Friday, October 21, 2011
A group of citizens from Economic Development group in Caldwell approached Caldwell East Urban Renewal for funding of a blight removal project in downtown Caldwell. Below is a copy of the response motion in this matter from CEURA, the urban renewal agency for Caldwell:
"Update on downtown development concept from Business Recruitment & Expansion
Committee (“BR&E”) presented by Steve Fultz. The BR&E Committee met with developers
and various consultants to develop a proposed incentive package for a mixed use development
in downtown Caldwell. The incentive package includes potential URA funding up to
$1,000,000 through URA’s Business Incentive Grant incentive program that is currently
available. BR&E is requesting a commitment letter from URA to include in the developer
URA commissioners clarified that Urban Renewal can provide incentive dollars for economic
development, but can’t buy property to give to a developer. The incentive program currently in
place is available to a developer if job creation and other required criteria are met. The
commissioners further clarified that tax revenues continue to decrease and, while the URA
Board of Commissioners has every intention of continuing the Business Incentive Grant
program that is currently in place, the board is not able to guarantee that the program will be
available for the next four years. All commissioners indicated support of the project and a
desire to assist where appropriate and fiscally able.
Page 2 of 3
Motion to draft a letter in support of the project and offer potential funding through the
Business Incentive Grant program currently in place, noting that the program operates on a
year-to-year basis and that it is the intent of the current Board of Commissioners to continue
funding this program for the next four years as the budget allows: Hopper/Hardin M/S/P"
(here's a link to CEURA minutes) http://www.caldwellonline.org/files/000031/CEURA/CEURA%20Minutes%20100411.pdf
The tea leaves in this case suggest no funding for the project by CEURA. Urban Renewal laws were created by the Idaho Legislature to deal with blight in dilapidated cities in Idaho. The reality is quite a different story when you look at where all the property tax money deferred to UR actually went over the lives of these agencies. It is and will remain a loophole for cities to skirt bond elections until the legislature puts a permanent fix to this problem.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 5:09 PM