Rigby Urban Renewal considers possible areas for revitalization

Work on Main Street done by HK Construction, approved by the Urban Renewal Agency of Rigby, included the repair of sidewalks, the addition of lighting, trees and a power box to complete work from a previous project, which was originally completed in 2019.

The Rigby Urban Renewal Agency, or RURA, met July 16 to discuss upcoming projects and the possibilities for a new district in the city.

The Urban Renewal Agency is purposed with improving areas within a city that would benefit the economy as well as residents. Three options for a new area include the Highway 48 area, Rigby Lake and the south Rigby area.

Previously, Urban Renewal focused on the beautification of Main Street by putting in lights, trees and updating the curb as well as completing the playground area, Pirate Park, by the rodeo grounds.

Work along Main Street began again the week of July 13 to repair sidewalks, curbing, add lighting, a power box and trees, an area which Urban Renewal Chair Steve Abbott said was initially looked over when the project was originally completed.

“I’m not sure why it wasn’t done, but it could have something to do with the original design of Main Street,” Abbott said. “It wasn’t brought to our attention until Papa Murphy’s moved in and wanted to be included to make them feel more apart of the area. It will also help with the city Christmas lights.”

The RURA has approximately three and a half years to use funding for projects, which is financed through the state.

Before a new district can be decided, a feasibility study must be completed. A new district needs to create enough revenue to cover the study and several other expenses for the project to receive approval and begin.

According to Urban Renewal Chair Steve Abbott, a feasibility costs approximately $6,000.

The board also discussed improvements to barns and stalls at the rodeo grounds. Abbott stated that with barns in Idaho Falls and Rexburg closing their doors, Rigby has an opportunity to make money in terms of boarding.

Currently, three bids have been submitted from local contractors for the upgrade, Steve Cook from Rigby Parks and Rodeo said to the board.

Tolman stated the RURA board they would need to issue a written request outlining the work to be completed, according to the draft minutes, as each bid covered a different scope of work to be completed.

A motion was then approved to authorize a request for bids to be read at the August Urban Renewal meeting. The project will include the demolition of existing barns, the construction of a metal building including excavation, backfill and leveling as well as lights in the new barn.