Thursday, January 22, 2009

Kuna should beat a tactical retreat in its fight with Meridian

The city of Kuna has a tremendous opportunity right now in its seemingly endless fight over land with the city of Meridian.
Last month, Ada County Commissioners, once again treating Kuna like an ugly stepchild better relegated to the hinterlands of Canyon County (or maybe even Nevada), approved Meridian’s request to extend its area of city impact down to Lake Hazel Road, over the objections of Kuna.
Kuna city officials have made the case that Kuna is best prepared to provide services north of Lake Hazel Road to Amity Road, based largely on the city’s new $30 million wastewater treatment plant that’s under construction near the southeast corner of Lake Hazel and Ten Mile roads. A 2004 wastewater master plan commissioned by the city of Kuna specifically targets the area between Lake Hazel and Amity roads as a natural development area that would gravity-feed the new treatment plant.
At the county commissioners’ Dec. 17 public hearing, however, a line of Meridian city officials and area residents, one by one, testified that the city of Meridian was better prepared to provide services to the land north of Lake Hazel Road. Although I wasn’t at that meeting, city planning director Steve Hasson tells me that the comments about Kuna were unflattering and derisive. Hasson, Kuna Mayor Scott Dowdy and one affected resident were the only ones to testify on Kuna’s behalf. “It was just a good old-fashioned butt-whooping,” Hasson told me, obviously dejected.
But there is a compelling argument to draw the line at Lake Hazel Road right now. If Kuna were to beat a tactical retreat right now, Kuna could go to the city of Meridian holding out an olive branch, saying, “OK, let’s draw that line at Lake Hazel Road and be done with the fighting. Let’s get together and do some joint planning. Let’s get together without any more baggage, without any cloud hanging over us.”
And maybe the two cities and school districts could work on that ice rink I’ve been dreaming about.
It may be difficult to swallow your pride and admit defeat, but a retreat at this point has its benefits.

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