by Mayor Simison

The positive relationship between our citizens and first responders is one of my favorite things about Meridian. This bond helps guarantee that our city stays a safe place to live, work, and raise a family. That’s why I love efforts such as National Night Out, which aim to bring residents together. These events are the backbone of Meridian which helps give us a sense of pride and community.

National Night Out has served as a celebratory event created to bridge the gap between neighborhoods and our first responders. The trust between citizens and law enforcement is more important than ever, and National Night Out historically helps create important connections. Introducing neighbors and first responders in non-emergency situations builds confidence and a sense of unity. In that way, it is one of the Meridian Police Department’s most popular and cherished events.

This year’s National Night out was held on Tuesday, August 3rd. Twenty-five neighborhoods across Meridian came together to help build a friendlier and more open place to live. Unique to Meridian, we also have our firefighters participate in this community-wide event. Through parties, parades, and cookouts, citizens were able to interact with the people who serve them and keep them safe. I am very proud of this wonderful event and the benefits it has brought to our city. I strongly encourage any interested neighborhoods and homeowners associations to participate in National Night Out next August. More information can be found HERE.

As part of investing in our first responders to keep the community safe, this month we are opening a 2-story facility comprised of multi-functional learning spaces and a realistic streetscape to provide responders with varied and accurate simulations they may face in Meridian. The Scenario Village is space that will help local police, fire and public works personnel to better serve our citizens as we want our responders to be equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to successfully protect our community. A ribbon cutting is scheduled for Friday August 20th at 11am located at 1185 E. Watertower Street, and the community is invited to attend.

Public safety is of the utmost importance as displayed in the Fiscal Year 2022 budget I presented to City Council. My budget requested additional police officers and non-sworn police personnel, as well as two new police substations. These substations aim to have space for our officers as we grow and place them closer to their patrol areas which cuts down on drive time to calls and keeps them in their patrol area for any emergency response. Similarly, I request construction of a fire station planned to open in 2025 be moved up to 2023. These investments help us keep up with our growing community without reducing services levels to our existing residents. The budget also includes many projects for our Parks and Recreation Department, including the next phase of construction in Discovery Park, several new pathways, and investments in Lakeview golf course. These are important recreational opportunities which will keep Meridian an active and healthy community.

You can learn more about the complete proposed budget HERE, and a public hearing will be held on August 17th during the regularly scheduled City Council Meeting. I encourage you to attend and share your feedback on the budget. If you are unable to attend in person or remote that evening, you can share public comments by email to cityclerk@meridiancity.org.

The success of Meridian comes from the support of involved citizens, businesses, and civic groups who recognize and support our purpose and values. As we move forward through the end of summer and into fall, I ask you to join me in celebrating, supporting, and bonding with the fine men and women who serve Meridian and who meet a high standard of excellence, which guarantees our citizens a premier city in which to live, work, and raise a family.

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