Friday, June 6, 2008
The photo is of the Caldwell Police Station that remains mortgaged and we will continue to make payments on for the forseeable future. The argument for this was that it was needed to demonstrate to the outside world that we were willing to invest in our future as a city. (The cops did need a new place in the scheme of things.) The daylighting of Indian Creek as beautiful as it has turned out has not yet produced any significant economic activity in downtown Caldwell. And now we have the New City Hall Economic Stimulus Project before us at a yet undefined cost. We do have about $400,000.00 worth of studies collecting dust in the room none of us ever get to visit.
THE GUARDIAN attended the downtown revitalization meeting on the 29th of May and has some questions that aren't getting asked by people footing the bills, so here goes:
1. Do we really need a new city hall for Caldwell or could that money be spent on a project(s) that will actually create some economic activity.
2. Is this the best location for a city hall or will it simply remove prime commercial property from the tax rolls forever.
3. The Mayor and Mr. Cannon have thrown our job numbers that will be created from this "catalyst project" like they are manna from the heavens. This spring it was 1600 jobs now it is 700-800 new jobs for downtown Caldwell. Has anyone challenged the Mayor or Mr. Cannon on any data to support this stuff thrown out so casually as if it is FACT?
4. Parking! Does this city hall/retail complex meet the city requirements for parking schedules in city ordinances. The ordinance schedule at one time was one parking space for each 250 square feet. Has anyone put the measuring tape to this so that off street parking requirements are met and that the city is holding themselves to the same standards they hold other business owners for this project?
5. Will the location of the proposed Veterans Administration Clinic use up more prime tax generating property on the creek frontage and not generate a dime of tax revenue for the city? Good project to have downtown but not at the expense of commercial development in that location.
6. The "BOARDS AND COMMITTEES" all seem to be made up from the "A list" of Team Garrett's YES people. Is this just my observation or is it in fact a reality?
7. Are we trying to spend our way into prosperity when just this past week Vallejo, California filed for bankruptcy. A city of 130,000 people let their elected officials do this to their city. Plummeting real estate values and crushing debt created this mess for this bay area suburb.
8. Idaho tax revenues are plummeting and unemployment is up 10% from the last measurement to 5.5%. Not high by historical standards but add to that one in ten homes built since the year 2000 stands empty in this country and the banking fiasco not anywhere near the bottom. The dark clouds of recession are gathering momentum and we are not acting as a Community,or County in a fiscally responsible manner.
9. Ada County Courthouse was supposed to be a "free" deal for the taxpayers with the private public partnership. Retail was a flop and now Ada County gets to pay for the whole structure with property tax dollars. Does any of this hit a note with the elected politicos in Caldwell?
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 7:56 PM