Sunday, March 22, 2009
THE GUARDIAN has become aware of a serious problem with the Boise CCDC (Urban Renewal) and the Ada County Commissioners over parking at the Ada Courthouse. CCDC has raised the parking fees charged for using the courthouse parking garage from $0.75/hour to $2.50/hour for EVERYONE. EVERYONE, means cops, judges, lawyers citizens and virtually anyone using the parking garage put up by Boise Urban Renewal Agency CCDC. CCDC is now billing ADA County around $41K/month for parking.
Team Garret and the Caldwell East Urban Renewal crew want to put TVCC in the proposed new City Hall complex (if they can ultimately have their way with all of us). TVCC students parking needs will overwhelm all the available parking in downtown and monopolize it to the detriment of local businesses. Traffic enforcement will become a nightmare. We already have limited parking opportunities in downtown Caldwell at certain times of day.
A little research has turned up the cost of high rise parking garages. The cost about $15,000 per parking stall. This costing figure came from the Idaho Business Review article on the Boise Cascade parking garage costs for downtown Boise in a 2006article.
Mayor Nancolas and the proponents of the City Hall/TVCC project reference a parking garage to be built at a "later date" but have not coughed up the costs for this facility to the taxpayers. If they build the City Hall/TVCC project we will surely get stuck for the costs of a new parking garage and the poor planning demonstrated by this project. The closure of 7th Avenue across Indian Creek is viewed as a mistake by downtown business people due to the traffic circulation and parking issues it created.
Meanwhile, CCDC is short of money to cover revenue bond debt. CCDC views the Ada Courthouse parking garage as a sitting duck for more cash to feed urban renewal revenue bond debt obligations. (This was supposed to cost taxpayer's Zero $, if you believed how the project was originally sold to Ada County/Boise taxpayers.
Caldwell is on the cusp of drinking the same Kool Aid offered up by Team Garret and the Caldwell East Urban Renewal Board as the "Catalyst Project" for downtown Caldwell. This project, as currently presented, will be a nightmare for business owners, citizens and Caldwell taxpayers. TVCC student parking demands will effectively choke commerce to a standstill in our downtown.
We can all appreciate the efforts at creating a sense of place and community but an eye to the need and bottom line are absolutely essential in our present economy. Most people will not put up with battling TVCC students to find a place to park and go elsewhere to conduct their business. All the project will accomplish is get a new structure downtown at an unreasonable cost and inconvenience to everyone.