by Mayor Tammy

Absentee voting has begun and early voting for the November General Election begins one week from today. Ada County voters will have the opportunity to vote early at Meridian City Hall, October 17 – November 4, 9am -6pm (closes at 5pm on Nov. 4). This is a great time to cast your vote ahead of Election Day, November 8, when polls are open from 8am-8pm.

While this November election is anything but typical, it is an important one that has the ability to transform Meridian with the addition of services and amenities our citizens have been requesting.

The Western Ada Recreation District (W.A.R.D.) has a $20 million bond on the ballot that would provide for two indoor, year-round aquatics facilities; one each in south and north Meridian to complement the outdoor Meridian Pool the district operates at Storey Park. Our citizens have rated aquatics as a high priority need - for play, wellness, space for community gatherings, competition, swim lessons and water safety. Water safety is critical—Idaho ranks in the top five states for the highest drowning rates. Swim lessons save lives, and we need to make sure Meridian families have options locally to learn how to swim.

I’ve also heard people comment we should have more than the one outdoor public facility, built more than 40 years ago to serve 5,000 residents. Currently, our citizens say they travel to Nampa or Boise to meet their aquatic needs. It is a fact that we are the largest community in Idaho without an indoor aquatic center. Now, we have a rare opportunity - the land for both proposed sites has been committed and an operator has offered to cover the operation and maintenance costs of the facilities, which can save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs annually.

The proposed south facility would be part of ‘The Hill’ project which includes the YMCA that will be breaking ground later this month; and next to Hillsdale Elementary, a new city park and the proposed library – creating a unique community gathering spot. A similar vision is being laid out for north Meridian and if the bond is approved, the YMCA would look to focus fundraising efforts, once they complete the south Meridian facility, for a north Meridian location as well - creating a second community gathering spot. If this is important for our families - our citizens – the time is now. The opportunity to support the building of these community assets that our citizens have been asking for, and one that families and children can utilize in many ways, is in the hands of our voters.

Also in the hands of voters - the Meridian Library District’s bond that is on the ballot. The $12 million bond would fund the construction of two new branch library projects: one in south and one in north Meridian. Both these bonds require a super-majority to pass—which means every vote is very important. You can click here to read more about this bond.

While Meridian is the #1 Place to Live in America, with these two bonds we have an opportunity to transform and enrich our community by adding resources and services that make Meridian a great place to live, work and raise a family. I am ‘all in’ and will be supporting these two bonds on the ballot. I urge you to get informed and get out and vote—your voice is important.

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