Meridian is the geographic, employment, and residential “Center of Gravity” for the Treasure Valley. Growth will happen in our community and in the areas surrounding us which means there will be impacts we can control and others we cannot. As growth happens it needs to occur responsibly and meet our community’s expectations for quality. That means the city, our government partners, the development community, and residents all need to be on the same page and working together as outlined in our Comprehensive Plan. If we aren’t working together growth will be pushed to other communities and Meridian will still likely deal with the impacts from growth. Addressing growth in a responsible manner is a major priority for my administration.
As the center of the Treasure Valley, all roads lead through Meridian – and on them most of the traffic. We have a great working relationship with our transportation partners at the Ada County Highway District and the Idaho Transportation Department that have led to needed projects being completed in the community, but there is much more to do. I have worked to identify our priorities and encourage our transportation and development partners to accelerate the completion of road projects. Current priorities include the overpass at Linder Road which is currently being designed and safe connections to Owyhee High School and Discovery Park. As Mayor I will continue to focus on transportation needs to address our roads and infrastructure needs with local solutions.
Our Public Works Department continues to investment in water and sewer infrastructure with more than $100 million in projects completed over the last several years. This has been done without incurring any debt and will allow us to meet the regulatory requirements of the Federal government. We are well poised well for the foreseeable future and the staff are passionate about what they do and are constantly striving to improve the service to the community by eliminating odors and issues concerning our water and wastewater system. Further we have advanced work to focus on investments in our water quality and continues to take steps to ensure that Meridian’s future water supply needs are well protected.
Having opened fire station six in 2020, I have pushed to advance needed additional stations and am proud to say that stations seven and eight are under construction and plan to open in the fall of 2023. With a more urban and vertical style of development being built, I continue to ensure that our fire fighters have the necessary equipment to protect them and allow them to do their job. With this changing landscape, including increasing calls for service that are medical related, it is important that we are focusing our resources appropriately to address not only the immediate needs but any future challenges as well.
Meridian is one of the safest cities in Idaho regardless of size and we have outstanding men and women who serve our community in this role. Residents are drawn here because of this fact. To keep our community safe as we grow, we need to hire additional police officers to keep proactive policing in place. By having an active presence in our neighborhoods, the Meridian Police Department can continue the tradition of building relationships and provide community policing to our residents.
The City of Meridian invests in our parks creating spaces where families gather, teams practice and memories are made. We have premier facilities, praised by our citizens and are bring uniqueness to our parks that help integrate into the neighborhoods where they are located. I continue to work to ensure that we have more premier open space available to the community, and more investment to expand our pathways and providing indoor recreation space.
The City of Meridian provides these essential services to residents: police and fire protection, parks facilities and recreation classes, water delivery and sewer handling, community development, and trash removal through a franchise provider. We have been able to save before we spend and are debt free. There are several services that are provided by partners including roads, schools, libraries, the swimming pool, cemetery, voting, and more. As Mayor I take on the responsibility for all aspects of Meridian in order to meet the overall expectations of the community and be as local as possible by letting citizens weigh in on issues at the ballot box to give residents a greater voice.