KUNA – The Kuna City Council did not authorize the city clerk to use a GoFundMe campaign to raise $60,000 in donations for the city's Downtown Revitalization Project, but will consider to authorize the project in a future meeting.

The GoFundMe was set up by city clerk Chris Engels in hopes city residents and interested parties would donate extra funds to the project for a street-scape art piece, new flower pots on Main Street, banners, Birds of Prey sidewalk art, Kuna Kaves receptacle art and a mini-water tower exhibit.

Engels said that funding is accounted for when it comes to replacing streets, sidewalks and other necessities but the donations would be to allow people to donate for artistic changes.

“Attached are the different options available and the possibility for a contribute monument or stone,” Engels said. “Donors or a certain amount would be put on there.”

Councilwoman Briana Buban-Vonder Haar asked if a donation campaign could be hosted on the city's website. Engels said the GoFundMe website shows graphics, the names of those who donated and the amount collected toward a goal.

“My main concern is that GoFundMe takes fees,” Buban-Vonder Haar said. “We should use another site because we want every dollar donated to be used toward the city. And to legitimize it. I think people will find this unusual.”

Engels said GoFundMe takes 8 percent of the money donated on its hosted campaign sites.

Councilman Pat Jones asked Engels what the plan is if the $60,000 is not made. Engels said if the donations are not made the city would try to find funding elsewhere.

“It looks like a lot of this project is custom,” Jones said. “Would we have to find vendors and contractors to make this?”

Engels said she based the price off of the one bid of a vendor, but Jones wanted to know if the city would use other vendors if they came in at a lower bid.

“These are laser cut items,” Engels said. “So we would need someone with the lasers, CNC machines and more. We are more interested in the vitality of Kuna than we are handpicking a vendor.”

Jones also asked if the new flower pots for Main Street would completely replace the current flower pots, which he believed were donated.

Facilities Director Bob Bachman said the current flower pots were donated by Kuna residents and will be reallocated into the city.

The council asked Engels to do more research into other campaign platforms before they could approve the project.

Bachman said the project should break ground in June.

COUNCIL ALLOWS 111 ACRES TO BE ANNEXED INTO CITY

During the city council meeting, council voted to approve the annexation of 111 acres northwest of the Deer Flat Road and Meridian Road intersection and will be used for a subdivision for over 340 single-family homes.

Kuna city planner Trevor Kesner represented the applicant, Coleman Real Estate Holdings LLC, and Kesner said the project would include 342 single-family homes, 33 common lots which could be used for parks, basketball courts or other recreational areas. It would also bring bicycle and pedestrian paths and more.

“This is the fourth or fifth project design,” Kesner said. “The applicant has made some serious revisions to fill the city's and (Ada County Highway District's) request.”

Kesner said the application fit the city's comprehensive plan and because of this Kuna Planning and Zoning commissioners recommended the city approve the annexation and subdivision plan.

Rick Merino, a Kuna resident, told the council he lives in a nearby property and is concerned about a canal that runs through the proposed property and irrigation ditches towards his land.

“I just don't if that has been addressed,” Merino said. “And if it goes forward I would ask you be diligent to be sure that water is not stopped during construction.”

Brad Waters, a Kuna resident, had similar concerns as Merino.

“We want due diligence that we'll still have access from the irrigation route,” Waters said.

Dick Hersey, Kuna, was opposed to the subdivision because Meridian Road is already crowded in the morning.

“Besides the 500 cars you are planning to add,” Hersey said. “There are already lines of cars looking to turn onto that road. And they come back in the morning too. I have big heavy trucks on that road. That intersection is a problem today. There is something on the books to make a four-lane intersection on Deer Flat Road and Linder Road. I believe if you are going to do this properly, Deer Flat near Meridian Road should be two lanes turning left. And on Ardell Road, without a signal light, it's going to be a disaster. I see the accidents on Deer Flat Road today and it has a signal.”

Councilman Jones said he also has concerns about people entering the highway from a new, un-signaled road from the subdivision.

“I'm assuming (Ada County Highway District) has considered this,” Jones said. “I am concerned about the potential for accidents.”

Dan Thompson, a traffic engineer working with Coleman Real Estate, said improvements on Deer Flat are required by the applicant, which could include widening, to help ease traffic concerns. Thompson said in the next five years ACHD plans to signalize the Hubbard Road and Deer Flat Road intersection which will relieve some congestion from Deer Flat Road.

Councilwoman Buban-Vonder Haar said the city comprehensive plan includes a goal that the city include walkable areas that are developed.

“There is going to be a park, a pool and clubhouse,” Haar said. “It helps us with our natural resources goals and objectives, and also it provides for some different pedestrian connectivity to the Ridley's complex. It's close to services so we won't have issues expanding our network. To the me the request seems to be in compliance.”

Jones agreed with Buban-Vonder Haar and said he liked have the walkways close to schools and businesses.

“I do have a little concern with traffic,” Jones said. “But I will leave that to the experts who deal with that everyday. It's a good project.”

The council voted unanimously to approve the annexation and the subdivision plans.

Danielle Wiley is the reporter for the Kuna Melba News. Contact her at 922-3008 or email her at editor@kunamelba.com

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