Saturday, March 17, 2012
We learn this week about the plan to start spending more taxpayer dollars. THE GUARDIAN broke this story a while back about CEURA sending $10.4 MM of taxpayer cash to Canyon County. Also mentioned was a new administrative building in the works. The local paper finally dug further and has done a very good job of getting Canyon Commishes on the record as well as the "plan" out to those who will be paying the bills.
Commissioners would not listen to citizens on their choice of jail projects and three bond issues have failed miserably. Instead of calling in critics of their jail efforts to participate in the process; they paid $50K for yet another consultant to give them a nicely bound document full of very nice photos, charts and diagrams.
Canyon County Commissioners will receive a revenue stream from CEURA in the amount of $1.3 MM a year for eight years when CEURA sunsets in 2014. They can do anything they wish with this revenue stream and it looks like we're headed for a shiny new county administrative office building costing taxpayers $8.9MM and not voter participation in this decision. The tone of the article appears they intend to leverage the cash flow from CEURA into and "easy pay plan" in violation of Article 8 Sec. 3 of the Idaho Constitution, rather than use a bond election or waiting until they have the cash to pay in full. The building will be 41,000 SF and will sit in the current parking lot in front of 1115 Albany St.
Step C of the plan calls for a 65,000 SF addition to the county jail. It would require demolition and removal of the $3MM recently constructed TENT structure on the corner of 12th and Chicago Streets. The TENT was put up in 2005 and our Commissioners at the time said it would last 30 years.
Commissioners have spent over $2MM for the property out on 20/26 and I-84 and an additional $1MM or so on engineering and plans for this site. They have mentioned nothing about selling this property before hopscotching to a jail next to the current courthouse. Add to this is the property owned by the Fair Board out on 20/26 and Madison area.
Public meetings are scheduled for taxpayer inputs and you can read more in the IPT article published this past Thursday. Here's a link http://www.idahopress.com/news/local/proposal-build-new-jail-next-to-canyon-county-courthouse/article_0cb3c8a0-6f2a-11e1-843b-0019bb2963f4.html
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 9:57 AM