Tracking code caldwell guardian

Monday, November 15, 2010

Reader Urban Renewal Resolution Response

Several frustrated downtown Caldwell business owners have offered up their response to CEURA's 2011-2 Resolution regarding the facade rework at 213-217 S. Kimball Avenue.

 Mayor Nancolas opined in the spring of 2008 at the dedicaton of Indian Creek, Urban Renewal Funds would be used to improve business facades in the downtown core on a matching dollar basis.

 Several business owners have tried to obtain funds for facade upgrades but ran into a brick wall and never got any funding.  Now we have CEURA funding a facade renewal on a building owned by CEURA and an extension of that work at no charge to the adjacent business owner.

Resolution 2011-2 for the facade rennovation work at 213-217 S. Kimball was passed after all the work was completed at a cost of $21,000.00 of your tax dollars.

The following resolution was a response by a downtown business property owner:

 Whereas, we purchased property on Main Street 8 years ago and whereas we have asked about improvement money several times and been told they would get back to us.

Whereas, there has there has been a mass commercial exodus from the downtown Caldwell core area.

Whereas, the city of Caldwell and the CEURA joined forces to purchase core area property at as much as twice their fair market value.

Whereas, said purchases were responsible for doubling to quadrupling property taxes on downtown Caldwell core area properties.

Whereas, the code requirements require expenditures that make it cost prohibitive to recover in rent when it is not a desirable area.

 Let it be known, that we now own property we can‘t bring up to code, can’t rent, and can’t sell….

The following is an excerpt from CEURA Minues 11.05.2010:

"#2 Consider Resolution 2011-2: Resolution #2011-2 authorizes CEURA to approve an agreement with Norman Jewelers to upgrade their commercial site in conjunction with the streetscape improvement program for downtown Caldwell. CEURA owns the building adjoining Norman Jewelers and desires to set an example to aesthetically improve the entire facilities by upgrading the exterior of the existing building by use of a new façade design, signage and paint......"


  1. Norman's get an upgrade for various reasons. Ask Dakan, Blacker, and Hooper why this is the case. If they are honest, their response will illustrate the "hook-up" system that is alive and well in Caldwell, Idaho.

  2. Urban Renewal agencies have been under attack all over Idaho. The deal is they are an INDEPENDENT BODY and have been mistakenly granted wide powers. They are not subject to any rules, laws or oversight by citizens. Nor do citizens have any rights to question or petetion Urban Renewal Agencies.

    The Idaho Legislature created this mess and it is up to them to fix the problem. It is disgusting what these agencies and boards get away with in an otherwise very conservative state.

  3. I only wish that more of Caldwells citizens were paying attention to the system of do as you please then cover your tracks. Refreferance the gazebo And now this. To my knowledge there are no programs or dollar amounts in place for the rest of the Property owners. These decisions are made by a select few in a room that you and I have never been in. It is simply wrong! and we deserve better.

  4. Apparently the blog adminstrator is going to delete anything he doesn't like to hear but... here is another.

    This is all sour grapes. The downtown businesses - many of whom are now solidly against the CEURA were solidly for it when they thought money was coming their way. These same downtown businesses haven't spent a red dime in 20 years to beautify or improve their businesses or the appearances of their businesses. The deterioration of downtown Caldwell is their fault. Not the city's. Run a dump and hope that the CEURA will pay them to clean them up and then... when that doesn't happen you complain. You don't have any sympathy from me. BTW - I represent one of the largest taxpaying entities in the downtown area. We aren't upset... just disappointed that the CAVE folks (citizens against virtually everything) are once again solidly against any effort at progress. Sad, on many levels.

  5. Some of the urban renewal agencies in Idaho are, in fact, racketeer influenced corrupt organizations being exploited for the personal gain of some of their commissioners and the elected officials who perennially sustain them. This is what happens when ignorant and naive legislators with benevolent intentions pass laws they are unwilling or unable to fully understand. Legislation has consequences.

  6. I reserve the right to remove statements about religious affiliations, bad language, and race based slurs.

    There are plenty of comments in disagreement with blog postings but they are fact and reason based without religious and race based intolerant slurs.

  7. My observation on downtown proeprty values is, they got out of control when CEURA and the Mayor took eminent domain acquisition off the table. Perceived values against real value got way out of whack.

    The only thing most of the old junk property downtown have to offer is "location". The buildings themselves are for practical purposes not worth much by any measure.

    CEURA will end in 2014, tens of millions will have been spent. I don't see any significant "renewal" or economic development downtown.

    I try to imagine what downtown would look like IF... the Job Service Offices were located downtown, the SW District Health Offices New Building was located downtown, the Vinyard Suites Apartment (55 and older complex) was located downtown, the new VA Clinic was located downtown, the County Vehicle License Offices were located downtown. These economic drivers for ancillary businesses are gone forever.

    What, if any, tax generating construction did we get for our downtown investments from CEURA?

  8. It is unfortunate that so many choose to remain annonomous. It' very easy to be critical if your name is not attached.

  9. My response to the above post is that it is easier for commenters to leave a comment via the anonymous option. The profile selections offered seem to get muddied up before they get to the blog. Commenters have the option of leaving their names. People tend to put up how they feel about an issue if they remain anonymous v. leaving their names.

    The value of criticism is it points out weaknesses in mine or anyone elses position. Comments on this blog as well as others can be a gold mine of opportunity if put to good use.

  10. Not wanting to have my city water shut off in the middle of the night, I choose to remain annonomous!

  11. Hey sour grapes, I think it's safe to say that most of the downtown businesses were all for CEUR, in concept, when it was originally promoted. An agency to promote downtown via purchasing blithe,, rehabilitating, and reselling at a discount to stimulate growth, as an effort to increase the tax base, sounded great on paper. Explain to me how it went from that concept to where we sit today? A government owned coffee shop, a "bet it all on black" 17 million dollar building builit to suit for a year to year tenant, a non taxable YMCA that needs a million a year to keep the doors open, or GALS softball fields? I could go on if you’d like. Maybe the CEUR payment for new bleachers at Simplot Stadium, which sits vacant 95% of the year, will help. Perhaps the funding of a parking lot for the Caldwell School District with CEUR money while the Caldwell School district simultaneously passed a bond, thus increasing our taxes. As a citizen, I see the need for some of these aspects for the community, but they can't all be done in the name of the community with any return on the investment or tax base with reinvestment dollars. I challenge you to post 5 items that, after initial investment cost, CEUR has undertaken that puts money back into Caldwell's coffers. The choices made have brought little, if any, new tax payers to Caldwell and it is crushing the few businesses left in C town that are left to flip the bill.
    Don't think it's crushing us? Here's an example-
    We own a vacant lot near Canyon hill (nowhere near downtown, coincidently) that currently pays $496 a year in property taxes, of which over $350 goes to UR.
    As far as downtown deterioration goes, pointing the finger at the business owners for Caldwell’s debacle is probably the most naive comment I've read on The Caldwell Guardian in quite some time. Anybody with a speck of business sense can see the writing on the wall. Why would any entrepreneur with a stake in Caldwell, take whatever PENNIES they have left after they have paid their tax obligations with the small income they have made from doing business in a ghost town, and reinvest into infrastructure and facades? They already own property that no one will rent or even buy outright, let alone reap the benefits of a bustling high traffic downtown.
    I don’t want CEUR to save me; I want it to get the hell out of the way. Until it does, I don’t see how we can move forward. It is impossible to continue to spend money that was collected for urban growth on non profit ventures (TVCC, Indian Creek, YMCA, softball fields and deferred city maintenance) and then reach out to perspective businesses and tout all the reasons they should relocate to Caldwell, all the while holding a bill out as we reach to them.

    Welcome to Caldwell, here’s your bill.

    Perhaps you should continue to collect your paycheck from “one of the largest taxpaying entities in the downtown area”-it’s obvious you are not a downtown business owner- while you can. As one of the largest taxpaying entities in Canyon County, I envy your naiveté to Caldwell’s situation.

    Ignorance is bliss, I guess.

  12. I try to imagine what downtown would look like IF...

    Job Service Offices - Government
    SW District Health Offices - Government
    New VA Clinic was located downtown - Government
    County Vehicle License Offices - Government

    Does government pay taxes?

    Don't see how big government would help downtown Caldwell. What Caldwell needs downtown are businesses. Restaurants, bookstores, coffee shops, antique stores, Jewelers, furniture stores, flower stores...get the picture?

    What it doesn't need are more bars, adult bookstores, and belly dancer shops.

  13. I think the point the writer was trying to make about all the government offices and the workers in these offices would translate to more demand for retail services in downtown.

    The SW District Health offices will be leaving along with about 75 jobs for thier new digs on Karcher Road south of town.

    If all of the newly constructed offices now outside of the downtown core were actually located in downtown it would put people downtown and opportunity for businesses to locate downtown.

    It does not appear TVCC students have created any synergy or demand for downtown merchants.

  14. I bought some tools at A-Gem for a College course Im taking at TVCC. Had a few dinners at the Chinese restaurant too on my way to class and one at the mexican place that moved down the street. Didn't know I was the problem and didn't contribute to your precious downtown businesses.

    To be frank, there isn't much offered downtown that people want. Those bars across the street look pretty rough, and I wouldn't feel comfortable visiting or even being within a city block of them.

    My friends jokingly tell me I am attending school in "Crimewell" and warn me to not do anything that will get me shot. Caldwell downtown has an image problem.

  15. The debate over CEURA and its ability to add tax base to Caldwell is interesting to me.

    My view is that the development of true community assets such as TVCC and the YMCA doesn't hinder the potential to recruit industrial job creation - it in fact increases it. Downtown retail is dead people, here and most everywhere else, especially in this age. Industry is the answer and industrial/manufacturing plants that may be considering Caldwell will look to such efforts as an indication that Caldwell wants to provide services and community ammenities for that industry's employees.

    Best Bath is the only large employer to move here for years and I know that one of the reasons they chose Caldwell was because of what they saw as the "progress" the community was making. I've no doubt that the efforts of CEURA in supporting the YMCA and TVCC are examples of the "progress" that they saw.

    Another point, Caldwell has had,and still has a reputation issue. Don't you think that a facility that tries to keep kids on a healthy path and out of trouble will help that? Don't you think that the addition of a Junior College campus in downtown Caldwell will help, over time, dispel some of those myths about "crimewell"? I do.

    These developments have all occurred either right before or during the middle of the biggest recession we've seen since the Great Depression. I believe firmly that what we are seeing is progress towards a better Caldwell that will attract industries that will create jobs in Caldwell. Patience is required. I've been around this town my entire life and there seemed to be an abundance of such patience for decades as absolutely nothing was done. Sure, taxes weren't being levied but nothing that generated jobs and opportunities was done either.

    One last point: those that complain that these developments have done nothing to encourage job growth either aren't aware or choose to ignore the 15 full time employees at the YMCA and the over 150 people that receive a paycheck of some sort from that entity. That makes them one of the largest new employers in this county in some time.

  16. Scott,
    Urban renewal is theft of property taxes from all taxing districts in cities and counties. They don't create any tax base. They simply create a district in an area that would have expanded on its own without UR. UR simply takes taxes away from citizens and forces every property owner to pay more property taxes.

    We get no choice in this with any kind of a vote for the formation of the district, the members of the board nor the projects they deem to spend our money on. UR agencies are nothing more than taxation without representation made legal by the legislature....


A public discourse on the issues of the day makes the world a better place.

We welcome comments but they will be moderated and edited if too long or do not have anything to do with the post.
Agree or disagree just do it without profanity or it won't get posted. Try to keep your comments to no more than 300 words. Too long and I will try to edit it down or simply delete the comment. The whole idea is to get people to read your comment. Don't use 10 words when one will do the job.

It's OK to have a difference of opinion but keep it civil. I have used the "delete" feature on myself at times.

The ANONYMOUS feature for comments seems to be the most user friendly. People have commented they have difficulty with the other methods of posting comments.