It’s that time again; the time where each citizen has the opportunity to make a contribution to their community by exercising their Constitutionally given right to vote. This coming Tuesday November 3rd, 2009 the City General Election will be held. The polls will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. welcoming citizens to come inside and make their selection from the candidates on the ballot.
Many of you may not be aware of the election next week and may not know who and what you will be voting for. This year there are two City Council Seats that are up for election. The first is Council Seat No. 2. Running unopposed for this Seat is Brad Hoaglun. The second Council seat available is Seat No. 4. There are two candidates running for this Seat; listed alphabetically they are; Keith Bird and James Holtzclaw.
In order to participate and vote in this election a person must be over 18 years of age, a United States citizen, a resident of Meridian for at least 30 days prior to the election and must be registered to vote. If a citizen would like to vote but is not currently registered they may vote either absentee or on Election Day. On Election Day a citizen can register and vote at their polling location. To register to vote Citizens will need to provide proof of residency, such as a utility bill showing that their home address is located in the precinct, and a government issued picture identification; for example a Driver’s License or a Military Identification.
If you are unavailable to vote on Election Day or simply hope to avoid a line you may vote absentee in-person at City Hall in the Clerks Office (suite 104) until 5:00 p.m. on Monday November 2nd. City Hall is located at 33 East Broadway Avenue at the corner of Main Street and Broadway Avenue in downtown Meridian. The City Clerk’s Office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.
Polling places are found at four locations throughout the City. They are likely different then the location you may have voted at in the past for various Ada County Elections. Citizens are encouraged to confirm their polling location in advance to save on time and travel. You may click HERE for a map that will assist you in selecting your precinct and locating your polling location for the City Election.
Being part of the election process is an important and valued part of citizenship. We encourage citizens to step out on Election Day and ensure that their voice is heard by casting their vote. If you have any questions regarding elections, the voting process, or how to find your polling location please call the City Clerk’s Office at 208-888-4433 and a Clerk will be happy to assist you. More information regarding the election can be found on the City Clerk’s page on this site and by clicking HERE.
Meridian City Hall is a state-of-the-art building in more ways than one. Thanks in great measure to the work of the Meridian Arts Commission, a group of six dynamic volunteers – Meg Glasgow (chair), Mary Jensen, Nancy Rountree, David Stolhand, Rob Walker, and Dwight Williams – City Hall is also becoming a hub of art and culture in the Treasure Valley.
If you haven’t yet visited Initial Point Gallery, on the third floor of City Hall, do it today! The gallery features a monthly installation of artwork created by artists from Meridian and surrounding communities. The paintings of Helen Grainger Wilson and Patricia Fennell are on display through November 25, followed by an exhibition by the Grange Group Art Guild to close out 2009. In 2010, the gallery will feature artwork of national and international renown in addition to the work of talented Idaho artists. The Call to Artists to complete the 2010 line-up will be released in the coming weeks.
The City’s permanent art collection, Art in Public Spaces, is growing every year. Take a moment to see the marvelous work of local artists the next time you are at City Hall. You’ll find “Old East Meridian” by Dwight Williams in the lobby; “A Warm Evening” by Gregg Russell on the way to the Clerk’s Office; “Brook Blues” by Joyce Green on the second floor; and “Meridian Creamery #5” by Charles Hoffman in the Mayor’s Conference Room on the third floor. Thanks in large part to the generosity of private donors, more pieces will be added before the end of the year. While you are here, you can also enjoy the striking sculpture suspended over the lobby, “Origin,” created by Nampa artist J. Amber Conger of Refinerii. You can’t miss it when you arrive, but take a moment to see it from the second floor overlook.
The Arts Commission has created opportunities for Meridian residents and visitors to take part in the performing arts as well. Last winter, the Commission brought the Missoula Children’s Theater to Meridian, and in one busy week several local children auditioned for, rehearsed, and presented an excellent and memorable production of “Little Red Riding Hood.” It was such a positive and educational experience that the Commission has invited the touring company back to direct “Pinocchio” in February 2010. Information about auditions and the show will be available soon.
The first annual Concerts on Broadway series was a huge hit this summer. Hundreds took advantage of beautiful Meridian summer nights by gathering in the plaza of City Hall to enjoy dance-inspiring tunes of the Kings of Swing, Rich Wetzel, and the Meridian Symphony Orchestra. Plans are already underway for another summer of fabulous music at Meridian City Hall.
The Arts Commission regularly meets at City Hall on the second Thursday of every month, at 3:30 p.m.; you are always welcome to attend. There is so much to see and so much to do in Meridian. Come to City Hall and take part in the arts!
Contact the Meridian Arts Commission at email@example.com or learn more about it on the City’s website: http://www.meridiancity.org/local_government.aspx?id=3229.
The City of Meridian has a Cross Connection Program to reduce the risk to the public potable water supply of contamination by the numerous potential health or system hazards commonly found in most potable water supply systems, known as cross connections.
As the water purveyors we have the responsibility to provide water to the customer that meets water quality standards. More important, we have the responsibility to protect the public health. Cross connections with the customer’s plumbing system and within the purveyor’s distribution system pose a potential source for the contamination of the public water supply.
A Cross connection is any actual or potential connection between a potable water line and any pipe, vessel, or machine containing a non-potable fluid or has the possibility of containing a non-potable fluid, solid or gas.
Backflow is a flow in reverse from the normal direction of flow in a piping system. It occurs due to a differential pressure existing between two different points within a continuous fluid system; a fluid of higher pressure flowing to a fluid of lower pressure.
It is mandated that a backflow test be done annually on all assemblies. The City of Meridian Water Division currently has a Backflow Program which monitors Fire Sprinkler, Lawn Sprinkler and Containment (Domestic Main) Backflow assemblies. A test due letter, on all currently tracked assemblies, is sent out one year from the last date tested. In addition, the City does reimburse approved testers, up to a maximum amount, for properly installed backflow assemblies that have passed the annual test.
This reimbursement program has proven to be a great incentive for business and home owners as well as the City of Meridian. The number of assemblies tracked in this program has more than doubled since the start up of the program in 2005.
If you have a backflow assembly protecting your Fire System, Sprinkler System or Domestic Main and need to have it tested, please call the Meridian Water Division at 888-5242. We would be happy to answer your questions and/or send you a list of approved testers.
Together we can keep the City of Meridians water Safe.
The journey began in trying to find the best route to remove as many unused and older prescription drugs from homes throughout our city and reduce the availability for our youth and others to come into possession of the prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them. It started in discussions within the Mayor’s Anti-Drug Coalition (MADC) and our police department in dealing with the increase in abuse of prescription medications and ended up with invitations to meetings with Idaho DEQ and the Idaho Public Health Association and the new Idaho State University campus in Meridian and their pharmacy program. The common theme with all of these organizations is to provide a safe way to dispose of unused prescription drugs. Environmentally, we want to provide a safe way for disposal as opposed to the age old recommendations of either flushing the drugs down the drain or putting them in your trash, sometimes even hiding them in your old coffee grounds. From the Anti-Drug / prevention stand point we want to get as many un-needed and unused prescriptions out of homes in our community to reduce the chance that could be abuse by someone else who finds them.
So how do we all work together and achieve these common goals? It turns out it isn’t as easy as it sounds. They are roadblocks in certain federal agency guidelines that strictly limit how and when any controlled substance can be collected and who can collect them. A search for a solution brought us back to our grassroots / local efforts to make our community of Meridian a better place. It created a stronger partnership between the Public Works Department and the Police Department in working together towards a common solution. The solution that currently works is to have a secure locked safe capable of holding dropped off prescription drugs. It needed to be within the secure police facility of the Meridian Police Department and a police officer has to witness the drop off of the prescription drugs whenever anyone brings them into our department.
Since our public kick-off on October 1st, 2009, we have taken in several boxes of prescription drugs during the hours of 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday from members of the community. Many are tremendously thankful to finally have this option for destruction. One of the citizens that came in the first week we were taking the prescriptions back had been holding onto her old prescriptions for 2 ½ years. She didn’t feel good about flushing them and didn’t want to just throw them in her trash. Now she has a safe way to get rid of them, and she did!
It doesn’t end there, as we will continue to help in the goal of having a statewide prescription drug take back program and help any other community in the state get a similar program started as well. Don’t forget, tell a friend.
As the hot summer days have given way to crisp autumn nights, there are more changes in Meridian than just the weather. Settler's Park is seeing seasonal changes from the splash pad and fishing pond giving way to football and soccer. When you combine these seasonal activities with the always popular Adventure Island Playground (having just marked its 5th anniversary), horseshoe pits, and tennis courts, there is truly something for everyone to enjoy at Settlers -- at least until the snow starts to fly. With all this to offer and more, it is easy to understand why Settlers Park was chosen as Nickelodeon’s Parent Pick in 2009 for the best Playground or Park in the Boise Area.
This 'pick' is among a growing number of awards and recognition that Settler's park has received and celebrated. Our partnership with Meridian Youth Baseball & Softball for the Leighton Baseball Complex, along with CableOne Movie Night, brought recognition from the Association of Idaho Cities last June. In July, the Idaho Recreation & Parks Association (IRPA) selected Settlers Park to receive the Outstanding Facility award at this year’s conference, specifically related to Settlers Village Square Phase I. This is just one of many areas that others in Idaho are taking notice of what we are doing here in Meridian.
While it is always great to be recognized by your peers, recognition as a Parent’s Pick is extra special because it comes from you – the users of parks in Meridian and throughout Treasure Valley. You chose Settlers Park as the favorite spot for your child or yourself to swing, slide and so much more. We are proud that the community has embraced the gem of Meridian’s park system.
We have a fabulous park system that continues to grow and improve. Changes in our parks can be seen at Heroes Park in the north with a new playground and Kiwanis Park in the south was renamed after longtime park (and youth) advocate and volunteer, Gordon Harris. Gordon was a driving force to getting this park built; a welcoming and inviting place for all to enjoy.
More parks are planned as the City grows, one exciting project dedicated in August is the 60 acre Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park – a $25 million ‘turn-key’ urban park being donated to the City in honor of his late father; which will rival the Treasure Valley’s finest parks. This is an exciting time for our residents as we all watch this park unfold over the next two years – and during this time there is much taking place to commemorate and share.
Expect changes to Centennial Park in the coming months as Community Development Block Grant funds will bring a new play feature to this downtown park. With the colder weather and shorter days, the Meridian Community Center which opened its doors next to Centennial Park this summer will provide an indoor venue to all ages!
If you would like to tell me about your favorite park or place to play in Meridian, email me at MayorTammy@meridiancity.org. I encourage you to continue to take advantage of our open spaces to enjoy the rest of autumn. Perhaps I’ll see you there and together we can celebrate all that Meridian has to offer.
I so often am asked the question, “What do the firefighters do all day when they are not responding to fires?”
Firefighters not only respond to fires, but other calls as well, for service such as emergency medical services calls, motor vehicle crashes, hazardous materials spills and fire alarms.
The firefighters are also constantly training to improve their skills in all aspects of being a Firefighter/ EMT. Topics of training include how to operate hose lines, use of self contained breathing apparatus, carrying and raising ladders, ventilating buildings to remove smoke and other products produced by fire, search and rescue techniques, extrication of victims who are entrapped either in machinery or in a vehicle after a motor vehicle crash, basic hazardous materials mitigation techniques, and techniques on how to save other firefighters who may become trapped or injured while fighting a fire.
To ensure the station’s apparatus and equipment is ready at all times to respond, they perform maintenance of the fire stations, apparatus, and equipment. This means that every day they check to guarantee that all equipment is in place and is ready to be used. This includes making sure that everything will start, is fueled up, and is clean. They also make certain that the fire stations are clean and well taken care of so they can last for many years.
Crews are assigned to perform fire and life safety inspections of businesses in their response districts. These inspections are a win-win situation; it not only helps prevent fires in businesses, but it also gives the firefighters an inside look at the building. If the building ever experiences a fire, firefighter personnel will not only have the knowledge of potential hazards, but will also know the building’s layout and construction type.
The firefighters are also heavily involved in public education. They regularly give station and apparatus tours to many different groups including school classes, scout troops, day care groups, etc. They also visit schools to talk about fire safety and to show younger children what a firefighter looks like when he is fully suited in his firefighting clothes. This helps the children so they can learn to not be afraid of the firefighters if they need help. Firefighters also participate regularly in many other important public safety events the department is involved in, such as National Night Out and the Every Fifteen Minutes Program at the high schools which shows the dangers of drinking and driving.
Lastly, the firefighters must be in excellent physical shape to be able to perform their job while wearing up to 50 pounds of extra clothing and equipment. To achieve this they work out in the fitness room at their stations where they work on both cardiovascular and strength fitness.
As you can see, firefighters face a wide variety of hazards on a daily basis. They must constantly train and prepare themselves for whatever the next emergency call brings. So, the next time you find yourself wondering what the firefighters are doing when they are not fighting fires, you can rest assured that they are busy preparing themselves for when the next emergency arises.
Last week I had the opportunity to share information about the housing market and trends with the Idaho Association of Mortgage Brokers, that we are seeing in the City of Meridian. As information was gathered it became obvious that we are fairing better than many might think here in Meridian. The information indicated that as a community continue to welcome new individuals and families to Meridian. This is evident by the number of residential building permits being issued and the number of home sales taking place in Meridian. I wanted to provide you with some information about our community that many of you may not be aware of.
Since the beginning of January 2009, our Building Department has issued 562 new residential building permits. These permits represent a market value of over $113.2 million. In comparison, there were 495 permits issued in all the rest of Ada County; equating to 53% of all new homes in Ada County are being built in Meridian. When combining permits issued by Nampa and Caldwell, 45% of all residential permits are in Meridian. These building permits reflect jobs in our community and commercial transactions in our stores.
This goes hand in hand with the home sales that are occurring in Ada County as well. Between 35 and 40% of all home sales in Ada County are occurring in Meridian. NW Meridian continues to see the most home sales in Ada County with 15.7% of all home sales taking place in this section of our community. As we continue to see more services, road improvements, and commercial development we expect this trend to continue.
As a community, we continue to work hard to be that 'premiere' community where people want to live, work, and raise a family. What has and will continue to make us a great community are maintaining and excelling in providing public safety services or by enhancing city services that touch our families daily. These would include amenities and programs such as the recently opened tennis courts and horseshoe pits at Settlers Park or the new playground at Heroes Park. It could be the added opportunities to experience the arts, such as the popular Concerts on Broadway series or the rotating art exhibits in Initial Point Gallery at City Hall. Regardless of the reason people are locating in Meridian, our city employees are working hard to provide a quality community for all to live in.
As other communities have seen their share of struggles, the City of Meridian has been fortunate to see more manageable growth occurring in our community. While we can’t predict what will happen next, we can tell you that we continue to plan and prepare for a prosperous future and to better withstand the highs and lows of an unpredictable economy. To do so we must have a healthy balance of residential and commercial; as well as a diversified employment base to ensure the best interest in our community.
With new residential plats on the horizon, employment center and light industrial platting applications and interest, commercial building activity, and several new employers coming to town, there is much taking place to be proud of in Meridian. To share your story with me about what has been done in Meridian to make us a great community to live in, email me at MayorTammy@meridiancity.org. Together we can celebrate all we have in Meridian – a premier city to live, work, and raise a family.
Raise your hand if you have ever participated in a recreation program through the City’s Parks and Recreation program…only a few of you? Everyone who didn’t raise their hand needs to check out the latest Activity Guide as soon as possible! You don’t know how to get an Activity Guide? No problem. You can easily access our most recent version of the Activity Guide by clicking here. If you find a class or sport you like, you can easily register online through this very website! Just click here. If you would prefer not to register online, we also take registrations over the phone or in person at our offices located at Meridian City Hall.
We currently offer a variety of recreation programs for people of all ages, starting as young as eighteen months, and continuing on through senior adults.
We have two exciting new programs for school-aged kids this year—one for elementary aged kids, and one for teens. The addition for elementary school kids are Winter Break Camps! We have a comprehensive set of summer camps for kids ages 6-14; but with the addition of our new Meridian Community Center, we will now be able to provide winter break programs as well. On board for this winter is Camp Mer-IDA-Moo: Winter Edition! This is the newest addition to Camp Mer-IDA-Moo, which stems from our traditional summer day camp. This winter camp is for kids ages 6-11. Each week of camp will include arts and crafts, games, outdoor/snow games, reading time, special guests, and field trips. We will also be offering two art camps taught by the skilled instructors of the Young Rembrandts program—a drawing camp and a pastels camp. Another fun winter camp addition will be an Oriental Dance Camp! Youth will have the opportunity to learn several styles of oriental dance, as well as perform in an informal recital at the end of the week. For more information on these programs, please feel free to contact us at 888-3579.
For teens, we are starting a super new and fun program called the Teen Activities Club, or TAC for short. The TAC is a subcommittee of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council. This group of high school students will work with our department to provide once-a-month activities for teens in Meridian. Our first event will be occurring on Friday, October 30th, consisting of a Halloween party and dance! The event will be held at the Meridian Community Center, from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. There will be events, games, dancing, and a costume contest! The event will be open to middle school students from 6:30-9:30 p.m., and to high school students from 8:00-11:00 p.m.
For more information on the above or any recreation programs, you can reach us at 888-3579 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My name is Keith Watts and I am the Purchasing Manager for the City of Meridian. The Purchasing Departments goal is to serve the citizens of Meridian by ethically obtaining goods and services at the best value for the tax dollar while following the Statutes of the State of Idaho and the policies of the City of Meridian.
I recently held a “How to Do Business with the City of Meridian” meeting in which I gave an overview of the types of purchases and the procedures in which they are carried out. There are many different types of purchases, each with it’s own set of rules and regulations all designed to ensure a level playing field is available for businesses and ultimately ensure the best value for our local tax payers. Purchases range from tools and equipment to full fledged public works projects.
Each purchase must follow a specific process depending on the project and dollar amount. Phone orders and written quotes are used for purchases under $25,000, while formal bids, informal bids, and request for proposals (RFP’s) are generally used for larger scale projects with many varying elements.
Additional safeguards are in place to protect the City as well as our tax payers. All Public Works construction contracts must include payment and performance bonds, the City require bonds in the amount of 100% of the contract amount. Additionally all vendors and contractors that perform work on City property must present a certificate of insurance showing current status for general liability, automotive and workers compensation insurance prior to the start if work.
I hope this information provides some insight on how your tax dollars are spent and also to encourage our local businesses to solicit their goods and services to the City. If you would like any further follow up on any of the information provided, please feel free to contact the Purchasing office at 489-0416.
There is no doubt that there are many transportation-related improvements that are needed in our community. The City of Meridian’s Transportation Task Force (TTF) is the group charged with annually compiling the list of the most-needed roadway, intersection, sidewalk and bridge projects. This TTF group is composed of business owners, engineers, planners, citizens and other professionals that are both knowledgeable about transportation in general as well as our community’s transportation needs.
The TTF recently finished identifying, prioritizing and compiling a list of the highest priority transportation projects in our community. The TTF considers factors such as safety, congestion and continuing improvements along key corridors. Last year, Downtown Split Corridor, Phase I was the highest ranked project. This year, the Eagle Road from Victory Road to Ridenbaugh Canal project was identified as the roadway project most needed in Meridian. Other projects that TTF identified as high priority transportation projects were: Downtown Split Corridor, Phase 2; Overland Road, Ten Mile to Linder; a re-built Meridian Road Interchange and several intersection and roadway widening improvements near the new Ten Mile Interchange. Although the City does not have a road building department, the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) and the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) do build roads, and these agencies ask for and use the City’s list of priority projects when they compose their list of construction projects for the next few years.
In addition to a list that includes roadway and intersection projects, the TTF also recently composed a list of the most needed sidewalk and pathway projects in Meridian. These pedestrian projects are funded through ACHD’s Community Programs. While composing the priority list, the TTF focused on pedestrian improvements that will provide safe routes to school and/or fill in gaps in the existing system. Last year the sidewalk route connecting Tully Park to Sawtooth Middle School along Linder Road was the highest ranked priority project. This year, the TTF chose a safe route between Meridian Elementary, Meridian Middle and Cole Valley Christian School as the City’s top pedestrian project for 2009. Other high priority pedestrian projects from this year include: Ustick Road near Ponderosa Elementary; a pedestrian signal and additional sidewalk for children attending Sienna Elementary; and additional downtown sidewalks on Carlton, 2 ½ Street, and Broadway.
For the complete lists of the City’s 2009 highest priority transportation projects, click here.
If you have a pedestrian or bicycle improvement that you would like the TTF to consider in next year’s priority list please contact me at email@example.com. Together we can ensure that ACHD and ITD are constructing the roadway, intersection and pedestrian projects that our community values most.
Caleb Hood, Planning Manager & Transportation Task Force Member, City of Meridian