Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Boise City Council Approves Projects to Receive Open Space and Clean Water Levy Funding

The Boise City Council has approved funding for two projects that meet the City of Boise’s conservation goals.

Financial support for the projects will come from the Open Space and Clean Water levy that Boise voters overwhelmingly approved in 2015. The initiative will raise $10 million over the course of two years to protect open space and water quality in critical areas including, but not limited to, the Boise Foothills and the Boise River. 

Projects approved by the city council to receive levy funding include: 

Cottonwood Creek Daylighting 

This project, submitted by the Ted Trueblood Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Inc., seeks to daylight 440 feet of Cottonwood Creek (which currently flows through a pipe underground) and create over 1/3 acres of riparian and wetland habitat to enhance fish habitat and improve the ecological function of this tributary of the Boise River. This will be a partnership with the Boise River Enhancement Network and the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley. 

Levy Funding Requested: $200,000 

Intermountain Bird Observatory Habitat and Restoration 

Submitted by the Boise State University Intermountain Bird Observatory, this project proposes improvements to 20 acres of riparian habitat located downstream of the Diversion Dam and between the Boise River and Warm Springs Boulevard. The project applicant has requested funding to build bridges and construct pathways that would reduce erosion and sediment loading into the Boise River. 

Levy Funding Requested: $440,270 

“Citizens overwhelmingly approved the Open Space and Clean Water levy because we all love what we have here and want to see innovative projects that protect our clean water, natural habitats and open spaces,” said Council President Lauren McLean. “These projects approved today do just that – they’re protecting our clean water and improving natural habitat for generations to come.  I’m thankful to our citizens for passing the levy and excited about the inaugural projects that are the first to receive funds from our second levy.” 

According to approved ballot language, levy money can be used to enhance improvement projects aiming to protect clean water and drinking water, safeguard critical wildlife habitat, protect critical open space, preserve native plant species and enhance trails and recreational opportunities. 

“I am excited to see so many good projects proposed,” said Council President Pro Tem Elaine Clegg. “Expanding the purpose of this money was the right thing to do and we will all benefit from the work we approved today with cleaner water and an improved quality of life.” 

City of Boise staff will work with applicants to kick start these conservation projects approved by the Boise City Council. 

“These two projects are a great start for the new levy,” said Boise Mayor David Bieter. “While there were some great concepts among the applications, the committee’s recommendations are spot on and I’m looking forward to seeing these concepts become real projects on the ground.” 

The Open Space and Clean Water Advisory Committee is made up of nine citizen members who review projects and recommend them for approval to the mayor and Boise City Council. For more information on the committee and the application process, click here.