                  Presentations & discussions about:

  • What is an Area of City Impact (AOCI)?
  • Explanations of the legal basis for AOCI
  • Why you should care about your AOCI
  • How you can work to improve the AOCI
  • Policies and future conditions
  • Processes that can work to improve agency communication.

The media is invited to attend. Note that the boot camp will continue from 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. for city of Idaho Falls officials.

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Council Evaluates Runoff Elections

Idaho Falls, ID:  Idaho Falls City Council members will evaluate whether or not to change the ordinance requiring runoff elections for both Mayor and City Council seats at the next regular council meeting on Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m., Council Chambers, 680 Park Avenue. Council is seeking comments from the public.

Since 2005, the city has required runoff elections to be conducted when candidates for city office fail to receive a majority of votes cast during a general election. Yet in the 2013 city-wide election, the first time the runoff provisions became effective, the runoff results did not change the outcome of the election.  Subsequently, for some of the Council, it is not clear that runoff elections yield results that justify the time and expense of holding them. The cost to the city of the runoff election in 2013 was over $29K.

Idaho Falls is the only municipality in Idaho that provides for City Council runoff elections. “In the State of Idaho, citizens have chosen across the board not to have runoff elections for other offices,” states Councilman Tom Hally. “One has to consider if the runoff is not considered throughout the state why it would benefit the citizens of Idaho Falls?” adds Hally.

Another consideration some Council members have noted is that the turnout, or number of qualified voters casting ballots in the December 2013 runoff election, was significantly lower than the turnout for the regular, 2013 November election. “I think Council members are asking themselves if it makes sense to seek a majority vote from a smaller number of voters,” said Mayor Casper, “especially when we spend tens of thousands of dollars and extend the election season by another four weeks to get the results.”

The Council believes that candidates will continue to be elected to office within the city whether by a plurality of the votes cast or by a simple majority of qualified voters without any loss of the city’s long-standing, well-recognized, high quality of elected officials.

As the issue is scheduled for deliberation on the regular agenda, Councilmembers will not be taking public comment at the Feb. 12 City Council meeting. However, they encourage interested citizens to contact them directly. Councilmember contact information can be found by clicking on the “City” tab on the city’s website at www.idahofallsidaho.gov or by calling the city clerk’s office at (208) 612-8414.

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About Idaho Falls:  Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but still embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, shopping, and entertainment, Idaho Falls is attractive to small and large businesses alike and consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications.  Learn more at http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/

2016 Identification Requirements for Aircraft Travel

Idaho Falls, ID:  Idaho, along with nine other states, is currently in non-compliance with the REAL ID Act of 2005 regarding standardized driver’s licenses and identification cards. This will affect airline travel, but the date for implementing the prohibition on boarding aircraft travel will be set after an evaluation of earlier phases and will not occur sooner than 2016.

In order to ensure accuracy and reliability of state-issued identification documents, the states and Federal Government are working together to standardize the production and issuance of documents such as driver’s licenses and identification cards through the REAL ID Act of 2005.

Recent reports that federal agencies, such as the Idaho National Laboratory, will not be able to accept state-issued driver’s licenses and identify cards unless they have been approved by Homeland Security have sparked airline passengers to question whether or not driver’s licenses can be used to board aircrafts. According to Craig Davis, director at the Idaho Falls Airport, the answer to this question is, “Yes, TSA will continue to accept driver’s licenses and state-issued identification cards from all jurisdictions, at least until 2016.”

The Department of Homeland Security will implement REAL ID in phases over the next several years and will ensure the public has ample advanced notice before identification requirements for boarding aircraft change. That notice will include information on the process for individuals with a non-compliant driver’s license or identification cards to be able to travel by aircraft.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) also currently accepts other forms of identity documents such as a passport or Permanent Residency Card and will continue to do so. For more information on acceptable forms of identification for boarding aircraft, see TSA’s website http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/acceptable-ids.

Additional information including answers to frequently asked questions and the different phases of REAL ID enforcement can be found at:  http://www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs.

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About Idaho Falls Regional Airport: Idaho Falls Regional Airport (IDA) is a regional air transportation center serving Eastern Idaho, Southern Montana, and Western Wyoming. The airport is served by Skywest/Delta Airlines with frequent daily flights to Salt Lake City, Utah and seasonal flights to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; United Express with daily non-stop flights to Denver, Colorado; and Allegiant Air offers weekly flights to Las Vegas, Nevada, and Phoenix/Mesa, Arizona and summer seasonal flights are also offered to Los Angeles and Oakland, California. http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov.

About Idaho Falls:  Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but still embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, shopping, and entertainment, Idaho Falls is attractive to small and large businesses alike and consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications.  Learn more at http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/

Council Approves New Signage & Way-finding Program for City – Program Rollout to Begin this Spring

Idaho Falls, ID:  Tonight the City Council approved the resolution adopting the Idaho Falls Signage and Way-finding Master Plan. Phase I of the project will begin this spring.

In May 2013, the City of Idaho Falls issued a request for proposals for the development of a Master Way-Finding and Signage Program to guide travelers from the interstate, major and minor arterials and current and future trails to city-wide facilities, parks, schools and other amenities. Hunt Design, a Pasadena-based company, was awarded the contract in Aug. 2013.

“This project will really help brand our community, highlight our major attractions and make our city even more attractive to tourists,” states Mayor Casper.

“We are really excited to begin phase I of our signage and way-finding program.  This was a collaborative process, and we are really happy with the results and very thankful to the stakeholders who helped with this plan,” states Greg A. Weitzel, parks & recreation director.

Total project cost is estimated at $750K, with $400K of that coming out this year’s budget for phase I which will include new vehicular and pedestrian signs.

The public can get a sneak peak of one of the design elements by visiting downtown where new banners were hung last week thanks to funding provided by the Idaho Falls Historic Downtown Foundation in conjunction with Idaho Falls Downtown Development. The design concept is also posted on the home page of the city’s website at www.idahofallsidaho.gov.

“One of the goals of the signage and way-finding program is to turn vehicular traffic into pedestrian traffic,” states Wayne Hunt, founding principal, Hunt Design. “We want to promote tourism by emphasizing Idaho Falls as a destination as well as highlight key attractions, enhance urban design and the visitor experience, reinforce community identity, reduce driver and pedestrian frustrations, improve traffic flow and improve roadway safety,” adds Hunt.

The program includes universal design standards reflective of the city’s identity; comprehensive signs that include primary, secondary and tertiary streets; informational park signs; and trail and bicycle signage and kiosks. The plan also includes comprehensive way-finding and signage for the Idaho Falls Zoo. In addition, the Parks & Recreation Division is working on obtaining grant funding to pay for greenbelt signage.

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About Idaho Falls:  Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but still embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, shopping, and entertainment, Idaho Falls is attractive to small and large businesses alike and consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications.  Learn more at http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/

2015 State of the City Address & Service Award Presentation

Idaho Falls, ID:  Mayor Casper will give her annual State of the City address during the City Council meeting on Thursday, Jan. 8 at 7:30 p.m., in the City Annex building located at 680 Park Avenue.

The service award presentation will take place immediately following the State of the City address, followed by the regular City Council meeting.

Online streaming is available for those who cannot attend the meeting. The link can be found under the City tab on the city’s website at www.idahofallsidaho.gov.

Years of Service Award Pins for 2014 

20 Years:
William D. Lloyd, Parks and Recreation Division, Horticulture
Karen R. Smith, Municipal Services Division, Finance Administration
Teri L. Thompson, Municipal Services Division, General Services Property Management
Gaylen W. Humphries, Municipal Services Division, Treasurer’s Office Meter Reading
Kevin R. Renfro, Municipal Services Division, General Services Building Maintenance
Sarah E. Wease, Airport Division, Building Maintenance
Aldo Bevilacqua, Fire Division, Bonneville Fire District
David W. Coffey, Fire Division, Fire Fighting
Jess D. Morgan, Fire Division, Fire Fighting
Glade L. Prestwich, Fire Division, Fire Fighting
A. Scott Killian, Police Division, Police Uniform Patrol
Shane M. Kaiser, Police Division, Police Uniform Patrol
Steven R. Avery, Police Division, Police Uniform Patrol
David R. Barker, Police Division, Police Uniform Patrol
Timothy K. Downs, Police Division, Police Uniform Patrol
Jeanette C. Johnson, Police Division, Police Uniform Patrol
Moulton, Darin R., Police Division, Police Criminal Investigation
Scott B. Ockerman, Police Division, Police Uniform Patrol
John R. Cowley, Police Division, Police School Resource
Jeffrey R. Trimble, Idaho Falls Power, Electric Distribution
Scotty B. Davis, Public Works Division, Water Distribution System Maintenance

25 Years:
Reginald Fuller, Planning and Building Division, Building Official
Victor Kishiyama, Idaho Falls Power, Electric A & G Engineer
Ernie E. Lewis, Municipal Services Division, General Services Building Maintenance
Jason C. Randall, Municipal Services Division, Treasurer’s Office Meter Reading
Ralph L. Risenmay, Fire Division, Fire Fighting
Daniel E. Stowell, Fire Division, Fire Fighting

30 Years:
Brent J. Guymon, Police Division, Police Uniform Patrol
David C. Smith, Public Works Division, Sewer Administration
Tony J. Arehart, Public Works Division, Sanitation Administration
Allen K. Moore, Public Works Division, Water Distribution System Maintenance
Theodore G. Mountain, Idaho Falls Power, Electric Bulb Turbine Generation
Rosemarie Anderson, Municipal Services Division City Clerk

35 Years:
Duane M. Taylor, Municipal Services Division, General Services Equipment Maintenance
Mark K. McBride, Police Division, Chief of Police

40 Years:
Kevin L. Getsinger, Idaho Falls Power, Electric Bulb Turbine Generation
Fred H. Rowe, Public Works Division, Wastewater Treatment Plant
Marvin R. Beaty, Public Works Division, Sanitation Administration

45 Years:
Kenneth R. Hunter, Public Works Division, Engineering Administration

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About Idaho Falls:  Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but still embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, shopping, and entertainment, Idaho Falls is attractive to small and large businesses alike and consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications.  Learn more at http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/

Mayor Casper Extends Deadline for Citizen Review Committee Applications

Idaho Falls, ID:  The deadline for Citizen Review Committee applications has been extended to Monday, Jan. 12. The original deadline was Jan. 5.

The application process was extended due to the busy holiday season and the desire to give City of Idaho Falls residents ample time to apply.

Mayor Casper began working on establishing Citizen Review Committees to provide a top-to-bottom review of city divisions just prior to taking office in December 2013. The first round of reviews concluded last October.

The four city divisions that will be reviewed in 2015 include Idaho Falls Parks & Recreation, Idaho Falls Police Department, Idaho Falls Power and Public Works.

A link to the CRC applications can be found on the home page of city’s website at www.idahofallsidaho.gov or at the City Clerk’s office located inside City Hall, 308 Constitution Way, Idaho Falls, Idaho.

For additional information, contact Kerry McCullough, public information officer at (208) 612-8122.

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About Idaho Falls:  Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but still embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, shopping, and entertainment, Idaho Falls is attractive to small and large businesses alike and consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications.  Learn more at http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/

Live Well Idaho Falls

Utilizing community resources to empower citizens to improve health through education, nutrition and physical activity

Idaho Falls, ID:  Live Well Idaho Falls, a new monthly educational series, will kick-off on Jan. 8. The series will be held the 2nd Thursday of the month at 5:30 p.m. at the Idaho Falls Library, 457 W. Broadway. The presentation series is free and open to the public.

Dr. McBurney-Rebol, a psychologist at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC), will present “New Year’s Resolutions: Making Them Stick,” on Jan. 8 at 5:30 p.m.

The Live Well Idaho Falls educational series will feature various community experts who will discuss important topics to empower the community to improve health through education, nutrition and physical activity. The series is co-sponsored by Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center and the City of Idaho Falls.

“I challenge the adults in our community to set the example for healthy, happy living by attending these presentations, learning from the experts and sharing that knowledge with families, friends and coworkers,” states Mayor Casper. I would also challenge community members to get out, get involved and become active by participating in the wide-array of recreational opportunities offered throughout our city,” adds Casper.

New Year’s Resolution Statistics:
• 45% of Americans usually make New Year’s resolutions
• 17% of Americans infrequently make New  Year’s resolutions
• 38% of Americans absolutely never make New Year’s resolutions
• 8% of people are successful in achieving their resolutions
• People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.
(Source: University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology.)

More information about Live Well Idaho Falls can be found on the home page of the city’s website or by following the City of Idaho Falls on Facebook and Twitter.

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About Idaho Falls:  Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but still embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, shopping, and entertainment, Idaho Falls is attractive to small and large businesses alike and consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications.  Learn more at http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/

New Education Curator Hired at Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park

Idaho Falls, ID:  Sunny Katseanes returns to Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park as their new education curator. Her first day is today, January 5.

Sunny Katseanes graduated from Idaho State University with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology in 1998 and began her internship as a zookeeper shortly thereafter.  She was hired as the zoo’s first education coordinator in January 1999, a position she held until 2005 when she accepted a position in communications at Bechtel BWXT-ID.  Katseanes was then hired as the Director of Education at the Museum of Idaho in December 2011.

Katseanes has been involved in many other organizations within our community including the Idaho Falls Earth Day Celebration, the Eastern Idaho Environmental Education Association, Idaho Falls First Presbyterian Church, Girl Scouts Silver Sage Council, Bonneville Youth Development Council and the Mayor’s Scholarship Judging Committee.

“I love science, learning about new things and teaching children how to explore and discover the natural world in which we live – a world we share with so many other incredible creatures. I also enjoy working with team members who share my enjoyment of learning and desire to strive to be the best at what we do,” states Katseanes.

“My passion is conservation education so I am very excited to be rejoining the team at the Idaho Falls Zoo. I am excited to explore the possibilities of expanding the current programming and opportunities at the zoo to show our region how it truly is the Best Little Zoo in the West,” adds Katseanes. “We are very excited and proud to have Sunny back as a team member at the zoo,” says Linda Beard, interim zoo superintendent.  “I have no doubt that Sunny will take us to the next level with our education and outreach programs,” adds Beard.

For more information about the Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park see www.idahofallszoo.org or call the education department at (208) 612-8453.

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About Idaho Falls:  Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but still embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, shopping, and entertainment, Idaho Falls is attractive to small and large businesses alike and consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications.  Learn more at http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/