There are so many amazing things about our community; an emerging favorite is the growing displays of public and private art throughout Meridian. From outdoor sculptures and fountains, to the variety of paintings in City Hall, our School District, and local businesses - there is something for everyone’s taste.
The City continues to embrace public art, this week, with a six-week showcase of our local senior artists. These artists have won numerous awards at the Western Idaho Fair and their placement in City Hall will complement our existing public art exhibit in Initial Point Gallery.
Our area seniors have benefitted from the partnership and assistance from the Meridian Senior Center as well as local professional artists who lend their time and expertise. Meridian seniors are fortunate to have the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in the visual arts. The City is excited to celebrate their success and share their accomplishments.
Selected senior artists will have their artwork showcased on all three floors of City Hall over the next six weeks. The featured pieces will change in three weeks to allow all of our award winners to be recognized.
The Meridian Art Commission has worked adamantly to provide a variety of art in City Hall. Take for instance the “Origins” structure that greets visitors as they enter the building, this one of a kind piece celebrates Meridian’s history and recognizes our community’s placement in the middle of the Boise Valley.
There is also the Initial Point Art Gallery, located on the third floor of City Hall. The gallery boasts monthly exhibits from artists throughout the community. From watercolors to outdoor air painters, there is always something new. This month Sandy Marostica is showcasing her “How We Know” collection. This combination of lithographs and paintings are inspired by antique illustrations. Our youth are also prominently recognized for their artistic merits as well. Just inside of my office are some amazing art pieces created by area youth.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to tour City Hall, take an afternoon and come and celebrate emerging and established local artists. Together we can Celebrate Meridian with examples of the many people and events that make our community a premier city to live, work, and raise a family. To share your favorite local artist or to recognize someone making a difference in our community I want to hear about it. Email me at MayorTammy@meridiancity.org.
Have you ever seen fire trucks parked in front of businesses in your area and wondered what was going on? They are typically involved in Fire Prevention or Public Education activities in your area. Part of our mission at the Fire Department is to preserve lives and protect property by providing services to prevent and control fires, accidents, and other emergencies, while maintaining the highest standards of professionalism, efficiency, and effectiveness.
To carry out this part of our mission; we conduct periodic inspections on selected commercial occupancies to check for compliance with fire prevention codes. These are considered maintenance inspections to ensure that exits, fire sprinklers, fire alarm systems, exit signs/lighting are being maintained in good working order. (Additional inspections are required by outside companies as well. Fire Alarm systems, Fire Sprinkler Systems and Fire extinguishers are all required to be inspected annually by a service company.) Fire Inspections also allow our firefighters to interact with the businesses in their response areas. Business owners will typically come to know the fire crew on a first name basis and will often call the Fire Captain to seek answers to fire/safety questions. Additionally, building representatives often take this time to seek advice on emergency procedures and evacuation for their respective building. An inspection by the engine company puts a face to our organization and provides a safer community. The engine companies also perform pre-fire plan surveys of facilities to allow firefighters to familiarize themselves with the layout of the structure and operational aspects of various fire protection equipment that the building may have. They gather information on hazardous materials stored on site and after hour’s emergency contact information for the owners/management for the property.
Our firefighters are also seen at area Day Care Centers, Schools and senior meeting areas teaching fire and safety practices to prevent fire and injuries. They take their fire prevention and safety messages throughout the community educating children and adults in safe practices. They can be seen supporting local health/safety fairs and making visits to our local grade schools as part of our public education program. They visit classrooms and talk about the importance of maintaining smoke detectors and having a home exit plan and drills. Children are given an opportunity to see a firefighter in all of their gear and to take a tour of the fire engine. The importance of this exposure is to allow children to see what firefighters look like, so if they have a fire in their home the children won’t become frightened and hide from the firefighter who is there to help them.
Our fire crews are involved in the community, through periodic inspections of business buildings and public education; the Meridian Fire Department is committed in being your partners in the prevention of fire and safety injuries. Our fire prevention and education staff is available to answer any questions that you may have at 888-1234.
Meridian Fire Department
We have just completed another successful year for National Night Out. Despite our state of the economy, there were just as many events this year. I would like to thank our neighborhood groups, sponsors, elected officials and the police staff for an enjoyable evening despite the threat of storms and the intense heat. I am looking forward to 2010.
The Meridian Police Department in partnership with the fire department just kicked off our seventh public safety academy September 5th, this our biggest class yet. Several academies ago we cut back to once a year because of a slow interest or concern for the time commitment. We added a second class this fall as the interest picked up. We owe a big thanks to our alumni for spreading the good word because we did not advertise this latest class. Please contact Melissa Delaney at email@example.com if you have interest in our next PSA coming spring of 2010.
Dispose of Your Unused Medications Safely!
If you have unused, unnecessary, or expired prescription or over-the-counter medications in your home, this program offers a safe, hassle-free way for you to dispose of them properly.
Do not flush medicines down the toilet or dump them down the drain, as they could ultimately end of polluting our water supply. Do not just leave them sitting unattended where teens/adults looking for a cheap high could abuse them or where they could tempt young children. Bring them in and know that they will be disposed of properly with no questions asked.
You can bring them to be disposed of at the Meridian Police Department at 1401 E. Watertower from 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday.
Kick off will be Oct. 1, please contact Lt. John Overton at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have additional questions.
Jeff A. Lavey
Chief of Police
It is great when a business in our community sees a need and acts on it; it is especially rewarding when it is one of Meridian’s small businesses that steps up to meet that need. Recently, VengaWorks did just that when they spearheaded the Smart Business Ecosystem (SBE) initiative. The SBE was launched to address critical business issues and provide growth opportunities for the community in a public/private partnership.
One of the first initiatives of the SBE the that the City was able to take a lead in was to promote ‘green’ startups and ‘green’ workspace solutions through the City of Meridian Green Grant Fund. The Green Grant Fund is an effort to reward new green jobs, new businesses that locate in a high-performance building, and Meridian businesses working to make their existing building more energy efficient. The primary goal of the program is to develop new jobs in our community and the second goal is to recognize the importance of energy efficiency and conservation.
The Green Grant Fund resulted from a decision made three years ago with the decision to build our City Hall to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System standards. This decision netted the City a $100,000 rebate for the commitment to energy efficiency that saves significant amounts of electricity. We wanted to pass this forward to carry on the message of efficiency and sustainability – and economic growth!
The City set aside $40,000 for this grant program and VengaWorks has offered $20,000 in the form of discounted rent to grant recipients that seek to use the VengaWorks ‘green’ office space.
Grants are being awarded in three categories, and to date three awards have been made. If you are a ‘green’ small business looking to add new jobs, a new business looking for a place to open your doors, or an existing business who wants to make energy improvements to your building; this is an opportunity for you to make that step. Click here to view more information about the Green Grants program or to download an application, but hurry as all applications are due by September 30, 2009.
Celebrating a Meridian business who is working to provide positive opportunities is what Meridian is all about. If you get a chance to see what VengaWorks is doing in their unique office space and design, stop by and check out their facility on Overland just down the street from Wahooz! I guarantee you it will have you thinking green and thinking positively about our amazing community.
In the mean time, I look forward to hearing your story and encourage you to share it with me at MayorTammy@meridiancity.org. Together we can Celebrate Meridian with examples of the many people and events that make our community a premier city to live, work, and raise a family.
I had the pleasure of attending the grand opening of the ISU-Meridian campus. It was amazing to see the changes that have taken place in a former manufacturing facility. From the patient simulation labs to a sterile area for pharmacy, students to learn how to compound medicines. The school is moving forward in preparing students for a career in the medical field. Right here in Meridian we are the center of meeting the critical needs in health care for Idahoans.
It was also rewarding to see the vision of two schools – ISU and Renaissance High School working side by side. Joint School District 2 can now provide their students with college credit for classes taken in conjunction with ISU courses. Young people who have a desire to enter a medical career can get a head start on earning their college degree.
The best part of the grand opening was talking to an ISU administrator who said that their vision was embraced by the City of Meridian who made them feel wanted. It was very satisfying to hear that we in city government were instrumental in helping turn their vision into reality.
As I thought about it later that evening, in many ways that is an important role of city government. We work in partnership with individuals, big and small businesses, and educational institutions to make their vision come true. Whether it is in creating jobs or educational opportunities we can assist by providing the infrastructure and some resources while keeping regulatory burdens to a minimum.
Our vision for Meridian is to have a thriving community with good jobs and quality neighborhoods, among many things. Although ISU and the school district had a separate vision to meet the need of their students, they were complementary visions and by coming together they created a powerful dynamic. In the same way, if we in the city partner with business, we can achieve success for both of our visions as well.
Growing up in Meridian, I recall this community as a small town that was primarily rural in nature and then slowly transitioning to a bedroom community of Boise. We had excellent schools and wonderful neighborhoods, but most of the jobs and businesses were located elsewhere.
Many entrepreneurs saw the potential of Meridian as a full service community, providing good jobs and services to go along with the neighborhoods and schools. In time, city government came to support that vision, which became a reality as Meridian grew into a city that thrives in all areas. It takes the private sector to make it happen, but the city can foster growing businesses and good jobs by partnering to help make their dreams a reality.
Yes, times are tough economically right now. But this community still has people who have a vision and those of us that serve you in city government have a vision of how this city can thrive. Working together we can make that a reality. Just as the city assisted ISU and their dream of a satellite campus in the Treasure Valley, we can help others make their vision come true that will lead to new growth and vitality. Working together we can make it happen.
While celebrating Labor Day last week I realized that fall is right around the corner. As the temperature drops and leaves begin to change color it reminds me of the changes occurring in our community.
One of our newest and most exciting changes in Meridian is the addition of Idaho State University (ISU) – Meridian to our community. ISU is a Carnegie Doctoral Research University and has the statewide mission in health science education. This week ISU will have an official grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting as it begins playing host to over twenty different health and science related programs including expansion of the university’s world-renowned pharmacy program, fast-track nursing, physician assistant studies, clinical lab science, audiology, speech-language pathology, counseling, paramedic science, public health and dietetics. I am excited to say that we will have more than 700 ISU students attending classes this fall.
ISU made the decision to consolidate their Treasure Valley programs in Meridian for many reasons. In addition to being the population center of the valley, the City of Meridian offers a strong, safe community full of hard working citizens that strongly support education. Our quality of life is second to none, and our schools serve as an example to the rest of the state as to what can be accomplished when educators, administrators and students work together to do their best.
Two weeks ago I wrote about the opening of Renaissance High School and how students would benefit from its relationship with ISU, but our high school students won’t be the only ones who benefit from this facility. Meridian residents who may have had to travel east or west in the valley can now participate in world-class bachelor and graduate-level degree programs right in their own backyard. Whether getting an education for their first job, or being retrained as they change careers, citizens can easily access this facility off I-84 and Locust Grove to accomplish their goals.
In addition to its role as an educator, Idaho State University has another important role in our community – economic driver. It has already brought construction jobs as the old Jabil building was transformed from a warehouse to an education destination, but now our local businesses will feel the impact of having these students at this facility in Meridian. Students, professors, and visitors will be finding new places to eat, shop, and relax as they go about learning and living in Meridian.
ISU is also a major component in the success of The CORE, our Health Science and Technology corridor. It is part of the needed infrastructure that will provide the labor force for new or emerging business as The CORE becomes the center of job creation for the valley and the entire state. ISU will supply the workplace with quality professionals and attract funding for research and development, ultimately leading to sustainable economic development by creating high-paying jobs.
The addition of ISU gives us another reason to celebrate Meridian, and I urge you to join me in welcoming ISU to the Meridian community, and The CORE. You can join the grand opening celebration on Thursday, September 17, 2009, at 5:30 pm, or check out what they have to offer by visiting them online at http://www.isu.edu/meridian/.
I look forward to hearing your good news story or idea and urge you share your story with me at MayorTammy@meridiancity.org. Together we can Celebrate Meridian with examples of the many people and events that make our community a premier city to live, work, and raise a family.
The Parks and Recreation Department’s mission statement is to enhance the community’s quality of life by providing well designed and properly maintained parks and recreational opportunities for all citizens. The Parks Maintenance Division is directly responsible for the overall appearance and safety of the parks that so many of you enjoy. I would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of our maintenance programs as follows:
• Turf Management--Sprinkler irrigation is the single most important aspect of a turf management program. We utilize state-of-the-art technology to operate our irrigation systems. Maxicom irrigation compiles weather data that is fed from our weather station to the computer and then out to each park to automatically determine the amount of water needed to replenish the soil each evening. The system is set up with data from each sprinkler zone, including soil type, precipitation rate, and crop coefficient. These values together with weather data give us an evapotranspiration rate. For example: If our evapotranspiration rate for that day is .25, the system will automatically replenish ¼ of an inch of water allowing us to use our resources wisely.
• Infrastructure--The infrastructure in our parks includes parking lots, pathways, playgrounds, restroom facilities, lighting, and picnic shelters. One of the most important components to our infrastructure is our playgrounds. They provide great recreational benefits to park users but can be the most dangerous component if not properly maintained. We have two certified playground safety inspectors on staff that follow safety guidelines set forth by the International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) and the National Playground Safety Institute. Each playground is inspected monthly for worn parts, cracks, and other wear that could cause a safety hazard. If a hazard is noted, it is promptly repaired to new condition.
• Janitorial--The cleanliness of our parks promotes a feeling of well being to all users. With fourteen restrooms, twelve picnic shelters, and countless litter receptacles, janitorial services is a full-time job that occurs seven days a week. Our service schedule is designed to clean, prep, and empty litter receptacles in our regional and community parks daily and in our neighborhood parks five days per week. During special events, festivals, or large reservations, we have staff onsite throughout the entire gathering to ensure that park users have an enjoyable experience.
Our maintenance staff takes great pride in quality service and takes ownership in our assigned areas. We constantly strive to improve our service; that is why we solicit input from our users. If there’s ever a suggestion that can help us improve our service and your experience in one of our parks, please contact me, at email@example.com.
Recently Rick’s Press Room in downtown Meridian celebrated two years of success in business while being featured on the popular Food Network program Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives hosted by Guy Fieri. Congratulations to Rick’s for this recognition (p.s. try their chili chicken wings…Yum!). While this program celebrated one of our great Meridian restaurants, it also helped remind us all about the new opportunities we have seen in our community in the last year, even in the last few weeks, when it comes to dining out.
Meridian recently welcomed two new restaurants along the Eagle Road corridor as Chili’s and Smashburger both opened their doors. They have joined a multitude of other restaurants that have recognized the opportunities that Meridian and its central location offers. With the addition of Buffalo Wild Wings, Chronic Tacos, Famous Dave’s, On the Border, Iceberg Drive Inn, Iggy’s and others along the Eagle Road corridor, dining opportunities for each and every palette are now present. This provides options for our community that previously required a trip to other locations in the Treasure Valley to enjoy.
While Eagle Road has seen the bulk of new eateries, the addition of Gino’s Italian Restaurante in the BridgeTower subdivision and Flatbread Community Oven in Downtown shows that businesses are choosing to call other areas of Meridian home as well. Whether they are moving from another part of the region or opening a second location, they know what we know – Meridian is a great place to do business.
It is unfortunate that some businesses have had to close their doors. However, overall there are more restaurants to choose from and other restaurants that will open soon such as Five Guys Burgers and Fries, expected to open in the next few months.
These all show a growing confidence in Meridian and give us all a reason to be grateful for new jobs and dining choices. I hope you will join me in welcoming our new businesses, taking the time to get out and support existing favorites like Epi’s, Vina, Louies, or Sa-wad-dee, as well as long-time Meridian favorites such as the Hungry Onion. Together we can prove there are a lot of great things happening in our community, so let’s continue to celebrate all that Meridian has to offer!
If you have had a great dining experience you would like to share or know of a new venue headed to Meridian, send me an email at MayorTammy@meridiancity.org. We want to Celebrate Meridian with you each Monday with examples of the many people and events that make our community a premier city to live, work, and raise a family.
The City of Meridian is an annual recipient of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. The goal of the CDBG program is to “develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment.” To that end, the City of Meridian is teaming with Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority (BCACHA) to help eligible buyers purchase homes.
BCACHA’s mission is to “Enhance [the] community by providing safe and affordable housing and fostering self sufficiency and stability for people in need.” BCACHA engages in many programs and activities to provide housing options for low and moderate income residents in Ada County.
Here in Meridian, BCACHA receives CDBG funding from the City to provide down payment and closing cost assistance for homebuyers identified through the Housing Choice Voucher Program. In addition to identifying potential buyers and assisting them through the process, BCACHA provides a wealth of resources and critical expertise to help eligible residents in Meridian buy their own homes. This program provides the necessary front-end assistance that allows these eager, capable, and deserving families to achieve homeownership.
By bringing together resources at the federal, regional/county, and local levels of government, this partnership has already helped two families purchase homes in Meridian. Another family hopes to close on a home in the next few weeks. The City plans to provide additional CDBG funding to BCACHA for homebuyer assistance next year. This partnership is off to a truly encouraging start, with several successes already realized. The City looks forward to continuing and building upon this important program to the benefit of our community in the future.
For more information on the federal CDBG program, please visit:
For information on the CDBG program in Meridian, please visit:
Utility Billing consists of seven staff members that are responsible for the maintenance and oversight of the current 31,285 accounts as well as the customer care for each. Our department is responsible for the billing of water, sewer, trash, sprinkler meters, fire suppression systems and false alarms.
In order to better serve our citizens, we have been able to establish options and alternatives for easily making payments. We are able to accept payments through Bill Pay (payments received directly from your bank), Visa and Master Credit Card payments through our online service and in our office, you can even sign up for our most convenient and cost effective option; Direct Pay which is authorization to have payments taken directly from the bank account of your choice. Check our webpage for additional details.
Within the next month we anticipate being able to offer several online forms that will streamline some processes and make our services available to you online 24 hours a day. These forms will include items such as; change of mailing address, cancellation of direct pay, requests for meter service checks, and requests for billing adjustments.
Our staff is here to assist customers with questions regarding their service billings. We can provide explanations of charges, update customer information, and requests to start and stop service. We can also prepare and submit service orders as needed.
It is our constant goal to provide optimum customer service. Please contact our office with any questions you may have in regards to your billing. Utility Billing can be reached by phone at 888-4439 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.