State of 208: Kuna growing pains

State of 208: Kuna growing pains
Posted at 2:00 PM, Oct 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-28 16:02:11-04

Kuna was once a small farming town in South Ada County, but, now, the city is at a crossroads -- trying to balance rapid growth without losing touch with its roots. Lifelong resident and Kuna mayor Joe Stear feels pretty good about where his town is right now. "We don't have a lot of problems with needing to go to taxpayers and bond for more infrastructure and that type of thing," said Stear.

More homes mean more families, and more families need more schools. That need is one of the challenges the Kuna community faces moving forward. "I think our biggest issue with that type of thing has to do with the school district being able to keep up with room for the kids," said Stear.

Dave Reinhart, from the Kuna School District, takes more of a philosophical approach to Kuna's growth. "Our mission and our job is to educate the children that arrive," said Reinhart. "It's not to determine how many will arrive, or how many developments there will be. Our job is to plan for the children who arrive. So, I would much rather be a part of growth than decline."

When it comes right down to it, there is no turning back. So, Mayor Stear and the folks at City Hall decided it was time to hire an economic development director. "She's been making some contacts -- trying to get some businesses, some jobs more than just retail," said Stear. "But, actually, some manufacturing or call center so not everyone who lives in Kuna has to leave town to go to work."

So as Kuna residents take a stroll along Indian Creek on their own version of the Greenbelt, they have a lot to look forward to. Now it is up to city leaders to make sure that happens.