IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper says she hopes to lead a SMART city into 2020.
In her annual "State of the City" address Thursday, Casper said SMART involves some specific qualities.
"I don't mean being clever. Rather, to be a SMART City in the modern sense means to be intelligent, but also sustainable & resilient, fiscally-responsible, safe, future-oriented, cutting-edge, data-driven, comprehensive, inclusive, intuitive, and perhaps most importantly, citizen-focused."
In her office, Casper said work would focus on planning for new projects at the INL, the opening of COSTCO in August, and establishing an "Innovation District."
The Police Department's first objective is to begin work on a new Police Station. After revitalization of the property, it will be located at the recently purchased stockyards property along Northgate Mile.
She said the city would work with Habitat for Humanity and a local developer to explore leveraging federal grant funding for new homeownership opportunities for low and moderate-income families.
City investments will include an expansion of the baggage claim area at the Idaho Falls Airport and further expansion planned over the next couple of years.
Idaho Falls Power will continue to work towards residential fiber-optic service and Casper expects it to be built out for every home that wants it within four to five years.
In Public Works, she said a group of volunteers will continue to research possible recycling streams. And, Casper said dialogue will begin in 2020 to determine the best way to replace the city's "worn-out" water tower.
"The key opportunity a new decade presents to us, however, is the opportunity to improve as we pair tired-and-true practices with innovations in technology and the use of data," Casper concluded.
"As we do this, Idaho Falls will continue to be a model for exceptional success across the state and throughout the Mountain West."