City to Assist Development

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The Meridian City Council has passed an ordinance that will allow them to reimburse developers for a portion of the costs incurred in constructing single-family residential homes.

The Legislature passed and the governor signed a local and private bill that allows the city of Meridian to provide certain incentives for developers of residential subdivisions in the city.

The development must be part of a subdivision or other development approved by the city. In turn, the city may reimburse the developer for up to 25 percent of the cost of infrastructure for homes over $125,000. For homes under that amount the figure is 30 percent.

"This is not a giveaway because the property taxes that will be paid to utilities and infrastructure, they will pay more or less in time to pay for themselves," said Ward 2 councilman Jesse Palmer.

The city will get its money back through the taxes on new homes. Melissa Pringle represented a planned subdivision in north Meridian named 'The Commons.' She endorsed the council's action.

"Not only can it help influence other options for city living, it also might help keep people from fleeing to the county," Pringle said. "It will ultimately, I believe, fit into downtown enhancement and also possibly a resurgence of the public schools. So as I see it, as more than just helping the developer, I see it as helping the city as a whole."

Since the ordinance passed the council unanimously, it became effective immediately.