State of 208: Meridian's Mayor talks growth

Posted at 7:52 PM, Dec 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-23 00:38:17-05

MERIDIAN, Idaho — Things are going to look a little different around Meridian's City Hall very soon.

For sixteen years, Tammy DeWeerd has lead the city through it's largest growth spurt, ever.

DeWeerd has dedicated over twenty years of her life to the town she loves, and now this town has grown up into a city.

When DeWeerd started out on the Planning and Zoning Commission, she knew then where she wanted to leave her mark.

"We wrote the first open space ordinance and that put a minimum ten percent of open space in every neighborhood and it gave our neighborhoods identity," DeWeerd said.

As much as she's proud of the surrounding neighborhoods, DeWeerd believes the heart and soul of any community is your downtown.

"We want a vibrant downtown, we want more mom and pop stores, the locally owned restaurants, entertainment, and definitely living as well," DeWeerd said.

There is one special use piece of property along the railroad tracks that the city has had a close eye on for a number of reasons.

"It's so blighted," DeWeerd said. "It has been one of those detriments to redevelopment."

But DeWeerd doesn't give up easily. The city has been trying for years to find a solution for that piece of property. She remains cautiously optimistic.

"I think solutions have been found the property heirs are working with some investors and I think, maybe, something might happen there," DeWeerd said.

And what about traffic, something DeWeerd hears about almost on a daily basis. She's proud of the fact that the city's relationship with the Ada County Highway District has improved over the years.

"We established a transportation plan and that planner was Steve Siddoway and he worked to connect and communicate what our challenges were and better understand the decision making process that A.C.H.D. had," DeWeerd said.

So for a small town that started as farming community, turned suburbs, turned fully sustainable, things are looking up for Meridian.

"We don't have to leave our community to work, play, dine, shop to live," DeWeerd said.

That's the way Mayor Tammy always wanted it.