Requests for budget increases and grants given at Rexburg City Council

Photo credit: Jacquelyn Birkeland

Rexburg City Council began with a prayer and The Pledge of Allegiance. Following that, there was an introduction of a new employee at the fire department: Emma Howe. She is the highest trained employee they have, and a recent BYU-Idaho graduate originally from California.

The Madison Fire Department is in need of three full-time employees within the emergency services department. Its need is for critical-care paramedic firefighters. This would require Madison Fire Department to move up its budget timeline.

The fire department’s Assistant Chief Troyce Miskin stated during the meeting that it’s been five years since they last requested an increase in employment. Due to the city’s growth, they have become busier.

Item five on the agenda was the Wattsmart Business Grant given to the city for the new Waste Water Blower Project. The initial amount expected was $311,392.20. However, when the check was presented by Tim Solomon, Regional Business Manager at Rocky Mountain Power, the amount was actually $342,090.55. The money is an incentive for when the city follows their recommendations.

Solomon stated that the point of the Wattsmart Business Program for Rocky Mountain Power is “a chance for us to give (the city of Rexburg) technical assistance and incentives to upgrade equipment and lighting.”

After the grant was given, the council heard from CFO Matt Nielson, who proposed a budget adjustment for a program that will help better engage citizens. The program is called Citizen Lab. This would be an add on to the City of Rexburg website and it would be mobile friendly. This would help citizens of Rexburg participate in polls, surveys and keep up with projects.

This software will keep information like addresses, but any information provided is voluntary and no one has to share. The council motioned to approve this request.

At the end of the meeting, Mayor Merrill announced that although Arbor Day is in April, Rexburg delays this celebration for warmer weather. The date has been set for May 18. They also call it Flower Day instead of Arbor Day, because “they plant a lot of flowers that day.”