City Council discusses improvements and city limit expansion

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As always, this week’s city council began with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Assistant Police Chief Gary Hagen addressed the council by introducing the Law Enforcement Chaplaincy of Idaho. They have four chaplains and one K9. They are looking to add four more chaplains in the Rexburg area because the current chaplains are all located in Idaho Falls. They are 24/7 responders, and having people in Rexburg will cut down on their response time.

“Their team has just been unmeasurable with what they provide,” Hagen said.

Hagen explained a recent mental health crisis where someone took his own life in front of the officers on scene. This person left behind a wife and two children. Once they arrived, the chaplains were able to debrief the team and notify the family. They also spent time making sandwiches and helping the mother in whatever way they could.

This group of individuals is able to spend time with and sit with the families for hours with their K9. Hagen explained that many people may not be willing to talk about what’s going on, but they are willing to sit and pet a dog.

Chaplain Christa Trinchera, the co-founder and executive director of the Law Enforcement Chaplaincy of Idaho, then addressed the council. This organization is a nonprofit, and everyone is a volunteer; there is no charge for their services.

The chaplains go through crisis and trauma response training, specifically with police officers and firefighters.

“We’re more likely to lose officers to suicide than we are in the line of duty,” Trinchera said. “So, we have an obligation to take care of them and many of us are post-certified in law enforcement suicide recognition and prevention.”

She continued by saying their number one priority is to “take care of our first responders.” It is important they don’t feel alone and there is a place for them to turn when they’re in crisis.

After hearing from Trinchera, Council Member Colin Erickson addressed the council and announced an event at the Flight Museum. The Fly-In Breakfast will be on June 18, and breakfast will most likely be provided.

Item 7b on the agenda was presented by Public Works Director Keith Davidson. He proposed a new traffic signal at 12 West and University Boulevard, this will be done by Willier Electric, Inc. for $549,500. He also wishes to upgrade and move one of the signal poles at 7th South and Yellowstone Highway. A pedestrian push-button crosswalk will be added by Walmart and ARCO. The council moved to accept the bids, and all were in favor of these projects.

Finally, there was a public hearing to annex (bring property into city limits) property at approximately 1022 and 1040 W. Main Street, the property along Highway 33 and 12 West. No one opposed this, so they moved forward to approve it.