Irrigation lawsuit tops items in Caldwell Mayor’s City of the City Address
In his 15th annual State of the City Address Tuesday, Caldwell Mayor Garrett Nancolas vowed the city will “continued to fight” its legal battle with the Pioneer Irrigation District over storm drain access. The fight has put the city at odds with the Irrigation District, the Idaho Farm Bureau and the Idaho Water Users Association.
Also in his address, the Mayor weighed in on the issue of gun rights, touted Caldwell’s success in establishing a Foreign Trade Zone, the addition of a new park, and how the city has survived during tough economic times.
Here is the Mayor’s address in its entirety, as provided by the City of Caldwell.
“Each year we have the privilege of acknowledging someone in this community to receive the Mayor's Lifetime Achievement Award.
This year's recipient is known as the "First Lady of the Arts" because of her work as a musician, teacher, mentor, and booster of the fine and performing arts. She graduated summa cum laude from the College of Idaho, Class of 1959 with a degree in piano performance and music history. A native of Idaho Falls she began playing piano in the sixth grade.
By ninth grade she was already accomplished enough to perform the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah with her ninth grade choir. Sylvia has been the director of the Caldwell Fine Arts for 31 years and the 51-year-old organization has flourished and expanded since she took the helm. In addition to directing Caldwell Fine Arts, she still plays and performs as she did here today, wasn’t that beautiful by the way?
And thank you also to her partner, Mrs. Attebery. She has performed as the organist at Boone Presbyterian Church in Caldwell for over 50 years and she and Barbara Attebery have performed a piano duet recital every year since 1986. Sylvia and Jack Hunt will celebrate their 53rd anniversary in July. They have two children, Anthony Hunt and Mary Hunt Macey and four grandchildren. Her awards include the Idaho Statesman Distinguished Citizen, the Idaho Governor's Medal for Distinguished Service to the Arts, and the College of Idaho Alumni Service Award.
Please help me and welcome to the stage to receive this year's Mayor's Lifetime Achievement Award, Mrs. Sylvia Hunt. I want you to know that the music was absolutely gorgeous and we're so grateful, but that was our way of getting her here without her knowing that this award was coming.
I'd like again to read Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Sylvia Hunt for your exemplary leadership and selfless acts of time and dedication to the city of Caldwell and the College of Idaho. Your talents as a musician, teacher, and mentor are outstanding. You are the Treasure Valley's First Lady of the Arts. Thank you very, very much.
There are also some other individuals in this room that I would like to recognize and thank. I am so thankful for my parents. They're not here in body, but I know they're here in spirit. I'm grateful for the lessons that they taught me, for the values that they instilled in me. I'm so grateful for the great example that they were of all that's good in life.
My dad was a hard worker. A very, very simple man, but he loved his family and he would do anything for my mother and his children. And I'm grateful for that example.
My mother was the queen of compassion. She absolutely instilled that in her children and everybody who knew her and I'm so grateful for those lessons that she taught me.
I am grateful for my wife. What a trooper she is. She is so wonderful at being a wife, a mother, a grandmother. As you know, we're helping to raise two of our granddaughters and they adore her and they love her. That is so important in the overall realm of things. I'm grateful for her. Pam, would you please stand and let everybody just say hi to you.
You know they say that an individual is measured by their friends and if that's the case then I am the luckiest man on the planet because I have some of the most wonderful and incredible friends in the world.
Other elected officials who have supported me and taught me, mentored me, and stood by me through very, very difficult times over the past decade and I would like to thank those elected officials for their willingness to serve.
First of all, Tom Dale Mayor of Nampa, would you please stand.
Mayor Tammy de Weerd from the city of Meridian, Chris Yamamoto the county clerk, newly elected Sheriff Donahue, Canyon County Commission, Craig Hanson, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, thank you so very much for coming.
Talk about a man of integrity and honor. That is the premier example of those two characteristics. So as we look at 2012, boy, am I glad the Mayans were wrong. We have so much to look forward to. We have so many things yet to accomplish. And 2012, was a year that was very interesting to say the least. It was a year filled with challenges, new opportunities, frustrations, economic concerns. It was a time that exemplified that life has changed.
We are, as you know, the sum total of all the events that happen in our lives, right? Everything that has happened prior to us that led up to 2012, makes us who we are today.
All those things that were good, that were bad, that were happy, that were sad, that were challenging, that were rewarding, that were successful, all those things seemed to come to a head in 2012 with all the issues that we faced. We live in a time now where technology is at its all time high. We can receive information instantaneously.
Information can be broadcast around the world in a matter of seconds. People tweet. Facebook, LinkedIn, all kinds of ways of communicating electronically that have changed the way that we as a society communicate. And I think there's wonderful things about that, but I think there's also a very, very unintended negative side of that.
Because I believe that the most important thing that we have are relationships and it's so hard to have a relationship that is not face-to-face. It's hard to tell when you're tweeting if you're joking or not. It's hard to tell on Facebook or through email if you're serious or not, or you're angry or not, or upset or not. And so those are things that have changed the way that we communicate so it's very, very important that we choose our words and our actions wisely. It has also become a state of transparency in everything we do, which is also good.
People who are involved in governments need to be held to a higher standard. We have made commitments and promises to those who elected us to live in an exemplary manner and that's very, very important.
But because of technology, everything is so transparent that we have to be on our best watch all the time. And that is a good thing, but it's also made us change the way that we live our lives knowing that.
his year 2012, was a year of fiscal and economic uncertainty. We didn’t know whether we were going to fall off a cliff or not. We still don’t know if that cliff will be overcome. We don’t know what the ramifications of that are. We are in the third year of a very, very dramatic downturn in trying to put our budgets together.
And so it's changed the dynamics of what we do as a city, and as families, and as individuals dramatically. Adrian Peterson, does everybody know who that is? He was the running back that the Boise State Broncos had to contain in that famous Fiesta Bowl. Do you remember that running back? Well, he has gone on to become what I consider a great running back.
This year in a year where the number of running plays per game is at a all time low in the National Football League, he nearly broke the single season rushing record in an environment like that by nine yards. That's a tremendous feat when there were only 27 running plays per game on the average in the NFL. But did he do it by himself? No.
The unsung heroes are those huge linemen that open up holes in front of him or that incredible quarterback that he had the opportunity of playing with that deceived others and created a running game by being a great passer. And the coaches who put that program together, the defense that kept the other team from scoring and allowed the offensive to be on the field. All those great team players allowed Adrian Peterson to become known as one of the greatest running backs of all time. Now I looked up in the dictionary the definition of good. And that definition said, adequate and satisfactory.
There are a lot of good running backs in the NFL. But I looked up great and it said, outstandingly superior is what the dictionary said. And I believe Adrian Peterson fits that definition, but not by himself. Only with the efforts of those around him does he qualify for that definition. And so, as we work together to become great we cannot do it on our own.
We cannot become great without the efforts of all our partners. The employees of the city of Caldwell, the Chamber of Commerce, the College of Idaho, Treasure Valley Community College, all of the governmental entities that we work with, these great city council members, the citizens of this community, the students of this community, the business owners in this community. All of our partners working together we can become great because we need those linemen to open up the hole for us to run through.
And I submit to you, that that is why this community is not just good, that we are great because we have great partners. We have great citizens. We have great linemen opening up the holes for us every time we turn around and I believe that's what makes Caldwell great. I would like to thank those linemen who opened up the holes for us, the employees of the city of Caldwell.
If you are here, would you please rise and let everyone here recognize you and tell you thank you for the job that you do. Employees please stand up so that we can thank you.
When we take office, we take an oath. And that oath says that we solemnly swear or affirm that we will support the Constitution of the United States and the state of Idaho, and the laws and ordinances of Caldwell. And that we will to the best of our ability faithfully perform the duties of the office that we hold, and then we close by saying, so help me God.
I want you to know that I hold that promise very dear. That is a promise. That's the promise that each one of us have made to you but we also made that promise to God. That we would stand up for what is right and support the Constitution of the United States of America.
And one of the things that I think separates this city from being a good city and a great city is that three times now we have had the challenge of defending your rights that have been threatened by other governmental entities as citizens of Caldwell.
The first time was when FEMA came into this community and based upon inaccurate information tried to impose a flood map upon the cities of Nampa and Caldwell, which would have caused dramatic negative consequences to property owners within those proposed zones. We truly believed that the information was wrong. We had 99 years of empirical facts that said that information was wrong. It would have been very easy to stand back and say well, this is the federal government.
They must know what they're doing and just to have allowed that to happen. But we did not. We gathered our partners together. We made a phone call to Secretary of the Interior, Dirk Kempthorne, because he knew Idaho. We made phone calls to the governor, to our congressional representatives. We partnered with the Bureau of Homeland Security. We partnered with the city of Nampa. We partnered with the Association of Idaho Cities. We partnered with the county. We partnered with our other elected officials and stood up to say that this is not right.
You cannot take the rights of these property owners away by imposing a map that is not accurate. It cost us some money. It cost us some time, but we prevailed.
And now we were able to move forward with the Indian Creek project.
All the good things that are happening downtown are a result of those actions and business owners and property owners in the city of Caldwell saved about $4 million dollars a year in flood insurance premiums that they would have had to pay. I believe that is us standing up for the oath that we took to defend the Constitution.
Now, I would like to very bluntly and plainly address the second time that that has happened in our community and that is involving the Pioneer Irrigation District actions. Their attorney, Scott Campbell, and their Board of Directors sued the citizens of Caldwell, their own patrons, to take away their historical right, their God-given constitutionally protected right to drain into the very drains that those same property owners helped to build, help to construct, are paying for in the past, and are paying for today. We did not sue them. They sued you, the citizens, and business people of Caldwell who just happen to be in the boundaries of the Pioneer Irrigation District. That is the simpleness and the essence of this entire controversy.
Now, I want you to know and let it be said very firmly that we understand and value the agricultural community. It's the largest industry in Canyon County. Cities and counties across this nation get along just fine draining into drains that everybody can share. There are only two irrigation districts in this state that have had problems dealing with this so called drainage issue, both of them represented by the same law firm, both of them suing governmental entities to take away their rights to drain. I'll let you do the addition.
To me, two and two always equals four. And I can promise you that this city will never do anything to intentionally or inadvertently harm the agricultural community. We have been draining into those drains without consequence for over a 100 years and can continue to do so. But what we will not standby and allow to have happen is to have your rights taken away by another governmental entity because of ego, because of false accusations, fear mongering, and smoking mirrors. That's what this is about. So we will stand firm.
We will continue to fight because the consequences of this action would mean that you, who live in that irrigation district, would have to spend between $80 and $100 million dollars to recreate the very drainage system that you've already built and paid for. That is unconscionable in my estimation. And this body stands firm with resolve that we will not allow that to happen to our citizens. We also stand firm in the resolve that there is a way to make it happen so that everybody can be protected, so that everybody can have their rights preserved, and that life can go on, as it should with urban and agricultural activities living in harmony.
Recently, the National League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors issued letters asking our President and Vice-President to violate the Constitution of the United States and ban guns. My heart goes out to those poor families in Newtown, Connecticut, whose children's lives were taken unnecessarily and violently. And we condemn the actions of individuals who use guns in violent acts, but that is not a reason or an excuse for the federal government to violate the Constitution of the United States and take away its citizens' rights to own guns.
The Constitution of the United States is the very document and foundation for everything that stands for goodness and honesty. It is the document that men and women for generation after generation have given up their lives to protect. It is the document that we have fought wars over. It is the document that is the foundation of everything that we stand for in the United States of America. And I just want you to know that even though I sit on the Board of the National League of Cities, Board of Directors that I spoke adamantly against that piece of the letter written to the President. I firmly believe that people who misuse guns should be punished. I firmly believe that people who break the law intentionally should be punished and severely. That we should have background checks for people who own guns, but there should be laws to guide and direct them.
But again, I just want you to know that I do not agree with those two letters. I still believe that we need to be at the table. My first instinct was to resign from the Board of Directors, but after I thought about it, I thought if I resign then whose going to stand there and talk about this among other mayors and so, I'm going to continue to do that.
Well, there's lots of other things to talk about so in the words of the famous war veteran Forrest Gump, that's all I've got to say about that. Vision is the best manifestation of human imagination and the primary motivation of human action. It gives us the power to create what does not yet exist and the capacity to become what we not yet are.
Vision allows us to live out of our imagination and not our memory. I believe that vision is one of the elements that separates a good community from a great community. Communities with vision will be successful. A great community has vision in regards to all things. But particularly a great community honors and respects families.
And ladies and gentlemen, we do that in the city of Caldwell. We have twice been the recipient of the America's Promise Alliance 100 Best Communities. That doesn’t happen by accident. It happens because this community does respect our young people, our families. The Caldwell Youth Coalition is a partnership between the city of Caldwell and the Caldwell School District, addressing the most pressing issues facing youth such as safety, afterschool supervision, health, educating, work force, and community involvement.
Another great program within the city of Caldwell, Advocates Against Family Violence, also known as Hope's Door, teaches families who come from violent situations how to make positive life choices through advocacy, support, education, awareness, affordable housing, and community involvement. We also ensure that our youth in this community have a real voice in the decision-making process.
As was mentioned earlier Caldwell's Mayor's Youth Advisory Council was the first in the state of Idaho and one of the first in the nation. These great young people have received national recognition for their efforts. They have helped to start youth advisory councils across the state of Idaho and in fact, across this nation, and was mentioned even in Russia.
These young people have set an example to everyone about the quality of the leadership today that they are providing for Caldwell. We have collaborative youth programs and gather our individuals together on a monthly basis. And through that process have become what I believe is the second city in the United States to implement the Youth Master Plan.
This is a collaborative effort, again, between all the providers of youth programs within the city of Caldwell, coming together for the common good of these young folks and their families.
One of the issues that we try to deal with in the Youth Master Plan was transportation and safe passage to and from schools, and out of school activities. Through these efforts, recently, the Caldwell Transportation Company, Brown Bus Company, Valley Regional Transit, the Caldwell Family YMCA, and the city of Caldwell have come together to provide public transportation for these students in their out of school time.
This is a direct result of the partnership between the city of Caldwell and its partners in supporting family and youth. Families first, it takes a village to raise our children. It cannot be done alone. We're so grateful for our partners, Advocacy Against Family Violence, Witco, and Y-Camp, the Mentoring Network, CATCH, Veteran's of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Veteran's Administration, the Idaho Department of Labor, the Salvation Army, Southwest District Health Department, YMCA, and many, many others. Our team approach is meeting the needs our citizens in an unprecedented way.
I would like to reference just real quickly if could this brochure that was just put out by the city to provide resources for the citizens of our community if they have need. So please grab one of these and make sure that they are available to your friends, family, those that you work with because there maybe somebody that is in need. And we appreciate our staff for putting this great brochure together. Also from this partnership, you will see established this spring a community garden specifically aimed at veterans.
This will be next to the Water Department on Centennial and this will be a community garden where we can honor our veterans and allow them to come together to grow gardens, to use their talents and expertise, and then also be in a safe environment. We are so proud of the veterans in our community and we thought this was a wonderful suggestion by the Board of Realtors and are happy to partner with them providing city property. I
It's so important that our families spend time together. The city of Caldwell, at least in the last survey that we did and it may have changed, has more open space and parks per thousand than any city in the Treasure Valley. We have 324 acres open for public in our park system. Our Park Master Plan calls for 6.5 acres per thousand. We are currently at 6.89 acres per thousand. The most recent park that we just opened up is Mallard Park. And we will continue to build that park to its completion and it should be completely developed by the end of next year. It is the first park within our city that has completely accessible playground equipment so that those individuals who are handicapped can also take advantage of our park system.
We're so grateful for our recreation program. We have programs for all ages in this community and we pride our self in the thousands of participants in over 100 different activities that take place in the city of Caldwell every year. Safe passage for our students and families around the community and to school is absolutely essential.
Our Bike and Pathway Committee has made great progress over the past couple of years. And most recently, we opened three and a half miles of pathway connecting downtown to the YMCA. We have plans in the future to continue that pathway system all the way to Mallard Park. Also, this year the Bike and Pathway Committee improved the I-84 pedestrian overpass and added safe passage along 10th Avenue, and the golf course.
We are also working very diligently with the Caldwell School District to improve pedestrian traffic around our school zones. We just recently installed a new hawk system on 10th Avenue. I don’t know if you've had a chance to see that yet, but it’s absolutely wonderful providing very safe passage over a very, very busy street.
It's amazing how much work, time, and effort goes into making something like that. Just to put it in perspective that one little improvement was more than $80,000 of the city's budget just to install that passage system. But now those individuals can get across 10th Street very safely.
We are also working with Caldwell School District to provide better passage along Montana and access to Washington School. In order for us to truly appreciate the future, we must respect and acknowledge our past.
Our history is the connection between yesterday, today, and tomorrow. In order to really maximize the future we must understand and maintain a connection with that past. We have a wonderful Historic District in the city of Caldwell. And have recently formed the Caldwell Historic Preservation Commission in cooperation with the Planning and Zoning Department. We have established historic districts throughout the city of Caldwell and those great individuals have gone about marking those great historic places with improved signage.
We have also offered tours around this community thanks to Mr. Chuck Randolph. That man is a walking encyclopedia. I don’t know how he keeps in his mind what he does, but he is absolutely incredible.
We are so proud of the events that we host here in this community, events that bring families and friends together. Just to name a couple, the Caldwell 4th of July celebration at Memorial Park, Movies for a Cause. We are so grateful for that event and thank you to Holland and Hart for sponsoring that event and making it possible. We have free movies in the park. This is a wonderful event for the families in our community. It's free, held at Memorial Park.
We also have the Indian Creek Festival in September. Thousands of individuals come together to celebrate the improvements in downtown. And last but not least, the Winter Wonderland event and the Night Light Christmas Parade in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce.
Those two events brought more than 15,000 people to downtown Caldwell this past fall. Winter Wonderland, as was stated earlier, has spread across this nation. It's amazing how many people know about those lights in downtown Caldwell. It's so rewarding to walk downtown anytime of the night and see families holding hands, walking around, and taking pictures in downtown Caldwell among those beautiful lights. It has become something that we are very, very proud of and we're getting very well known for, and it's great to have that event here in the city of Caldwell.
So thank you to our Street Department, Parks Department, Water Department, volunteers, city employees who make that event possible. We also believe that whoever said the youth are the leaders of tomorrow is wrong, that they are in fact the leaders of today.
And I would like to have those individuals who are on the Mayor's Youth Advisory Council, would you please stand up and let us thank you for the great work that you're doing. The Caldwell Youth Advisory Council Members. I would also like to thank Mrs. Jackson. She supports the Youth Advisory Council, the city, she asks her students to do service in the community, to attend government meetings. And Mrs. Jackson has brought some of her students here as well today. Mrs. Jackson, would you and your students please stand up, from Caldwell High School so that we can thank you for being here.
These are our leaders too. And now it's my pleasure to introduce to you today's leader of the Mayor's Youth Advisory Council, Ms. Savannah Mesch. You know, I couldn’t be prouder if she was my own daughter. Thank you, Savannah and thank you for what you and the other students are doing for this community, for the great example that you are, of all that's good in life.
As I mentioned earlier, the city has faced budget issues in 2012 and the past few years. But this is again an area where I believe that Caldwell has reached greatness.
The city council's ability to manage its resources has been nothing short of phenomenal. These individuals are very committed to providing the services that you as the citizens of Caldwell deserve. They are also committed to the employees of the city. To provide them a good working environment, a place where they can make a good living, and take care of their families, to provide benefits that will help them in times of need, in times of difficulty. And this council has been very committed to this ends.
One of the things that we have had to do, as is shown in this particular graph, is that the number of employees in the city of Caldwell has decreased by about 11% since 2008. That is a sad thing in many ways because we're talking about individuals' lives. But it's also a tribute to the employees who are still at the city because they have accepted a challenge to take on more work, to accept the fact that raises were not part of the process for the past few years, and yet still give their all to the citizens of this community.
I would bet that you would not have noticed any difference in the services you've received even though the staff has been reduced.
Caldwell is dependent upon revenues as every other city is and our general fund depends upon revenue from property taxes.
This next chart shows you the condition of property values in the city of Caldwell. At a high of $1.375 billion dollars, currently the city's value is around a billion dollars. That means that revenue has decreased as well. In the general fund, you will see that the property taxes have decreased from a high in 2010, of $10,137,000 to its current status of $9,388,000 in 2012, and projected for 2013. However, during this time we have remained dedicated to safety first.
As you can see by this chart as well that safety services consume a large, large majority of the property taxes that come to the city of Caldwell. This is because we believe that fire and police services are the most essential service that we can provide for the citizens of Caldwell. That if we do not have a safe community in which to reside, to build businesses, to go to school, and raise families, then all the other things that we do would be for not. When crime is an issue, it is difficult to recruit businesses. It is difficult to recruit professionals. It is difficult to have confidence in your own community. And that trend has changed dramatically over the past several years.
The crime rate in Caldwell is currently down again from last year, a great tribute to the wonderful men and women of our police department, again for this year. And that's a pretty amazing statistic when the revenues are down, the number of employees are down, and yet we're still able to drive down crime. That's a great thing for the city of Caldwell. And if you compare our statistics to other communities around us, you will find that our crime rate is very equivalent to other cities in the Treasure Valley. You will also find that as we compare ourselves to other cities of our own size around the state like Twin Falls, Coeur d'Alene, Lewiston, you will find that our crime index is actually lower than theirs.
That again, is a tribute to the commitment to safety in this community. We are also very, very proud of the partnership that we have with our education community. Caldwell School District, Vallivue School District are two of the finest districts anywhere in the state. Caldwell's population is now around 47,000 people and our graduation rate at Caldwell High School is at an all time high, 91.7% of our seniors this year graduated in 2012.
Caldwell is also the proud recipient of grants to start the P16 Program. A program that will help students succeed from preschool all the way through college. The goals of that program were to encourage students to stay in school, to be prepared for higher education, and then graduate and go on into life and be prepared.
Canyon Springs High School is another huge success story for the Caldwell School District. This year they graduated 95% of their students from Canyon Springs. Also, another huge success for the Caldwell School District is the Caldwell Freshman Academy.
Congratulations to Caldwell School District. Vallivue School District is also the recipient of a partnership with the city of Caldwell. The district overall dropout rate five years ago was 37%. The dropout rate in 2012 was zero. What a great tribute to that organization.
But I submit to you that that didn’t happen again, by itself. The programs that are available throughout this community to help students feel good about themselves, the P16 Program, the Caldwell Mayor's Youth Advisory Council, all the partners from the Youth Master Plan, the teachers, the organization, the parents, everybody has pulled together to let students know how important they are and that is the reason the results are so great.
Also, the graduation rate five years ago has gone up 30% at Vallivue School District and they graduated 98% of their seniors this year. Congratulations Pat Charlton and the Vallivue School District. The College of Idaho! Yeah, Yoties, go Yoties, right? President, we are so appreciative of the town and gown relationship that we have in Caldwell. I believe the college also boasted a record enrolment this year of 1,059 students. That is an amazing achievement for this great institution. Among those 1,059 students, 107 international students from 53 different countries, wow that is incredible.
Not only that, but if you look at the ratings the College of Idaho year after year, after year, after year continues to be ranked one of the highest rated liberal arts colleges in the entire nation. Congratulations College of Idaho. Now this next piece is really exciting to me. Football at the College of Idaho. See that handsome rascal in the picture there, Mr. Moroski is here today. Would you please stand up Mike?
Our new coach at the College of Idaho, Mike Moroski. I had the privilege of attending the press conference when they introduced this fine man and his sweet wife. I was impressed with his credentials as a coach, but what I was more impressed with were his credentials as a husband, a father, a mentor, and someone who believed in professional athletes that were strong in academic strength.
This man stood up and talked about his experience and he humbly admitted that he threw a touchdown pass to Jerry Rice. I thought that was pretty cool because Jerry Rice is like the greatest wide received ever. That is a great feat. But what he will bring to this college and this community through his belief in education, strong character, team building, student athletes, we are so lucky and blessed to have him counted among the residents of Caldwell. Welcome, Mr. Moroski.
Treasure Valley Community College, Kathleen Robinson, I saw you out there somewhere, would you please wave your hand. This lady has been so instrumental in making sure that the Treasure Valley Community College has been successful at its college campus. I
It is my understanding that a record number of students enrolled at the college again this year. Their quarterly class offerings include core general education courses as well as one and two-year degree programs associated with certification and varied trades, and technical careers. TVCC's courses in automated office training, one-year emergency medical or electrical apprenticeship are examples of specialized training courses leading to high demand occupations in the Treasure Valley.
They have truly been a partner for the city in training the workforce for the city of Caldwell. Both the College of Idaho and Treasure Valley Community College have been the recipients of partnerships with the Caldwell East Urban Renewal Agency and the city of Caldwell in making some of their developments possible. We believe that these partnerships are unique, different, and sustainable, also part of the definition of great.
In economic development, I believe one of the best examples of vision that we could talk about today is the institution of the Caldwell Foreign Trade Zone 281. Steve Foltz the Director of Caldwell Economic Development Council and that Board of Directors worked tirelessly in making sure that Caldwell's Foreign Trade Zone was established in a timely manner. The saying of that good luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
Well I can tell you that this community is prepared and we are creating opportunity in the economic development arena never before thought of in the city of Caldwell. And one of the main elements of that preparedness is the Caldwell Foreign Trade Zone.
Simply put, this foreign trade zone allows American companies the possibility of competing with their foreign counterparts when they manufacture or provide goods that use parts or materials from across the pond. It helps them in the cost dealing with tariffs on products and raw materials that they bring into their manufacturing facility. We are so grateful for this achievement and it has given us recognition across the valley and across the state.
The example that I would like to use is the Washoe County area. Reno has been extremely successful in a very, very down economy in creating jobs in their community, providing jobs in manufacturing, warehousing, shipping, and distribution through their foreign trade zone. And these are companies that did not even look at our area because there was not a foreign trade zone available.
And in an era where tourism was at an all time low in Reno they were yet creating thousands of jobs through their foreign trade zone. So Steve and I had the opportunity of visiting with some of the professionals from that area as well as Salt Lake City. And we believe that this was one of the most important things that we could possibly have done in recruiting manufacturing jobs to the city of Caldwell.
And because of these efforts economic inquires are at an all time high. Right now, the Caldwell Economic Development Council and Mr. Foltz are working on one, two, three, four, five, six, seven prospects directly related to the foreign trade zone with a potential of over 600 jobs coming to the city of Caldwell. An example of the partnership between the Caldwell Economic Development Council and the city of Caldwell, and the Urban Renewal Agency is Southwark Development.
That company recently opened up its doors in the city of Caldwell and it was because of the efforts of preparation in the trade zone area, in the area of Exit 29, and in the business park. Because of the improvements that we had made there, because of the preparation, and infrastructure, water, sewer, roadways, we were able to offer a package that nobody else around us could meet. And it was through those efforts that we were successful creating new jobs and new property tax, and new wealth for the city of Caldwell. The most important thing was jobs. And that is our goal as we move forward to partner with our great partners, Freehold Development, Craig and Jason Eisenberg, John Laude, Lloyd Glasgow, and other developers in that area around the foreign trade zone to bring in more jobs and create jobs for the citizens of Caldwell.
One of the ways that we've been able to do that is through the Red Carpet Program. This is a program that is extremely important to the success of economic development in the city. Andy Cater, Adele Griffin Anne Marie Skinner, and Robb MacDonald are the individuals that make this program work. If you're here, please stand up we'd like to thank you. I would like to read to you excerpts from a letter that we received from Casey Huse at LCA Architects.
As an architect working primarily in the Treasure Valley I have had the opportunity to take various projects through the design, planning, and permit review processes at the majority of city jurisdictions within the area. The aforementioned ICCU project was my first project with the city of Caldwell. I remember questioning what I would experience when I was working through this.
I found both the staff and their policies, and procedures to be organized, thorough, and engineered towards providing a helpful and satisfying user experience. City staff remained accessible and in contact with the design team throughout the design and production process. Submittal requirements for permit review were straightforward and less onerous than any other jurisdiction. And staff were readily available and quick to respond to my questions with reasonable answers and options. The review of plans was thorough yet quick.
In fact, one of the fastest turnarounds from plan submittal to receipt of permit in my memory. Overall, my experience with Caldwell's Planning and Zoning and Building Safety Departments represented a refreshing departure from the norm. What a pleasant surprise to find such a progressive and user-oriented group of professionals. I hope other jurisdictions sit up and take note.
If Caldwell keeps this up, I'm sure the word will get out and permit applications there will be on the rise. Kudos and thanks to you, and I look forward to our next project. Sincerely, Casey Huse, partner, LCA Architects.
Those are the kind of things that we are so proud of and it takes people, people like Robb, Adele, Anne Marie, and Andy to make that possible. And because of their great work new construction projects in 2012 were Southwark Metal, Vision Charter School, West Valley Medical expansion, Auto Zone on Cleveland Boulevard, Canyon County Paramedics, Dr. Lloyd's new dentist office, Clean Energy LNG facility, Primary Health, and Idaho Central Credit Union. We are so grateful that those entities have invested in the city of Caldwell.
And we're grateful for our planning staff making their process here so pleasant. If you fail to plan then you are planning to fail. You've all heard that adage. Well that's what makes a city good is planning.
But what makes a city great is the implementation of those plans. You will find that plans that are in place in the city of Caldwell include the Airport Master Plan, the Framework Master Plan for downtown Caldwell, the Functional Classification Map maintained by COMPASS used as the Streets Master Plan, Parks Master Plan, Pathways and Bike Routes Master Plan, Public Facilities Master Plan, Sewer Master Plan, Water Master Plan, Youth Master Plan. These are all active plans. They are not sitting on a shelf every day, they are being implemented as we speak.
You have to have a plan don’t you, coach, when you get out on the field. If you don’t have a plan you're in trouble, right? But it's the implementation of that plan that determines whether you're successful at the end of the football game, would you agree? Well, at the end of the day, we are implementing those plans and we believe that we will win the football game when this is all said and done.
Another thing that we did as a community was recognize the need for growth from an infrastructure standpoint. This past year in the late summer of 2012, the city of Caldwell assumed municipal operation of the Caldwell Wastewater Treatment Facility and that has been a huge success. It will allow us to continue to grow. The capacity of the treatment plant will allow us to grow to a city of 100,000 people.
Analysis shows that this move will bring better value, less costs, and extended longevity to the plant and saving the ratepayers of the city of Caldwell more than $500,000 a year. It is also anticipated that this plant and preparedness will help the city meet and comply with new regulations that are being proposed under its National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit, also known as NPDES permit, that is expected to be renewed during this coming year.
Here are some examples of just the improvements that have been made already.
The first picture shows a clarifier out at the treatment plant before we assumed operation. The next slide shows how clear and clean it is after we assumed operation. That's an improvement in just a two-month period of time. Congratulations to the great new staff and employees at the treatment plant. Another thing that makes a community great is doing things out of the norm. One of the partnerships that we were able to establish this year was a great partnership with ITD in the completion of Highway 20/26 expansion.
This was a project that was deemed absolutely essential to the economic development and safety of the Exit 29 area. The project was completed in December of 2012, to include the median landscaping and signal lights at both intersections of Aviation and Smeed Parkway. This project is completely unique in nature. It's very unusual for a city to improve a state highway.
But as all of us know highway funding is almost non-existent anymore. The funding for highway projects has become very, very difficult and Idaho being the size of state it is does not receive the dollars that some of the larger states do around us. But there are creative ways to improve our road systems and this is an example of doing that.
So with our own resources, with our own crews, contracting with local developers, we were able to construct this section of roadway to improve safety and to improve access for economic development in the Sky Ranch Business Park area.
We are very grateful, again, for our partners, Freehold Development, John Laude, Lloyd Glasgow, Craig Eisenberg, and other property owners who donated right-of-way to make this project possible. The cost of construction was approximately $2.3 million dollars including the traffic signals and city personnel put in thousands of hours in constructing this project, the Water Department 4,259 man-hours, Street Department 6,959 man-hours, and the Engineering Department 960 man-hours. However, we believe that this is an investment in our future and the return on investment will immeasurable with the jobs that are created in that industrial park.
Another project that we took on in partnership with the Bureau of Reclamation was the acquisition of land at the corner of 10th and Orchard known as Mallard Park. This is a great project again, with accessible equipment for all of our residents.
Our police department, we are so proud of this department. And again, safety services are a priority for us. We have a new motorcycle patrol in the city of Caldwell reducing the cost of vehicles, fuel, and increasing efficiency, besides they look cool riding around on those motorcycles.
We have instituted a program known as Data Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety, known as DDACTS. This is an operational model that uses the integration of location-based crime and traffic data to establish effective and efficient methods for deploying law enforcement resources. The goal of the DDACTS program is to reduce the incidents of crime within a specified area. Our police department identified an area along the 10th Street corridor that needed extra attention. Additional patrol was mandated within this area and was applied. The police department has had great success in this program. Calls were monitored in August, September, and October of 2011 and through 2012, and in the first year alone the reduction of calls went from 95 to 57 within just a one-year period of time. That is a huge decrease in a short amount of time. We will continue this program and identify areas throughout the community that deserve extra attention.
Also along with the arrests that were made the clearance rate has been phenomenal. The average clearance rate around the state is somewhere between 30% and 35%. As you can see, our rate is an exceptionally high level at a clearance rate of 52.5% for this year. That is a great tribute to the quality and professionalism of the officers within the Caldwell Police Department.
Here is a graph that I am so proud of. Again, if you look back the crime rate from 2010, and if you remember in the State of City Address in 2010, I made the statement that our crime was the lowest it had been since 1985. The population in 1985, was approximately 15,000 people. And yet in the year 2013, we are almost 48,000 people and a crime index dramatically lower than that even of 2010. Congratulations.
As was mentioned and by the way, Brad Carico is still on my list to get even with for sending out that press release, but I had the opportunity firsthand to see what these brave men and women in our fire department do on a daily basis. I have never been inside a building that was on fire like that before.
And yet, these great men and women rush into buildings like that all the time, without thinking about it, without giving it a second thought because that's who they are and that's what their job is. I am so grateful for the real heroes in our community the police and fire members. These are the real heroes.
But what I was most pleased with was not the way they handled the fire, it was not how quick they got there, it was not how professional they were in doing their job, it was the compassion, the kindness, the gentleness that they showed the victims afterwards. As you know, this family that I'm talking about was our neighbors. A little Hispanic family where the mother and father didn’t speak a lot of English. The son translated for them. And by the way, that young man was the hero. He's the one that rushed over to get me. He's the one that asked me to come help. And was so calm, cool, and collected in helping his parents. What a great mature young man this is, his name is Ali. And if you have a chance to meet him, you'll be in for a treat.
But, we had these individuals in our home because their apartment was completely uninhabitable. They needed a place to be warm while the firefighters were mopping up. And these firefighters came over to our home to make sure that they had a place to stay. They provided a motel room from their Burnout Fund so that they could protected for that night. They visited with the landlord to make sure that he knew the extent of the damage. They checked this woman over from a physical standpoint, to make sure that her breathing was okay, that she was okay physically.
Like I say it wasn’t the professionalism, it was the kindness, the genuineness, the compassion that they showed. These are the heroes of our community. Other things that our fire department does is Coats for Kids, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Fill the Boot, fire prevention talks in the schools, and so many other things that they do to protect our community.
Vision, again a vision without a plan is only a dream, but a vision without a funding mechanism is a hallucination. That is something that is so self-evident as we try to move this community forward. And I think this is something that every organization is confronted with, you got to have money if you want to get the job done.
We have to have money to pay for facilities, for capital improvements, for all the things that we want to do in a community. And without that money, it's pretty hard to do any of things, right?
Well, that's why the Urban Renewal Agency has been such a huge blessing to this community because they have been the partner that has enabled us to complete many, many projects throughout the community. But I would also like to thank the citizens of our community because property values have dropped and yet they still support this community is so many things that we do with their generous donations, making things possible through their endless work and effort. And they have invested in the community alongside each and every one of us. So as we look forward to 2013, we look forward with great pride, with great anticipation, and with excitement because we believe 2013, will be a great year. We will continue to invest in our community through parks, the completion of Mallard Park. We will continue to invest in water and sewer, and other very, very needed infrastructure facilities.
We will continue to invest in our transportation system by working with the Idaho State Transportation Department to try to widen Highway 20/26 further to the east. We will have a workshop on this particular topic upcoming in the next month or so, and would encourage you to come and give your thoughts to the council members as we try to develop a partnership with ITD to improve Highway 20/26 from its current state of improvement all the way to Middleton Road.
We will continue to build our partnerships, to expand the development in Sky Ranch Business Park. We will continue our partnership with Freehold Development to attract companies like Southwark. We will increase the activity in the foreign trade zone to make sure that that message gets sent loud and clear to everyone around the state, the region, and in fact, around the world. We will work with the Caldwell Economic Development Council to improve the downtown.
Their retention and expansion committee consisting of Bob Carpenter, Ray Wolfe, Dave Gibson, Andy McClusky, Steve Fultz, Gene Shaffer, and Jim Thomssen will work very closely with the city on open space and economic development in downtown Caldwell. We will continue to work with a couple of developers who are already looking at expanding in downtown Caldwell and make sure that their experience is the same as the architect described in the early letter. We will continue to implement the Framework Master Plan for downtown Caldwell. That is a living, breathing document that we will continue to honor and implement.
We will continue to work with the College of Idaho to construct a football field that will be the pride of this area. Well, I'm not sure we can compete with the blue turf at Bronco Stadium. But outside of that, it's going to be really, really wonderful. We will continue to partner with our school districts, with our other local governmental entities, with the county, with other cities in the area, and particularly the city of Nampa as we talk about ways to survive in the new normal. We will continue to talk with our firefighters about consolidation with the Middleton Fire District and the Caldwell Rural Fire District to make sure that we are efficient with your tax dollars and provide a service that we can all afford. We will continue to do everything that we can to make Caldwell great.
It is also my responsibility to report to you individually at the end of each State of the City Address, so in my capacity of mayor during the year of 2012, I chaired or attended 867 meetings. There are 251 calendar workdays. I worked 250 of those days. I served on approximately 30 boards and commissions to make sure that we are at the table not on the menu. I worked approximately 2,783 hours. City code requires that I work 1,920 hours. In 2012,
I attended the following conferences and trainings to learn more about my job. The National League of Cities Board Meetings in January, the National League of Cities conference in Washington D.C., the Collective Bargaining seminar in April, Association of Idaho Cities conferences in June, the National League of Cities Board conference in July, and the conference in Boston, Massachusetts. I continue to represent the city of Caldwell on various boards such as the Nation League of Cities Board of Directors, COMPASS Executive Committee, Valley Regional Transit, Association of Idaho Cities, AIC's Youth and Education and Family's Committee, NLC's Youth Education and Family's Committee, The Idaho Emergency Communication's Commission, and the Canyon County Organization on Aging, just to name a few.
I want you to know that it has been my honor and privilege to serve this community as its mayor. I appreciate your friendship, your support. I appreciate your thought, your ideas, and most of all I appreciate the great example that the citizens of Caldwell are to me in everything that is good about life. I look forward to another great year with you in 2013.
We have a great future ahead of us. And I continue to use the word great because of who you are, because of what you stand for, because of these great council members to my right and to my left, because of our partners, because of our employees, and because of everyone that we have the privilege of working with on a day-to-day basis.
So, may God bless each and every one of you in your efforts. May God bless this great city in its desire to become great. And in closing, in the words of the famous galactic philosopher, Buzz Lightyear, to infinity and beyond.
May God bless you.”