Boise
2:38 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Boise Mayor: New Jobs Coming To Airport, Pitches New Fire Bond

Credit Dave Bieter's Facebook Page / City of Boise

Boise Mayor David Bieter announced Friday that SkyWest Airlines is opening a maintenance facility at the Boise Airport.

During his annual State of the City speech, Bieter said the facility will use an existing hangar at the Jackson Jet Center. “While we’re not sure yet the total number of jobs, we do know they will be able to service three large planes every night,” Bieter says. “And the wages they will pay will serve a family well.”

Bieter also says Boise is in the running for SkyWest to expand that first project. If SkyWest says yes, the company would build a brand new maintenance facility at the airport. “Which will bring 80 to 100 new jobs at that high wage,” says Bieter. “The capital investment will be between $20 and $30 million.”

SkyWest has 334 aircraft and more than 10,000 employees.

Also during his speech, Bieter said he wants to try again to pass a bond for firefighting facilities. Last year, Bieter tried, and failed, to pass a $17 million bond to relocate and renovate fire stations.

Bieter says that bond failed, but the need to help firefighters is still there. “We need to protect the backs of those that watch ours,” Bieter says. “I think we need to go back to our voters, but this time for a no-tax bond. What I mean by that is, we’ll pay the cost of the debt service for the bonds out of our existing [city] budget and it won’t cost taxpayers a dime.”

The money that funds Boise's city budget comes from taxes, fees, and permits, so the bond would technically be paid off with taxpayer cash. However, a Bieter spokesman says this bond would not raise taxes or put new taxes on home and property owners.

Bieter says this $17 million bond would require a two-thirds majority, just like the last one. The 2013 bond got 64 percent of the vote, just shy of the 66 percent needed to pass.

Bieter will send a revised proposal to the City Council, which will decide whether to place the proposal on the ballot in November.

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

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