Senate President Pro Tempore Brent Hill

Former Senate President Pro Tempore Brent Hill speaks with a Post Register reporter at Rudd and Company in Rexburg.

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The Rexburg City Council honored former Senate President Pro Tempore Brent Hill Wednesday night and presented him with a key to the city.

Rexburg Mayor Jerry Merrill also gave Hill a blanket with the city logo and a card that said “thank you for going above and beyond and below and sideways,” on behalf of the city.

“Julie’s (Hill’s wife) the one who deserves all this,” Hill said. “I’ll let her keep the key to the city. She’s the one who made all the sacrifices, I just had a wonderful adventure.”

Hill served in the Idaho Senate for 19 years under four different governors and with 55 different senators. He was the 40th President Pro Tempore of the Idaho Senate from 2010-2020.

“When we first started this, we had four grandchildren. Now we have 21,” Hill said. “A first-class postage stamp was 34 cents. Things have changed over the years and hopefully some things have changed for the better as well.”

Merrill announced that Hill and his wife sold their home and would be moving to Utah to spend more time with family, which prompted the decision to give him a key to the city.

“We appreciate … the 19 years you spent in the legislature representing Rexburg and serving Idaho,” Merrill said.

Later during the meeting, the council approved a budget adjustment adding $30,000 into the Parks and Recreation department’s construction fund. The adjustment would cover a smaller project at Nature Park to replace playground equipment.

Councilwoman Tisha Flora said the project would cover the cost to add a swing set to nature park, as well as the surrounding landscaping costs near the swing set site.

The city received $10,000 from a CHC grant for the project. The remaining $20,000 will be transferred from the general fund contingency, which would leave $67,600 remaining in contingency for fiscal year 2021.

Chief Finance Officer Matt Nielson said the budget adjustment for the project would allow the city to carryover a total of $110,000 for a future and more extensive playground equipment project at Nature Park.