Thomas proposes recycling, recreation changes

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Rigby City Councilwoman Emily Thomas had two proposals for her colleagues. She said they should consider moving the city’s recycling bins and add a few more. She also asked if the city should reactivate its now-defunct recreation board.

Councilman Kirk Olsen was a fan of neither idea, and asked why Thomas was getting involved in contacting recyclers instead of recyclers contacting the city.

She replied that she had heard complaints about the difficulty in getting close to the bins, and that they fill too quickly. Councilwoman Nichole Weight said she too had heard those complaints.

Beyond that, Thomas said she is concerned for the environment.

“Because I’m a hippie and I care about recycling,” she said.

She said she would like to move the bins across the street, onto property owned by Jefferson Joint School District #251, and add more bins.

The city is currently contracting with Western Recycling for the bins and they collect the revenue from recyclables in exchange for the service.

Rigby Public Works employee Mitch Bradley said that Public Works Director Rick Lamoreaux’s concern was expenses for expanding recycling.

“His hang up is he doesn’t want to be charged for another bin,” Bradley said.

Thomas said that she had heard from Pacific Recycling that they could add bins for free and pay the city for the resulting recyclables.

Councilman Benson Taylor said that he would be for the option that benefits the city most.

“I’d rather have someone else do it and give us money for it,” he said.

The council also discussed the possibility of including information for residents to enroll in a service through which a recyclable bin would be provided to them for a monthly fee through a private company. Thomas asked Clerk Dave Swager if it would be possible to include a flyer in a monthly bill.

He said it would. Taylor warned that it could open a door to possibly having other recyclers advertise in the bills.

Thomas said she believed Western was the only company that had residential recyling bins.

She said she would speak to the school district about the possibility of moving the bins across the street.

Thomas’ next item of discussion was meant to gauge the interest of the council toward reactivating a recreation board. She said she understood that, in the past, the board was mostly dedicated to a Rigby Recreation Center, but a new board could be to help bring cultural events.

Council President Doug Burke said that he believed the city should have city leagues for kids, that wouldn’t be as expensive to join. He said that leagues ran by members of the public cost around $75 per child, per sport, and less fortunate kids might be priced out of playing sports.

“You’re going to start to weed some of the kids out,” he said.

Burke said that organizers were making a lot of money off of the programs.

Olsen disagreed. He said that the programs are fine the way they are.

“Why do we want to get government involved in it?” he said.

Weight said that she would be open to revisiting a recreation board.

“I think it would be good to have that back,” she said.

Thomas said she would do some research on recreation boards and report back to the city council at a future meeting.

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