FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Contact: Adam Park
208-384-4402 | apark@cityofboise.org

City of Boise introduces proposal to improve neighborhood safety, parks, and natural areas

The City of Boise today announced a series of projects to enhance public safety and improve emergency response services; to protect critical natural areas, wildlife habitat and clean water; and to improve and expand parks in underserved neighborhoods.

The City will present the bond package to the public at three open houses on August 19, 21, and 22 at locations throughout Boise.

“We should be proud of the City we have today, but if we are to maintain our safety and our livability we must make critical investments in our future,” Mayor David Bieter said. “We have the best firefighters in the country, but their training facilities and fire stations are so old and out-of-date they fail to meet the National Fire Protection Associations minimum standards. We can’t turn our backs on the people who watch ours.  We have a responsibility to provide the tools they need to protect us.”

As Boise has grown, its fire facilities are no longer located or equipped to best protect the neighborhoods around them. The proposal seeks to improve emergency response by investing approximately $18.35 million to upgrade or replace four aging fire stations and build a new fire training facility. The proposal also calls for the construction of a central police district to improve emergency response times, increase downtown safety, and maximize the amount of time police have to patrol neighborhoods to keep residents safe.

The package includes $10 million for preservation of open space in the Boise Foothills and other natural areas. Building on the success of the 2001 Foothills Serial Levy, the proposal would allow Boise to continue to protect wildlife habitat, clean water supplies, and recreational opportunities for children and families.

“Open space plays a clear role in protecting our clean water,” Council member Lauren McLean said. “From the Foothills to the Boise River, our natural areas protect our watershed and maintain the delicate balance of our high desert environment. We have a responsibility to be good stewards, maintaining a legacy we can be proud of for our children and grandchildren.”

The proposal calls for approximately $5.5 million to purchase or develop three new parks and add neighborhood park components to three existing sites on the Boise Bench and in west and southwest Boise – areas that currently are underserved according to the City’s standards for neighborhood parks

“Giving our children greater access to parks and natural areas and teaching them the importance of staying healthy through physical exercise ensures that the things that make Boise such a wonderful place to live are passed on and protected for generations to come,” Council President Maryanne Jordan said.

The $34 million bond package would cost the average homeowner around $13 per year.

The City will present more details on the proposed projects at three open houses:

  • Monday, August 19, 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    MORLEY NELSON COMMUNITY CENTER
    7701 W. Northview St., Boise
  • Wednesday, August 21, 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    GRACE JORDAN COMMUNITY CENTER
    6411 W. Fairfield Ave., Boise
  • Thursday, August 22, 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    BOISE CITY HALL – 3rd Floor Council Chambers
    150 N. Capitol Blvd., Boise

Any residents who are unable to attend the public open houses can submit comments to the Mayor and City Council at MayorandCouncil@CityofBoise.org or by calling the Mayor’s Office at 208-384-4422.

Following the public process, the City Council will consider whether to place the proposed package on the November ballot.

Mayor Bieter introduced these priorities at his 2013 State of the City address in June. An analysis conducted by the city revealed that construction of the Bown Crossing Library in Southeast Boise and expansion of the Hillcrest Library could be funded using existing city resources, prompting the city to not include those projects in the bond proposal. Mayor Bieter has committed to begin construction on these library projects within a year to 18 months. All branch libraries have been funded using existing city resources.

“One of Boise’s greatest strengths is our tremendous livability -– but we must take steps to maintain and enhance it,” Mayor Bieter said. “By making this investment in our future, we’ll create a legacy that improves our property values, creates jobs and makes Boise an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.”

If approved, construction of new facilities would incorporate energy efficiency and water conservation measures. A full list of the proposed projects is attached.