Courtesy City of Boise
In her 2023 State of the City Address, Mayor Lauren McLean laid out her vision for the City of Boise while highlighting ambitious city projects moving the needle on housing affordability, public safety, transportation and access to parks and open space as the city grows and changes.
“Even through challenging times, I am betting on Boise,” added McLean. “I am betting on us as a community of people who have, generation after generation, rolled up our sleeves, worked together and beat the odds.”
McLean highlighted the City of Boise’s work on a housing project at State and Arthur, where city land was used to incentivize a partnership with CCDC and Pacific Companies to make homes accessible along an important transportation corridor.
Housing incentives are also a component of the city’s new, modern zoning code. This important update will create homes of all shapes and sizes that blend into a neighborhood’s fabric and address the growing need for housing in our community.
“By partnering to provide homes at Boise budgets, our neighborhoods remain strong, our people are cared for, and we protect the Boise we know and love today for our kids and theirs,” added McLean.
The City of Boise successfully kept $5.7 million in property tax dollars in the hands of Boiseans under McLean’s leadership, while giving back an additional $1.2 million in property tax rebates to the city’s most vulnerable residents. The proposed 2024 budget includes an expansion of this important property tax rebate program for more homeowners.
“Saving money and giving it back, while delivering results for Boise, is what it means to stay true to our values of taking care of people,” she said.
The City of Boise is also taking meaningful action when it comes to public safety and mental health support. In the last three years, the Boise Police Department has doubled the size of its behavioral health unit, pairing sworn officers and mental health professionals so that those experiencing a mental health crisis get the help they need quickly and efficiently. The city’s 2024 budget also proposes four-person staffing on fire engines in the Boise Fire Department. It would be a first for Boise, adding an extra firefighter on calls to keep residents safe and improve response capabilities.
Work also continues to study the feasibility of returning passenger train service to the Treasure Valley by way of the Boise Depot.
“In partnership with mayors throughout this region and throughout all of Southern Idaho, with the support of the Governor, our delegation, military bases, our colleges and universities, and the tribes, we are pushing to link our city with Southern Idaho and Salt Lake City,” said Mayor McLean. “Because just as we want our residents and neighborhoods to be connected, we want to connect our families, our college kids, and our cities to each other.”
Other topics touched on included increased support for childcare providers, water quality investments and efforts to put every Boisean within a 10-minute walk to a park.