Charles F. McDevitt Youth Sports Complex Master Plan Presentation April 18!

Hello Centennial neighbors!

In case you may have missed it, we received an update from Boise Parks and Recreation on the Master Plan for our neighborhood’s Charles F. McDevitt Park completion and reviewed it at our announced April 11th open board meeting last night at Tree City Church. Thank you all who attended and shared their thoughts. The board is investigating a few proposed changes to the current plan and will present those at next week’s P&R Commission meeting. All are encouraged to attend. Zoom meeting options are available – see below.

Here is the latest update from Boise Parks and Recreation. We encourage everyone to attend.

March 2024 Update from Boise Parks and Recreation

Thank you to those who have participated in the outreach process so far; our team values your feedback and is now preparing a final design proposal following a second survey.

Incorporating initial feedback on potential amenities, our team of landscape architects prepared two design concepts for people to vote on. Option 2, which is more focused on wheeled sports with a bike pump track area and new skatepark features, was the winner with more than 63% of the vote. If you would like to view these follow-up survey results, you may do so here.


Next Steps

Following this second round of public input, the city’s landscape architects are working to finalize a master plan design. This design update will be presented to the Boise Parks and Recreation Commission, where a public hearing will follow a presentation from staff. The Board of Commissioners will then vote on the updated master plan. Details for the April meeting are listed below.

Boise Parks and Recreation Commission – Monthly Meeting
4 p.m. on Thursday, April 18
Boise City Hall (Zoom participation available)

If the updated master plan design is approved, the impact fee funding to build out the new amenities is expected to be available in fiscal year 2025. 

If you have feedback for the folks who will ultimately make the decision on the future of the park, please attend the meeting they reference on 4/18/2024!

McDevitt Park Completion Update

McDevitt Park Kickoff Public Meeting

Date: Wednesday, December 6, 2023
Time: 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Location: Lowell Scott Middle School (Library), 13600 W McMillan Rd.

Latest Time Table for Master Plan

Boise Parks and Recreation representatives to present at CTNA’s October 19th, 2023, Annual Member meeting. It’s the kickoff of a search for ideas to finish the east end of the park

This is one of only three parks in the Centennial Neighborhood Association (CTNA) boundaries.

∙ The land McDevitt sits on was annexed in 1999.  

∙ Most of the park was finished in 2001. 

∙ Impact fees from new construction have been assessed and are available. ∙ Over 10 years later, in 2013 money was in the budget to finish McDevitt. The Boise Parks and Recreation (BPR) master plan for McDevitt included 3 lacrosse fields to be built in the unfinished area in association with a local lacrosse league. That plan fell through. 

∙ Another 10 years after that, in 2023, BPR again had money in the budget to finish the park but needed a new master plan. This was put on hold because of a “capacity issue” or staffing shortage to manage the community outreach needed to develop a new plan. 

∙ In July of 2023, the CTNA appeared before the Boise City Council at the FY2024 budget hearing to request the park be completed in FY2024 and not pushed back again. The City Council denied the request. However, Eric Bilimoria, Boise Budget Manager, said McDevitt was scheduled in FY2025, but he qualified that by saying it was “dependent upon collection of development impact fees.”

(1) When asked, Karen Bledsoe, BPR, said that there was $1.2M in FY2023 for McDevitt and that by FY2025 it was projected to be “over $1.4M.” It was asked if that meant planning in FY2024 for installation in FY2025 and she did not disagree.

(2) ∙ Each year, the park is not completed, the $1.2M in impact fees buys less and less. BPR says installation costs have gone up 40% since 2021. We were told by BPR that they currently forecast $100K per acre for irrigation and turf, so just grass for the bare area in McDevitt could cost over $750,000 today. 

While McDevitt continues to be unfinished for over 23 years, the city has purchased, improved, and finished parks in other areas of the city. Some improvements are as extravagant as a splash pad and free Wi-Fi.  

Impact fees are charges assessed for the impact that new development makes on the City of Boise’s regional parks, local parks, fire department and police department. New residential development pays all four impact fee types, because they impact all four services. Commercial development pays only fire and police impact fees because it typically does not directly impact regional and local parks. 

The city’s park service area extends to the city’s area of impact boundaries and is segregated by two types of park systems – Regional Parks and Local Parks. However, since local parks are intended to serve smaller geographic areas with different capital facility requirements and growth patterns, there are five (5) separate local park fee areas – each with separate impact fees. This means the local park impact fees charged in any of the service areas pay only for the infrastructure which provides the direct benefit to that area. For example, the Northwest Local Park only funds parks in the Northwest service area.  

So, the impact fees from our area will go to area parks, but that might mean impact fees earmarked for and we assumed would go to finish McDevitt, may in fact be diverted to buy or improve other parks inside the planning area, but outside the CTNA, such as Spaulding Ranch Park. Eric Bilimoria stated that “there are other projects within that planning area.”

(3) Councilmember Hallyburton says that “There’s a priority list.”

(4) Here is a map of the impact fee planning areas: 

Currently, we’re being told that the reason McDevitt is being delayed is because of “capacity issues” or lack of staffing. Councilmember Colin Nash encourages us to “stay engaged.”

(5) His advice is good.  Mayor Lauren McLean said that Spaulding Ranch Park, acquired in 2016, a favorite of Boise City 

Councilmember Nash is “being pushed forward.”

(6) McDevitt continues to be pushed back.  

(1) July 11th, 2023, Boise City Council Meeting- FY2024 Budget. 

Mode=Video&MeetingID=4525&MinutesID=3505&FileFormat=pdf&Format=Minutes&MediaFileF ormat=mp4 1.02:45 

(2) July 11th, 2023 Boise City Council Meeting- FY2024 Budget. 

Mode=Video&MeetingID=4525&MinutesID=3505&FileFormat=pdf&Format=Minutes&MediaFileF ormat=mp4 1.35:17 

(3) July 11th, 2023 Boise City Council Meeting- FY2024 Budget. 

Mode=Video&MeetingID=4525&MinutesID=3505&FileFormat=pdf&Format=Minutes&MediaFileF ormat=mp4 1.05:39 

(4) July 11th, 2023 Boise City Council Meeting- FY2024 Budget. 

Mode=Video&MeetingID=4525&MinutesID=3505&FileFormat=pdf&Format=Minutes&MediaFileF ormat=mp4 1.33:00 

(5) July 11th, 2023 Boise City Council Meeting- FY2024 Budget. 

Mode=Video&MeetingID=4525&MinutesID=3505&FileFormat=pdf&Format=Minutes&MediaFileF ormat=mp4 2.15:00 

(6) July 11th, 2023 Boise City Council Meeting- FY2024 Budget. 

Mode=Video&MeetingID=4525&MinutesID=3505&FileFormat=pdf&Format=Minutes&MediaFileF ormat=mp4 2.19:45


One of the benefits of living in Boise is the number and quality of our parks. Mayor McLean has established a goal of having a Boise park within a 10-minute safe walk of all Boise Citizens. For many of us in the Centennial Neighborhood, McDevitt is that park.

McDevitt is one of only three parks within the boundaries of the Centennial Neighborhood Association, but it’s a nice one. The park includes:
 Norm’s Pond, a 1.2-acre fishing pond
 the 10,000 Sq. ft. McMillan skate park
 2 children’s play structures
 7 groomed and fenced ball fields complete with tall backstops, foul line markers, batting cages, covered dugouts with water fountains, bleachers, league storage sheds, a concession stand and restrooms
 parking
 a walking path around most of the perimeter
There are also a few small, old backstops with wooden benches in the unfinished area that might have once been softball fields.
However, about a quarter of the park in the NE corner is unfinished.

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City of Boise City Council Public Meeting 7/11/2023 – Lots of News and Good Information!

Of the nine people testifying, seven were either related to our Centennial Neighborhood Association or the “Citizens for a Library” group. It was all about our issues last night when it came to testimony.

Young 9-year-old Molly Froerer spoke about the importance of libraries to her personally. Well done, Molly! After the meeting, BPD Chief of Police, who also attended the meeting, commented that he “wanted to clap” for Molly after her testimony.Very positive and encouraging! “Citizens for a Library” and your Centennial Neighborhood representatives were there to testify. I just spent the last few hours watching and unpacking details, taking notes of the taped meeting at .  Note that testimony was limited to three minutes per person for this meeting. 

Time0:00 – Start of Boise City Council Meeting to vote on the 2023-2024 Budget Presentation 

41:29 Beginning of citizen testimony, Council members questions and comments

1:24:45 Watch all but if you want to skip and hear Molly first, here’s your spot

Watching this meeting in its entirety, at least from the start of testimony, is highly informative. I was extremely impressed by the Mayor and Council interactions with those giving testimony. I’m not a fan of what are often dull and monotonous public meetings. This meeting was neither.

With Mark Salisbury’s permission I am posting his reflections on Tuesday’s meeting from the “Citizens for a Library” Facebook page. Great job, Mark

Mark SalisburyJul 12, 2023, 11:33 PM (20 hours ago)
to bcc: me

Hello Citizens for a Library in West Boise,

We made an impact last night but there’s more to do.

  • We’ve helped set the stage for the Boise library to act as they work on a new master plan over the next year.
  • Margaret Carmel of Boise Dev wrote a nice article summarizing the meeting titled Calls for West Boise library dominate Boise budget public hearing.
  • I’m keeping the petition open until we see money allocated and a location identified. Encourage people to sign it!

Thank you for supporting this initiative!

Unabridged Version

I posted this on Facebook earlier today:  <– join this group if you use FB.


Last night was a success. I delivered printed copies of our petition, with names of signers, and a few pieces of supporting information, to City Council Members, Mayor McLean, and Library Director Dorr. Besides myself, Gary Dufault, Amanda Salisbury, Jennifer Froerer, Molly Froerer, and Joe Lague offered testimony in support of this effort. Others expressed a desire to be there but for various reasons were unable to be (Nancy Cowles, Jennifer Gravel, and Tammy Rampton, and Codi Galloway have worked hard on this and weren’t able to attend). Molly Froerer was the youngest person to testify, and she stole the crowd — Police Chief Ron Winegar told her he wanted to clap when she finished!

They heard our message loud and clear. I know they recognize the gap that exists in West Boise, and I believe they would like to do something about it. They understand that many citizens care about this. I was encouraged by the questions that were asked by City Council members and the support they offered for improving library access. The conversation shifted to the mechanics of how we get this done.

Names of 835 Boise Citizens were included on the petition we delivered, including comments from many who have signed the petition online.

By signing this petition, by testifying, we’ve shown them that Boiseans do value library service, and believe equitable access is important.

We’re not without obstacles, however.

I’m learning how city government works through this process. When I started this, I believed that showing the City Council that there is a need to address, that there are enough people who believe this matters, would be sufficient to prioritize this problem and allocate funds to address it.

I knew that Library Director Jessica Dorr, the staff at the Boise Public Library, and the Boise Library Board of Trustees would need to back any development plans and ultimately request the funds from the city. (Did you know that Boise has a private foundation that supports the library? Donors gave millions to build a new downtown Boise Library in 2019. These funds were returned after that effort failed). I understand the desire to not misstep right now. Last year the Boise Library collected citizen input. Included in this year’s city budget are funds to pay a consulting agency to help develop a new master plan, which will include examining how facilities are expanded and improved.

By showing them (library staff and city leadership) that citizens care about facilities (and the library knows this also through the outreach they did last year), we’re helping to provide evidence that citizens will support funds going towards library improvements.

There are really 2 options for how we could see library access improved in West Boise:

1) A facility is leased to add a library branch. Collister and Hillcrest are renovated shopping mall space. The city likes them because they are relatively inexpensive.

2) A dedicated facility is constructed. This could happen on land already owned by the city or land could be purchased.

At the conclusion of the study (which will look at the entire city), I believe multiple scenarios will be presented, ranging in cost and scope. To decide which scenario to pursue, I believe the library staff and board of trustees won’t want to hear just from the Mayor and City Council, they’ll want to hear from citizens also.

Our hope is that when this study is completed, we’re ready to turn to visible action.

We suggested that the library / city should examine West Boise in particular for how to expand while the study is taking place as the gap is so obvious.

What do we need to do in the meantime?

– Remain engaged. Find out what’s happening. Offer input to the city and library when the opportunity is available to do so.

– Build more support. Talk about this initiative. I’m leaving this petition open until money is allocated and a place is designated for a library in West Boise.

– Support and use the library.

– Finally, have some patience. Realizing this will take some time.

Big thanks to Council Member Luci Browning Willits for supporting this initiative and getting these great pictures!

Also, I want to acknowledge the efforts, prior to this meeting, of the Centennial Neighborhood Association. Gary Dufault, CTNAs’ President, in addition to speaking last night, has been very supportive and engaged in this effort. The Centennial Neighborhood Association, which has 13,000 Boise residents, is fully within the West Boise Library Desert. Larry Ice and Joe Lague, also members of the CTNA board, testified at the City Council Meeting last night as well. It’s awesome to see our Neighborhood Associations energizing Boise and representing their communities!


Mark Salisbury

Citizens for a Library in West Boise Organizer