Tracking code caldwell guardian

Monday, August 9, 2010

City Of Caldwell Agrees To Secret Deal With Developer

City Of Caldwell Agrees To Secret Deal With Developer

August 9, 2010 by Caldwell and Boise Guardians  Paul Alldredge and David R. Frazier

A confidential agreement stemming from a lawsuit filed against the City of Caldwell by the developers of Cirrus Pointe subdivision paints a picture of secrecy and ineptitude on the part of the City.

The CALDWELL GUARDIAN obtained the settlement dated July 6 in an effort to reveal why no traffic signal was constructed at the intersection of Karcher Road and Indiana Avenue as previously agreed to in the original conditional use permit. In the course of our investigation we learned the city repeatedly changed the terms of the subdivision approval. The changes may well have been in the interest of citizens, but they came well after the original approval and should have been contemplated prior to approval.

Caldwell was originally sued by S&H Homes and Cirrus Pointe subdivision. Plaintiffs sought $3,033,519.00. in damages and five main allegations:

1. breach of developement agreements over enhanced water, sewer over size requirements

2. unjust exactments of city services to to areas not serving the project

3. Taking w/o judgement

4. Ultra Veres (latin for beyond the powers) city requirement of a traffic light at hwy 55 and indiana avenue with no approval from IDT to erect and construct a traffic signal

5. the requriement of a booster pump to facilitate water pressure for a 5-mile radius at a cost of $590,000.00 plus $$2,500 for electricity to run the pump and orelated damages.

As part of the agreement, Cirrus Pointe will unload responsibility for infrastructure items such as street lights, irrigation, sewer, water. All those items will be maintained at the expense of Caldwell Taxpayers.

The agreement is heavily weighted in favor of the developer and it made no sense why Caldwell allowed the developer to take a hike. A cursory examination of the Cirrus Pointe subdivision revealed numerous weed-strewn vacant lots and one could conclude Caldwell officials ponied up the citizen’s cash as a quasi bailout. However it was also apparent the city hadn’t done its homework prior to approving the development during the “boom” days 5 years ago.

Thanks to the Idaho Open Records law we are able to provide citizens the details of this otherwise secret agreement. The confidentiality clause agreed to by Caldwell officials provides that “The Parties promise not to discuss or disclose conditions of the Settlement Agreement…” and to “Take all reasonable steps to ensure that confidentiality is maintained by all of those parties…”

We find it disturbing and inherently deceitful for local governments to secretly dispose of public funds and agree in writing to keep their actions secret.


  1. If the city had had it's ducks in a row before the development agreement was signed, the city of Caldwell would not have to bail out the developer. The developer agreed to all the city requirements but with so many changes made by the city after the development was started, the developer was able to extract payment from the city to help cover his bankruptcy. Will Caldwell have to do this with all failed development projects?

  2. Yeah,
    The jail on Hwy. 20/26 will be financed by Caldwell.
    Think about it - sewer and water lines OUTSIDE THE CITY LIMITS!
    Not to mention highway turn lanes and improvements (thanks ITD and Idaho taxpayers).
    And what else?
    Garret, Smith and CC Commissh cohorts will find a way.
    Sorry, Kathy.
    Come November you are toast.
    Fernandez and Rule to follow

  3. I can hear the spin now about how this was in reality a great deal for the citizens of Caldwell.
    Does anyone think growth is paying for itself? The developer goes broke, the people who bought out there are sucking wind on their home values but Nancolas got us all a great deal for only $500,000 and we just don't appreciate how hard he is working for all of us.

  4. Garroter (one who strangles with intent to rob) has struck at the Caldwell taxpayer again! What genius! Agree to put in a traffic signal at Highway 55 and Indiana without asking ITD? Highway 55 is a scary and dangerous road that needs about 7 or 8 stop lights, but it is Idaho Transportation Department's job to keep it that way! ITD is doing a really good job in keeping Highway 55 a scary and dangerous road!

  5. The whole secret part really ticks me off!

  6. What I gather from this post is the developer sued the City of Caldwell over the cost of the "requirements" that were not directly related to the development property. From my own experience with the City you can make the application, supply the requested plans (engineered and certified of course) and pay substantial fees with the project ready to go, only to find out they have additional requirements that benefit the cities infrastructure and not primarily your project but on your nickel.

    From the post it appears the city has reversed itself on these requirements in this situation. My question is were these requirements necessary, started and or compleded and if so were they not paid for? If none of the previous are true then it would appear the taxpayer is not going to pay, the city development staff now look to be cheap musclemen and the future of growth in Caldwell in danger. The highest property tax mill levy, and a "well earned" reputation for being difficult to deal with on permit/development issues by the city should insure hard times for Caldwell are here to stay.

  7. right now there are about 6,500 lots in caldwell you can go in and draw a permit in short order. the housing bubble has burst and houses will be homes once again and not an investment grade vehicle to dump money into.

    the MI5 brain trust at caldwell city hall just blew a wad of money on a bail out for a developer at taxpayer expense.

  8. Both Ferd and Kathie Alder are on the ballot in November. It will take a grassroots write in campaign to kick the rascals out of office.

    In the mid 80's Caldwell's mayor, Al McCluskey (RIP) was so sure of winning another 4 year term that he went fishing about a week before the election. Pete Cowles ran a grassroots write in campaign and won! When Al returned from his fishing trip, he seemed more than a little peeved at being thrown out of office. He blamed his defeat on "smart politics".

    With the recent no vote the commissioners received on August 3, maybe Ferd and Kathy will have time to go fishing after the November election!

    Unless someone runs a write in campaign, both will be back in January. The voter may have another chance to just say no.
    I will be writing in Sheriff George Nourse.


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