Public hearing will be held on smoke free Jensen Grove

BLACKFOOT — A proposal to make Jensen Grove a smoke-free recreation area is expected to be a hot topic and the Blackfoot city council moved, in Tuesday night's city council meeting, to hold a public hearing on the proposal in October.
Councilmen Butch Hulse and Christopher Jensen suggested designating smoke-free areas in the park; however, Blackfoot Mayor Mike Virtue said he fears this would simply be too hard to enforce. "It is going to be difficult to draw a line in the sand as to where people can smoke and where they can't and enforcement will be a concern," he said.
The council has been reviewing 'smoke free' ordinances from other cities to get ideas on how to make such an ordinance amicable for everyone.
Virtue also talked about a private enterprise recycling opportunity that is available to Blackfoot residents saying that Bingham Curbside Recycling will pick-up twice a month for just five dollars. Virtue emphasized, that while this is not a Blackfoot city project, he feels that the city can help boost the effort by letting residents know that recycling is available.
"It's a great idea and I think we should get behind the recycling campaign," said Councilman Hulse. "When I'm out and about in the community, I see the blue barrels and people are excited about it."
The council also approved the proposed city 'hen ordinance' that has been in the works since this spring, allowing city residents to have up to six hens (no roosters) as long as the chicken coop is in the back yard and 5 feet away from the property lines at all times.
Blackfoot City Attorney Daniel Acevedo read the highlights of a $4 million bond ordinance for a water project, which the board subsequently approved. The issuance of the water bond through the Department of Environmental Quality will help improve water systems throughout the city.
Virtue noted that new lighting will soon be installed around the popular Jensen Grove greenbelt so that people can walk safely in the evenings all year long.
"Jensen Grove has experienced tremendous usage all year long," he added. "We have been fortunate that this year's water supply has been good. There is still plenty of water and no word that we're going to get cut off anytime soon."