Voters in several communities in Idaho will be headed to the polls today, including people in Canyon, Ada and Gem counties.
Canyon County Jail
Voters are being asked to decide once again on a jail bond. It is the fourth time the measure has been put before voters after failing the three previous times. The $187 million bond would secure funds to build a new Canyon County jail in rural Caldwell. Several town halls have taken place over the past few weeks, some even turning heated as people voiced their concerns.
Several levies are also under consideration, including two in Kuna. The Kuna Rural Fire District is hoping to pass a levy increase of $1.1 million. Two-thirds majority is needed to pass in both Ada and Canyon counties. The levy would allow for more personnel, making it so there are five people per shift rather than the current three. Crews would be able to respond to more than one call at a time and old vehicles and equipment would be replaced or upgraded. If approved, the Kuna Rural Fire District will be able to collect about $3.1 million in property taxes beginning January 2020, making the levy rate an estimated $182 per $100,000 of taxable property value per year. The fire district covers Kuna city limits and unincorporated areas in both Ada and Canyon counties.
The Kuna Library District is looking for a plant facilities levy. The 10-year, $450 thousand per year plant facilities levy requires a 55 percent approval from voters in both Ada and Canyon counties. The levy would expand, renovate and grade the current library building which was built in the late 1990s. Larger rooms to host community meetings and library-organized programs would be constructed. Smaller rooms for personal study and tutoring would also be created. More reading areas, a coffee bra and a Friends of the Library book sale room would be added. The HVAC system and the circulation desk would also be upgraded and renovated. Taxpayers would likely see a total tax rate of about $79 per $100,000 of taxable value.
Kuna Library District Trustees will also be on the ballot. Incumbent Barbara Powell is facing Linda Brunetti to finish the four-year term. Incumbent Marie Leavitt is uncontested for a six-year term. Joan Gidney is uncontested for a six-year term.
Ada County ballot
The Meridian Library District is seeking approval for a plant levy measure. The levy would be for $14 million to renovate, expand and modernize. $1.4 million for the fiscal year starting October 1, 2019 continuing each year in the amount of $1.4 million for a total of ten years. The library has not passed any new funding measures since 1995. 55 percent of Meridian voters are needed to pass the levy. The purpose of the levy is to finance construction and renovation of library facilities. If passed, the levy would pay for new library branches in north Meridian (part of the Linder Village project) and south Meridian (part of The Hill complex). It would also pay for major renovations of the main library on Cherry Lane, which is 22 years old. A renovation of a lease-to-own building in downtown Meridian for the unBound branch would also be renovated. If approved, it would cost taxpayers $1 per month for every $100,00 of taxable property value.
Gem County ballot
The Emmett School District plant levy will be for $1.5 million for 2 years; a total of $3 million. The levy will be similar to the current $1.4 million levy expiring at the end of the school year. 50 percent plus one is needed to pass the levy. The levy would maintain appropriate class sizes and provide necessary support for staff and students. It would offer safe and well maintained facilities for learning and purchase updated textbooks and other instructional tools to support high quality education. If approved, it will cost tax payers $142.34 per year on $100,000 of assessed property value -– an increase of about $10 per year over the current levy.