September 30, 2022
Pocatello Is Well Positioned for the Future
By: Speaker Scott Bedke, Republican Nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Idaho
My campaign for Lieutenant Governor has taken me all over the state of Idaho in the past few months. I’ve had an opportunity to see firsthand the rapid growth of our state, and have talked to local leaders and residents about how this growth is affecting their homes, businesses and everyday lives. We can all point to the problems inherent in this kind of “boom town” growth, but we also must admit that it presents us with unique opportunities and unquestionable benefits.
I just finished a visit to Pocatello and am heartened and encouraged by what’s happening in this southeastern hub. The city already boasts Idaho State University, the Idaho Museum of Natural History, and Zoo Idaho – but plans are in the works for even more exciting developments. I was impressed not only with the development plans, but also with the foresight local leaders are exhibiting in their efforts to invest in sensible, sustainable growth.
Work on the I-86/I-15 interchange will reduce traffic congestion for the locals while opening a new artery that should increase access for tourists and the revenue they produce. Expansion of the Pocatello Regional Airport is underway, under the direction of a contractor who believes in using “made in America” products. As in so many other areas of the state, new housing developments are sprouting up, which will help alleviate the ongoing and increasing demand for affordable housing.
Despite all the growth and development, Pocatello manages to maintain its small-town feel and spirit. For instance, they have just unveiled plans for a new town square/event hub which will provide a focal point for community activities and events that will shore up their reputation as a great Idaho city. As a fourth-generation cattle rancher from Oakley, a town of roughly 900 people, I appreciate those efforts because I know that small towns are the backbone of America. They provide the perfect environment to live and raise a family, and Pocatello is just such a place.
Idaho has been discovered and a certain amount of growth is inevitable. But none of us wants to wake up in ten years and wonder what became of our beloved state. That’s why I tip my hat to the leaders of Pocatello as they move into the future with an eye toward innovation and development while jealously guarding their local history. With effective leadership like this in our local communities, Idaho will remain a place we can be proud to call home.