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Monday, July 25, 2016
Ada County Highway District Holds Open House Thursday on Draft 2017 Budget, Major Projects

Garden City – The public is invited to review and comment on the draft $103 million spending plan the ACHD Commission will consider in late August.

The open house will occur from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on July 28, 2016 in the ACHD Auditorium, 3775 Adams St., in Garden City.

The budget includes $49.2 million in construction, involving new roads, intersections, bridges, sidewalks and bike lanes. Two of the largest projects are the $7.8 million Ustick Road, Linder to Locust Grove roads, project, which also includes the Ustick/Meridian Road intersection; and the $3.7 million Fairview Avenue/Cole Road upgrade.

For the eighth year in a row, the draft budget keeps the basic property tax at the same level. The Commissioners have tentatively decided to tax the growth in the overall tax roll (the value of newly improved properties in the past year), which could raise an additional $1.2 million for roadway improvements if ultimately approved at the budget hearing.

By law, the Commission can consider up to a three-percent increase in the basic property tax rate, plus the annual amount for growth in the value of taxable property within the county. Bypassing a base increase saved taxpayers $1 million.

"We would like to know what people think," said Kent Goldthorpe, commission president. "Everyone has a stake in safe roadways and better ways of getting around. We have projects for motorists, cyclists and walkers in the budget and we need to know if people like the mix."

As currently proposed, property taxes represent the largest revenue source for ACHD ($34.8 million), followed by state gas taxes ($28.8 million), development impact fees ($14 million) and vehicle registration fees ($9.4 million).
 
Some of the notable construction projects in the Fiscal 2017 budget include:

•    Ustick Road, Linder to Meridian roads; and the Ustick Road/Meridian Road intersection – $7.8 million – will improve the road to a five-lane section with four travel lanes, a center turn lane, bike lanes and sidewalks, and improve the intersection with turn lanes.

•    Fairview Avenue and Cole Road – $3.7 million – will add turn lanes, sidewalks and bike lanes to enhance safety and capacity.

•    Emerald Street and Americana Boulevard, from Orchard Street to Ann Morrison Park – $1.1 million – will reconfigure Emerald and Americana to add continuous bike lanes and fill sidewalk gaps on Emerald.

•    Camas Street, Orchard Street to Roosevelt Street – $1.1 million – will build sidewalk on Camas and rehab the road pavement.

•    Eagle Road Bridge over Dry Creek – $545,000 – will replace the old bridge over Dry Creek with a wider span with modern safety features.

•    Kootenai Street, Vista Avenue to Federal Way – $507,000 – will build new sidewalks and bike lanes.

•    West 1st Street, Broadway Avenue to Maple Avenue and West 4th Street, Broadway Avenue to Maple Avenue – $740,000 – will build sidewalk and upgrade old sidewalk on 1st and sidewalk on the east side of 4th and a pathway between Maple and Cherry.

The budget adoption hearing will be in the ACHD Auditorium, 3775 Adams St., in Garden City at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, August 24th.

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