Boise Mayor Lauren McLean delivered her State of the City Address this afternoon at JUMP in downtown Boise. The mayor focused on how Boiseans can come together to not only overcome the challenges we’re facing but use them as opportunities to create their shared vision for the city’s future.
“Boise continues to change, but change doesn’t have to be something that’s ‘happening to us.’ Together, we can shape this change,” said McLean. “We must seize the opportunity in this pivotal moment. And we’ll succeed because we put people first, try all solutions, and do what must be done.”
Boise’s economy keeps growing, but the cost of living keeps rising too, so the mayor continues to ease the pressures on Boiseans’ wallets. In the last three years, the mayor has held down property tax growth to an average of 1.8 percent – almost half the possible increase. This year, with the help of the city council, the mayor will be directing the city to:
- Give $1.2 million in new ‘circuit breaker’ tax relief for elderly, widowed or disabled homeowners.
- Administer $2 million to small businesses, in partnership with United Way of the Treasure Valley.
- Provide $3 million in recovery funds for childcare workforce incentive pay.
“I hear from parents who say they can’t find affordable childcare and they’ve had to leave careers because of it. I hear from childcare providers who are facing a major labor shortage. So, we are helping to find solutions,” said Mayor McLean. “We are proud to partner with the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children to support our childcare workforce, so that Boiseans are free to pursue their dream jobs because they can find care for their kids.”
Mayor McLean’s number one priority remains ensuring there are homes for everyone. The mayor announced:
- She is directing $12 million dollars in recovery funds to create and preserve affordable homes.
- The city is on target to meet its goal of producing 1250 affordable homes by 2026, along with creating 250 homes for people exiting homelessness.
“Those aren’t just numbers, they’re families. We’ll keep supporting families and looking for new and better ways to do it,” said Mayor McLean. “That’s what it means to take care of people. That’s the Boise we are creating together.”
As the crime rate drops in Boise, the mayor will continue to make critical investments in police.
“The Police Department is reexamining officers’ roles to make sure we’re providing the type of service you all expect,” said Mayor McLean. “We continue to see the tremendous benefits of having dedicated liaison officers engaging with their communities. We will keep growing these positions because they’re so important to community policing.”
Boise firefighters continue to work tirelessly to keep you and your homes safe. The mayor announced investments to help them do their jobs even better:
- Improving fire stations throughout the city, including the downtown station which will be all electric and have charging terminals for electric trucks.
- Breaking ground on a brand-new fire station in Northwest Boise next year, which will also be fully electric.
Building on work from the Cross Disability Task Force, the mayor and city council will allocate $3.1 million to update city facilities to provide better access for folks with disabilities. The mayor and her team are also providing more equitable access in city parks. There are currently 10 inclusive playgrounds, and they will install at least two more this year at Bowden and Franklin Parks.
The City Council approved a park at Gary Lane last year and the city will build it this summer. The park advances the city’s goal of having all Boise kids able to walk to a park in ten minutes, and its pollinator garden advances Boise’s America the Beautiful pledge.
“I sat in the open field two weeks ago eating lunch and imaging the playground, shelter, pathways – and people gathering – that we’ll create there,” said McLean. “I’m excited to share we’re naming it for a flower that will be a part of that garden: Primrose Park.”
The mayor is also proposing $10 million in recovery funds for infrastructure and climate adaptation which will allow the city to:
- Improve, repair, and expand Boise’s geothermal heating system.
- Turn up to seven buildings fully electric next year.
- Ensure all new buildings are fully electric moving forward.