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Eagle State of the City: 'Growth has been a major issue'

Planning for growth is a top priority for Eagle.

EAGLE - The State of the City address for Eagle took place at Chateau Des Fleurs Wednesday afternoon.

Mayor Stan Ridgeway says the city has been experiencing a lot of growth and that's why it was a big focus of his address. Eagle has about 27,000 people right now. The mayor says one in four people living in the city moved has moved in since 2010.

Mayor Ridgeway says people move to Eagle for the space but then some of those same people don't like others doing the same thing.

"Growth has been a major issue and at every public hearing for a new subdivision people are concerned about the density, adding more houses in the farmer's field I thought would be vacant for as long as I lived here," said Ridgeway.

He says the city has developed a comprehensive plan to grow while still respecting that need for space and the rights of private property owners.

Mayor Ridgeway says the city is also focused on planning for depreciation. In the past, he says, some maintenance had to be put on hold because of funds.

"We're really trying to set up reserve accounts and to deal with the long term aspects of the city so we don't get in that situation again," said Ridgeway.

Mayor Ridgeway says now the city is saving for the future and that, he says, will help set the city up for success.

NOTE: Mayor Ridgeway's entire speech is included below:

State of the City 2018

Welcom to the 2,018 State of the City. I would like to thank everyone for coming today I would like to start with a few introductions.

City Council:

Stan Bastian, Council President, and the senior member of the council. Stan served as a council member from 1991 to 2,007 and was re-elected in 2,015.

Miranda Gold and Kenny Pittman were both elected this past November and took office January 9th.

Dr. Jill Mitchell, was appointed to fill the unexpired term of former council member Naomi Preston, Council Woman Mitchell’s two-year appointment will expire on January 2,020.

Former Elected City Officials --- Mayor Jim Reynolds, Mark Butler, Mary McFarland, Jason Pierce.

Ada County Commissioners:

Chairman Dave Case, Jim Tibbs and Rick Visser.

Ada County Sheriff:

Steve Bartlett

Ada County Highway District: (Pictures)

Chairperson Sara Baker, Rebecca Arnold, Jim Hansen, Kent Goldthrope and Paul Woods.

Director Bruce Wong.

The Eagle Sewer District

Board members – Chairman Erv Ballou, Jim Gruber, Johnny Bennett, Terry Lofuts and Tillie Reed.

General Manager, Lynn Moser

Eagle Fire Department:

Chairman Gary Stillwell and newly elected commissioners Brad Pike and Josh Tanner

Chief Rusty Coefelt

I would like to thank Mayors and County Commissioners from other cities and counties that are here today. The Treasurer Valley Partnership is an organization of elected officials representing cities and counties. It is an active and a wonderful organization for collaboration among elected official.

Also those participating in the program today:

The Eagle Chamber of Commerce for all of their work and coordination for the State of the City.

I want to thank Susan & Foad Roghani owners of Chateau de Flour for making this wonderful venue available for our community’s use.

The Eagle Police Department, the Eagle Fire Department and Boy Scout Troop 77 for a great job with the honor guard.

Nichole Pettenger-Christenson -- for the National Anthem

Pastor Brad Murphy -- for the Invocation

Our ushers today are members of Girl Scout Troop 590

And my wonderful wife Margie and ask her to stand.

We have a wonderful partnership between the City and the Chamber that makes this event


In your event tote you will find a program from the Chamber and an insert from the City. Some clarification for this year’s presentation might be helpful in explaining the partnership between the Chamber and the City.

This year the City Council and I wanted to use the yearly address to benefit a group of students who want to continue their education after high school. --- The focus the City and Chamber agreed on is an Arts and Vocational oriented scholarship program.

The Chamber and City are co-presenting the event with the Chamber following their historical process of producing the event and the City following a new process to ask community members to fund the scholarship program through donations.

We got a late start and have some overlap with sponsors, host and producers however the program has been well accepted by the community and we will polish our process next year.

When we first decided to reach out to the community about this new scholarship, we didn’t quite know what to expect. We were amazed to find that so many in our community willing to support non-traditional higher education, and how they transitioned into partnering with the City.

Including our Platinum donor Datum Construction. We are honored to have such a giving community and look forward to granting the first scholarships this fall.

Please refer to your program card insert for a full list of donors to this exciting new scholarship opportunity. To date the total scholarship amount is $7,240.

The City of Eagle just completed a 2 year process to update the City’s comprehensive plan. After a well attend public hearing the Council approved the plan and repealed all previous plans and updates on November 14, 2017.

During the process the City engaged over 15% of the City’s population and established a framework to ensure that the city is Healthy, Optimistic, Multi-faceted, and Economically Viable.

The Eagle is Home Plan sets forth the vision and goals for development from now through 2,040, inviting new residents who share our vision of high-quality of life and environmental stewardship to our city.

Today I want to touch on an area covered in the plan that draws by far the most questions and concerns from residents of Eagle. Private Property Rights!

Private property rights encompass not only the right to develop, invest, achieve and profit from property, but also the right to hold and enjoy property. As our population increases the opportunities for land use conflicts become greater. Property rights must balance the individual’s desire to “do whatever I want with my land” with a respect for the rights of neighboring owners.

The 5th Amendment of the United States Constitution as well as the Idaho Constitution ensure that private property rights are protected. Following the guidelines set out in the City’s comprehensive plan states.

Land use policies, restrictions, conditions and fees of the City of Eagle should not, violate private property rights, adversely impact property values or create unnecessary technical limitations on the use of property as prescribed under Idaho Code.

This community wide planning process brought forth a new brand for the City of Eagle:


HOME being an abbreviation of 4 key aspirations for our community: Healthy, Optimistic, Multi-faceted and Economically Viable. Today I will focus on these aspirations as we move closer to implementing and achieving them.

Eagle is --- Healthy:

Eagle Continues to be a growing community and as we sit on the cusp of a population of 30,000 we look at how healthy growth is benefiting our community. 4

In 2,017 - the city grew by nearly 13%. We issued 670 residential building permits, exceeding our highest year on record of 512 in 2,005 - and 26 New commercial permits more than our previous high of 23 just the year before.

The City will continue to grow as the region grows. The City’s 2,040 forecasted population is 73K as the region approaches over 1 million. Eagle will not be the fastest growing City and our goal is to ensure that we have a high quality of life that is based in environmental stewardship.

Did you know that 1 in 4 people living in Eagle today have moved here since 2,010. Roughly 9 people move to Eagle each day.

Eagle currently has two major health care facilities, St. Als and St. Lukes and an excellent health care provider network. We hope that in the future at least one of our major facilities will become a full hospital facility.

The City continues to work toward enhancing our community through infrastructure upgrades and investment:

Eagle’s Municipal Water System: Is expanding to ensure we maintain local control and oversite of water. In 2,017 the water department expanded to 35 miles of trunk lines. As new subdivisions come on line our continuous loop system and interties with other water providers will improve water delivery. The City continues to be committed to providing quality water service to our residents.

Eagle is and has been a Tree City USA participate for more than 25 years. Last year a new tree rebate program was established refunding over $6,500 back to Eagle residents for planting trees. Visit the City Web Site to learn more about the rebate program.

The Eagle Community Fund was created as a permanent endowment that has grown to a point allows distribution each year from earned interest. The distribution supports charitable needs in the community on an annual basis. The distribution in 2,017 supported programing at Eagle Schools and the Eagle Library.

The Leaf Bag Distribution Program provided over 3,500 paper leaf bags in exchange for a food donation, 1,160 pounds of food was delivered to the food bank directly benefitting Eagle residents in need.

Specialty Recycling - Eagle is one of the few Cities in the treasurer valley that provides glass recycling. The City provides local hazardous waste collection site for residents. Glass recycling has continued to grow year after year.

Curb Side Recycling started in Eagle in 2,010 utilizing rolling blue cart receptacles. The single stream recycle carts will continue to be used however, changes are underway which will limit the items accepted in the containers. Market conditions have limited items to 1 and 2 plastics, cardboard & dry food boxes as well as tin and aluminum cans. The City continues to be committed to recycling.

Between leaf bag distribution, glass recycling and hazardous waste collection the city spent over $40,000 providing this level of service to our residents.

Eagle is --- Optimistic:

This year the City hosted numerous community events including: EggXtravaganza, the Eagle Saturday Market, the Thursday Night Concert Series, Eagle Fun Days including the Wet and Wild Parade, the Harvest Festival, & Eagle Country Christmas.

We continue to invest in programing for our community including programs offered by the Eagle Historical Museum such as the popular Detroit Rip Wrap tour. Last year nearly 1,500 people participated in 241 programs and 22 different youth camp sessions.

The Eagle Library had almost 200,000 guests visit this past year and increased items loaned by over 12% with almost 25,000 people attending classes offered at the library. New initiatives underway are: the Ultimate Bookworm, Virtual Reality Thursdays and Video Gaming.

Winter and Spring of 2,017 gave us a few challenges between Snow-magedon and the record flooding on the Boise River. The City was busy addressing the health and safety needs of the community.

The floods of 2,017 damaged the Laguna Trail, the Mace Trail and many of our River Banks as you can see these pictures. We are working with State and Federal disaster relief agencies to ensure that all disaster relief funding available to the City is utilized.

The City continues to promote public art through our Arts Commission. Projects undertaken were traffic box wraps, monthly displays of local artist work at City Hall and St. Luke’s galleries. They hosted activities at Eagle’sCountry Christmas and awarded funding for artistic events and music projects.

Eagle is --- Multi-faceted:

Historically the City of Eagle has been seen as a bedroom community but as we grow we are becoming more multi-faceted. As the city is nestled between the Boise River and the Eagle Foothills. -- Businesses looking for a strong sense of place and connection to the natural environment --- are finding their home in Eagle. 6

The City is poised for business expansion with a highly educated work force with nearly half the residents over age 25 have a Bachelor’s degree.

In 2,017 - the City issued 607 business licenses.

Some notable businesses coming to and expanding in Eagle include:

T-Sheets Family Pool and Spa

Lamb Weston The West Side Body Works

The Eagle Tennis Club

The Eagle Commercial and Business sectors are growing and we are encouraged by an increase in non-residential property values over the past year. Further, the comprehensive plan set a goal of increasing land available for commercial use.

As growth brings jobs and opportunities for the City to expand --- and provide living opportunities that once could only happen in larger cities. With a regional rental vacancy rate of less than 3% the City has taken the opportunity to expand rental housing within the community. Some of the projects include:

Eagle Lakes Apartment Complex.

Heron Edge Apartment Complex.

Cottonwood Meadows – is designed for 55 and older residents.

These projects will bring activity to Downtown Eagle and expands housing opportunities for people working or downsizing in the Eagle Community.

Eagle is --- Economically Viable:

Eagle Boast a very strong economic climate:

Our average annual household income is over $81,000 --- nearly 30% higher than Ada County as a whole. 1 in 4 households in Eagle make more than $150,000 a year.

The City Continues to focus on how to provide services in the most cost-effective manner. Our goal is to keep the fiscal impact and liability for businesses and residents in check while providing for the on-going operations of the City and protecting our quality of life.

Eagle continues to host one of the lowest levy rates in the state and we do this by partnering with other jurisdictions to provide high quality services.

Those of you who are new to Eagle might be interested to know that our City is set-up and operates a little differently from other Cities in Idaho and states which you may have migrated from.


The City of Eagle does not operate the Eagle Fire District, the Eagle Sewer District and Eagle’s Streets are under the jurisdiction of the Ada County Highway District commonly known as (ACHD).

The three other taxing districts just mentioned and the City work hand-in-hand to provide seamless services to residents at a cost-effective manner. While we don’t control these agencies we see these organizations as Partners who make Eagle what it is today through a close and positive working relationship.

Also, the Eagle Police Department is established as a contract with the Ada County Sheriff’s Office. The partnership with the Sheriff’s Office provides excellent services to our residents by allowing us to provide increased services and utilize the Sheriff’s office as a resource.

Looking to the Future: 2,018 continues to bring exciting opportunities for the City. Some projects under way are:

Dry Creek Trail and Underpass: ---The City through our contractor, Knife River, began construction of the project a few days ago.

The Dry Creek Pathway and Underpass will link two existing pathways, the Dry Creek Pathway north of Old State Street to the Greenbelt pathway on the south side of Highway 44 at the Eagle Nazarene Church.

The Project includes a tunnel under Highway 44 the City received federal funding for the majority of the project costs. The project is scheduled to be completed this summer.

Some additional projects include:

Eagle Road Pedestrian/Bike Bridge: The City partnered with Walk/Bike Eagle, COMPASS and ITD to complete a development plan for the installation a pedestrian bridge parallel to highway 55 at the north channel of the Boise River.

The City has earmarked $315,000 toward engineering and construction of the bridge and is currently seeking federal funding to advance this project.

Construction on the Palmetto Street Extension is anticipated as part of a public/private partnership with the City, the Urban Renewal Agency, Eagle Fire and the Landowner.

The City and the URA completed the purchase of a remnant piece of property that was needed to finalize the alignment and connection to Plaza Drive.

Highway 44 Road Pedestrian Crossing: The City is working with ITD, Compass and landowners for either an overpass or underpass, pedestrian and bicycle crossing of Highway-44 connecting Downtown Eagle to the Eagle River Development area.

This project would increase options for anyone crossing highway-44 to public schools, grocery facilities, restaurants and more. The City has earmarked funding for preliminary development and design.

Many residents see this as a must for connecting two parts of our city divided by a busy highway-44.

The City is currently in the design phase for the Aiken Street extension. This extension will extend from Eagle Road to 2nd avenue. Currently this is a dead-end street however, the project will provide another through connection for downtown Eagle.

A few years ago the City of Eagle accepted a gift from the Merrill family, a 8’ tall rooster. The rooster that was used as a sign for the Egg Farm, it was reconditioned before being presented to the City.

There were several ideas on how the City could display SPARKY the Rooster. The Arts Commission recommended a Chicken Coop and the appropriate place for the Coop was of course Merrill Park.

The Men’s Ministry at the Eagle’s Seven Day Adventist Church volunteered to construct the coop and the City furnished the material. Stay tuned for the announcement of the official dedication and ribbon cutting. Thanks to the Men’s Ministry, the Merrill family and the Arts Commission.

An agreement was signed with a local non-profit association to construct a radio-controlled race car track at the Ada/Eagle sports complex. The track will utilize the velodrome excavation site.

The Ada County Board of Commissioners and the City worked on a joint project at the sports complex to construct a restroom and concession facility at the southern most end of the complex. This facility will be open to all users.

Approximately a year ago we established a public works department and hired a director. The Public Works department is charged with the care and upkeep of City owned facilities including parks, City hall and other buildings, and with managing our fleet.

During the recession and economic downturn of the mid –2000’s, many of the City’s facilities were placed into a deferred maintenance mode.

Irrespective of how or why things happen, the City through our public works department will be addressing numerous issues including deferred maintenance, and the replacement of facility equipment and amenities.

If you have been to Guerber Park lately you will see that a construction fence has been installed. The Splash Pad and Play Ground equipment is being replaced. In the past when this equipment had a maintenance issue a patchwork repair was done.

Repairing the equipment is no longer possible. Past inaction has impacted the safety, efficiency and operation of the facility. The only solution is to install a new environmental and energy efficient splash pad and establish a rigorous maintenance and repair schedule.

This example is only one of many deferred maintenance issues that have plagued our City’s infrastructure over the past decade.

Our public works department is addressing these issues systematically and will recommend to the City Council during the next budget cycle a funding mechanism to deal with these issues.

Mayors Award:

The Mayors Award this year goes to two people who in my opinion make Eagle a better place to live, work and play. Their spirit and community involvement adds strength to the slogan - Eagle is Home.

The first award goes to a person who has been an Advocate and Promoter of reasonable, measured and rational fees and taxes for our community. Bob Van Arnem

Although Bob doesn’t always agree with proposals or decisions of the City he is always willing to engage the Council with a clearly articulated rational argument, and always has a smile on his face afterwards. Bob is active in all AREAS OF GOVERNMENT WITHIN Eagle, he often attends fire commission meetings and urban renewal agency meetings in addition to city council meetings. Bob’s eagle eye was helpful a couple of years ago in pointing out to the City that changes to the refuse services were not allowed according to contract.

Bob Van Arnem, and his wife Beverly relocated to bench area of Banbury in Eagle from Cincinnati, Ohio in 1989 long before Banbury Golf Course was built. The population of Eagle at that time was 3,300. They wanted a Ranch but settled on an acre of land to build their home.

Bob earned a Bachelors Degree from the University of Cincinnati and a Masters from Miami of Ohio.

Early during his education Bob was a political science major and according to Beverly the political science education gave him a lifelong interest in the mechanics of government.

During college Bob worked at Wendy’s and later became a corporate executive for the franchise he has also worked as a school teacher.

Bob’s hobbies include: Model Railroading and Western Movies. In fact, it is through his enjoyment of Westerns that he decided to leave the MidWest and move out West.

I am not sure if he still owns one but on two different occasions he rode a Triumph motor cycle solo from Cincinnati to the West Coast and back.

It is with pleasure to present this award to Bob and thank him for his community advocacy on behalf of Eagle Residents.


Our next recipient is a woman who has been an advocate for rural communities and proactive communication between the City and the residents of the area of impact. Pak Minkiewicz or affectionately known as Pat Mink and to many in the community as Pat the Neighbor.

Pat and her husband Vince moved to Eagle in 1998 buying property in Buckhorn Estates (Eagle’s Impact Area). Pat relocated from Saratoga, California after retiring in 1996 from teaching 4th and 5th grade in the San Jose, area. Pat has a BA from San Fernando Valley College and also studied at U.C. Berkeley.

She became actively involved in HOA issues, and really started her community involved in the overall Eagle community around 2,005.

She has been a strong voice for the rural community has been active in the North Ada County Foothills Association and the Friends of Beacon Light Road. She has been a voice for the preservation of the rural aspects of Eagle including water issues, traffic issues, and so much more.

Additionally, she is a former member and chair of the Eagle Communications Committee. Many of us see Pat the Neighbor as a conduit of information about what is going on in and around Eagle, she is a strong advocate for responsible development, and worked tirelessly during the M3/Spring Valley review and approval process and is a very strong advocate for keeping the area North of Beacon Light rural and ensuring that transition areas South of Beacon Light are upheld. Currently she is involved in the oil and gas ordinance discussions.

It is with great admiration and pleasure to present this award to Pat and a big thanks for your involvement in our community.


I would like to give a special thanks to our IT department – Devonte and John and Tammy in the Mayors Office for their work on the state of the city.

It is through the dedicated efforts of our citizens, volunteers, elected officials and staff that Eagle continues to be the place so many take pride in calling HOME.

Thank you’ll for coming! ---- It is an honor to be your Mayor!