Nampa Mayor Bob Henry, who in November defeated incumbent Tom Dale by just more than 100 votes, gave his first State of the City speech Wednesday, highlighting an improving economy, new road and park projects, and a lack of drive-by shootings.
The city is trading 77 acres it owns in south Nampa near Scism Road and Missouri Avenue for 70 acres northwest of Lonestar Middle School for a new park, Henry said. Preliminary plans for the park call for soccer fields, a dog park, picnic shelters and playgrounds.
In office less than three weeks, Henry presented his address to more than 400 people at the Nampa Civic Center.
He noted that Nampa police recorded 211 drive-by shootings in 2006: That number dropped to five last year with zero injuries, Henry said.
Henry gave a bouquet and a consolation gift to his wife of 37 years, Jane, who wasnt totally excited when he decided to run for mayor.
I told her if I lost the election, she and I would go to Hawaii for two weeks. As you know it was a close election and she hasnt told me who she voted for, quipped Henry, who placed a Hawaiian lei around his wifes neck.
Other highlights of Henrys speech:
- The Nampa school board is taking a calculated risk asking voters to approve a $3.4 million levy, Henry said. The district certainly can justify the need. Between their own well-publicized problems and the cuts at the state level made to education, the need is obvious, he said. Please make your decision based on the merit of the request, not based on your frustration with the Nampa city levy rate.
- With a $1 million sponsorship, the Idaho Center is now named the Ford Idaho Center. The agreement includes the national Ford brand and seven local dealerships. Henry said he wants Canyon County to consider moving its fair to the city-owned facility.
- Planning and zoning applications increased 24 percent in 2013. Construction permits in 2013 totaled $101.3 million, including two Saint Alphonsus Hospital buildings, Norco Medical building, Broadmore Vineyards and Aspen Creek apartments, Asian Market building, Cracker Barrel Restaurant, Jimmy Johns Restaurant, two Starbucks, a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market and 327 homes.
- A new signal at Middleton Road and Roosevelt Street will be completed this year. A signal at Middleton and Flamingo Avenue is slated for 2015.
- A $5 million Middleton and Karcher roads intersection improvement project will begin next fall or winter.
- Work on converting 11th and 12th avenues downtown to one-way and adding sidewalks and parking is slated to begin this summer and finish later this fall. The work is for Library Square, due to open in early 2015.
Cynthia Sewell: 377-6428, Twitter: @CynthiaSewell