REXBURG, Idaho — As individuals across the nation set personal goals to workout more, spend less and eat healthier, Rexburg Mayor Jerry Merrill is setting some of his own resolutions for the city of Rexburg.
“We have a lot of exciting things going on,” Jerry Merrill, Mayor of Rexburg, told KID NewsRadio. “We’re trying to focus on efficiency and better processes, you know, so that we can be, you know, efficient with the taxpayer money and we want to be more business friendly so that when businesses come, developers and things like that come to town that we have good processes that are easy for them to navigate.”
As part of that effort to improve the city’s efficiency, Merrill said the city is looking at rolling back some of the city’s regulations and ordinances to create a better environment for businesses and developers.
“We’ve had in our downtown area, we’ve had limits on how tall buildings can be and things like that, and we’re looking at relaxing some of those limits because we realize that in our downtown area, there’s going to want to be taller buildings than what we have now,” Merrill said. “We’re just looking at things like that to be able to give people a little more freedom to do what they need to do to build businesses.”
Residents can look forward to more opportunities for fun in Rexburg too. Merrill said the city is creating spaces and places for families and individuals to take advantage of the winter weather. Sledding, skiing and eventually ice skating are on the list of local outdoor activities residents can expect in 2019.
“This summer we built up kind of a new sledding hill out there at the Teton Lakes golf course.” Merrill said. “We groomed trail out there that people come from all over the place to cross country ski on and they can ski all around the golf course…it’s going to be really fun place for people for, you know, to enjoy the winter instead of just instead of just suffering through it,” Merrill said. “We want people to be able to get outside and enjoy the winter weather and have a good time with their families and stuff.”
Safety is also on the city’s resolution list. As cities around east Idaho continue to pass ordinance banning cell phone use while driving, Merrill said he’s watching the upcoming legislative session in Boise to determine whether Rexburg will pursue a similar ordinance.
“There’s been some discussion from a city council members about considering that one of the things that we have actually talked about is even visiting with our state legislators and seeing if there’s any interest in doing that as a statewide initiative,” Merrill said. “We don’t see a reason for us to move forward with if the state is interested in doing it…but if the state doesn’t look like they’re going to take something like that up, then we’d probably, we’ll discuss it and talk about whether we want to enforce that in Rexburg or not.”
But, Merrill’s number one resolution for Rexburg involves cultivating a friendly community environment. As society continues to increase in bitterness and bickering, he said, Rexburg should be a safe haven filled with civil discourse and understanding.
“Rexburg is known as America’s Family Community, and we try to really promote that, you know, our family values,” Merrill said. “My number one goal is to encourage civil discourse and to treat each other with love and respect. That’s kind of my number one personal goal, just to make Rexburg known as a place or to help Rexburg be known as a place where, you know, we can talk about different things without getting angry or mad at each other and we can show love and respect to each other just keep Rexburg a really awesome place to live and to raise families.”