To say the least, this last year has been exciting. In an effort to plan for the City’s future needs, the Water Committee recommended water meters as one of several options. As a result, a recall election was initiated towards me through personal attacks, lies, and half-truths. However, the good people of Iona saw through it, and for that I would like to express my sincere gratitude for voting to retain me as Mayor. Anyways, we are not here to talk about me.
We are here to discuss the State of the City, which I can report is doing GREAT! We have over $800,000 in our savings and checking. This past year, 27 new homes were built. By planning for our future water needs, the City purchased land on Iona Hill to build a new one million gallon water tank and possibly another well. Most importantly, we refurbished our old tank which should give us another 20+ years of usage, if not more.
Shara Roberts the City Clerk took it upon herself to revamp the City’s website in an effort to provide more information online, and help your local government be more transparent. She did an amazing job. If you have not looked at it yet, you are missing out. Additionally, Amy Sullivan the City Treasurer researched how to offer more convenient payment methods for citizens to pay their water bill. With approval from the Iona City Council, we are excited to initiate online bill pay and payment over the phone within the coming months.
Not to be out done, but I would like to acknowledge the Public Works Department for the level of commitment they have towards the day to day activities that keep this City running. Each year they commit to ensuring the streets of Iona are plowed, and safe for our residents. This past year under the direction of the Public Works Director Zech Prouse; himself, Bryce Stucki, and Allen Eldridge constructed the outdoor stage and shelter behind the City building so it can be utilized more often throughout the year. They work hard each day to maintain the water system, and the city’s beautiful public facilities.
Lastly, Dustin Mathie graduated from POST in December, and was sworn in as an Officer of the Department. With the addition of Officer Mathie, the Department now has 2 full-time officers, and a second police vehicle. This allows for daily coverage by Iona Police, where in the past coverage averaged 3-4 days a week, and was supplemented more through Bonneville County Law Enforcement. Since being sworn in as Chief of Police, Karl Bowcutt continued leadership training which targeted specific needs of the City of Iona and also is an esteemed member of the Idaho Chief of Police Association (ICOMPA). This is a group of Police Chiefs who meet quarterly to discuss the needs and the day to day activities of departments throughout the State of Idaho. Additionally, Chief Bowcutt initiated an ongoing grant through Idaho Task Force which provides additional coverage, and targets specific crimes in an effort to saturate, and hopefully deter future crime. The Department also made increased efforts to be involved with public relation activities as an opportunity to get to know the community they are serving more through the Veteran’s Day Celebration, the Iona Day Fun Run, Shop with a Cop, Iona’s Easter Egg Hunt and Trunk or Treat, and providing tours and information to the young scouts of the City. In an effort to be more transparent with the Department’s services, you can now visit the City website and check out a weekly report which highlights some of the calls for service, and incidents they have helped to resolve. Overall, the Department had a total of 831 calls for service this last year.
We have the best employees and I would like to thank each of them for all they do. They are the backbone and they make our City great. They are as follows: Shara Roberts, Amy Sullivan, Zech Prouse, Bryce Stucki, Karl Bowcutt, and Dustin Mathie. Thank you for all you do that is seen by the public and the things behind the scenes that sometimes may go unnoticed. I would also like to thank our part-time and contract employee’s as follows: City Attorney Dale Storer, Janitor Christina Harper, our new Sports Recreation Director Shari Moulton, Building Inspector Allen Eldridge, Plumbing/Mechanical Inspector Greg McBride, and Electrical Inspector Brent Purcell.
Additionally, I would like to thank our City Council and our Planning/Zoning Commission for their service, and the time they take out of their lives to serve this community. A special thank goes out to Roy Hobbs who stepped down from Planning and Zoning after 7 ½ years due to health reasons, Lee Andersen for serving as the Chairman of the Water Committee, and Sasha Belliston with the help of volunteers who coordinated the Iona Day Celebration.
You truly all make the City of Iona the wonderful place that it is!
Some of the Highlights for 2016 are as follows:
- Calendar year 2016 we had 27 building permits for new homes and 93 miscellaneous permits.
- We now have 810 water connections, with a population of over 2,700 people (based on 3.5 people per household).
- Over 382 million gallons of water was used; compared to 2015 when we used a little over 355 million gallons of water. This calculates to approximately 1,304 gallons of water per home (family of 3.5) that a family uses per a day.
- 19th Annual City Easter Egg Hunt with over 8,000 eggs hand stuffed. Thanks to Treasurer Amy Sullivan who was assigned as the lead on this event, and once again did an amazing job!
- Clerk Shara Roberts was assigned as the lead on the Iona Day Fun Run, and the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council (MYAC), along with help from the City Council provided the annual breakfast. Not to mention, the numerous other city events they always volunteer at.
- The annual City Spring Clean-up and Arbor Day Celebration.
- Iona’s summer recreation program which included a variety of activities: T-Ball, pitching machine, and girls’ softball program continued as it has in the past. Also, a basketball program was started in 2013 with 40, now has over 100 teams and almost 1,000 children that participate. Also, it provides for 32 jobs for the youth in this area.
- Monthly movie in the park during the summer.
- 7h Annual Halloween Trunk-or-Treat.
- There were many Eagle Scout projects and service projects that saved the City money and enhanced the community.
- There are 19 small businesses in the City of Iona.
- A super Annual Veteran’s Day Program put together by Rob Geray.
In closing, the City of Iona is in good hands and the outlook is very good. In 2017, we are hoping to purchase more water rights, start the process of building a one million gallon water tank and possibly a new well to help with the growth of Iona. Again, I would like to thank everyone who volunteered their time and efforts toward some type of service in 2017.
Brad D. Andersen, Mayor