LEGAL Q & A
Who’s supposed to shovel the snow off the sidewalk?
The property owner, occupant, or tenant of property abutting the sidewalk is responsible for the removal of snow on the sidewalk.
I have a neighbor who has a noisy party every weekend, what do I do?
A really loud party would probably violate Meridian’s “Disorderly Premises” ordinance. If the problem is persistent contact the police.
Can the City make it illegal for someone to throw an advertising circular or phone book on my driveway or porch?
No; the First Amendment to the Unites States Constitution protects this type of commercial speech from regulation.
Do you need a license to sell stuff door-to-door?
Yes, unless it is merely the delivery of goods that have been ordered, protected First Amendment speech, or an occasional sale by local school students in support of the school or school program.
Does the ice cream truck need a license?
Yes, this activity requires a City license.
If a City license is required for the person to do something can I ask to see the license?
If the activity involves a vehicle, like an ice cream truck, the license must be displayed and visible. If the person is selling things door-to-door they must have it on them and produce it when requested. If the salesperson cannot produce the license, let him or her leave and call the police.
Someone came to my house and told me that the City sent them to check my backflow prevention device. Is that true?
No. The City requires that property owners have their backflow prevention devices inspected annually by a tester of the customer’s choice, and the City has a list of qualified, approved testers, but the City does not ask or require specific testers to conduct such inspections. To find out which testers are City-approved, contact the Public Works Department.
The City of Boise requires the servers of alcohol to be certified – does Meridian?
Yes, effective June 1, 2010, all persons serving alcoholic beverages must obtain training and certification.
When does the City Council meet?
On the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Tuesday of the month. If Election Day or a holiday falls on that day then the Council meets on the next day.
As Meridian has grown, we have seen opportunities for our families and businesses grow tenfold. From recreation opportunities, roadway improvements, and choices in education, the ‘energy’ truly is in Meridian in achieving the important aspects necessary to being a premier community to live, work and raise a family. However, we must never rest in our quest and need to continue to seek out and evaluate other opportunities that can enhance our community.
One such opportunity came two weeks ago when Google announced a new state of the art project that would bring internet speeds unlike anyone has ever experienced. This project will provide web speeds 100 times faster than most of us have ever experienced and would provide options and choices for our citizens and businesses to meet their telecommunication needs.
Having the necessary telecommunications infrastructure is as important as having good roads to drive on. It provides for the fast and efficient movement of goods and services that are attractive to businesses and individuals alike.
With this type of infrastructure you can imagine the business and educational opportunities that could exist in Meridian. Existing businesses could gain a global competitive edge. It would allow the next generation of application developers to be located in our community, giving them a leading edge on the competition to provide products and services that are yet to be dreamed up. In addition, this infrastructure could facilitate a 3D medical scan of a patient in ‘The CORE’, or the ability for a student at Rocky Mountain High School to participate in a fully interactive lecture from across the globe that could provide a unique experience that will benefit them in higher education.
The benefits of having Google deploy this technology in Meridian would also go outside the realms of education and business. Individuals would have the ability to download a high definition movie from Amazon in a matter of seconds versus minutes or hours. Needless to say there are many applications and benefits that come from a project of this magnitude.
Since the announcement, I have heard from many of you about how this project would be great for Meridian, and I agree! I believe that if we are to be successful for an investment in our community of this magnitude, our community must come together to let Google know that we are the best most obvious choice for this project. As a City, we have been working on the Request for Information to submit Meridian as a viable candidate.
We can not do this alone and will need the help of everyone in the community. Whether it would be a benefit to your business or family, I encourage everyone to share your enthusiasm with Google by visiting this link (http://www.google.com/appserve/fiberrfi/public/options) and let Google know why Meridian is the perfect location for this project. I challenge you to make your voice heard, create a web page that shows your support or make a video showcasing our community and put it on YouTube. Anything we can do to show Google why Meridian is the obvious choice for this project and that we truly are a community that is built for business, and designed for living.
If you have an idea to make us stand out in this quest, I want to hear about it. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Together we can embrace this unique opportunity and celebrate Meridian as the premier community to live, work and raise a family.
Burn Permits No Longer Required for Meridian Fire District Residents
As spring rapidly approaches, our residents start to think about yard cleanup around their homes and how to dispose of yard trimmings. In the past, as you may or may not know, the Meridian Fire Department issued written Burn Permits to Meridian residents inside and outside City limits allowing different types of open burning. The problem was that even with the issuance of the permit the Fire Department often times still got dispatched to a report of smoke in the area of a certain address or behind a building. The calls to the 911 Center are well intentioned however; it does require the Fire Department to respond to the location to investigate the source of the smoke. As a result, the Ada County Fire Chiefs Association have met and decided to discontinue the practice of issuing Burn Permits effective January 1, 2010. With that being said it will still be legal to conduct certain types of outdoor burning provided the following regulations are met.
What can I burn in the City limits of Meridian?
It will still be legal to burn weeds along irrigation ditches within the City limits. In the past, we have allowed the burning of vegetation/weeds along fence rows, but because of the potential for damage to combustible wood and vinyl fencing this will no longer be allowed. The only other type of outdoor burning allowed in the City limits of Meridian are for outdoor recreational fires such as campfires, ceremonial fires or open pit fires for barbeques. Recreational or warming fires should be no larger than 3 feet in diameter and less than 2 feet in height. These fires must be located at least 25 feet from any structure or combustible material. If the outdoor fire is conducted in an approved appliance that distance may be further reduced to within 15 feet of a structure or combustible material. Burn Barrels and burning of residential waste is strictly prohibited. Also, the burning of combustible debris, rubbish or waste at construction sites is not allowed at anytime.
Before you burn….
As in the past, all open burning will still require that you call the Idaho Department of Environmental Air Quality Hotline at 373-0313 for a daily recorded message or check the DEQ air quality website at: http://www.deq.idaho.gov/air/aqindex.cfm to determine whether it is a burn day or not. The burn will have to be conducted between 8:00 a.m. and sunset with the exception of recreational fires. Open Burning should never be done during RED FLAG warnings of high fire danger or when winds are expected to exceed 10 mph. As a precaution, you should notify your neighbors of the intended burn before you start the fire. You will still be required to be in constant attendance of any open burning on your property until the fire is completely extinguished and must have a fire extinguisher, shovel or water hose immediately available should the need arise.
Any smoke caused from burning is required to rise up and away from neighbors, highways and other populated areas. Failure to make these determinations before conducting burning operations may result in a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more that $500 or by imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or such both a fine and imprisonment. Any damages resulting from open burning will be the responsibility of the person conducting the burning operations. The Fire Department is authorized to order the extinguishment of any open burning that creates or adds to a hazardous or objectionable situation.
Regulation of open burning is still needed to reduce the danger of fires in Meridian and to minimize the impact of smoke on public health. It is hoped that through these efforts that we can continue to maintain and improve fire safety and air quality for the residents of Meridian and the Treasure Valley.
For further information on outdoor burning, please check our website at:
Well it has been a tough month since our last blog. Since then our Officers have investigated two (2) murder-suicides. These were both difficult for our Officers and other responding emergency personnel because they really hit home. The second murder-homicide was especially difficult for all of the emergency personnel involved, because our murder victim was an 8 month old baby boy, who was murdered by his father. We all struggled with how somebody could do something like this to a baby, but especially their own baby. What a lot of people don’t see is the aftermath of these tragedies and their effects on emergency personnel who respond. Our Officers carry each one of these tragedies with them for the rest of their lives and always have questions about what if…. We realize this and in response with the help of surrounding agencies we were able to put together a Critical Incident Stress Management debriefing for all of the personnel who responded to the murder of this innocent baby. We had police, victim witness, fire, paramedics and dispatchers all together to talk about this horrific incident and from what I have heard it was very helpful for all involved. Each day we take steps to try and lesson this type of stress on our emergency responders and I hope we are making some progress.
So the next time you see an emergency responder, say a little prayer for them or give them a little show of support, because you just don’t realize some of the things they have seen. They are all caring human beings, who are trying to do the best job they can do.
Deputy Chief Tracy L. Basterrechea
On January 29th, the Meridian Parks and Recreation Department launched pages on Facebook and Twitter with the intent to use them as another avenue to keep our residents current on parks and recreation issues and opportunities. Did you recently participate in a class through Meridian Parks and Recreation? Check out our page on Facebook to see if we’ve posted some pictures from your class or to let us know about your experience. Do you like to take your kids to Settlers Park to play in the splash pad? Follow us on Facebook or Twitter, and you’ll be notified whenever there’s a maintenance closure. Looking for something to do this weekend? Joining our social media pages will keep you in the know about activities and events taking place in Meridian’s parks, such as CableONE Movie Night in Meridian, the Meridian Barn Sour 10k/6k/1 Mile Fun Run, the 4th of July Celebration, and Christmas in Meridian.
In addition, we’ll keep our followers up to date on park construction projects, upcoming recreation classes for all ages, sports league deadlines, and sponsorship and concessions opportunities. To start following our social media pages, just click on the icons on the City of Meridian homepage or on the Meridian Parks and Recreation homepage. Join today!
For more information, contact Meridian Parks and Recreation at 888-3579 or email@example.com.
Whenever I see lights on in an empty room, I flash back to those many fireside chats with the President in a cardigan sweater lecturing us to all conserve energy. Then I mutter “Jimmy Carter” to myself as I turn off the lights. I was young, and the need to conserve energy every day and in everything we do made an impression on me. It is thirty-five years later, and the topic of energy conservation is more relevant than ever.
I am proud to say that the City of Meridian currently supports two exciting energy conservation initiatives: a Green Grant Program funded through an incentive award from Idaho Power and an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy and projects funded through Federal stimulus money. In my blog today, I thought I’d let you know a little bit about the Green Grant initiative. I’ll fill you in on the strategy and projects in my next blog installment.
When making design decisions about our new building, the Mayor and City Council decided to design and build City Hall in a manner that would conserve energy. Idaho Power recognized the City’s commitment to energy efficiency and granted us a $100,000 rebate. The City then developed the Green Grant program to reinvest those funds back into the community with two goals in mind: to encourage job development and to recognize the importance of energy efficiency and conservation. VengaWorks, a Meridian based business, has partnered with the City to provide a matching grant in the form of discounted rent to grant recipients that seek to use their energy-efficient, high-performance office space.
The grants range from $1,000 to $2,000 and are available to Meridian businesses that are: 1) creating new jobs related to energy efficiency and conservation, 2) creating new jobs in a high-performance building, or 3) conducting energy efficiency retrofits. For more information on the Green Grants program, please see our website here
If you have additional questions, please feel free to call me (Anna Canning) at 884-5533 or Robert Simison at 489-0529.
The City of Meridian Utility Department has provided customers several options in order to make their payments in the most personally convenient way.
Current Payment Options Include:
- Phone - with Visa or MasterCard. $1.50 fee per transaction charged
- Online – with Visa or MasterCard.
- Direct Pay – have the payment withdrawn directly from your bank account
- In Person – Office is open 8-5 Monday through Friday, excluding Holidays
- Drive Through Drop Box – secure payment drop box in front parking lot
- Mail – send your payment the traditional way using a check and the Post Office
- Bill Pay – many banks and credit unions offer this service free to their customers.
What we are not able to do, is provide personalized reminders such as last minute emails or phone calls to our residents. The normal billing process provides each service address with a monthly bill. Accounts are not considered delinquent for another billing cycle. Prior to each scheduled “shut-off” day, all delinquent accounts receive a notice that provides the deadline for payment and the required payment amount in order to avoid the termination of services. This means that any service address with a delinquent account that is facing service termination has received or been issued no less than 3 notices.
Anyone with questions regarding their account should feel free to contact the Utility Billing Staff. We are here to assist customers with questions regarding their service billings and payment options.
It is our constant goal to provide optimum customer service. We really do want to help you keep your services intact!
More information about our “Shut-off” procedures, scheduled dates and payment options please visit our webpage at www.meridiancity.org/utility_billing
What an amazing year we have had in Meridian. Despite our challenging economic times, our community remains solid and we have maintained and improved the services that our citizens have grown to expect. This week we will take a moment to reflect and celebrate many of our successes in Meridian, both in and outside the walls of City Hall. I hope you will take the opportunity to come share in the celebration in what we have accomplished together at the annual State of the City address.
“Built for Business and Designed for Living” is more than a slogan, it is our goal. It is setting the foundation for where we have come as a community to where we are going and the stops in between. I look forward to sharing the positive information about our dynamic living landscape, our rise to a self-sufficient community with a positive business environment, and the role of our city services in both these arenas. Our story is one of good news that needs to be shared.
Events like State of the City are no small undertaking, it requires the work and dedication of many volunteers and individuals serving in our community. Our youth, chamber, and business community are taking part to make this event a success. Businesses like PKG, Idaho Power and Blue Cross have stepped up as sponsors for the event, while 9 local restaurants, like Sa-Wad-Dee and Ricks Press Room, will be providing their finest at the ‘Taste of Meridian’ immediately following the speech.
This year’s title sponsor is St. Luke’s Meridian Medical Center. They are no stranger to our community. St. Luke’s has served the Meridian area since early 1990, initially with a medical office building and out-patient clinic. By late 2001 hospital officials realized what many of us already knew Meridian, as well as the west portion of the Valley, was growing and growing fast. In effort to provide the best service to the community, St. Luke’s-Meridian became the first new full service hospital in the Treasure Valley in nearly 30 years!
St. Luke’s-Meridian is the busiest emergency room in the state and has over 160 beds to meet the full service needs of the community; in 2009, almost 1300 babies were born under their care. The Meridian location is also home to Air St. Luke’s which provides critical medical and emergency transport throughout southwest Idaho and eastern Oregon.
Join us and share in the exchange of positive information and stay for delicious food; as we play host to the 2010 State of the City Address. It will be held Thursday February 4th, at 3:59 pm at the Meridian Middle School auditorium. The Taste of Meridian reception with a wide variety of fine food will immediately follow. Tickets are $10.00 and can be purchased at City Hall or at this week’s Chamber Lunch. You may call 489-0529 for more information.
If you can’t make it to the event, Channel 7 will show it on 24-7. We will also be taping the program and make it available on our website along with the text of the speech. Thank you for helping make Meridian the great community that we are today, and I hope you will join me this week as we celebrate Meridian as the premier place to live, work and raise a family.