the season changes, I know we are getting closer to October – or as we like to
call it “Walktober”.
month kicks off with National Walk to School Day on Wednesday October 7th, an
important day each year as we’re reminded of the importance of physical
activity in our lives and safety when it comes to walking to school. I am
pleased to be walking with my grandkids at the Hunter Elementary School planned
event! We will have Meridian Police Officers at other school events as well.
National Walk to
School Day serves as a springboard into the Mayor’s School Walking Challenge, a
month-long competition sponsored by the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for
Health, St. Luke’s and the Idaho Dairy Council. This month-long challenge is
designed to promote good health for area school children by encouraging them to
walk to school.
schools who accept the challenge will be competing against other schools in our
community. The school with the highest average number of miles per student will
win $2,000 for physical activity equipment and food service equipment. In addition, the Treasure Valley Mayor who
walks the most miles in October will receive $5,000 to donate to a park or
school of their choice for new physical activity equipment. So I’m on a
mission! I’ll be armed with a FitBit all month that will not only track
my steps as I walk alongside students but also the walking activity I take part
in throughout the day.
participation by our school children, we are continuing the efforts of last
spring and are rolling out Mayor Tammy’s Walking Club. The club is our
way of encouraging elementary schools and students to keep track of their
walking throughout the year, not just during the month long challenge. I
am committed to visiting each school that is part of the Walking Club to join
the students during their designated walking time. I really enjoy walking with
the students in our area because I love seeing the excitement in their eyes as
they ‘walk’ to improve their health. Likewise, it is a great reminder of just
how easy and simple it is to add physical activity and exercise into our
already busy schedules. At the end of the year we will celebrate with the top
three classes at each participating school.
I invite you to join me, and our elementary
students, in walking more during the month of October. It is my hope that
through this challenge we not only take a few moments to identify ways to
improve our physical activity each day, but that we actually do it! Hope to see
you out on the walking paths.
By Mayor Tammy
Meridian’s New Public Safety Training Center has opened and
was immediately put to use! The official ribbon cutting isn’t until Monday, September
21st but agencies across the valley are utilizing the classroom
space and fire and police personnel are already using the training grounds.
This facility is the first of its kind to be built in the
valley – giving agencies across the area the ability to train locally instead
of out of state. Meridian Police Chief Jeff Lavey says it will greatly improve
the efficiencies in training our officers. While the new center is next
door to the police department, it will serve many other departments, including
our fire and public works personnel. This is something Chief Lavey says is
hugely beneficial when preparing for tactical responses.
Our training center features four classrooms, a defensive
tactics mat room, simulators to create real situations for training, a K-9
agility course and it will house a mobile command post. The cost of the
new facility, in addition to a needed remodel to the police department
building was $5 million.
Meridian is ranked one of the safest cities in the state of
Idaho and we want to keep it that way. This new facility helps us maintain the
high level of safety our residents are accustomed to. We appreciate the
community partnerships that will enhance this facility in the years to come.
One of those partnerships is with the Ada County Highway
District. This fall the district will install traffic lights at the facility,
providing for a training space involving traffic incidents.
Other partnerships will be in the next phase of the training
facility in the form of a Scenario Village. The Meridian Police Department is
working with the West Ada School District and students from the Ada
Professional Technical Center pre-engineering and construction program who are
designing buildings for the village. They are currently designing a convenience
store prop and a restaurant that is envisioned to be sponsored by local
companies. Once complete, this facility will not only be used to train public
safety professionals, but also to assist local companies with emergency
Our Public Safety Training Center will not only be the first
of its kind in our area – but in our region. It will strengthen our public
safety and it will make our community a destination for emergency training.
Please join us for the ribbon cutting and tours of the new facility on Monday,
September 21st at 10:30 am at 1223 E. Watertower Ave. in Meridian.
By Mayor Tammy
I feel so fortunate to live and work in Meridian. I meet
people every day who go above and beyond to make this community an even better place
to call home. That’s why our City’s Neighborhood Star Awards are so important
to me. I think it’s important to recognize our residents for the work they do –
and their contributions to the quality of life and safety in our community.
We are currently seeking nominations for this year’s
Neighborhood Star Awards. Do you have a family member, friend, neighbor or
nearby business who shines brightly and makes a significant contribution to
Meridian? Now is the time to step forward! You can recognize a business or
individual’s acts of goodness and honor them! The award is for those who are
exceptionally committed to preserving, maintaining and improving the quality of
life and safety in their neighborhoods and our community.
In the past, neighbors or neighborhood associations have
nominated individuals, couples and businesses out of appreciation for something
they did that year or to recognize their overall effort in adding something
more to our community.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – our City has been
recognized numerous times for being a Best Place to live, and that is because
of our people. Unsung heroes throughout our community consistently demonstrate
strong dedication to their neighborhoods and Meridian as a whole.
If you’d like to nominate someone, you have until September
21st. Simply send in a note
of 300 words or less describing why you believe the nominee enhances the life
in your neighborhood or our community. You’ll find more information, including
how to submit your nominations on our website, www.meridiancity.org.
I look forward to awarding this year’s shining residents
and/or businesses on October 13th here at Meridian City Hall.
The Meridian Parks and
Recreation Department has been very busy this summer! Not only have they
produced another wonderful season of family favorite events, such as CableONE
Movie Night, but they also recently opened the long awaited Storey Dog Park and
just released the Fall Activity Guide.
While the department was
working on all of these present day events and activities they were also
looking to the future, planning parks for our community, and reaching out to
involve our citizens. The department held two meetings focused on two new
regional parks that are in the very early planning stages – one for South
Meridian and the other in West Meridian. The turnout and participation at these
meetings was fantastic – with 70 people turning out for the South Meridian
meeting and more than 50 for the West Meridian preview. I love to see our
residents taking ownership of their community and our planning for the future!
Here’s a rundown of the
project plans so far. The South Meridian Park will be a 77-acre regional park -
making it the largest park in Meridian, once it is complete - off of Lake Hazel
Road between Locust Grove and Eagle Roads. The focus will be on active
recreation with such amenities as tennis, basketball and pickleball courts,
sand volleyball – even a lighted softball complex, and the ability to host area
tournaments. There will also be playgrounds, pathways, a splash pad, fishing
pond, public art, and community gardens.
The West Meridian Park will
be a 47-acre regional park off McDermott Road. This park will also have
multi-sport ball fields and courts with a focus on the history and identity of
our community. The other amenities will be similar to the proposed South
Meridian Park and those we find at current parks, such as Settlers and Kleiner;
a fishing pond, picnic shelters, pathways, public art and community gardens.
Plans also include an off-leash dog area.
During both meetings, the
public expressed a desire to see more recreational fields in area parks,
including pickleball courts and softball and lacrosse fields. They also said
pathways and trails are important, and water features, such as a splash pad.
One resident said it would be great to have another outdoor community swimming
Right now there is no
timeline, nor funding, regarding construction of these parks. The comments
received during the public meetings will be compiled. Our Parks and
Recreation staff, the Commission, and City Council will review and discuss the
concepts and comments as these projects move forward. Final design and
construction documents are steps that will come in future years.
I want to thank everyone who
participated in these public meetings! The comments received at this stage of
the process will not only help our teams move forward on design and concepts,
but it may also help us identify potential partnerships. We pride ourselves in
creating Quality, Community, and Fun in our Parks. This takes years of well
thought-out proposals, designs and budgetary plans. And while we move forward,
we are always looking to you--our community--for ideas and comments. So
stay tuned for more information about these future parks in Meridian!
By Mayor Tammy
The question isn’t so much “who let the dogs out”, the
question is, WHEN can we let the dogs out? And the answer is – very soon!
I’m thrilled to let you know the City’s first dedicated
off-leash dog park is set to open this month! We will be hosting a Grand Opening Celebration for our Storey
Bark Park on Wednesday, August 12, from 4:00 – 6:00 pm, at 430 E. Watertower
Lane. The event will include an official leash-cutting ceremony at 4:30 pm.
You’re invited to join us and bring your dogs. We’ll also have information
booths and displays, live music, dog-themed door prizes, and doggy goody bags
(while supplies last).
The Storey Bark
Park is located behind Meridian’s Storey Park and is a large fully-fenced dog
park. The park features a safe leashing/unleashing area, separate large dog and
small dog areas, shade shelters, a restroom building, people and doggy drinking
fountains, paved walkways, a variety of ground coverings, benches, mutt mitt
stations, landscaping, a new paved parking area, dog-themed street signs, and a
pair of fire hydrants. Both the small dog area and large dog area feature a
number of agility items donated to the dog park by Intermountain Pet Hospital
This park is
another great example of how our Parks and Recreation Department continues to
reflect the needs of our community and to connect even more people to our
excellent outdoor recreation opportunities. Our community has been
patiently waiting for this dedicated facility. For a number of years we utilized
space at the Meridian Police Department but we lost that area with the
construction of our Public Safety Training Center. I want to thank the members of the Police
Department who did what they could to help us with a temporary solution to this
new facility. Based upon that experience, I am confident this new park
will bring a lot of joy to dogs and their owners.
Storey Bark Park will
be open daily from sunrise to sunset. People and pets who visit the dog park
will be expected to adhere to a set of posted rules intended to keep the
new area safe, clean and fun for all users.
I look forward to seeing you and your K-9 companions at our
City’s newest park!
By Mayor Tammy
City of Meridian is going “Unplugged” at the next Town Hall meeting on
Wednesday, July 22! What do we mean by this? Well, we simply want you, our
residents, to run the agenda for the meeting! We want to hear from you! This is
your chance to ask myself and other City leaders a question you’ve been wanting
to ask us or discuss a certain topic.
no better way to make a City stronger than to get residents and City leaders in
one room talking about the items that are at the forefront of their minds. We
will be taking questions via our social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter,
NextDoor and LinkedIN), email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and in person. We’re
not only recording the Town Hall but we will also be live streaming the
meeting, so if you can’t make it but have a question – you can send us your
query ahead of time and view the live stream. Visit our website and look for
the Town Hall event link on the left side of the homepage – www.meridiancity.org.
Town Hall meeting will take place from 6:30pm – 8:00pm at the Meridian Library
District (1326 W. Cherry Lane). Several of our City departments
will have booths set up with information about upcoming events, activities and
future amenities such as Meridian’s Storey Bark Park, a new dog park located
behind Storey Park, which will open August 12th. We’ll also provide updates about the
much anticipated Meridian Youth Farmers Market coming up on September 10th.
from the Meridian Library will kick off the meeting with an update about plans
for a new technology branch located in Downtown Meridian. We’re always excited
to see the Library grow here in our community and this new branch is no
exception! It will extend the library’s digital services by offering programs
and technologies to the downtown business district. Plans include 3D printers,
computers, video, audio/design software, and large scale printing, among other
hopeful you’ll be able to join us – even if you don’t have questions or a
certain topic you want us to discuss. It will definitely be an “Unplugged”
night full of information regarding our wonderful community.
hope to see you on Wednesday!
By Mayor Tammy
The City of Meridian is a
place for families, where our children are a priority. We are constantly
striving to provide meaningful programs for our youth. In continuation of this
tradition it is only fitting that our newest venture, not only answers a
long-time community request but has a focus on youth. It gives me great joy to
announce the Meridian Youth Farmers Market will debut in September.
I mentioned in my State of
the City that we would explore bringing a Youth Farmers Market to downtown
Meridian. Today I can tell you that we are taking the next steps to do
just that, and will be launching an expo on Thursday, September 10th, at
Meridian City Hall from 4:30pm – 7pm. This year’s one day only event will serve
as a springboard into next summer (2016), when we plan to have youth vendors
marketing their products on a weekly basis.
We are issuing a ‘call’ for
youth vendors who want to sell a variety of products such as fresh fruits,
vegetables, herbs and baked goods at the first ever Youth Farmer’s Market Expo
on September 10th. We will even provide them with a table and canopy
cover thanks to a grant from Blue Cross of Idaho. The market will also provide
some basic information about what is being planned for next year - including
opportunities to sign up for space at local community gardens. We will
have applications for next year’s event on hand. In addition, this event
will consist of educational displays, cooking demos, food trucks, music and
We will be utilizing funds
from our Blue Cross High Five grant to help make this event happen this year
and into the future. By providing access to fresh and healthy food to our
community, we are creating an environment that is more supportive of healthy
lifestyles for kids and families alike. Taking these types of steps can
have a positive impact on our community and ultimately reduce childhood
Our community has been asking
for a Farmers Market in our Downtown Meridian for some time, but we wanted it
to be unique. With this focus on youth – we’re giving kids an opportunity to
learn and profit from their hobbies and projects, but most importantly their
passions. I can’t think of a better way to connect the youth with their
community while providing a service and event that residents have longed for in
We are eager to find youth
vendors for this year’s event as well as next summer’s weekly market. Our
community has said getting a Farmers Market is a priority, so I am asking for
your help in making September’s launch of the Meridian Youth Farmers Market a
huge success! To apply to be a vendor, learn more about this event, or see what
will be taking place over the course of the next year, visit our website at www.meridiancity.org.