Airport expansions, cybersecurity and other upgrades coming to Pocatello in 2023

The following is a portion of Pocatello’s State of the City Address given on Feb. 2, 2023.

POCATELLO – We have seen a lot of changes this past year. We hired a new Chief Financial Officer Gene Hill and a new Public Information Officer, Marlise Irby. We also saw many great promotions across the City including the promotion of Ryan O’Hearn to Fire Chief.

The Mayor’s Million Minute reading challenge had a record year with elementary students reading over two million minutes in February.

And just in 2022… five lucky students received the Pocatello’s Promise of Tomorrows’ Mayoral Scholarship for $2,500 per student. That makes 15 scholarships awarded since the program started in 2020.

Myself and the City Council together helped fund new permitting software for the Building and Planning Departments, a new tower truck for the Fire Department… additional funds for pavement management, a department-wide driving simulator, a new traffic signal for the South Valley/Bannock Highway intersection and so much more.

In 2022 we saw four new Council Members join the city. The Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council also known as MYAC won another Association of Idaho Cities award for their Pen Pals Program and this group of local high school students continues to do great things in our community.

Across the City of Pocatello, departments are working hard each and every day to assist community members and continue economic growth in Pocatello.

Pocatello Regional Airport:

The Airport purchased a new piece of airfield snow removal equipment. It is a multi-use piece with a plow and broom combination allowing staff to be more efficient by being able to plow and broom at the same time. The piece was purchased from M-B Companies using a combination of federal grant funds and airport passenger facility charge revenues.

Expansion of the Bureau of Land Management wildland fire air attack base began in 2022 and will be completed in 2023. The expansion will add a third loading pad and increase the size of the other two loading pads, allowing for the accommodation of multiple VLAT (very large air tanker) aircraft simultaneously.

The airport also began an update to its master plan for the airfield which will be completed in 2023. The plan will look at projected growth and needs for the airfield infrastructure to assist the airport in selecting future capital projects.

The airport welcomed a new tenant, Morton Buildings. Morton’s new facility will be completed soon and will manufacture post-frame buildings. We also welcomed a new hangar being built by AvCenter. The new hangar will also be completed soon and will be able to hangar large corporate jets.

The airport origami art exhibit completed phases 1, 2, and 3 providing the airport with a unique, world-class exhibit of origami art including 1,000 suspended cranes, multiple tessellations, and several different kusudamas. Phase 4, a silk origami rose exhibit, will be completed in 2023.

Pocatello Animal Services:

2022 the Animal Services Department has added an enrichment room as well as finished the play yard for our animals. Utilizing the play yard allows volunteers and staff individual time to help stimulate the animals in an active environment and helps decrease anxiety.

The Pocatello Animal Shelter has maintained its No Kill Status and will continue working with other shelter agencies to transfer and home animals.

In 2022, Pocatello Animal Services hired a Veterinarian part-time, Dr. Shelley Hill. Hill performs spay and neuters in the shelter and other various medical necessities. Having Hill helps reduce the cost of outsourcing veterinary needs and helps the turnaround time to get animals at the shelter adopted faster.

Click here for the full transcript or watch the video above.

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