Chubbuck City Council approves 3% tax increase, plans to fund new fire station
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CHUBBUCK — By unanimous vote, the Chubbuck City Council approved a budget increase of 3% for the fiscal year of 2022 at Wednesday’s council meeting.
According to the budget plan, taxes will increase at a rate of $40 annually — $3.33 monthly — per every $100,000 of taxable value. This means that a home with an assessed valued of $300,000 would incur a $120 increase in property taxes annually, or $10 per month.
New construction will afford the city $159,498 in tax revenue.
“The lions share of this increase is actually borne by new construction,” said councilman Ryan Lewis, who motioned to approve the budget. “I do recognize that we’re looking at imposes a slight increase on each property owner … but I do think we need to be prepared as the city is growing and we’re increasing in numbers, our demands are going to be going up.”
“I appreciate the council’s willingness to do this,” City Treasurer Rich Morgan said. “I really do think it’s the best thing for the city, as an entity.”
The city will use tax dollars collected to fully fund human resource increases — new hires, promotions and raises to city staff — at a cost of $280,500. Additionally, $66,865 will go to a maintenance and operation reserve, and $162,187 will go to the development of a new fire station.
The city will need to request a bond from tax payers to cover the remaining cost of a new fire station. But given the opportunity to speak regarding the budget proposal, the only member of the city’s tax paying base to speak directly to that proposal, Jason Mendenhall, assured the council that the city would support it, saying that the city’s residents are supportive of their first responders.
Two new officers sworn in
Prior to the budget discussion at Wednesday’s City Council meeting, mayor Kevin England swore in two new members to the Chubbuck Police Department.
Both Morgan Anderson and Nathan Robertson are graduates of Highland High School, in Pocatello, and the Idaho State University Law Enforcement Program.
Prior to pursuing a career in law enforcement, Anderson was a student in ISU’s EMT program, while Robertson volunteered with the North Bannock County Fire Department, according to Chubbuck police chief Bill Guiberson.
“The badge represents the public trust with which they have the authority to back, and to which they have the duty to remain true,” Guiberson said.
Council clears path for Friday night food truck roundups
By unanimous vote, the council approved a temporary stay of right-of-way ordinances, creating the possibility of food truck events at the Chubbuck City Hall.
Per city law, no temporary vendor is allowed to block vehicle or or foot paths. At Wednesday’s meeting, the council granted the city center’s food truck plan one-month leeway to close the road to the immediate north of City Hall on Friday evenings in September for food trucks.
The decision was not made without discussion.
Councilwoman Melanie Evans was concerned about the possible appearance of nepotism, saying that city residents have requested permission to block city property at Cotant Park for temporary business.
“I want this, all over town. I think this is a great thing,” she said. “But I’m having a hard time understanding how I’m supposed to explain this to residents that have been asking for this to happen for months and have been hitting bricks walls.”
After discussion, it was determined that the request Evans was referencing would have blocked sidewalks for months, and required the use of city power. While the food truck roundups would vacate the area within hours, and be completely self-sustaining.
The city plans to host these weekly food truck events every Friday through the spring, summer and fall months. The events will take place in the parking areas surrounding the new City Hall.
The council and city staff will pursue a change in legal language that would support continued events like the food truck roundup, intending to have that decision finalized by October.