Mayors cite growth, innovation as keys to prosperity during annual addresses

Idaho Falls

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From Left: Ammon Mayor Sean Coletti & Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper | file photo

IDAHO FALLS – The future is bright for Ammon and Idaho Falls. That was the overall message of Tuesday’s State of the Cities addresses held in Idaho Falls.

Ammon Mayor Sean Coletti and Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper spoke to Chamber of Commerce members and other invited guests.

“All too often, we are tempted to look at government with an extremely negative and critical eye,” Coletti said in his remarks. “Social media has turned us into armchair quarterbacks of everything.”

Coletti paid tribute to Orland Bailey, a member of the community who recently passed away after spending time every day for more than 18 years collecting food for the hungry. Bailey also served with the Ammon Fire Department, National Guard and Army Reserves.

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Bailey’s effort was Coletti’s inspiration behind The Mayor’s Inaugural Community Service Awards, where Coletti says the city will recognize five individuals in the community for service they provide each year.

Coletti noted a few of the city’s accomplishments in 2017, including bringing fiber optics to homes.

RELATED | City of Ammon announces launch date for fiber utility services

“Ammon will continue to work to increase the speed and progression of the fiber buildout,” Coletti said.

Coletti also mentioned improvements in the fire department and splash pad, along with forthcoming upgrades to the water supply and funding for city streets.

Mayor Casper shows video during state of the city address | Rett Nelson,

Achievements for the city of Idaho Falls were highlighted in a video shown by Casper during her remarks.

She mentioned upgrades coming to the Civic Auditorium, including its new name: The Idaho Falls Civic Center for the Performing Arts.

RELATED: I.F. Council approves plan for major Civic Auditorium renovations

Casper highlighted the promotion of the police department’s first female sergeant in 2017 and the fire department’s first female recruits.

RELATED: Idaho Falls Police Department promotes first female to sergeant

Casper also addressed some forthcoming developments, including the police department’s use of neighborhood watch programs.

“If you live in Idaho Falls and haven’t downloaded the NextDoor App, you may want to,” Casper said. “Our police department will soon be engaging via that app with local residents.”

RELATED: How city leaders are keeping you informed about emergencies in your neighborhood

Bringing fiber optics to the home is also a goal for the city in 2018, according to Casper, along with installing more electric charging stations for electric vehicles.

Mayor Casper File Photo |

Economic growth within Idaho Falls was also a point mentioned by Casper.

“Some voices claim that key businesses are moving away from our city,” Casper said in response to critics. “I can tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.”

She noted growth to two local businesses that, while not a part of Idaho Falls, have an impact on the city’s economy. Idaho Foods recently expanded its potato processing plant and Melaleuca crossed the $2 billion threshold in annual sales for the first time ever in 2017.

“The state of the city is strong and our future is bright,” Casper said.

Mayor Casper also delivered a State of the City address to the city council in January. You can watch that address by clicking here.