At times mere words seem vastly inadequate. And, this is one of those times. On behalf of the City of American Falls our thoughts, prayers and best wishes are with Norman and Kathy Wright as they recover from life-threatening injuries sustained last Tuesday as they were doing volunteer work in their church in Pocatello. I have had the distinct pleasure of working with and being a friend to both Norm and Kathy as have most of us associated with the City and American Falls High School. I wish God’s speed to a full recovery and extend the offer of help to them and their family throughout the ordeal.
As I pray for Norm and Kathy, my heart also goes out to Jody O’Donnell whose husband Mike passed away last Tuesday. If you are from the region and have ever read a local newspaper you know Mike O’Donnell. Always of independent mind and keen wit, Mike was a special pleasure to talk to and read. To me he exemplified what a “newspaper man” is; inquisitive, tenacious and articulate. I will miss him for all that he was as I know many of you will as well.
With a heavy heart it is easy to say I have had better starts to spring. As I met with Street Superintendent Daren Dahlke last Wednesday, how bad the winter was and the spring and summer will be came into clear focus, as Dahlke and I evaluated and calculated the damage done to our city’s streets. I was fully aware that we are at the mercy of others; namely the State legislature and their ability to pass emergency funding legislation. There is $52 million currently in Senate Bill 1141 that cleared the Senate unanimously and now awaits a vote in the House. Should those funds become available, the City of American Falls will be requesting $446,000 to rebuild over 25 sections of our damaged streets. I don’t expect that we will receive the full amount needed to rebuild all the damage; but, it is true what is said about beggars. We will continue to do the very best we can with the means we have available.
As spring hopefully settles in, most of you will find things to be done out and around your homes. Spring clean-up is set for the weeks of April 24th and May 1st. Your alleys will be cleaned on your regular garbage pick-up day on the week of April 24th. If you have trimmings, transfer and pile them neatly in the alley. I will remind you to please NOT put your yard debris in plastic bags, but pile it out of the way on your side of the alley. This will make it easier for our crews to pick it up with a loader and place it in the dump truck. The following week the City crew will be by again to pick up any larger items that were not loaded before.
Superintendent Pete Cortez and the Water and Waste Water Department will also begin flushing sewers in April; the details of which are in this and next week’s Power County Press or on the City’s website. As a friendly reminder, notices for both the sewer cleaning and the cleaning of the alleys will be included in your April billing from the City; please read them.
Things are in the swing of spring throughout the City’s recreational sites. The golf course is open and looking good. Please see the City’s website again for specials. Things at Willow Bay are in shape, boats are launching, fish are being caught, camp sites are open, the coffee is hot and the food is great! The high school ball teams are playing and having some success; while the organized recreational leagues get set for spring sports as well.
As the buds break on my trees outside and the grass greens through the winter brown, I have hope that the second week of spring will be better than the first. And as the crocus and tulips peak through the soil to begin life anew my thoughts return to Norm, Kathy and Jody and I wish them all the blessings of spring in the time ahead.
Until next week…
Mayor Marc Beitia