Pole Replacement Project on 17th & Holmes

Idaho Falls, ID – Idaho Falls Power crews will be working throughout March on a project involving high-voltage power lines at the intersection of 17th Street and Holmes Avenue.

Traffic will be intermittently affected by the project, which is expected to start March 3 and could last through the end of the month. Crews will work to minimize the impact to traffic, but motorists are advised to proceed with caution through the work zone while crews are on scene from 7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily.

The project calls for replacing six aging power poles carrying high-voltage transmission lines along the south side of 17th Street, east of the intersection with Holmes Avenue, and along the west bank of the Idaho Canal that runs parallel to Holmes Avenue at its intersection with 17th Street.

Barring unforeseen issues, power service to homes and businesses in that area will not be affected.

Once complete, the project will enhance the reliability of the city’s transmission and distribution system.

Media Note: For more information or to schedule an interview with city staff, contact Public Information Officer, Kerry McCullough.

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About Idaho Falls Power:  Idaho Falls Power is a municipal electric utility serving the corporate city limits of Idaho Falls, Idaho. The City has operated the utility continuously since its establishment in 1900. Learn more on our website.

Emergency Alert Testing Scheduled for Tomorrow

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho: Bonneville County Emergency Management will be conducting a test of the emergency alert system sirens throughout Idaho Falls and Ammon on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 10:00 a.m. The sirens will sound for approximately 30 seconds, simultaneously.

This is ONLY a test. There is no need to call emergency services with this activation. In the event the emergency alert sirens are used in a real event, tune in to local news sources for information and instructions regarding the disaster and/or emergency that may be occurring.

The sirens are an outdoor warning system intended to prompt those who may not be near a radio, television or other news source during a real emergency to seek out the reason(s) for the siren activation.

For additional information, contact the Bonneville County Office of Emergency Management at (208) 529-1220 or 529-1223 or tlenderink@co.bonneville.id.us.

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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 embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous national park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, science & technology, shopping and entertainment, Idaho Falls is an attractive location for small and large businesses alike. Idaho Falls consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications.  Learn more on our website.

Public Open House – Tautphaus Park Master Plan

Idaho Falls, ID: The City of Idaho Falls Parks & Recreation Department would like to invite the public to an open house to discuss the master plan and redesign of Tautphaus Park.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 24 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Marriott Residence Inn at 635 West Broadway, Idaho Falls, ID.

“Our city is growing and so too is the need to ensure that we are providing adequate facilities and parks to meet the community’s needs,” states Mayor Casper. “Improvements to our community’s oldest and well-loved park are long overdue,” adds Casper.

The meeting will consist of a short presentation with information boards and real-time polling, followed by an opportunity for smaller group discussions and mapping exercises. Following the meeting, the public can also go to www.ifparkplans.com for information about the master plan or to take a survey and leave comments.

“Hands-on public engagement and participation is key to park planning and design – we cannot stress that enough. We look forward to learning what the public’s priorities are for the park over the next few months,” states Parks & Recreation Director Greg A. Weitzel. “The end goal is a design that fits the needs of citizens, visitors and tourists for decades to come,” explains Weitzel.

Media Note: For more information or to schedule an interview with city staff, contact Public Information Officer, Kerry McCullough.

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About Idaho Falls Parks & Recreation: The mission of the City of Idaho Falls Parks & Recreation Department is to provide quality parks and recreation opportunities based upon cost efficiency and community needs. Learn more on our website.

House Fire

Idaho Falls, ID:   On February 14, 2016 at 10:25 p.m., the Idaho Falls Fire Department was dispatched to a fire at a single family dwelling at 1643 Shady Pines Drive.

Upon arrival firefighters found a garage fully involved with flames that extended to a house next door. The fire then extended into the attached house of the garage where flames were originally found. Flames also impinged on a car in the driveway.

Crews arrived quickly and aggressively attacked the fire, keeping it from extending farther into the house next door, the car and the remainder of the house on fire.

Firefighters performing the primary search found that all occupants had escaped. There were no injuries. Firefighters removed a pet turtle from the residence.

The remainder of the home sustained significant smoke damage. The home next door was saved. The only damage was the siding.

There were twenty firefighters on scene including 4 engines, 3 ambulances, a battalion chief and a safety officer.

The estimated damage was more than $100,000. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Media note: For more information, contact Battalion Chief Cody Anderson at (208) 612-8413.

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About Idaho Falls Fire Department:  The mission of the Idaho Falls Fire Department is to protect the lives and property of the citizens and visitors of Idaho Falls by providing the highest possible levels of service through fire prevention, public education, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and mitigation of the effects of natural and man-made disasters consistent with the resources provided as desired and dictated by the citizens and elected officials of the City of Idaho Falls. The department serves population of approximately 85,000 residents occupying approximately 250 square miles. The area includes the City of Idaho Falls and the Bonneville County Fire Protection District. The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) division serves a population of approximately 118,000 residents occupying approximately 1900 square miles. The area includes Bonneville County and portions of Bingham and Jefferson counties. The IFFD EMS responses for 2008 numbered just over 8,200.Learn more on our website.

Idaho Falls Councilman David Smith, Newest Member of American Public Power Association’s Policy Makers Council

Idaho Falls, ID – Idaho Falls City Councilman, David Smith was named to a one-year term on the American Public Power Association’s Policy Makers Council by APPA’s Board of Directors.

The American Public Power Association represents 2,000 community-owned electric utilities, serving more than 48 million people or 14 percent of the nation’s electricity consumers.

The Policy Makers Council assists APPA in promoting federal legislation that is important to public power systems, such as Idaho Falls Power, as well as opposing harmful legislation. It also provides advice on other issues of importance to APPA. Members of the Council meet a minimum of twice a year and participate in meetings with elected representative and congressional staff for the purpose of supporting APPA’s national legislative agenda.

The Council is made up of 40 members who serve on either utility boards or are elected officials in public power communities. Four members are appointed to the Council from each of the 10 geographic regions recognized by APPA. In addition, there are a number of “At-Large” members of the Council from across the country who are appointed based on vacancies in the 10 regions.

Public power utilities are operated by local governments to provide communities with reliable, responsive, not-for-profit electric service and are directly accountable to the people they serve.  Idaho Falls is the largest of the 9 municipal power systems in Idaho.

Councilman Smith also serves as the City Council liaison for Idaho Falls Power, a position previously held by Councilman Mike Lehto who recently stepped down from serving on the City Council after 16 years.

“Councilman Smith’s commitment to public power and his experience with the political process will be a great asset both to the PMC and to the APPA,” states Forrest Sholars, Grassroots & PAC Manager for APPA. “I’m confident that, with his help, we can give public power an even stronger voice on Capitol Hill.”

“We are very excited to have Councilman Smith representing not only Idaho Falls Power, but the State of Idaho,” states Idaho Falls Power General Manager Jackie Flowers. “As a trade organization, APPA is on the front lines when it comes to tracking federal law changes and anticipating impacts.  The Policy Makers Council plays a critical role in providing local input into major energy legislative and regulatory issues.  Having continued representation from Idaho Falls ensures we remain part of these very important conversations,” explains Flowers.

Recent topics that the PMC has been involved with include Clean Renewable Energy Bonds, climate change, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, cyber security and telecommunications, including broadband.

Media Note: For more information or to schedule an interview with city staff, contact Public Information Officer, Kerry McCullough.

Photo: Idaho Falls City Councilman, David Smith

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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 embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous national park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, science & technology, shopping and entertainment, Idaho Falls is an attractive location for small and large businesses alike. Idaho Falls consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications.  Learn more on our website.

Press Conference – Community College Study Panel & Grant Announcement

Idaho Falls, Idaho: The City of Idaho Falls will host a press conference early next week to announce committee members who have been selected to serve as part of the Community College Study Panel.

When:  Tues., February 16, 2016 at 11:00 a.m.

Where:  Idaho Falls City Council Chambers, 680 Park Avenue

What:   Committee Member Announcement and Supportive Grant Announcement

Who:  Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper, Ammon Mayor Dana Kirkham, Bonneville County Commissioner Dave Radford,  Committee Members & Grantors

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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 embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous national park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, science & technology, shopping and entertainment, Idaho Falls is an attractive location for small and large businesses alike. Idaho Falls consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications.  Learn more on our website.

Adult Volunteers Needed at Idaho Falls Zoo

Do you have a love for animals and conservation and enjoy sharing your passion with others? Do you like working in gardens and being outdoors? Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park is looking for adults (18 and over) who would like to become zoo volunteers.

Based on interests, a variety of opportunities are available including gardening, exhibit maintenance, leading tours, conducting winter outreach programs, helping with special events and caring for the animals in the zoo’s education department.

Learn more about volunteering at the zoo at the Open House on Tuesday, Feb. 23 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Idaho Falls Library, 457 W. Broadway, in the public meeting room.

Can’t make it to the open house? Visit www.idahofallszoo.org and click on the Get Involved tab at the top of the page or contact Education Curator, Sunny Katseanes at (208) 612-8418.

The zoo opens April 9, 2016.

Media Note: For more information or to schedule an interview with zoo staff, contact Public Information Officer, Kerry McCullough.

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About Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park:  With more than 400 individual animals representing 110 species from all around the globe, the Idaho Falls Zoo has the largest collection of animals in the state of Idaho and is considered the “Best Little Zoo in the West.” Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the zoo participates in 44 national Species Survival Plans. Learn more on our website.

Members Named and Kickoff Meeting Scheduled for 3rd Round of Citizen Review Committees

Idaho Falls, ID – Members of the third round of Citizen Review Committees (CRC) will meet for the first time during a kickoff meeting on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016 from 8:00-10:30 a.m. in Council Chambers located inside the City Annex Building, 680 Park Avenue.

In late November, Mayor Casper called for applications from city residents to review basic functions and budget processes of city departments to improve efficiencies and service delivery.

Three of the city’s 11 departments will be examined over the next few months, including the Idaho Falls Fire Department, City Attorney and Human Resources. The other eight departments were reviewed in 2014 and 2015.

Applicants with various backgrounds and experience were selected based on their area of interest and the criteria of living within the city limits. Those who would stand to receive a direct financial benefit from a particular city department were not selected.

Committee Members:

Idaho Falls Fire Dept. City Attorney Human Resources
Julie Foster Miranda Marquit Nicki Karst
Steven Besse Terry Johnston Monica Bitrick
Kathy Nave Matthew Hamilton Kent Granat
Stephanie Willoughby Don Johnson  
Nancy Carlson George Morrison  
Ronald Tallman    
David Haderlie    

The committees’ first goal will be to meet and receive a general orientation about the department, learn what its functions are and establish meeting schedules. After that, tours of relevant city facilities and budget reviews will round out the learning phase. Additional phases will include time for the committees to research and deliberate about department processes and to write up and present their findings to City Council.

Committee members will be asked to review each department’s priorities in light of the Mayor’s stated goals of maintaining fidelity to law, seeking solutions to city problems, promoting economic growth and enhancing city assets.

The committees will compile their findings and create reports to be formally presented by the Mayor to the City Council. The reports will serve to inform Councilmembers as they set city budgets and policies.

“By getting the right people asking the right questions – as we’ve seen with prior CRC members – we’ve been able to identify the city’s strengths, pinpoint areas of improvement and uncover cost savings,” states Mayor Casper. “I have no doubt we will see the same valuable results from this year’s CRC members.”

Media Note: For more information or to schedule an interview with city staff, contact Public Information Officer, Kerry McCullough.

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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 embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous national park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, science & technology, shopping and entertainment, Idaho Falls is an attractive location for small and large businesses alike. Idaho Falls consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications. Learn more on our website.

Planned Outages Set for Tuesday in Ironwood & Alice Dickson Subdivisions

Idaho Falls, ID – Idaho Falls Power customers in the Ironwood and Alice Dickson subdivisions will experience a short outage Tuesday, Feb. 16, as crews upgrade the distribution system in the area.

Each outage will affect dozens of customers in the two neighborhoods and is expected to last no more than 30 minutes. The exact start times are unknown.

The affected area in Alice Dickson is north of Pancheri, in the vicinity of Brandon Drive and Troy, Dickson and Adell Avenues.

The planned outage in Ironwood will affect customers south of W. 17th South on Ironwood Drive, Louise Lane, Saddle Court, Genevieve Way and Diane Court.

Customers who are without power for more than a half-hour are advised to check their circuit breakers, which may have tripped when power was restored, before calling 612-8430 to report a problem.

All work is expected to be completed Tuesday. Any outage experienced afterward can be reported by calling 612-8430.

Media Note: For more information or to schedule an interview with city staff, contact Public Information Officer, Kerry McCullough.

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About Idaho Falls Power:  Idaho Falls Power is a municipal electric utility serving the corporate city limits of Idaho Falls, Idaho. The City has operated the utility continuously since its establishment in 1900. Learn more on our website.

Idaho Falls Fire Department Responds to Apartment Fire

Idaho Falls, ID: On February 8, 2016 at 3:01 p.m., the Idaho Falls Fire Department responded to a fire in an apartment bathroom at 1368 Ashment, Apt. 1, Idaho Falls.

Engine 1 arrived and found smoke in the apartment and fire in the bath fan in the bathroom. Engine 1 extinguished the fire and searched the apartment. The fire had extended to the attic space above the bathroom.

Firefighters were able to keep the fire contained to the bathroom and the attic space directly above the bathroom.

There were no injuries.

The tenants of the other three apartments were temporarily evacuated from their apartments as a precautionary measure, but they were able to return.

There were 17 firefighters on scene including 3 engines, 3 ambulances, a battalion chief and a safety chief.

The cause of the fire was determined to be an overheated fan motor in the bath fan. The estimated damage was $28,000. It is unknown if the fire could have been prevented.

Media: For additional information, contact Battalion Chief Cody Anderson at (208) 612-8413.

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About Idaho Falls Fire Department:  The mission of the Idaho Falls Fire Department is to protect the lives and property of the citizens and visitors of Idaho Falls by providing the highest possible levels of service through fire prevention, public education, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and mitigation of the effects of natural and man-made disasters consistent with the resources provided as desired and dictated by the citizens and elected officials of the City of Idaho Falls. The department serves population of approximately 85,000 residents occupying approximately 250 square miles. The area includes the City of Idaho Falls and the Bonneville County Fire Protection District. The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) division serves a population of approximately 118,000 residents occupying approximately 1900 square miles. The area includes Bonneville County and portions of Bingham and Jefferson counties. The IFFD EMS responses for 2008 numbered just over 8,200.Learn more on our website.