- Jessica Murri
- The ACHD Commission meeting on Aug. 5 drew more than 100 people. ACHD President Jim Hansen would probably be delighted if the budget hearing could do the same.
At the most recent Ada County Highway District commission meeting, there were not enough seats for all of the attendees to fit in the meeting room. The commission was deciding on the approval of a 60-home development in the Highlands between 15th Street and Braemere Road and more than 100 people came to show opposition. Regardless, ACHD approved the application and now it will head to the Boise City Department of Planning and Zoning Monday, Sept. 14.
At the end of the crowded meeting, ACHD commission president Jim Hansen gave an invitation to everyone in the room to come to the Wednesday, Aug. 26, meeting where commissioners will decide on the 2016 budget. The meeting begins at 6 p.m.
"Our budget meetings are so empty, you can sometimes hear crickets," he said to the crowd as they filed out.
On that day, the commissioners will consider a $98 million spending plan, according to a news release. The plan includes no increase in property taxes, even though the commission is allowed to consider up to a 3-percent increase in property tax rate. In choosing not to, they save taxpayers almost $2 million.
"It's true that this budget is right, but we still plan to build some important projects, including roundabouts in Boise and Kuna and much-needed improvements to Cloverdale, Five Mile and Linder roads," Hansen wrote in the news release. "We believe this is a solid proposal, but we'd certainly like to hear what the public thinks."
The public can testify on the budget on Wednesday's meeting, or submit comments at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by sending them to 3775 Adams Street, Garden City, Idaho, 83714.
ACHD is primarily funded through property taxe ($33.5 million), as well as the state gas tax ($27.3 million). It also sees revenue from development impact fees ($13 million) and vehicle registration fees ($9.3 million). ACHD is also counting on an additional $5.5 million from gas taxes in 2016, thanks to the Idaho Legislature's transportation funding bill.
The largest projects ahead of ACHD for the 2016 fiscal year include the 36th Street/Catalpa Drive Roundabout, which costs $2.5 million; the expansion of Cloverdale Road from Franklin Road to Ustick, which will make Cloverdale five lanes ($6 million); a roundabout on Linder Avenue and Main Street in Kuna for $1 million; and the expansion of Linder Road to four lanes near Eagle for $2.1 million.
The draft budget can be viewed here.