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David Sims Guest Opinion

It has truly been an honor to serve as the Mayor of Bonners Ferry for the last four years! I appreciate the support I have received from the community and the City Council, and I am proud of the things that we have accomplished during my term.

The city continues to work hard making Bonners Ferry a great place to live. During the last City Council meeting in November, the Council voted to eliminate the fees for swimming in the municipal pool (there will still be a fee for swimming lessons). This comes on the heels of the renovation of the pool last spring, the remodel of the bathhouse this fall and the installation of the splash pad that will be completed this spring. This facility is such a great asset for the community, and eliminating the fees will make it accessible to more kids.

At the Council meeting on Dec. 10, the Council considered two very important items. The first was entering into a memorandum of understanding with Avista Edge to complete a feasibility study for broadband internet service that would be offered to city electric customers. The service will use Avista patented technology to provide 100 Mbps download speed service at an affordable price. The study will take place this winter and spring, and the build out of the system could start next fall.

As part of the feasibility study, the city will be surveying our electric customers about interest in the service, so be sure to take part in the survey. Access to affordable broadband service will have great economic development and quality of life benefits for our community and residents.

The Council also took the next step to form a new urban renewal district on the South Hill, by approving the eligibility report for the new district and sending the urban renewal plan to planning and zoning to ensure conformity with the city’s comprehensive plan. The original urban renewal district was formed in 2011 and was instrumental in encouraging the Super 1 Foods store to locate in Bonners Ferry. The new district will include the property where the Pape store was previously located and the undeveloped property behind it.

The urban renewal district will help fund public improvements on the property, such as streets and wastewater infrastructure, to encourage development of the property. Urban renewal districts are one of the best tools cities have to encourage economic growth, and this new district will help ensure that Bonners Ferry thrives in the future.

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David Sims is the mayor of Bonners Ferry.

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