If the heart of a city includes its public service and public safety commitments, the soul can be summed up by the respect and attention its citizens afford to the preservation and maintenance of its natural attributes.
The city of Boise is generously endowed with a marvelous setting in a beautiful river valley, the Foothills overlooking us. Most of us have experienced life in other communities during our travels or career relocations and come away with a deeper appreciation about just how blessed Boise is.
But having such natural assets means nothing if they are not kept up, protected and sustained for both present and future generations.
The wise folk who pushed for and approved $10 million to support conservation and land protection efforts for the 2001 Foothills levy have been rewarded at least three-fold. That funding, secured over two years, purchased the future for nearly 11,000 acres now valued at $37 million.
Forgetting any actual equity for a moment, try to place a value on the view, the access and the protection that will woo future corporate and residential neighbors, people we know seek a measure of livability beyond the footprints of their businesses and homes.
We urge passage of the 2015 Foothills Open Space & Boise River Levy on Nov. 3 because it will continue the commitment to Boise’s wonderful and necessary natural assets. The levy will provide another $10 million over two years at a modest monthly cost of $2.39 per $100,000 of taxable home value.
Though no specific projects will be detailed until after passage, the idea is to preserve and enhance our water quality, wildlife and native plant habitat, and to increase recreational access in the city’s Foothills and along the Boise River.
There is a track record for stewardship and a responsible allocation of the $10 million 2001 levy. We would expect no less this time around.
And what’s more, there is plenty of evidence that open space and habitat protection are what the people of Boise want. The 2001 levy got 59 percent of the vote. A failed Foothills levy in 2013 fell short of a necessary two-thirds vote — but managed 62 percent voter support.
The present levy requires only a majority of the vote. It deserves passage, because what’s good for Boise’s soul is good for Boise’s future.
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