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Rockland mayor steps down, looks back at accomplishments

The Power County Press of American Falls, Idaho

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Tuesday's election is over, and while the results were in too late to put in this week's print edition, one familiar face will not be returning to local government: Rockland Mayor Eddy Hansen.

Hansen has stepped down to let someone else at the reins after eight years as Rockland's mayor and three years on the city council.

"It's been good," he said about his time as mayor, though adding sometimes there were tough issues. "It's been 95 percent good."

He really felt the city could be helped by his expertise when he ran. Hansen works as a field technician for the civil engineering firm Keller and Associates.

"I work with a lot of other cities with my job. I thought I could help Rockland," he said. "I had an insider's scoop."

He points to several accomplishments he made since serving as mayor

Not long after being sworn in, the city faced an issue that was right up a civil engineer's alley. The Environmental Protection Agency fined the city $14 million for having a wastewater treatment system that was out of compliance. The city resolved the issue by making a treatment pond used to water an alfalfa field, and did not have to pay the fine.

Since becoming mayor, he and City Clerk Denise Ralphs netted over a million dollars in grant funds. He worked with the USDA to net funds for the city, and helped lower water rates $20 for every 50,000 gallons of water used. Since he was mayor, streets have been chip sealed. The American Legion building was updated and now can be used for events. The city is close to paving Shoshone Street, he said.

"We definitely did a lot," he said.

He also said he ran originally to make sure ordinances were followed. That is why the city has the ordinances he said, and just because a city is small, does not mean it is lawless.

He is disappointed that he did not get to accomplish a goal that he still feels the city needs: a pressurized ditch system. That was something he campaigned on originally, but other projects, such as the EPA fine, took precedence while he was in office. Another project he started but was unable to finish is the revitalization of Main Street in Rockland.

He thanked Ralphs for her service, as well as city mechanic Jim Kariger. He also thanked all the city council members who have served since he was mayor, and the former mayors, many of whom paved the way for changes they made under his leadership, he said.

He does not have any future plans, but is looking forward to a breather from public life, he said.

Copyright 2015 The Power County Press, American Falls, Idaho. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: November 4, 2015

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