WBNA Regular meeting March 8, 2018

WBNA Regular meeting

March 8, 2018

The March 8 meeting of the West Bench Neighborhood Association was called to order by President Ronnie Marlar.

Warren Bean gave the treasurer’s report.  $545.04 balance as of 2/28/18

Ronnie turned the floor over to Mark Curnapious from Valley Regional Transit.  Mark presented an overview of Valley Connect 2.0, an update to Valley Regional Transits ValleyConnect plan. It expands on the vision of a public transportation system that offers numerous options to travel around the region (Ada Country and Canyon County).  It is Valley Regional Transit’s response to the need to accommodate both current transportation needs and further growth.

How can the public provide comment?  There is an online survey that is collecting public comment on the draft Valley Connect 2.0 plan.  The survey will only take a few minutes.  The deadline for taking the survey is Thursday, March 15. The link is: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ValleyConnect.    

Next on the agenda – Ronnie introduced Melinda McGoldrick from Boise City Community Housing.  Melinda explained howEnergize our Neighborhood is a reinvestment that the city, private donors and corporations support to improve Boise.  Collaboration from residents, public sector and private partners work together in an established neighborhood to help improve livability.  Whole neighborhoods bring together projects.  They need to be Interactive – all day or block parties have worked as well as surveys – to get ideas from residents.  The plans do need to align with city, businesses and foundations in the area.  The Vista Neighborhood was chosen first and the city worked for 3 years with the residents, the community center and schools to improve art, recreation and livability in that neighborhood.  West Bench will be the next area for this program.  We need the following to begin.Strategic Leadership Teams – from the Neighborhood Association, Banks, BSU, Albertsons, non-profits, and Blue Cross Foundation who support projects in the neighborhood.  Operations Team – led by Melinda McGoldrick and Nikki Drake of Boise City Housing and Community Energize.  Focus on kids, economics, environment, health care, housing, art and history.

The Process starts with assessment of the community needs and we will reach out to everyone who is interested to give us an opinion. Then we will prioritize projects and develop working groups and implement the changes we hope to achieve by working with ACHD, schools, organizations and the city.

Nikki talked about Visioning – getting input from big and small events, that we would advertise through media, posters, flyers and on-line options.  Questions about small pockets of the neighborhood can have a small group or larger projects may have many people involved.

Betty suggested reaching out to the schools before the recess for the summer.  Nikki said that they have had good response from PTO’s.  Morley Nelson Elementary has the community center here in the West Bench so it would probably be a hub for activities.

Discussion followed on identifying our area.  Ronnie had requested signs in our last grant presented to the city, but because of budget restraints that was put on hold.  Energize can make that happen.

Discussion on how to get things rolling were:  Kick-off event in April on a Sunday afternoon with refreshments, games for youth which Parks and Rec could set up.  To get a crowd out we will have updates on Fairmont Park improvements and Spaulding Ranch.  It would be an Open House so people wouldn’t feel as if they had to stay for a long meeting.  Morley Nelson gym is a possibility with advertising on Facebook, our website, posters, the media and social media.  It will probably take this spring and most of the summer (with other events) to get input from residents.  Those that an’t attend can finish a survey on line for what they want energized in the neighborhood.

Nikki and Melinda invited us to the West Valley celebration of the Ustick Road improvements on May 12 at Redwood Park on Shamrock Street to see how a celebration is handled by that neighborhood.

Next regular meeting is May 10.