Public to weigh in on Ada County services

Officials are looking a plan to deal with growth over the next 10 to 20 years.

BOISE - Idaho's most populated county is growing.

Data shows Ada County's population is now around 416,000 people.

To put that in perspective, the next largest county -- Canyon County -- is around 193,000 people.

And as more people move into Ada County and new developments pop up in the area, officials want to make sure they can keep up with the growth.

So they're proposing a plan that looks at growth over the next 10 to 20 years. And it's something they want you to weigh in on at the Ada County Courthouse tonight.

County officials are calling on residents to voice their vision for countywide services in the future. That's because the county says their ability to provide these functions is tied directly to population growth.

“The county is growing, Idaho is growing, Treasure Valley is growing, and that is one of our main concerns to keep up with county,” said Ada County public information officer Kate McGwire.

As the most populous region in Idaho continues to expand, Ada County officials are developing a plan to keep services at top quality and want to hear from the public.

Enter the Ada County 2025 Plan.

It will serve as a policy guide for the growth and development of the area over the next 10 to 20 years, and includes a wide range of county functions - one of them being providing enough open spaces and trails.

“Open space is very important to people,” said McGwire.

Sara Arkle, the Foothills Open Space and Senior Manager, says with more people moving to Ada County the amount of people recreating in open space and taking advantage of popular trails is likely to increase.

“The trails have come increasingly more popular and increasingly more connected, in the past decade our trail system has doubled and we are able to estimate that we get about 1 million user days of folks enjoying the trails,” said Arkle.

Weighing in on trails and open space are just some of the many topics the public is invited to comment on at tonight's meeting.

The Ada County 2025 Plan will also take the level of law enforcement, transportation, providing diverse job opportunities - among other services into consideration.

“We really encourage feedback because this is their county,” said McGwire. “We provide the services for the county, we want to make sure that the citizens who are living here are getting the services that they need and they feel that their voice is heard within the county.”

After public testimony is taken into consideration Thursday, the Ada County Planning and Zoning Commission will vote to approve or deny the plan.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the Ada County Courthouse.

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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