Tracking code caldwell guardian

Monday, December 6, 2010

More Illegal Spending At Caldwell YMCA

More Illegal Spending At YMCA by Caldwell City Officials.

The Idaho Constitution and its pesky Article VIII, Sec. 3 has once again caused trouble for the City of Caldwell and its legal staff. The constitution bans obligations, liabilities and debts beyond a single year’s revenues without a vote of citizens.

However, at a recent City Council meeting the city entered into an illegal, unconstitutional 5 year long term lease agreement with the YMCA. The $1 million annual payment of (urban renewal) public money, combined with monthly payments for subsidized memberships is meant to bolster the coffers of the Y at public expense on behalf of Simplot and public employees apparently isn’t enough for the YMCA.

The YMCA, a private club, sought additional monthly payments of $575 from the Caldwell City Rec department to rent a single room for use by the recreation department–something one would think the Y would offer to the community youth since it is supported so predominately by property taxes diverted to Urban Renewal and handed over to the YMCA in the form of $1Million annual payments.  A YMCA spokesperson told the Guardian the city /urban renewal pays no money toward the $696k annual operations cost... that all comes from the YMCA.  The $1 million in urban renewal money goes toward the capital expense of the building.

When the Caldwell GUARDIAN inquired of the City about the illegal lease agreement, the City responded saying, “It will be fixed at the next council meeting” in a email response from Mayor Garret Nancolas.

We draw no conclusions with regard to the intent of the city or the expertise of its legal counsel, but citizens clearly deserve better.

No doubt Caldwell City officials will make the deal an annual agreement with renewals over the next five years or just make a lump sum payment out of the current budget. For us the issue is not so much the structure of the deal, but the nature of repeatedly using public funds–whether that of the City or Urban Renewal–for private clubs, regardless of how noble the cause.


  1. We can look forward to a hasty retreat and acknowledgement from the Nancoals crew "they did not know what they signed".

    They'll do an annual lease and get back to business as ususal shoving public dollars at the Y as hard and fast as they can.

    AG wasden has granted them "indulgences" for their illegal actions. What do you suggest we do?

  2. I like the YMCA, but I hate the way this whole "deal" went down~!!!

  3. The sad thing is this will continue and continue until the people of Caldwell decide they are tired of the Nancolas "dog and pony" show. Nobody execept a few truely concerned citizens even pay attention. That was evident in the last elections, Caldwell continues to vote in a group of people who think it is better to build parks than bring in industry that will actually move Caldwell ahead.

    And do you think the 80% of the Y's members that are getting the subsidized memberships are going to vote him out? Yea no! $70 a month regular membership dues for people who can "afford" it. You would think that ElJay making upwards of $87,000 a year could afford it. But he gets it paid for by the CUERA. What kind of joke is that.

    Paul thank you for staying on top of this stuff even when the people of team Garrett say you are just looking for stuff to be negative about. Some of us citizens who don't know their way around finding this stuff out appriciate it.

  4. CR says,
    Paul, The question still remains. Why is the city renting space from the Y? It would appear that we need to sell all that we have and give it to the Y.

  5. Is there a place where I can find all the good that the Caldwell Urban Renewal has done? Or at least a list of the money they spent over the last some odd years?

  6. Mr. Aldredge,
    You have a beef with how CEURA money was utilized to help with the funding of the YMCA building. Your right.

    However, the picture attached to this post is just in bad taste and is unnecessary. You diminish the impact of your points with such sophomorish behavior.

  7. Certainly the water and sewer projects on the east side of I-84 built with revenue bonds issued with no vote will be a positive for CEURA.

    Same could be said for the CEURA involvement at the Franklin exit/access ramps and other work around the Interstate is another positive.

    The head maven of CEURA, Eljay Waite can give you a more complete list of UR projects. Mr. Waite is the chairman of CEURA and our City Finance Director. He can supply you with a comprehensive list.
    Regards, Paul

  8. We meant no disrespect and thought the Village People was more of a PUN than sophomoric humor. Your criticism is well taken and we changed the photo.


  9. How many ways can the Mayor figure out how to funnel anymore money from the city than they already are sending to the Y.

    We support the Y's Strong Kids Campaign. But we sure don't understand why the YMCA would even consider charging the city/taxpayers of Caldwell additional rent for a room at the Y so richly supported with property tax dollars. I'll have to think on this one.

  10. So if or when (depending on how you look at it) the Caldwell Y goes bankrupt does the city then have partial ownership in the property?

  11. Last anonymous - by your reasoning any taxpayer should have free access to the YMCA. I don't agree. I do see the conflict however. I'll note that although the CEURA was the largest contributor to the cause it wasn't the only contributor. Others in the community raised millions for the building of the facility. Wouldn't have happened without CEURA but also wouldn't have happened without private funding.

    YMCA is a private entity serving a public need. Does raise a question about public funding, I agree, however, to think that the city should have free access because of that seems wrong to me.

  12. Answers to questions asked by readers:

    1. If the YMCA pulls out of Caldwell for any reason the City of Caldwell becomes the owner. There will be an appraisal of the place the city gets what their $10 milion applied to the purchase and the "Y" still gets more money as any appraised value becomes a city taxpayer debt to the "Y". I have the Memorandum of Understanding on the issue in my files.

    2.Scott, any taxpayer should not have free access to the "Y". But the city paying rent to the "Y" for use of a room, given what city taxpayers have funnelled into the "Y" is difficult to understand. The room should be made available to the city rec program gratis.

    3. In another post you asked about the formation of UR agencies. They are formed by the mayor and city councils where they exist. No vote of the people happens. UR is legal thef of property taxes. You may be ok with a large share of your property taxes going to the "Y" but what about people who aren't or already can barely afford the proeprty tax bite in Caldwell. I agree with you a vote of the people in the formation of the district is only fair. We also need to have the board members elected by the community and not appointed by the mayor. UR is taxation without representation.

  13. I would like to point out the "workable plan" part of UR is not carved in stone and can change directions at any time. I would like to see urban renewal agencies list of projects voted on and if they want to change the plan they have to go back for voter approval of the changes.

    Where is the voice of the people in Urban Renewal? There isn't any and they can't be challenged on anything. There is no oversight on their abuses of taxpayers. I can't imagine this was the original intent of UR laws.


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