Today, a press conference was held to announce an initiative to merge the cities of Pocatello and Chubbuck.
Former Idaho legislator Evan Frasure says, "So, you have business owners and they see this squabble, this civil war between Pocatello and Chubbuck, it's a job killer. They are not coming into this mess."
Former Idaho legislator Evan Frasure says high taxes and a fight between the cities of Pocatello and Chubbuck over the sewage from the North Gate development is scaring off big businesses from moving into the area.
At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, he announced an initiative that could solve that problem.
Frasure says, "This is to create one city. The One City Committee."
The idea of merging the two cities has floated around for years, and two locals may help get the initiative on a future ballot.
Pocatello City Council President Jim Johnston says, "To cut taxes in a big way and that would be to combine the cities of Pocatello and Chubbuck, so that the people would be able to eliminate some of the duplicate services and some of the things that are not necessarily needed when you have one city rather than two."
Merging the two cities could lead to lowering taxes in the region. Frasure says an undisclosed third party has been hired to prove that notion.
If it's true, another local says he will back getting the initiative on the ballot (which could possibly be as early as next spring) for voters to decide. It would take a simple majority of voters in each city to pass.
Pocatello City Council candidate Donald Zebe says,
"If the numbers make sense, there is duplication where we can save the taxpayers money, and in essence, reduce the taxes. Hypothetically, it makes sense, but we have to look at the analysis in black and white."
According to Frasure, a second press conference will be held when that analysis is complete. And for those who may back the initiative when the numbers come in, it's not just about the taxes.
Zebe says, "I want to be able to wake up every morning and know that I've done something so that the citizens of our community know that their adult children have the opportunity to come back to Pocatello and have a great-paying job."
During the news conference, Evan Frasure made some strong statements against the mayors of Chubbuck and Pocatello. A video of the press conference, in its entirety, is on the KPVI News YouTube channel. Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDMzqqmGsww