Mayor Bieter ready to look to Boise's future

Mayor Bieter ready to look to Boise's future

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by Stephanie Zepelin and KTVB.COM

Bio | Email | Follow: @ktvbstephanie

KTVB.COM

Posted on June 12, 2013 at 11:01 PM

Updated Saturday, Dec 14 at 6:16 PM

BOISE -- Mayor Dave Bieter introduced nearly $50 million in improvements he'd like to make Wednesday at Boise's annual State of the City address.

Bieter said Boise has done well weathering the economic downturn. Now, the mayor is ready to look to the future. In his State of the City address, Bieter told folks he wants to make up to $50 million in improvements, starting with public safety.

"The mayor feels strongly that we just can't turn our back on those who are watching ours," said Adam Park, from the Mayor's Office.

Mayor Bieter said the Boise Police Department needs a downtown precinct, and there might be new fire stations.

"As the city's grown, some of the fire stations that we have aren't necessarily situated in the best locations relative to where the population is," Park said.

Growth in different parts of the city can make response times longer for some folks.

Bieter also wants to create more parks in West Boise.

"There are very few parks relative to the amount of population that lives out there as compared to other parts of the city," said Park.

In 2001, Boise voters approved a foothills levy to protect open space.

"Since then, it's been enormously successful," said Park. "They've preserved over 10,000 acres, valued at over $34 million using just $10 million of an initial investment."

Park said open spaces are part of the "way of life" in Boise, and this is an opportunity to expand the city's property in the foothills.

"So the mayor is proposing that we add another $10 million to that as part of this package to allow us to save even more space that remains at risk," Park said.

The city plans to run bonds to get the $40 to $50 million for these projects, but before they do that they're forming a stakeholder group and asking for public feedback.

The city estimates the average homeowner would pay slightly less than $20 a year if these proposals passed.

The city wants to run bonds for all of these projects on the same ballot. However, they have not yet decided whether each project will have it's own bond, or if they will be voted on as a group of bonds.

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