Glass and parks were the buzz words this morning in Boise Mayor Dave Bieter's annual State of the City address.
Acknowledging that the recession has "individuals and families still struggling," Bieter said the city has eliminated more than 40 full-time positions, saving $5.4 million a year. The mayor championed the city's Greenhouse business incubator (currently housing seven tenants) and the city's recent agreement to offer a long-term lease with Biomark in exchange for a full renovation of the old Shaver's warehouse on the corner of Ninth and River streets.
Bieter shared some details on a topic familiar to BW readers: glass recycling. The mayor proposed that curbside glass recycling begin, as a voluntary program, starting this fall. Residents would be able to opt-in for a $10 monthly fee. Bieter also talked about the city's recently purchased glass crusher, to be operated by Environmental Abrasives to recycle much of the collected glass. A formal dedication of the crusher is expected in the next two months. Idaho Glass Recycling is also preparing to launch it bottle re-use program on Franklin Road near Curtis.
The mayor also announced that the Simplot family would move forward with a comprehensive master plan for Esther Simplot Park, beginning next winter with construction of an access road, parking lot and restroom facilities. The Esther Simplot Park will be adjacent the city's River Recreation Park, which should see its first whitewater activity in the summer of 2012.
In more park news, Bieter unveiled plans to secure a portion of the former Franklin Elementary School site for a new neighborhood park near Franklin and Orchard. The mayor said he will also ask the City Council to approve the completion of the 7-acre Terry Day Park near Kootenai and Federal Way. If approved, Terry Day Park could be open in the spring of 2012.
You can read the State of the City Report here.