From the Northgate development to the U.S. census, a lot was discussed at Friday’s joint city address in Bannock County. Pocatello and Chubbuck mayors updated business leaders in the community on what lies ahead in the next year.
“They have great expectations of us and they should,” mayor of Chubbuck, Kevin England said.
From non-stop flights from Pocatello to Denver, to solving the housing shortage in Bannock County there’s a lot on the docket for 2020.
Many topics were covered today, but growth was the recurring theme. Although growth in generally good, Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad and Chubbuck Mayor Kevin England both agree that growth has its pros and cons.
“If we have a downside at all, it is, what are we going to do with growth that is coming and how are we going to handle everything that comes with it,” England said.
With new businesses moving into the area, some employers are struggling to find qualified employees. The housing shortage is also contributing to the problem. Blad says a Pocatello task force is directly spearheading the issue. However, the Northgate Development could be their saving grace. “This next spring you’ll see a lot of dirt moving. You’ll see a lot of foundations being put in. You’ll see some building,” Blad said.
The final piece of the puzzle is the upcoming census. City leaders are concerned if Bannock County is undercounted in 2020, they could miss out on millions of dollars of funding from the federal government. Bannock County was undercounted by more than 20% in 2010. That percentage resulted in nearly $40 million that the county missed out on over a decade. Now, both cities are urging the public file their census paperwork so everyone is counted. With economic growth to the area, city leaders believe it to be imperative.