DANIEL V. RAMIREZ email@example.com
Jan 5, 2024
The city of Ammon accomplished much in 2023, setting the stage for even more progress this year.
That was the message Mayor Sean Coletti shared in his State of the City address Thursday.
Coletti gave his address at the beginning of the City Council meeting after he swore in two new council members, Kris Oswald and Jeff Fullmer.
Coletti spoke about Ammon’s future and the city’s trajectory.
“We build our tomorrows today,” Coletti said. “What we do here, now, matters.”
Road improvements were a centerpiece of his address.
In 2023, Coletti said, the city had procured federal funding to help fund new projects to expand 1st Street from Ammon to Hitt Road.
In October, the council approved the $2.2 million expansion of John Adams and Curlew to improve access to 1st Street, which will involve the construction of a new bridge.
“Many years ago, the city knew that its biggest street need was going to be fully building out 1st Street from Ammon to Hitt Road, but we did not know how — or when — we were going to be able to accomplish it,” Coletti said.
Idaho’s 2nd District Congressman Mike Simpson helped secure nearly $6 million in federal funding with the Ammon 1st Street Infrastructure Project in the fiscal year 2023 Omnibus package.
The city had also sourced funding to help rebuild the bridge on 17th Street, which Coletti said has been called “one of the worst bridges in the state.” He expects this project to be completed in the fall.
Work would include expanding 1st Street to five lanes with curbs, gutters and sidewalks being built in and a new bridge to replace the existing bridge that is over the canal just after the intersection of Hitt Road and 1st Street. Curlew would also be extended south from 1st Street to John Adams, to extend the street to the south, Coletti said.
Another focus for the city is to secure a permanent funding source for its Streets Department. Coletti explained that water, sewer, sanitation and fiber have dedicated revenue streams for capital improvements and maintenance while streets do not.
“They are our biggest source of strain for the residents,” Coletti said. “So it goes without saying that streets are our highest priority for 2024.”
Walkability was another challenge the city continued to address in 2023. Coletti said grant funding allowed the city to install bike lanes and markings on two of Ammon’s roads and the city will soon be able to create a pedestrian pathway on 49th South.
The city also procured Safe Streets for All funding to make a plan and design ways to make Ammon’s main roads safer for its residents. A survey has been created for residents to fill out regarding safety when driving, walking and biking on Ammon’s main roads.
“With steady street funding and greater access to pathway funds, the Ammon of the future will have a solid transportation footing,” Coletti said.
Expansion of Ammon City Hall started in 2023. The $2.5 million project will double the size of the building once it’s completed.
“I’m proud of what Mayor (Bruce) Ard and the city council of 1995 did to give us the city building we are in today, but we all know that it is insufficient for the needs of the future as Ammon grows,” Coletti said.
Ammon’s fiber network also completed its LID (local improvement district) 5, and is well into LID 6, the second-to-last step to having all of Ammon fiber ready.
Coletti also thanked and bid farewell to council members George VanderMeer and Rex Thompson. VanderMeer was appointed to the council in 2022 after former councilman Byron Wiscombe resigned from his role in 2021.
Thompson had served on the council for more than 20 years, and Coletti said Thompson had been committed to seeing Ammon grow smartly.
“His influence will continue to be felt even as he leaves us in an official capacity,” Coletti said.