Plans for Kuna’s new urban renewal agency are chugging along.
Kuna Planning director Steve Hasson presented an update to the Kuna Chamber of Commerce last week, urging business owners to get involved and support the effort.
“This is an opportunity for the city of Kuna and the chamber to work together. We should be each other’s best friend,” Hasson told Thursday’s gathering of about 40 attendees of the chamber’s monthly luncheon, held at Kuna City Hall. “An investment in downtown will benefit each and all of your businesses.”
Kuna City Council members last month voted to form the Kuna Urban Renewal Agency, which functions as a separate taxing entity and is intended to improve deteriorating parts of a city. Council members agreed that the city’s downtown qualified as deteriorating and agreed that an urban renewal agency was a good way to improve downtown.
In an advertisement for qualifications for an urban renewal consultant, the city received two proposals — one from Jerome Mapp and one from Phil Kushlan. Both have extensive experience in urban renewal planning.
City Council members are expected to choose one of the applicants to help guide the city through what can be a complicated process of establishing a board of commissioners, setting urban renewal district boundaries and determining projects and financing.
Hasson’s presentation to the Kuna Chamber of Commerce included a reference to five commission members. The mayor, with the advice and consent of City Council, can appoint anywhere from three to nine members to the board. Hasson said that having five members was not set in stone. He said three members was probably too small and nine was probably too large, so the target likely was going to be either five or seven members. Five was the number he settled on for the presentation, but the number was subject to change.
Hasson also released a draft map of the general area where the district might be located. It includes a large chunk of land on both sides of Indian Creek from School Avenue to as far east as Sailer Place. The map extends south up to but not including the Wild Meadows subdivision and as far north as West Art Court to include Ralph Mellin’s proposed commercial/office property. (To see the proposed map, go to www.kunamelba.com)