City Government

Meridian Madness

Meridian officials better be careful about what they wish for because wishes sometimes come true.

Meridian’s City Mother, Tammy DeWeerd, is aiming to be like her big brother to the east and creating a “Vision for Downtown.” That includes getting an act of congress to reclaim the Union Pacific Railroad’s land in the core of the city which was originally a gift from Uncle Sam.

How ironic that Uncle Sam gave away land to the railroad to spur DEVELOPMENT and 100 years later the local government wants to take away the land…to spur development!
Big problem now is the developers are more savvy and the publicly owned land within that urban renewal district won’t yield any tax revenues.

None of the improvements (new buildings) will yield any tax revenues to the city because taxes on those new buildings go only to the urban renewal agency–just like in Boise where the CCDC forces the little people to pay for the city services to the big building owners.

The IDAHO STATESMAN calls attention to Hillsboro, Oregon where a similar “little town grows up” story created a new downtown for just under $1 billion over a five year period.

Meridian’s annual budget is about $61 million. That means if those financial gurus of that growing city spend every single tax dollar in their budget over the next 16 years, they too can be like Hillsboro, Oregon…provided the Union Pacific gives up without a fight.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. The one thing planners keep forgetting when they develop areas is that attacts people. This creates much more traffic. This area of town is already congested, and should be a one-way loop using main street one direction and Meridian road the other.

    Another issue is that there are developments being built along the railroad tracks just west of this area for two miles from to Ten Mile road. These are becoming very people dense areas full of some small houses, but mainly apartment complex units. Along with lowering the property values nearby also creates a huge traiffic problem in this area.

    Nearly a decade ago, my home builder was going to build my home in Eagle, I chose Meridian for the small town atmosphere. Look back from now to then – Eagle plans its cities growth, Meridian lets devlopers run amock with the planning and can’t say no to the dollars. I wish I could have a ‘redo’ with that decision.

  2. Debbie In Meridian
    Jun 10, 2005, 12:27 pm

    If Merdian is buying into this mad effort to “infill” every availble piece of open land and double or triple the density of lots (and thus double or triple traffic in neighborhoods too) like Boise is doing – then Mrs Mayor will not be in office long. Hopefully for those in Boise someone will run for Boise City Council and replace the “railroading infillist” council menbers.
    Just because Boise leaders want to overload and kill their quality of life let’s not let it happen in Meridian. Let Boise have all the urbanism (and massive, dense infill) it wants – keep it out of Meridian!

  3. Or how about they take the money they would spend for this new city hall, and create a road system to handle all of the growth. The citizens can handle not having a big city hall for another 10-15 years; the roads need the money NOW!!

  4. Infilling in Boise or sprawling to Meridian and beyond (or both), the people are coming and they’re going to want to live somewhere. Once you get beyind that simple fact, the only thing to ask is how is the best way to plan for it.

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