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State of the City: Housing First, Kudos to a Hero and Rebuilding the 'Mother Ship'

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Boise Mayor Dave Bieter delivers his State of the City address at the Egyptian Theatre, Sept. 1, 2016. - CITY OF BOISE
  • City of Boise
  • Boise Mayor Dave Bieter delivers his State of the City address at the Egyptian Theatre, Sept. 1, 2016.


Boise Mayor Dave Bieter's opening act for his State of the City address Sept. 1 was Ballet Idaho's Elizabeth Barreto and Andrew Taft performing a duet of Elvis Presley numbers. However, Bieter was quick to remind the audience at the Egyptian Theatre that many of the changes to the city during his four terms in office have not just been song-and-dance.

In particular, Bieter pointed to the city's new effort to address chronic homelessness. The mayor announced that on Friday, Sept. 2, the city would begin accepting requests for proposals to establish a permanent structure that could house 40-50 chronically homeless men and women. The plan, which Bieter said came in the shadow of controversy surrounding the Cooper Court homeless encampment, came about after securing financial commitments from Idaho Housing and Finance and Saint Al's and St. Luke's health systems.

Bieter also pushed for voter approval of what is expected to be a referendum on this November's ballot to help the College of Western Idaho fund a proposed campus in downtown Boise's West End. 
Marine veteran Charlie Linville receives a key to the city from Boise Mayor Dave Bieter. - CITY OF BOISE
  • City of Boise
  • Marine veteran Charlie Linville receives a key to the city from Boise Mayor Dave Bieter.

"It'll take all of us to get the two-thirds vote that they'll need," said the mayor.

Bieter's push for a "yes" vote came even before CWI trustees had announced the referendum. A CWI press conference on the matter is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 6.

While hizzoner reminded the gathering that the new Bown Crossing Branch Library would open in spring 2017, he now has his sights set on what he called "the mother ship"—the main branch of the Boise Public Library on Capitol Boulevard. Bieter pushed for what he called a private-public partnership  in the coming years to renovate the main library.

"There's no better way for Boise to show its love for education than by investing in a new Main Library," he said.

The most applause at the event was directed to U.S. Marine veteran and Boise native Charlie Linville, who earlier this year became the first military amputee to summit Mount Everest. In awarding Linville a key to the city, Bieter said Linville "perfectly exemplifies what it is to be a Boisean."