Friday, June 11, 2021

Fall River Electric ballot features seven candidates

Fall River Electric members will be electing three board members this month from a slate of seven candidates.

As a non-profit electric cooperative, one of the guiding principles of Fall River Electric is democratic member control under which an elected nine-member board of directors provides the strategic direction, sets policies, and makes decisions to ensure the Cooperative’s financial viability. Each year, owner-members (customers) of the co-op have the opportunity to electric three board members that will each serve a three-year term.

This year, seven candidates are running for board positions from three of the nine districts.
Those districts including District 1 Rexburg/Rigby area, District 5 that encompasses an area
from northwest Driggs on through the Tetonia and Felt area, and finally, District 6 which is the
Ashton area. All members of the cooperative are eligible to vote for these candidates no matter
where members reside since the board represents all owner-members. Voting can be done
online, by mail-in ballot or in-person at the Cooperative’s Energy Expo to be held on June 19,
2021, at North Fremont High School in Ashton. Winning candidates will be announced at the
conclusion of the business meeting portion of the Energy Expo on June 19.

This year District 1 incumbent Brent “Husk” Crowther is seeking a second term and is joined on
the ballot by fellow Hibbard area resident Rick Clements. Incumbent Brent Robson is seeking a
fourth term in District 5 where he faces newcomer Emily Nichols, while three candidates via for
one position in District 6. Dede Draper is seeking her third term where she faces fellow Ashton
area resident Britney Stegelmeier and Greg Bitter of the St. Anthony area.

Video statements from each candidate can be viewed on Fall River Electric’s website at
www.fallriverelectric.com by clicking the link “Energy Expo.

Written statements from each candidate can be found in the Energy Expo booklet along with
the ballot for mail-in voting which has been mailed to every owner-member of the Co-op.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Idaho Falls considers pilot program to monitor residential water use

To read the city's Water Facility Plan, follow this link: https://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/DocumentCenter/View/975/Water-Facility-Plan-PDF?bidId=

The city of Idaho Falls is looking at starting a pilot program to study residential water use that would involve giving 100 homeowners access to real-time monitoring through a mobile app as the city collects data it intends to use in its decision making.

In 2015, following discussion and public comment, the City Council approved a Water Facility Plan that provides key water system information, evaluations and recommendations regarding growth and sustainability of the water system. Both commercial and residential water conservation measures were recommended in the plan.

The Residential Water Conservation Pilot Program is designed to help shape the future of Idaho Falls residential water use while conserving Idaho’s most valuable resource.

“We have been monitoring some commercial property water use for up to sixty years, but this program will give us the ability to monitor residential property so that we can make more data-driven decisions in the future," said Idaho Falls Water Division Superintendent Dave Richards. “The new system makes water conservation easier for the user by literally putting it in the palm of their hand."

By monitoring water usage in various size homes and properties over the next two years, the Water Division hopes to gain a better understanding of how water is used in households and which water fixture replacements provide the maximum benefit in our area. The division would also gain critical data needed to plan for the city’s future growth and needs.

The program would be similar to energy efficiency programs dating back to the 1970s and '80s, Richards said.

If the program is approved by City Council, the Water Division will contact 100 qualifying homeowners to discuss the program. They would look for homes of varying characteristics (lot size, age, means of landscape watering, etc.). The Division would then install water meters within the existing meter pits on the properties of those randomly selected.

“The pilot program will not impact their water bill, and residents will continue to be billed on a non-metered basis,” Richards said.

Water usage would be monitored for one year prior to installing new fixtures. After that, the Division would schedule a tour of each of the 100 homes to help the resident identify a list of inefficient water fixtures (toilets, faucets, shower heads, washers, sprinkler times, etc.) that qualify for the replacement program.

The resident would have the option of purchasing replacement fixtures from an approved list of WaterSense certified fixtures and selecting a company to complete the installation of the replacement fixtures from an approved list of licensed and bonded plumbers.

The City of Idaho Falls would reimburse up to a maximum of $500 (approximately five fixtures) per household. The city would also reimburse the homeowner up to a maximum of $500 per household for the installation cost of a plumber.

Water usage would then be monitored for a second year, with the Water Division comparing water usage patterns with those of the previous year, before the fixtures were replaced. This could help determine which fixtures promote the best conservation potential for a future water fixture rebate program.

Although no date has been fixed, the Idaho Falls City Council will vote on the program at a regular meeting. To receive notifications about upcoming City Council meetings and city press releases, go to www.idahofalls.gov and click on the Notify Me button.

All City Council meetings are live streamed and archived for later viewing on the City of Idaho Falls website.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Commercial Real Estate Transactions | 7 June 2021

Wolf Holdings, LLC purchased 1.71 acres of land located at 1055 Jones Street in Idaho Falls. Dustin Mortimer of TOK Commercial represented the buyer. Paul Fife of SVN represented the seller.
K&R Commercial Properties, LLC purchased 1.43 acres of land located at 2458 Iona Rd. in Idaho Falls. Dustin Mortimer of TOK Commercial facilitated the transaction.
Eden Home Health of Idaho Falls leased 5,000 square feet of office space located at 2540 Channing Way in Idaho Falls. Dustin Mortimer of TOK Commercial facilitated the transaction.
B&E Ventures, LLC purchased approximately 6,800 square feet of industrial space located at 353 E. 1st Street in Idaho Falls. Dustin Mortimer of TOK Commercial represented the seller. Cody Mitchell of TYGRE represented the buyer.
Blue Pines Management leased 220 square feet of office space located at 610-640 S. Woodruff Avenue in Idaho Falls. Dustin Mortimer of TOK Commercial facilitated the transaction.
The Nova leased 1,400 square feet of industrial space located at 2295 N. Yellowstone Hwy. Dustin Mortimer of TOK Commercial represented the tenant. Randy Waters of SVN represented the landlord.

Source: TOK Commercial

Monday, June 7, 2021

Public review of MARVEL microreactor document starts

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the start of a 31-day public review period on a Final Environmental Assessment for a proposal to construct the Microreactor Applications Research Validation & Evaluation (MARVEL) project microreactor inside Idaho National Laboratory’s (INL’s) Transient Reactor Test Facility.
MARVEL, a sodium-potassium cooled, thermal microreactor with a power level of less than 100 kilowatts of electricity using High-Assay, Low-Enriched Uranium (HALEU), will be capable of testing power applications such as load-following electricity demand to complement intermittent renewable energy sources such as wind and solar – to help ensure reliable energy around the clock. It will also test the use of nuclear energy for water purification, hydrogen production, and heat for chemical processing.  
From Jan. 11 to Feb. 9, 2021, DOE conducted a public review and comment period on the project’s Draft Environmental Assessment. Comments received during that public review period, along with the agency’s corresponding responses, are published in the Response to Public Comments section of the Final Environmental Assessment issued today. DOE invites the public to comment on a proposed Finding of No Significant Impact for the project.

“Nuclear energy has always been a reliable power source that doesn’t emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere,” said INL Director John Wagner when the Draft Environmental Assessment was issued for public review on Jan. 11. “MARVEL is the next step that will allow for prompt, small-scale demonstrations of several environmentally-friendly technologies associated with advanced microreactors as well as larger reactors, which will benefit the nuclear energy industry and energy consumers.” 
Ever since the first useable amount of electricity generated by nuclear energy was demonstrated in 1951 at the Experimental Breeder Reactor-I in Idaho, nuclear power has played an essential role in U.S. electricity generation. Nuclear energy today generates nearly 20% of the nation’s electricity and about 55% of U.S. carbon-free electricity. That electricity is generated by large light-water reactors that each generate hundreds and sometimes thousands of megawatts of electricity, with each megawatt being enough to power about 1,000 homes.
International interest is now growing in microreactors: very small, factory fabricated, transportable reactors. Microreactors can be used in remote communities, industrial sites and defense bases, as well as for applications such as backup generation for power plants, humanitarian assistance, water purification, hydrogen production and disaster relief missions. Just like large traditional reactors, microreactors use fission to produce energy with no carbon emissions.
The DOE Microreactor Program supports research and development (R&D) of microreactor technologies. Led by INL, the program conducts both fundamental and applied R&D to reduce the risks associated with new technology performance and manufacturing readiness of microreactors. The intent is to ensure that microreactor concepts can be commercially licensed and deployed, and to reinvigorate U.S. leadership in nuclear energy.  
MARVEL will be an important step forward to provide industry partners with the ability to test new microreactor-related technologies and provide real-world, viewable examples of how commercial end-users could incorporate microreactors into their clean energy portfolios. The Final Environmental Assessment and proposed Finding of No Significant Impact, prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, are posted for public review at:
The 31-day public review period on the Final Environmental Assessment and proposed Finding of No Significant Impact will conclude on July 8, 2021. Comments on the proposed Finding of No Significant Impact can be submitted by mail to Garrett Kropp, 1955 Fremont Ave., 83415-1222 or by email to marvel@id.doe.gov. Paper copies of the document are available on request.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Showbiz Cinemas pulls out of Jackson Hole Junction; Ron Sayer, apartments part of new plan

The updated plan for Jackson Hole Junction

Jackson Hole Junction announced Thursday that Showbiz Cinemas will not be building an entertainment center at the Sunnyside Road development, but Ron Sayer Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, and Ram will be relocating their dealership there and Pioneer Crossing Apartments will be building 224 residential units.

“Jackson Hole Junction is thrilled to bring two fantastic amenities to Idaho Falls,” said Matt Morgan, one of Jackson Hole Junction’s developers, in a news release. “And this is just the beginning. We’ll be bringing more exciting projects to Jackson Hole Junction soon.” 

While ground had been broken at Jackson Hole Junction in February 2020, Texas-based Showbiz Cinemas suffered heavy financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has scaled back its business. Morgan and his partners “are re-imagining Jackson Hole Junction,” according to the company news release. The revised plans include dining, upscale living, retail spaces and additional healthcare providers.

Jackson Hole Junction’s first hotel, a Holiday Inn & Suites, opened last June and enjoyed a successful first season. The commercial center is looking to add a second hotel in 2022.