BOISE – Tuesday at the Boise City Council meeting, members voted unanimously to put two bonds on the November 5 ballot.
The first bond would help preserve open space, and create and expand parks, while the second bond would improve fire stations and create a firefighter training center.
In August, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter unveiled what is now a $32.4 million bond proposal that he says will enhance public safety, improve and expand city parks, and protect natural areas, wildlife habitat and clean water.
Bieter said his office has been working on this list of projects for several years, and that improving public safety and adding parks and open space will be needed for Boise's future.
"We found that some very important needs of the city, capital needs, we could not address with our existing revenues, said Bieter earlier this summer.
The plan would involve the construction of a new training facility for firefighters, and it would also include rebuilding or remodeling three fire stations, while relocating another station.
Bieter has called for a new central district police station downtown, but that will not be on the ballot. Instead, the mayor recommends funding the $1.95 million project at a later date with existing city revenues. A memo from the mayor's office to the council notes that a specific site has not been secured. Even if that station is built, the current headquarters in West Boise will stay open.
Supporters said these bonds are important to the future of Boise.
Before the city council vote, around 60 people gathered outside Boise City Hall to voice their support for both bonds.
“The reason I'm supporting this bond is because I believe in investing in Boise,” said Hollis Brookover, co-founder of Yes Yes Boise.
“We have to make sure our house is in order, think about the future, and make sure we're prepared for the opportunities that may arise,” said Brookover.
Those in attendance at the meeting applauded after the council's unanimous vote to put the bonds on the ballot.
If voters approve in November, the bond is estimated to cost the average homeowner around $12 per year.