Advisory Services Panel – Ada County Highway District, Boise, Idaho

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Date: June 17 – 22, 2007

Location: Boise, ID

Sponsor: Ada County Highway District

Chair: Charles A. Long

Subject Area: Transportation Infrastructure and Management, Regional Growth and Planning

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Summary of Recommendations:

The panel was brought to Ada County to help resolve disputes among the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) and the land use jurisdictions in various cities and the county. These disputes generally concerned the service provided by the district and the inconsistency of decisions made by the land use jurisdictions that affect the regional road capital improvement plan. To overcome these problems the panel recommended that the cities, county, and district form a contractual joint powers authority.

It was imperative that each city became supportive of the surrounding cities’ visions and work together to identify common goals for the region that would unite efforts to guide future growth. Smart land use and transportation systems should be among these common goals. The panel’s main recommendation was to form a decision-making entity – the Local Government Alliance – that required the ACHA to work collaboratively with the cities and county. This would result in the highway district being able to provide transportation services as determined by the majority of the Alliance members in return for the cities and county ensuring predictability in land use. The creation of an Alliance would allow for high-quality development, roads that add value to the communities, and greater political strength at the state level to obtain necessary funding for infrastructure. By putting the tough past behind them and developing a tone of teamwork, cooperation, and prudent use of taxpayer dollars, Ada County could be well on its way to successful regional planning.

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