Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Contact: Mike Journee
208-384-4402 |

City finalizes bond package; average homeowner cost drops to $12 a year

The Boise City Council today accepted Mayor David Bieter’s recommended adjustments to a bond proposal to enhance public safety, increase access to open space, and provide more park services in underserved areas.

The Mayor’s recommendations included: 1) removal of the Central District police station from the proposed package; 2) adjustment of the project totals for fire facilities to allow for a possible increase in construction costs; and 3) separation of the bond proposal into two questions for voters, the first on fire safety, the second on parks and open space.

“The proposed Police Central District is a vital project that must be completed to allow Boise Police to continue their successful implementation of community policing practices, Mayor Bieter wrote in memo to the City Council. “ However, given that we have yet to secure a specific site for the project and that the additional $1.95 million in impact fees may not be readily available when needed following passage of the bond, I recommend that this project not be included in the final bond proposal.”  Removing the Central District station reduces the bond total by $1.95 million.

Citing Boise’s rebounding construction market, the Mayor proposed that $547,000 in funds be added to the proposed fire safety projects to ensure the projects can be completed in in an environment with higher-than-expected construction costs.

Taken together, these two adjustments to the proposed package drop the total cost of the proposal from $33,831,975 to $32,430,000. The cost to the average homeowner decreases from around $13 to around $12 per household per year.

The Mayor’s final recommendation was to respond to the requests from multiple citizens asking that the bond categories be separated into separate questions for voters, the first seeking authorization for fire protection services; the second seeking authorization for parks and open space.

“In terms of the benefits they bring to the community, parks and open space play similar roles. As one neighborhood representative said to me at a recent meeting, ‘Parks are open space.’ I agree and think that it makes sense that parks and open space be considered as one item.”

The Council directed staff to draft an ordinance to place the proposed bond initiative on the ballot this November 5. The proposed ordinance will be placed on the agenda for approval at the September 10 council meeting.

View the revised bond presentation