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2 Treasure Valley cities ranked among the nation's top boomtowns

Meridian's biggest challenge, according to city officials, is keeping up with the growth.
Credit: Idaho Press
A sign indicating a two-hour parking zone hangs along North Main Street in downtown Meridian.

MERIDIAN, Idaho — Two of the Treasure Valley's fast-growing cities were ranked among the nation's top-ranked boomtowns in a report conducted by SmartAsset.

In the rankings, Meridian was tied for third place while Nampa was ranked second, which city leaders said is an indicator that they're reaching their goals.

"Business growth and that's really what we are looking forward to do and as the former president of the Chamber of Commerce, business is important to me, it's important to all communities, to grow jobs, to grow wages and that's an indication that we actually did what we were hoping to do," Nampa Mayor Debbie Kling told KTVB on Wednesday.

According to the latest U.S. Census data, Nampa's population has grown by more than 15% in the last five years. In the last 30 years, Nampa has added more than 72,000 residents. However, all of that rapid growth hasn't been without its challenges.

"One of the greatest challenges we have to deal with growth is the roads and infrastructure, its transportation and we hear that all the time and we have a lot of citizens that are saying 'stop growth,'" Kling said. "To raise wages the livable wages for our citizens is so critical and that's the direction we want to go."

Over in the City of Meridian, what was a little village has become a major city has grown by 31% in the last five years. Meridian's biggest challenge, according to city officials, is keeping up with the growth.

"We are seeing a lot of growth because people like Meridian, like what we stand for, like what we are doing and it's kind of proof of the pudding of situation so it's amazing what we are seeing now," said Cameron Arial, the city's community development director.

While the median home price in Ada County has slightly decreased by 2% in October, a $530,000 home is something few can afford.

"We really do need to continue to attract good quality businesses that pay high family waged jobs, that's really our focus," Arial said.

Nampa Mayor Kling said the challenge is maintaining growth while avoiding density.

"We get a lot of people that say not in my back yard and they do not want density," she said. "Which makes it very challenging, but job growth is such positive growth and we are going to be assessing that job growth and ensuring that we have appropriate housing for the jobs that we have and their wages."

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