Tracking code caldwell guardian

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Caldwell TVCC Would Make Excellent Site for County Administrative Offices

It is apparent to anyone with an eye on the numbers, TVCC Caldwell project is not going nearly as well as the proponents had hoped.  The college is now down to four days of operation, serving a mere 500 students. The coffee shop operator has bailed and it remains to be seen who will take over a food operation in the building that cost taxpayers $100k.

TVCC can't even afford to pay full rent on the building.  They pay rent on half of the structure and get to use the whole building.  It works out to about $5 and change for each square foot per year.  They even got a million dollar furnishings allowance from CEURA as a gift from Caldwell taxpayers.  To add insult to all of this TVCC is sending 20% of the gross revenue collected in Caldwell back to Oregon while they rearrange the deck chairs on this sinking ship.

TVCC in downtown has not brought any discernible increase to business activity downtown Caldwell based on an informal poll of downtown merchants.  In fact, there is even less going on in downtown now than at any point in the history.  We have heard from several sources the State Probation and Parole Offices are about to be vacated in downtown in the near term for a move to Edmark Plaza area of Caldwell.

Canyon County along with a host of other taxing districts got the short end of property tax spending from Caldwell East Urban Renewal Agency.  THE GUARDIAN was discussing with a friend what the future for downtown Caldwell will be when TVCC pulls the plug and bails on the downtown project.  The idea of Canyon County taking over the building for county business functions rose to the surface in this ideation discussion.

Canyon County is the second largest county in Idaho and Caldwell is the County Seat.  What a great use for the TVCC building downtown Caldwell if ownership were to be transferred to the County.  All of the county administrative functions (business functions along with the Elections and Passports Office) could move to downtown Caldwell. They need the space and taking over the TVCC white elephant building would satisfy county office needs well into the future.

If a deal could be worked out between CEURA and the County Commissioners the current courthouse at 1115 Albany could transition into a Justice Center for the County.  Much needed courtrooms could be installed where county admin. offices previously existed.  The County could shut down the Nampa Annex and sell off that property to the highest bidder.  The County Commissioners and County business functions would bring people, jobs and demand for other services back to our downtown.  The new digs would be a site and address that would be a first rate location for county administrative functions. Plenty of parking, a good location, and easy access for all county citizens to conduct their business.

This is just some thoughts on the TVCC white elephant project for folks to think about and consider before it becomes Caldwell's Idaho Center type urban renewal failure.  We see the TVCC effort not going anywhere due to the lack of interest with only 500 students and no ability to expand.  It is also a redundant effort and expense to Canyon and Ada county taxpayer supported College of Western Idaho.

The TVCC building is 39,000 square feet of office space Canyon County could use immediately if given the green light.  Oregon, like Idaho does not allow for long term leases that go out beyond one budget cycle.  With the economy and cuts in tax revenue we do not see a rosy future for TVCC in Caldwell.


  1. They are down to four days of operation because it's summer time. In case you hadn't heard that is usually where most schools close down for about 10 weeks.....

    When the fall quarter starts in a few weeks it will be jam packed full again just like it was last year.

    I know you want it to fail but wishing for it to happen isn't going to work. Maybe you should go picket out front. After all, we don't need any more of them fancy colleges around.

    People might actually become educated and begin to see things with their own eyes instead of mindlessly subscribing to your Libertarian view.

    I see the college being there for a long long time.

  2. Geraldine says..

    I never understood the site selection for TVCC in downtown Caldwell. There isn't any room to grow assuming they will be a long term success. What happens next will be up to the level of support and student head count moving forward.

    I do like the idea of the county taking over the place in the event TVCC can't make a go of it in Caldwell.

  3. Hey Paul,

    Haven't you heard?

    Oh, you missed the memo from King Nancolas!

    As of groundbreaking, three or four years ago, that was the new King Nancolas,...I mean,.....the new Caldwell City Hall.

    We got Bujacked!!!

  4. Oh, and what a view!!!!

    I can see King Nancolas' throne room on the top floor, of course.

    Overlooking Indian Crick,......and Vern's.

    The King wears no clothes!

  5. If Oregon wishes to have a presence in Idaho or take money out of Idaho then let Oregon pony up the cash necessary to fund what is not covered by student tuition and fees.

    The money they pay for rent doesn't begin to even cover the depreciation on this building. When all the mechanical systems get some age and start to fail or the place needs a paint job and other maintenance are Caldwell taxpayers willing to pay for this?

    TVCC was a project in lieu of a new city hall, neither of which were needed. Frankly, the idea of the county offices in this building is the first good idea I have seen on what to do in Caldwell's downtown. The college sure hasn't brought anything to the party or should I say continuing demise of downtown.

  6. By the way....the Porta-Potty in the photo fits perfectly!
    Is King Nancolas in there throwing more taxpayer money in the hole?

  7. The College did bring something. A higher class of people visiting the downtown area.

    You want to spruce up Crimewell? Get rid of those nasty bars like Verns and the Waldorf so decent respectable people might feel welcome instead of the low class riff raff trash that frequents there. Talk about meth addicts and alcoholics!

    Replace those joints with classier places more akin to places like John & Wayne's as an example. Otherwise there isn't much to go to downtown Caldwell for is there?

  8. An education is an education. Nobody really cares which state it's from. People need jobs, degrees get you the jobs, TVCC is filling a gap that BSU didn't fill. BSU(CWI) is full and has no more room. Maybe they should build another campus in Caldwell? The demand is there. Then there would be no need for TVCC.

  9. The local politicians in Caldwell and Nampa are out of control but we don't seem to be able to stop them from their special projects funded with taxpayer money! Help!

  10. Degrees and education are not a guarantee of employment. We are producing educated people at a rate that the job market can't seem to absorb. Unless you have the right set of CREDENTIALS in the right discipline you have wasted your time and money. Those college loans are a liability that will haunt you until the day you die.

    There are plenty of people with college degrees pounding the pavement looking for jobs. Lots of them, 60% if you believe what the weekly journals have to say have had to move back home because they can't find employment.

    A degree means nothing by itself. It may open a door but if you can't or won't do the work your employer will show you the door.

    Tuition aid is another marketing ploy by colleges. They are nothing more than a loan with interest charges that will accrue. You go to a college and it costs $25-30K a year you will leave college with a debt load you will have to pay back every penny. Wait long enough and the govt. will deduct what is owed from your social secuirty.

  11. So we shouldn't go to college? We shouldn't try to better ourselves because there is no hope?
    College is just a scam?

    I'd rather be going to college to make myself more attractive to an employer than continue being unemployed sitting on my duff going nowhere.

    I'm sure there are plenty of minimum wage jobs that will be opening up again soon. The problem is I don't want those jobs. I want something better for me and my family. Or is that privilege only retained for wealthy republicans?

  12. I never said you shouldn't go to college. The short version is BUYER BEWARE. You can't just go to college and "make yourself attractive to an employer" you have to get the right training while there. Go and take a course of study that will give you a profession. A liberal arts degree no longer distinguishes you to an employer.

    A trade school can lead to some very rewarding careers. Idaho Power Linemen make around $100k/yr. but have to go to lineman school. The notion you will be a failure in life if you don't go to college is a myth.

    Degrees in ETHNIC STUDIES, ART HISTORY, BASKET WEAVING etc. are a waste of time and money and I will stand by that argument. Just attending college is not enough... you have to come out of there with marketable skills.

  13. This post is about what to do with the TVCC building downtown if and when TVCC can't make a go of it in Caldwell and what to do with the building when they leave. It is not about going or not going to college.

    County offices downtown would bring people from all over the county to downtown Caldwell. How long must Caldwell taxpayers underwrite the costs of TVCC in downtown? And why is it necessary for TVCC to send 20% of their gross revenue back to Oregon? That building, from a business point of view has more value as County office space than it does as a undersized college building.

  14. I do not recall any citizen vote or approval for TVCC but I do seem to remember Mayor Nancolas stating he would seek an advisory vote on this matter. If this vote took place it is news to me. I already support College of Western Idaho via my property taxes and will not support any of my tax dollars going to TVCC.

    My thoughts on this are TVCC is not going to survive if we get a new mayor or a different city council who might think TVCC is a questionable community asset. How much the place actually cost us and how much we are feeding TVCC is buried in the city financials. I doubt a standard yearly audit would be able to determine this number either.

    Use by the County is one of the best ideas I have heard to spark renewal for downtown. If nothing else this blog makes me think about how Caldwell is governed and money spent.

  15. The question is not the value of a college education. The question is whether the taxpayers of Caldwell should be paying to subsidize any college let alone an out of state school. The poor choice the Nana and the city's general authorities made years ago, is like a monkey on the back of the beleaguered Caldwell taxpayer. The idea of using this building when TVCC pulls out of Caldwell, for a county office building is a good one. This would put the monkey on the back of all Canyon County taxpayers, easing up on the Caldwell taxpayer and spreading Caldwell's pain and suffering to the rest of the county! When failed flunky's try to make investments with taxpayer money, this is what happens. With few exceptions the only solution to these tired old downtown buildings is a Caterpillar Tractor Company D9.

  16. No one Knows much about the fincials of the college, we just hear a number for how many students that are taking a class.So you could speculat things are just grrrrrat! Or you could do the math and question wheather they are making it or not either way the concept of jump starting the downtown isn't happening.It just might be time to have that advisory vote that was promised before this plan was set in moition by Eljay.It wouldn't have passed then and it wouldn't pass now. One last thought we shouldn't be so hard on the mayor, after all he had to read in the paper that the County Fair was leaving Caldwell he really doesn't know what is going is going on, He may be more like us than we thought! The concept of county offices makes sense to me.

  17. Uh, do you propose the city donate this to the county or force feed the payments down the county's throat to bail out Caldwell taxpayers for a building the county did not ask for.

    That's a school not an office building, and it would require quite a bit of expensive remodeling to occupy it.

    It sounds like a great idea only to the person who wants TVCC to get out of Caldwell.

    This building would become another liability for the county to manage. Up until now everyone has been against spreading county buildings and services out. Now suddenly a change of heart?

    As a non Caldwell Resident, I say keep your problems your city created, I don't want them and I sure don't want the county inheriting any of the cost.

    The commissioners just got the County Taxes down to an acceptable level. Just because Garrett keeps raising taxes doesn't mean I want to pay for your problems.

  18. Editor Note: Some months ago I had a discussion with Comm. Steve Rule about funding for yet another go at a county jail project. He was basing his financing arrangements on the assumed share of county largess from CEURA in the amount of $10-11MM to help finance the project. This meeting with Comm. Rule took place this past Spring and I asked that he verify CEURA was of a mind to put that amount toward a jail. I had also seen the spread sheet for the remaining taxation revenue to CEURA against projects outstanding and there was no excess money there to begin to fund a new jail project via urban renewal. I suggested Mr. Rule speak with Mr. Waite on this matter. I don't know what happened after my meeting with Mr. Rule on this funding question. I do know he was pretty darn certain Canyon County was going to be on the receiving end of at least $10MM from CEURA.

    Now we are near the end of the life of CEURA and TVCC has not delivered on the promise of bringing "critical mass" and act as a catalyst for downtown Caldwell. The building TVCC occupies represents to me the share of dollars Canyon County was expecting as their share of urban renewal property tax revenue. If TVCC can't make a go of it, there are now a number of people who think using the building as County offices is a good idea. CEURA should simply sign over the property to the County free of charge beyond title transfer costs.

  19. Will somebody please tell me how Caldwell can legally finance an out of state school. I have watched downtown Caldwell wither and retract over the last 30 years or so. Who amongst those who went to college on their own or with help from parents had any extra money? I was married and lived on $350/month from the GI Bill. I had to think twice about a cup of coffee at $0.15 and a nickle for the refills. The costs today are much higher to go to college. Why anyone thought TVCC would bring any economic activity to downtown has no recall on how close to the bone students live.

    It was a building project downtown for no good analytical fact based reason. TVCC is nothing more than an expensive "show and tell" project. They could not even pay for the furnishings in a building virtually given to them. Caldwell taxpayers had to cough up another million bucks to furnish the place.

    The sooner the place implodes the better and we can get down to brass tacks on the next and best usage for this project. I like the idea of couty offices in downtown Caldwell, I just don't think the County should get any worse deal than TVCC when and if some agreement is reached.

  20. Given the history of City of Caldwell/Canyon County relations, does one really expect a positive result.

  21. With the halcyon days of rapid uncontrolled growth and all that new taxes rolling in to be spent over I think it is in everyone's best interest to learn how to play nice.

    Caldwell does not need a new city hall but the County people are out of room. All it takes is TVCC to pack up and leave town and Caldwell has a white elephant on their hands. County use of the building or even an outright gift to the County really does make sense and is a win-win opportunity.

  22. Maybe we can remodel it and turn it into a jail?

    Or maybe a probation and parole center with rehabilitative programs held there. They got the classrooms right? They need to focus more on alternatives to incarceration right? Seems like a logical step to me.

  23. I drove by TVCC this past Monday evening to see if the place is doing any "educating" and was dismayed to see less than 20 cars in the parking lot. I was there around 7:15 at a time evening classes would be in full swing. If this is the case come Fall when the regular school year is underway I would say they indeed have a serious problem...denial is not an answer nor is continued funding of this mistake. I am willing to wait and see what happens this Fall before starting to scream for heads on a silver platter over this obvious failed attempt to bring life to downtown Caldwell.

  24. Every time I ask how is TVCC doing I hear how many students are taking at least one class there.When I ask the business if the students have came into their business the answer is, what students.Think about consolidating county services and making Caldwell the county seat of Canyon county once again. This could save the county money and it would truly bring life to down town Caldwell.Lets give serious consideration.

  25. Hey that sounds like a great idea! We don't need a bigger jail but we do need more rehabilitative efforts as an alternative. That would make an excellent office for state and local probation and parole, classrooms for corrective programs like anger management, parenting classes, AA and NA meetings just to name a few. I think the state Parole guys are moving out of their building by Verns Tavern I hear. This site is perfect! Just think of all the good that could be done rehabilitating these folks instead of jailing them !

  26. Caldwell is dead and doesn't deserve to be the county seat anymore. More people live in Nampa, so it should be there.

  27. Population has nothing to do with where a County Seat is located. I am not sure how this is determined but certainly has political consequences. Caldwell has shown poor skills at managing opportunities as the County Seat of Canyon County.

    Caldwell has a clear record of not playing nice with County officials. Nampa would like to be a separate state and their record is no better is working with County government. I don't look for any changes.

  28. Doesn't matter. Nampa has more residents, therefore we pay more money, therefore it should be in Nampa. Why should we who pay the lions share have to go to Caldwell?

  29. We shouldn't use it for a jail or anything for the criminal element for that matter. How about a senior citizens center? That would be an excellent use for it. Considering how most of the tax paying portion of Caldwell are seniors, I think it is only fitting we keep it in the community since we paid for it.

  30. How would the business owner know the difference as who is a student and who isn't? I'm a student and have been in their businesses downtown. Guess they don't want my business. Guess I'll take it elsewhere. Business is just about dead there anyways. Nothing worth keeping open from what I can see.

  31. I don't think any business owner can determine with 100% certainty who is a student and who is not, however, they can clearly determine if business is up or down month over month. TVCC has done little to bring any new life or business to downtown Caldwell.

    The simple fact is college students don't have much discretionary money and that reality has not changed much from the time i was a dirt poor college student. We had to watch every penny in order to pay the rent, utilities and make it from one month to the next. I took a sack lunch and a thermos of coffee with me just to save money.

  32. OK, I'll take what little discretionary money I have and was spending at businesses like the Golden Palace and the Acapulco and spend them at businesses not in the downtown area next to the school. Guess I'll be eating at establishments on tenth street instead from now on. After all, those businesses won't miss my minor contributions to their coffers will they?

  33. Why aren't you supporting the coffee shop at TVCC?


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