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City of Meridian Blogs

A Needed Transportation Option for Residents

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 By Mayor Tammy

As I meet with citizens or gather feedback through our citywide surveys – one of the number one issues that always surfaces is public transportation. Not everyone needs it, but it is essential for those who do. The City of Meridian has contributed to several different options which have included an express or commuter service and a limited route service. We worked with Valley Regional Transit (VRT) for months on a service that would address a great need to our seniors and persons with disabilities. I’m pleased to announce the latest partnership that launched called Harvest Transit!

Valley Regional Transit has partnered with Harvest Church in Meridian to pilot the Lifestyle Transportation option for Meridian residents. This new on-demand service is designed to address the daily transportation needs of seniors and those with disabilities. It provides a reliable, direct, and easy to-use service. The service includes one driver for the north region and one for the south region of the community. An accessible vehicle is used to transport individuals, free of charge, to any location within Meridian – with a connection if needed to the south and north areas of service.

Service hours are from 9am-3pm, Monday-Saturday and are directly operated by Harvest Church.

The City of Meridian has contributed financial support of $60,000 for the program’s implementation and first year of operations in order to meet the needs of our community. Other revenues are also helping to fund the program through transportation grants.

Eventually this is a service that will operate valley-wide, with implementation of approximately nine service areas in Ada County, four areas in Canyon County, and eight areas in the surrounding rural areas by 2021.

I appreciate the feedback I’ve received from citizens, highlighting this component as something that is needed in our community. For this reason, we are able to come together, with the support of community partnerships, to make it a reality. As a community we need to continue to work on making transportation accessible for all – so it’s easier for everyone to get around Meridian and enjoy all that it has to offer!

For more information including contact numbers to arrange for a ride, visit www.harvestransit.com.

Check Out The Annual Report!

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By Mayor Tammy

Following my State of the City address, we released the City of Meridian's Annual Report.  While hard copies were provided to those who attended, it is now available online for the community to enjoy! I would encourage all residents to take a look at this document. It includes information about the work of our City employees and Departments in a variety of different areas.
 
The Annual Report helps you see what we've accomplished over the past year in such areas as public safety, community and economic development, public works and parks and recreation thanks to our "Top 16 of 2016" section.  You can also read about what's "On the Horizon," with a look at projects ahead in 2017.  And if you are more into numbers, then check out an overview of the City's budget.
 
The City of Meridian is thriving. Take a look here and see for yourself.

A Banner Year for #MyMeridian

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As we usher in this new year, I’m focused on preparing my State of the City address. We are a thriving community with much to celebrate!

2016 was a banner year for Meridian – a year that began with big news as Governor Butch Otter announced the state’s first medical school would be built in Meridian. I’m excited to bring you more details about the proposed Idaho College of Medicine’s plans for 2017.

This past year we welcomed many new businesses to Downtown Meridian including The Vault, Gallery Coffee and Blue Sky Bagels. The Meridian Boys and Girls Club ribbon cutting for a new gymnasium and teen center in our downtown was an unforgettable moment for our community—furthering our commitment to youth in Meridian.

We added more recreation amenities! We recently celebrated the grand re-opening of the Homecourt facility off Franklin road which gives residents more options for indoor recreation.  Tully Park received a new addition that has residents excited and it was instantly a success—an outdoor gym (pictured below)! It was a unique project lead by the next generation—the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council. Looking ahead to 2017, the Meridian Parks and Recreation department will be busy, with three new parks planned to open. I’ll have more information about these parks, including a special name marked for one, in my State of the City address.

We also saw businesses expand in 2016. AmeriBen held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new company headquarters at Ten Mile, and there’s more to come! I’m excited to tell you more about the plan in that area, regarding mixed use developments and what we can expect to see in 2017 - big things are coming!!

Finally, this year we celebrated a unique partnership called “The Hill” in South Meridian—that includes a combination of education, health, and recreation with the Treasure Valley Family YMCA, the West Ada School District, the City and St. Luke’s. 

So what’s next? We have many projects to build upon in 2017. Please join me for this year’s State of the City address to learn more about what’s in store for our community.  We also have the Taste of Meridian following my address. It’s a chance to sample some of the great restaurants that call Meridian home. I look forward to seeing you February 8th at 3:59pm. 


 sotc social

Winter Storm: The Silver Lining

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By Mayor Tammy

This winter storm, though frustrating at times...maybe more often than not, has opened my eyes to the kindness of our community, the hard working city staff I’m surrounded by, and those at our partner agencies. I have appreciated the 'around the clock' work of our countywide road district - ACHD's teams; as well as the city's contractors - Titan and Granite. At the City – it has been all hands on deck! We had crews working around the clock in partnership with ACHD to respond to the situation in our community. It was a coordinated effort that involved Fire, Police, Public Works, Parks and Recreation, Finance, Communications, Legal, City Clerk, my staff and more! Our team set up a hotline that is working like clockwork, making sure each resident’s concern is heard. Our Parks employees are helping our school district clear parking and walking paths for our kids; our Police and Fire crews are pushing out stuck cars and helping shut ins get access to care, by shoveling citizens out of their driveways. In the City of Meridian alone we have about 600 miles of roadways, so covering that amount of area is a tremendous amount of work. To say I am proud is an understatement!
 
I’ve also felt immense pride as I watch our residents – neighbors helping neighbors - countless acts of kindness throughout Meridian. This winter will pass – eventually – and though it can be rough in the process, I’m reminded of how lucky and blessed I am to call Meridian home, work alongside our employees, our partner agencies and live among all of you!

 
2017 Storm Hotline

Recreation Celebration

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By Mayor Tammy

This winter I’m thrilled to say that we have even MORE activity options for you in our community! The City of Meridian purchased the Homecourt Facility from the Treasure Valley Family YMCA this fall and we are now offering recreation opportunities in that space located off Franklin Road (936 Taylor Avenue). The community is invited to help us celebrate the Meridian Homecourt on Tuesday, Dec. 20 from 1:30pm – 3pm. It will be a great event that includes a ribbon cutting, celebrity basketball game and holiday treats. I’m gearing up to take part in the basketball game along with some of our council members and department directors. We’ll face off against local celebrities and our community partners from the “Y”, and the Meridian Library. On top of that –we’re excited to have the Meridian High cheerleaders at the game who will provide halftime entertainment.

From more indoor space, to additional amenities – we want to continue to offer our residents a variety of recreation options in Meridian! The Tully Park Outdoor Gym is now open and despite the cold, getting attention from those looking to recreate outdoors! As we look to the new year, we will have even more to celebrate with new parks that will open or break ground in 2017. Look for more details on those parks in my State of the City address on February 8, 2017 at 3:59pm at Meridian Middle School.

While I’m working on my address and looking to the New Year, I’m also starting to create resolutions – such as adding to my “step count” each day. I encourage you to create active resolutions as well. It’s easy to do right here in our community! Take a look at the activities our Parks and Recreation department has organized in the Winter/Spring Activity Guide that was released this past week and try something new. In the meantime, I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Check out the Meridian Parks and Recreation Winter/Spring Activity Guide:www.meridiancity.org/activityguide

Holiday Safety and Giving

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By Mayor Tammy

Thank you to everyone who came out to our Christmas in Meridian festivities! Our Parks and Recreation Department organized a host of events that launched December with great fanfare and loads of Christmas spirit - officially kicking off the holiday season in our community!

My hope for all our residents is that this season is successful for all. That’s why I spoke with our Fire and Police Departments to gather some safety reminders to share with you this week.

Here are some quick safety tips from Meridian Police Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea:

- Slow down, especially when the roads are wet or covered with snow.

- When shopping keep your purse with you and have your keys ready to open your car when you get to it (keep your hands free of clutter).

- Place gifts out of site in your car while shopping.

- Survey your surrounding when walking to or from your car.

He also asked that I remind everyone to be patient and said, “don’t forget this time of year is for holiday cheer, not road rage”. What a great reminder as we run our holiday errands!

At home – there are some things to keep in mind when it comes to safety. The Meridian Fire Department says one quarter of home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems and although Christmas tree fires are not common, when the fires occur they can be serious. So here are some tips from the fire department:

- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.

- Following Christmas, if you have a real tree, be sure to dispose of it by taking advantage of Republic Services unlimited trash pickup and tree recycling week, the two weeks following the holiday. Meridian Fire says dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.

I’m grateful that we have fire and police personnel who serve our community so well and keep Meridian one of the safest places to call home in Idaho! On top of that – they give back to the people here!

Our Police Department will be participating in “Shop with a Cop”. Kids in our community who otherwise may not receive gifts will get to have breakfast with our officers and then they will take them shopping for Christmas gifts!  The Meridian Police Employee’s Association is also providing gifts for a family that is in need this holiday in our community.

The Meridian Fire Department is doing its part to give back as well! Each Meridian Fire Station is a drop off site for food to benefit the Meridian Food Bank and for toys as part of the Toys for Tots campaign. Meridian Fire Local 4627 is also collecting funds to purchase coats. It’s called Operation Warm. The coats are made here in the U.S. then sent to our community for distribution. To learn more about these efforts, call the department at 208-888-1234.

As I typed my title for this blog, I thought about the importance of having both safety and giving in our community. These are two things the Meridian Police and Fire departments are going above and beyond to provide for us not only over the holidays, but year round – and for that, I am so thankful! 

Thankful for #MyMeridian

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By Mayor Tammy

This week is Thanksgiving a time to reflect on all the things we are thankful for. That is so easy to do sitting here at my desk! I can think of many reasons I’m thankful to call Meridian home - #MyMeridian. We get to live in a community that is recognized as one of the top places to live in the nation! I don’t know if you realize this, but recently we were named among the Top 5 Cities in the Nation from 24/7 Wall Street, the Top 10 in the Nation for Economic Growth (2nd amongst Small Cities) according to Wallethub.com, one of the safest cities in Idaho by SafeWise, and Meridian earned the title for Happiest Renters from AparmentAdvisor.com.

The word is out, and while part of me wants to keep it a secret, we can’t help it when the nation notices that our economy, our safe community and our home is one of the best!

Meridian just keeps getting better - recently our community welcomed even more opportunities for family fun! Wahooz just opened a brand new addition that only enriches the experience for families. And this past week, the City of Meridian opened the new Tully Park Outdoor Gym to give families a place to get healthy together, in the outdoors. It’s a special project that was lead entirely by our youth in the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council – showing them that they can make an impact and leave a legacy in our community.

When it comes to economic development we have a lot to be thankful for. Businesses are expanding in our community and/or moving here! Brighton Corp and AmeriBen are building corporate headquarters off the Ten Mile I-84 exit. The plans for that area are huge – combining residential, business and entertainment developments. I look forward to sharing more with you during my State of the City address in February!

In Downtown Meridian we’ve welcomed new businesses, including Blue Sky Bagels – located just down Idaho from Frankie’s Java, to add to the many selections opening in the area. Recently, downtown was recognized by Idaho Smart Growth – earning a Redevelopment Award for “placemaking” efforts to create a sense of community along Idaho Avenue.

We also live in a safe community – consistently one of the safest in Idaho. I’m grateful for the service of our Meridian Police and Firefighters who work hard to make sure we remain that way.

I am a Mayor who certainly has a lot to be thankful for – but aside from all of this – I am mostly thankful for our people. I know I say it all of the time but I can’t stress enough that a strong community is the direct result of the people and businesses who call it home. I’m thankful for all of you!

Have a very happy and safe Thanksgiving – filled with family, friends, and good food! Meridian City Hall will be closed on Thursday and Friday for the holiday but we will be back in full force the next week – preparing for our Christmas in Meridian festivities Dec. 1-3, with the Winter Lights Parade and Tree Lighting scheduled for Friday, Dec. 2 at 6:30pm.

I look forward to seeing you at these events and other functions in our wonderful community!

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