Mayor Henry's Newsletter - October 2017
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Updated snow plan, new projects to improve Nampa and Christmas Tree lighting
As the leaves fall and we move into November, I want you to know that we’re going to be better prepared to respond to forecasted heavy snows. But I’m hoping that’s an inaccurate forecast.

As Public Works Director Michael Fuss says, we were prepared last winter for Nampa’s average annual snowfall of 21 inches, but not the amount Mother Nature delivered. But this winter, we’ll be ready. 
In past years, the city has not plowed residential streets and we didn’t hire private contractors to help until snow exceeded 12 inches.

Our new snow policy calls for plowing of residential streets when accumulated snow reaches about 6 inches. The new plan goes into great detail concerning conditions, priorities, communications and cross departmental support. We have a quick reference guide, a snow cam, a special web site, a dedicated “snow” phone number, 208-468-5577, and email address, , so citizens can report their concerns. 

With this plan, we also have City Council support and I appreciate that. We also wanted to make it easier for people to hire their own contractors for residential streets and we’ve included information on that in the plan as well. Here’s a link to the press release and a link to our new web page.
I hope you survived construction season. Except for a few projects, and the big one at the intersection of 11th Avenue North and Industrial Road, we’re just about done. As the city wraps up those projects, the Engineering Division is beginning to implement its list of projects for FY 2018. 

I’m told there are nearly 70 projects on the “2018 to-do” construction list for citywide projects in streets, water, wastewater and pressurized irrigation. We’re still looking at final costs, but these projects could total nearly $15 million, and many are possible thanks to federal transportation dollars.

I’m not going to outline every project, but with Engineering’s help, we’ve come up with some of the projects we think you’ll find interesting or important. 

  1. 2nd Street South and 3rd Street South roadway rebuild and streetscape improvements between 12th and 16th avenues in Downtown Nampa. These portions of 2nd and 3rd streets don’t fall under the state’s jurisdiction and need work.
  2. Karcher and Midland interchange/intersection improvements to reduce traffic congestion. Joint effort by Idaho Department of Transportation (ITD) and city of Nampa.
  3. Acquire right-of-way properties for expanding pedestrian/bicycle pathways.
  4. Install HAWK pedestrian signals on 12th Avenue at Sherman Avenue and 11th Street South, access controls and Highway 45 micro surfacing by ITD.
  5. Elijah Drain at Greenhurst Road culvert replacement in FY 2018 with sidewalk and roadway rebuild. In FY 2019, Greenhurst between Midland Boulevard and Juniper will be rebuilt to include sidewalk extensions and shoulder widening for bike and pedestrian access.
  6. Install a redundant sewer line from the Western Regional Lift Station to the Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  7. Stormwater repairs where lines have failed. These are scheduled for the vicinity of Georgia, Greenvale, 10th Avenue, 11th Street, Elijah Drain and Tollman Place.
  8. New irrigation well and pressure irrigation improvements in the Locust Lane area.
  9. New irrigation well and pump station for capacity improvements near Lonestar and Midland Boulevard.
  10. Replacement study for the elevated water tank, which recently had a leak. The study will also address capacity.
  11. Water line upgrades to correct high/low pressure, increase capacity and flow for fire protection in the area of Burke, Smart streets and Victorian Crest, Stony Meadow and Meadowbrook subdivisions.

Construction sign at Kings and Victory roads


  1. 11th Avenue North and Garrity Boulevard are the source for most of the complaints the city receives when it comes to poor roads. We know they are bad and we’re waiting for Idaho Department of Transportation to rebuild those roads. The state had hoped that would be this fall, but funding fell short, so look for it next year. When we heard rumors earlier this year that those projects would not be completed this summer and fall as earlier scheduled, we reached out to ITD and asked questions, expressing our concerns about the condition of those roads. ITD assured us the roads would be drivable this winter. ITD recently repaired the cracks until the rebuild can occur. The Band-Aid is not perfect, but we’re hoping it gets Nampa through the winter until the rebuilds actually occur. There’s more to the whole I-84B rebuild. Here’s a link to that information.
  2. Traffic study at Kings and Victory roads to evaluate short-term and long-term traffic congestion solutions. And for those who said the Kings and Victory intersection should be rebuilt, I have good news. That intersection is scheduled for a rebuild Nov. 7 and Nov. 9. Here's a link to the press release.
  3. Design (only in FY 2018) for safer intersections at Middleton Road & Lone Star Road; Middleton Road and Smith Avenue with construction slated for FY 2020.
  4. The HAWKs on Midland Boulevard and Lake Lowell Avenue at the Wilson Pathway intersections should be complete soon. 
If you haven’t heard, we’re moving the location for the Downtown Christmas Tree, thanks to a very generous donation from an anonymous donor. The idea was born three years ago during discussions with Downtown Business Association leaders, but the expense was a big hurdle until the donor heard about it.
And this is what I absolutely love about Nampa. The donor said yes when the initial cost was $16,500, but when cost increased by $5,000 because of added structural costs, the check was written for the full amount.

I can’t say enough thanks to the donor, and most of the Downtown folks we’ve talked to are excited about the idea of locating it on 12th Avenue where it ends at Front Street at the Train Depot Museum. 

“It is so great to see the community stepping up to invest in Downtown Nampa like this,” said Downtown Coordinator Morgan Treasure. “The holiday season is so important for many of our small businesses, and it will be fantastic to have the tree on display in a location that will help draw more shoppers into the historic district.”

Like a Currier and Ives picture perfect Christmas card , a large tree with glistening lights in front of the Depot will look like what we often imagine when it comes to the holidays.

The previous private property site was tucked behind a building rather than putting the tree out on display for 12th Avenue drivers to see for blocks. We always run the risk of the property being sold and the private donation made it easy to change locations. The new location also means no more guy wires holding up the massive tree, always donated by a community member.

With the tree’s new location, we want to brighten the holiday display with more than just lights on the tree, so we sought sponsorships to build up the Christmas scene. This is a building year, but we’re excited to see how it grows. We’re also seeking more private donations. If you are interested in donating, here’s a link to that.
And you are all invited to the annual Tree Lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 25. Every year the attendance has grown. We agreed four years ago to hold the event on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in conjunction with Shop Small Saturday to help the Downtown businesses. This year, we’re also going to help the Salvation Army kick off the annual kettle drive.
There will be free horse-drawn carriage rides and we’ll have free hot drinks available at 5 p.m. Santa Claus will be there for the kids and the Fire Department promises something special for photos. We hope to see you there.
I have just a few days left before the annual Walking Challenge ends Oct. 31, and I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed this. Talk about a reality check. Walking with the children, answering their questions and getting a sense of what goes on in their daily lives is quite eye opening. It’s one thing to interact with your own grandchildren, but it’s entirely different talking with students about life – whatever is on their mind at that moment.

Not only is it a stress reliever, but after four years of this annual challenge organized by High Five and Blue Cross of Idaho’s Foundation for Health, it demonstrates, year after year, that our future will be in great hands.  #mayorsschoolwalkingchallenge #NampaProud #MSWC
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