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KUNA The southernmost town in the Boise Valley metro area is 150 years old, and its population has rapidly grown to more than 19,000. Housing has seen record growth and the population is expected to double over the next couple of decades. It is another city that will soon be vying for a spot in the Top 10 largest cities in Idaho. Annexation has expanded the city limits by more than 500 percent since 2005.Voters recently approved a $40 million bond to start a second high school, create a second middle school and expand several elementary schools to make room for an estimated 700 new students who will be squeezed into classrooms in the next three years. City Hall has a new home, and there are still plans for a multiscreen theater within the next year or two. Kuna is a very family-oriented community, with almost half its population under 18. The Boys & Girls Club has expanded to Kuna, too. A beef processing plant opened in 2017 and will have a capacity of 1,700 head of cattle a day, employing about 700 workers. (CS Beef Packers is a partnership between the J.R. Simplot Company and Caviness Beef Packers.) Kuna is also located very close to the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, as well as Celebration Park, Idaho’s only archaeological park. Kuna’s Idaho 69 is one of only five Western Heritage Historic Highways in the state.

MERIDIAN Boise’s neighbor to the west just surpassed Nampa as the second largest city in the state with almost 104,000 people. With a remarkable unemployment rate of 2.7 percent, the city has seen a tremendous amount of development throughout the city. South Meridian is a current hot spot for new construction, including a new YMCA. Since 2013, 1.2 million square feet of commercial space has been created, along with 2,100 new residential units. Another major expansion can be found at Roaring Springs/Wahooz, the largest water park in the Pacific Northwest, which has a $6 million project in the works. Along with USA Today’s praise as the home of one of the best corn mazes in the country, Meridian recently topped the list for Best City to Live In by 24/7 Wall St., which reviews 550 cities with populations of 65,000 or more, using a measuring stick that includes crime rates, employment growth, access to restaurants and attractions, education levels and housing affordability.

MIDDLETON Another part of Idaho’s history, this small town of 7,900 was once a stage station along the Oregon Trail and opened its first post office in 1866. It’s the oldest town in Canyon County and got its name because it was located halfway between Boise and the Snake River ferry. Having increased in population by 44 percent since 2010, the town continues to make improvements, including a recent skate park and the Trolley Station museum and event center. The city slogan is “Life Is Better Here” to emphasize the appreciation for its small-town atmosphere.

NAMPA With more than 94,700 people, the city has doubled in population the past 20 years, even though it was recently edged out by Meridian as the second largest city in Idaho. WalletHub named Nampa as the No. 1 Best-Run City in America in 2017, after finishing No. 2 the previous year behind Boise, which dropped to the No. 3 position this year. With a cost of living below the national average and home prices below the national average, Livability called Nampa the Most Affordable City in Idaho for 2016. Nampa is home to both the College of Western Idaho and Northwest Nazarene University. The Snake River Stampede is one of two rodeos in Canyon County that consistently rank in the Top 25 nationally. The rodeo celebrated its 100th year in 2015. Also of note is the Warhawk Air Museum, located near the Nampa Airport. In 2015, the city opened a new 62,000-square-foot

STAR This small town has grown from 1,800 people in 2000 to more than 9,500 people today. That’s astounding growth of more than 400 percent. The town is quickly becoming the next boom spot in the valley with the completion of The Central Valley Expressway, connecting Idaho 16 to Chinden Boulevard. The road will eventually connect to I-84 and a new interchange at McDermott Road.

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Profile for Boise Metro Chamber

2018 Boise Valley Spotlight Magazine  

The Boise Valley Spotlight magazine is our annual membership directory. Together with our publishing partner, the Idaho Statesman, we share...

2018 Boise Valley Spotlight Magazine  

The Boise Valley Spotlight magazine is our annual membership directory. Together with our publishing partner, the Idaho Statesman, we share...