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Compass faces funding shortfall as they plan infrastructure for the future of the Treasure Valley

Posted: 4:39 PM, Sep 06, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-06 18:39:59-04

Compass is an organization that serves both Ada and Canyon Counties, the community planning association of southwest Idaho is trying to stay ahead of the growth by planning infrastructure in the Treasure Valley.

"We project by the year 2040 there will be more than a million people living in Ada and Canyon County," said Matt Stoll of Compass.

This is the organization that wrote the grant that helped secure $90 million in federal funds to be used on the Interstate 84 project in Nampa, that is the number one priority on a list of projects featured in their Communities in Motion 2040 plan.

Next on that list is widening projects on Highway 44 from Star Road to Highway 16 and another widening project on Chinden Boulevard, Compass has secured partial funding for the top three priorities.

Number four on that list is widening a section of Highway 55 from the Snake River to Nampa, a route used frequently to take freight from the farms and vineyards in the region, but also an area where new subdivisions are sprouting up.

However, Compass will have to start from scratch on this project and the first thing they need to do is conduct an environmental study for the area.

"Given our limited funds we are dependent on federal funds," said Stoll. "In order to use federal funds we need to get an environmental document completed on that."

Stoll said that Compass needs to seek federal funds because of a lack of funding locally, he said moving forward there is a projected $274 million per year coming into Ada and Canyon Counties, but in the future, Stoll said that $509 million is what they will need to stay ahead of the growth.

That is the main reason why Compass supports a proposed fee increase for vehicle registration in Ada County, an increase that would cost drivers 75% more on their yearly registration.

Voters will have a chance to vote on the proposed hike in November.