Garden City – ACHD Commissioners are expected to adopt a hold-the-line budget for 2011 that avoids an increase the amount of property taxes collected while maintaining the core traffic operations and maintenance activities.
Commissioners take up the $84 million spending plan at the Wednesday, August 25, 2009 meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. in the Ada County Highway District Auditorium, 3775 Adams St., in Garden City.
For the second year in a row, Commissioners opted to not take the three percent increase in the property tax rate allowed by law or the increase allowed for growth (newly improved properties) on the tax roll. As a result, the total amount of property tax proposed to be collected is $31.7 million – the same amount as the prior two years.
To help contain costs, the District will continue with 10 unfilled positions, will forgo employee merit raises for a third year, and will strictly control the use of overtime or temporary employees.
Property taxes represent the largest revenue source for ACHD, followed by state gas taxes ($19.7 million), the vehicle registration fee ($8.4 million) and impact fees ($7 million).
Construction projects account for roughly half of the proposed spending. Major projects moving ahead in the coming budget year include:
• The widening Ten Mile Road, between the old Overland Road intersection and Interstate 84, to five lanes. The $1.5 million project will also improve the Ten Mile/Overland intersection.
• The reconstruction and widening of intersection of McMillan and Locust Grove roads. The $2.8 million project includes a new traffic signal.
• The reconstruction, relocation and signalization of the State Highway 44/Old State Street/Ballantyne Lane intersection. The $1.3 million project will move the intersection 1,300 feet to the west, greatly improving safety at a high-speed accident location.
• The completion of the Eagle, Victory to the Ridenbaugh Canal, project. The project is widening the roadway from two to five lanes with curb, gutter, sidewalks and bike lanes, and the expansion and signalization of the Victory/Eagle intersection. The $2.6 million project began in 2010 and will conclude in May.
• Right-of-way (land) purchases for Five Mile Road ($2.1 million), Franklin to Fairview, and for second phase of the Meridian Split Corridor – Meridian and Main streets ($2.4 million), from Franklin Road to Cherry Lane. Having right-of-way will allow these projects to progress in 2013.
• Design of the 30th Street Extension ($400,000), from Fairview to State, and of Five Mile Road ($300,000), from Fairview to Ustick, which will allow these projects to progress to construction in 2013 and 2015, respectively.
• Thirty-five projects to increase safety for pedestrians and provide neighborhood enhancements, largely funded by Ada County Vehicle Registration Fees – $4.4 million. The fees were approved by voters in the fall of 2008.
ACHD's fiscal year begins in October and runs through the end of September 2011.