Branding Eagle: ‘The City of Adventure’

Mayor Jim Reynolds touts the city’s recreational offerings in his annual address.

cmsewell@idahostatesman.comFebruary 12, 2014 


    What are some of your goals for 2014 as mayor?

    My top priority is to put Eagle on a firm financial footing. Eagle is 80 percent residential and 20 percent commercial. That commercial includes cutting-edge engineering and software firms and the service community, including our wonderful coffee houses. They are not the kind that helps the city's revenue very much. Annexing Avimor offers more than an environmental-friendly community, but also the opportunity to develop 17 million square feet of light industrial. That could mean almost 10,000 high-end blue-collar employees to boost the local economy.

    Another goal is to continue to brand Eagle “The City of Adventure,” as suggested by Mark Pyper when running for City Council. Just as the regional sports park is an attraction to cyclists from all over the country, combining it with the many miles of bike trails in Avimor will enhance Eagle’s theme as the City of Adventure. Adding motorized sports to Avimor will bring wheeled sports into another dimension. It is beyond thrilling to think about it.

    Two years ago, the city took over the Eagle Urban Renewal Agency. Are you satisfied with the move? How have things changed?

    I am generally satisfied with the Urban Renewal board and our activity in assisting new downtown businesses. As for the old Chevron and the meat packing building, the people really want them gone, and something of beauty in that area. I hope we can help that happen.

    How, if at all, has your style changed as mayor since taking office more than three years ago?

    I am more outspoken with the council, outgoing and incoming. I tried to observe my first year or so believing it is better to be silent and thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt. My goals are less in response to a constituency and more on keeping the ship afloat and headed in an overall positive direction.

    How can citizens communicate with you?

    Email, cell 861-9748. Office hours? What are those? My days tend to run from early morning to sometimes late in the evening, with occasional breaks in the middle. Tammy Gordon keeps my schedule and will make time for you. She can be reached at 489-8790.

Tucked between the Boise River, Eagle Island State Park and the Foothills, Eagle is prime for recreational adventures, says its mayor. In addition to bike parks, hiking and equestrian trails, four golf courses and a new snowboard and tubing park, a 24-court tennis facility is in the works along with a plan for a motor-sports and racing complex.

The city’s park and trail offerings will increase with the annexation of the 23,000-acre Avimor planned community, planned for later this year, and construction of M3’s 6,000-acre Spring Valley planned community, slated to begin this year.

“The City of Adventure,” said Mayor Jim Reynolds during his annual state of the city speech Tuesday. “That really fits.”

Other highlights from Reynold’s speech:

- With a population of nearly 22,000 people, Eagle is the third-largest city in Ada County and the fifth-largest in the Treasure Valley. “Once again, we are the safest city in the Valley,” Reynolds said, citing the city’s low crime rate. The city also boasts one of the lowest property tax rates in the state.

- City revenue increased 14 percent last year to $8.4 million.

- New home permits increased 28.5 percent in 2013. In 2009, the city issued 36 permits; last year it issued 296.

- The city issued 46 new business licenses last year.

- The Gardner Co. and Edgewood Group’s senior living center, Edgewood Spring Creek, is under construction on Flint Drive. It will include 47 independent- living patio homes, 70 assisted living units and a clubhouse.

- The popular Boise Philharmonic Picnic at the Pops series will return to Eagle this summer to a new location: Eagle Island Park.

- A city survey found 96 percent of respondents want more public art. “I think we can expect that in the future,” Reynolds said.

- Preliminary plans are in the works for a motor-sports complex in the foothills north of Eagle. The facility would include several types of car tracks and courses and a go-cart track along with an auto parts manufacturing and testing facility. “Our goals are high, but we think they are achievable,” Reynolds said.

Cynthia Sewell: 377-6428, Twitter: @CynthiaSewell

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