Boise City Council approves modified bond plan from Mayor Bieter
The Boise City Council has approved Mayor David Bieter’s recommended adjustments for a bond that is suppose to enhance public safety, increase access to open space, and provide more park services in underserved areas.
The bond was modified in several ways including the removal of building a Central District police station.
“The proposed Police Central District is a vital project that must be completed to allow Boise Police to continue their successful implementation of community policing practices,” Mayor Bieter wrote in memo to the City Council. “However, given that we have yet to secure a specific site for the project and that the additional $1.95 million in impact fees may not be readily available when needed following passage of the bond, I recommend that this project not be included in the final bond proposal.” Removing the Central District station reduces the bond total by $1.95 million.
In addition, the bond was modified to adjust the project totals for fires facilities in case of an increase of construction cost, and a separation of the bond proposal into two questions for voters, one for fire safety, and one for parks and open space.
The bond was modified to reflect Boise’s rebounding construction market, which included an extra $547,000 in funds to ensure that the projects can be completed in case of more expensive construction cost.
Taken together, these two adjustments to the proposed package drop the total cost of the proposal from $33,831,975 to $32,430,000. The cost to the average homeowner decreases from around $13 to around $12 per household per year.
The Mayor’s final recommendation was to respond to the requests from multiple citizens asking that the bond categories be separated into separate questions for voters, the first seeking authorization for fire protection services; the second seeking authorization for parks and open space.
“In terms of the benefits they bring to the community, parks and open space play similar roles. As one neighborhood representative said to me at a recent meeting, ‘Parks are open space.’ I agree and think that it makes sense that parks and open space be considered as one item.”
The Council directed staff to draft an ordinance to place the proposed bond initiative on the ballot this November 5. The proposed ordinance will be placed on the agenda for approval at the September 10 council meeting.