As part of our ongoing commitment to updating the community about our City’s Strategic Plan and its focus areas, this blog focuses on our efforts for a Vibrant and Sustainable Community. Our Strategic Plan states the following:
Meridian will create vibrant places for our citizens, embrace sustainable practices, and preserve natural spaces. We will provide innovatively designed parks and recreational offerings. We will respond to citizen desires to be stewards of our natural environment. We will partner with our community and developers to create beautiful open spaces, and cultivate art and cultural opportunities.
We have identified several key goals our departments are working on which are outlined below as part of our Strategic Plan.
Develop premier open spaces, indoor facilities, amenities and public art projects to enhance the overall quality of life.
Our Parks and Recreation Department is currently working on the expansion of Discovery Park, our newest regional park in south Meridian. Phase 2 which broke ground in early 2022 is adding a restroom/concession building, picnic shelters, tennis and pickleball courts, and three softball fields. It will also include a teen area with skate and bike parks. Once completed, the 37-acre expansion includes the infrastructure necessary to support the new parking lot and other park amenities in a future Phase III that will require water, power and sewer. We look forward to the opening of this next phase in the spring of 2024.
Speaking of our parks, we also care deeply about keeping our entire parks system premier, so we made investments in Chateau Park with our second “All Abilities Playground,” paid for using dollars from the Community Block Grant. Bear Creek Park was recently updated with an entirely new playground and surface as well. Working in partnership with Brighton Corp, four new pickleball courts were added at Kleiner Park, keeping up with the explosion of interest in this sport for all ages!
Next time you are driving through our intersections, carefully take a look at the local art on our traffic boxes. We have continued to see more and more boxes wrapped with artwork – many of which are from participants in the West Ada School District’s annual art show. Recently we have also added murals at the Meridian Pool, and at the popular Tully Skatepark. These join other murals in our downtown – both public and private – which are bringing many walls to life!
We are moving forward with art projects at Discovery Park as part of Phase II. The Meridian Arts Commission also recently approved a two-year workplan for public art projects over the next 4 years.
Execute financially responsible, sustainable and environmentally conscious projects to promote energy efficiency, waste stream reduction and water conservation.
As we prepare to begin work on an energy strategy plan, an ongoing project we have been and will continue to work on is LED conversions on our streetlights in Meridian. Since the program’s inception, we have completed over 1000 light upgrades, saving over $22,000 dollars in annual power and maintenance savings! We look forward to keep working on these upgrades as we still have 4800 conversions to make. Once completed, there is currently projected to be $160,000 in annual power and maintenance savings for the City.
Our Public Works team have also been exploring grant opportunities to achieve overall energy efficiency solutions to reduce costs to the tax payers. A couple examples include LED lighting upgrades in facilities, HVAC improvements, solar and more efficient pumps and motors. These projects would be in City buildings, our wastewater and water facilities.
Two of our largest projects are at our wastewater treatment plant as they are looking for additional ways to reuse some of the gas that is being produced in the facility by recycling it and turning it into energy, as well as biosolids dryer program. In fact, the project for biosolids could reduce trips to the landfill by almost half, reducing transportation and disposal fees.
We are also developing a Solid Waste Plan that is designed to reduce waste products going to the landfill as well as improving communication efforts related to citizen engagement for our partnership with Republic Services trash and recycling program.
Identify, improve, and support public space, events and program offerings that contribute to a premier and vibrant community.
Within the past two years, the City of Meridian assumed ownership and operational responsibility for both the Lakeview Golf Club and the Meridian Pool. Both community assets needed physical improvements which have now been completed or are well under way.
A number of major projects to improve the golf course’s appearance and playability have occurred. A new irrigation system has been installed throughout the entire course to improve water coverage, with a new well that is in progress to be installed to minimize daytime watering. New concrete cart paths have been installed. Additionally, the clubhouse’s patio will soon have a cover bringing much needed shade. The proposed Fiscal Year 2024 budget has additional improvements to the clubhouse – both, indoors and outdoors, as well as two new restroom facilities on the course.
At the Meridian Pool, there have been concrete repairs, a new auto-vac system for keeping the pool clean, new ultraviolet water systems for the kiddie pool and main pool, slide repairs, a new 1-meter diving board has been installed, and the replacement of equipment used by the pool’s lifeguards. The men’s and women’s changing rooms and restrooms were updated for ADA compliance, and several technology updates providing improved security and connectivity.
Preserve Meridian’s historic buildings, events, heritage and identity through active efforts with community stakeholders.
The history and tradition of our city makes us a unique place to live and therefore we have been working hard to preserve key places and spaces in our community. The Meridian Speedway is currently being reviewed with the National Parks Service as part of the National Historic Register. We are continuing to work with our partners to keep this important piece of Meridian’s history from being forgotten. Additionally, we are conducting a “Reconnaissance” survey to walk 37 city blocks in downtown to document and identify potentially eligible properties to the National Register of historic places, this is so important to continue to preserve the historic nature of downtown properties.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read how our city departments are making an impact in the community. To learn more about our Strategic Plan and the six focus areas - responsible growth, transportation and infrastructure, business and economic vitality, public health and safety, a vibrant and sustainable community and government excellence - visit www.meridiancity.org/strategicplan.