by Mayor Tammy
I was thrilled to see so many people attend our recent Town Hall at the new Hillsdale Elementary gymnasium. It showed me that the feedback I received from my Listening Tour was true - people want to hear what’s happening in South Meridian! So here’s a recap of what we heard regarding developments.
Bill Parsons with our Community Development Department kicked off the presentations with a look at what is under construction or coming soon to South Meridian. There are several residential neighborhoods moving forward with a majority of the developments occurring between Overland and Amity and Eagle Road to Ten Mile. There are also two multifamily projects along Overland – the Silverstone Apartments near Eagle will join the new complex just opening near Camping World. When combined with the new assisted living facility that is planned as well, there are several new types of housing to meet the needs of our community and residents.
On the commercial side - a Bish’s RV Dealership is going in next to Camping World on Overland and Walmart is looking to add a gas station. There is also a Winco planned between Eagle and Locust Grove on Overland. Several businesses are planned for the area along Meridian Road near Overland including a new Dutch Bros., Starbucks and Dowdy’s Automotive. For more information on projects like these, you can always visit the Citizen Access page on our website to learn about what is under construction (www.meridiancity.org). It’s part of our commitment to be as transparent as possible and make sure the public has a voice in planning.
These new businesses and services are contributing to the job growth we have seen with many employers located in our Silverstone and El Dorado business parks grow over the last several years. Power Engineers, Ameriben, and Citi have been helping to fuel the job growth in this area. With a low vacancy rate, Silverstone is also looking to add up to 150,000 square feet of additional space in the future.
Two much needed schools also just opened in South Meridian: Victory Middle School and Hillsdale Elementary. Heartfelt thanks to the patrons of West Ada School District for always supporting our kids regardless of the locations of the schools – its all about our kids! As you may or may not already know, Hillsdale is the beginning of a larger partnership project! The Treasure Valley Family YMCA calls the partnership one that others will emulate across the country! It includes a Y facility with a health provider, the elementary school, a City park, and space for the Meridian Library to build a facility as well as a Western Ada Recreation District (WARD) indoor aquatic center if voters choose to support the bonds needed for these projects to be included. The YMCA says they are very excited to break ground on the first phase later this fall. It’s a project they have spent over a decade working toward.
Meridian Library Director, Gretchen Caserotti told the crowd at the Town Hall that the proposed Library would be utilized by the public and Hillsdale Elementary with a unique design to make it a great, safe space for all. Of course that capital project is contingent on this November’s bond election - which would provide for that facility in South Meridian as well as a new library branch in North Meridian. While not discussed at the meeting, just a few days ago WARD agreed to put a bond request on the November ballot which would allow for the construction of the indoor aquatic center at the South Meridian YMCA, and an indoor facility in North Meridian. I’ll have more on the importance of these ballot initiatives in upcoming blogs.
As for parks in South Meridian, Meridian Parks and Recreation Director Steve Siddoway spoke about our plans for a 10 acre park that will be on the same property as the Y facility and Hillsdale Elementary – and potentially a library and indoor aquatics center. The park will include a half mile pathway and an agricultural themed playground, along with other amenities. Crews are expected to break ground next spring with an opening a year from now. One year after that, in the spring of 2018, we expect to break ground on the first phase of another park in South Meridian - a 77 acre regional park that when fully built will be a regional park similar to Settlers.
Finally we wrapped the meeting with an interactive session with COMPASS, designed to find out what residents want to see when it comes to infrastructure projects in South Meridian. During the meeting, attendees chose what types of infrastructure projects were important to them – road widenings, intersection improvements, pathways and sidewalks, and lighting – and which specific projects. We also asked them about what types of services they would like to see and grocery stores was most important – glad to see we have at least one coming to the area! To see the outcomes from this session, including what road improvements the audience listed as top priorities, click here. We also have videos of the Town Hall so you can see design plans that were presented during the meeting.
I am so grateful to those who took the time to attend the Town Hall and share feedback with us. And I was thrilled to have so many partners present; sharing what they are doing to help our City add even more amenities for residents in South Meridian. Together, we can take this information and use it to work with our departments and partners to focus potential improvements in this area.
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