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Friday, January 4, 2013

Old Mercy Hosp. Another Urban Renewal Money Pit

The following is a letter to the editor of our local paper.  It appeared on January 2, 2013 and is here on the Caldwell Guardian by permission from Mr. Osborne. 

 Nampa City Council will hold a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 7 (late note: the meeting has been pushed back to February 19th at the same hour) to hear input from the public on whether the city should, through the Nampa Redevelopment Corporation, put up $350,000 toward renovation of the old Mercy Hospital building to be renovated into low-income housing.

The cost of this renovation is estimated to be $7 million, or $150,000 per unit. Financing would come from a mixture of private and government funds. In material I’ve seen published by NRC, a new building could be put up for $100,000 per unit. It also compares with what I’ve heard is $75,000 per unit for new four-plexes being built on Birch Lane.

This project is being sold as a way to furnish housing for low-income seniors and others, and preservation of a historic structure.
It is unknown how much money the city of Nampa has contributed to the museum downtown, but recent news suggests they could use more money, too.
Is it in the best interests of Nampa to send our money to Washington and get it back in the form of subsidies at 50 cents on the dollar?
Overhead of NRC has to be considerable and will extend the life of urban renewal. Good job security, no doubt, and as the library project is nearly done, what else can we think up?
Not much question this project is a waste of money, but it is being pitched as a good waste of money. The developer loves it. NRC loves it, and some city officials are on board as loving it, too. What could go wrong?
Since some of the proponents of this are the same ones who said a waste-to-energy plant in Nampa would pay for our new library, forgive me if I question the whole concept.
Hubert Osborne, Nampa


  1. I can't understand how otherwise educated people can let Nampa get away with this. It just heaps more and more property taxation on people already suffocating under the burden of property taxes. I don't buy for a minute we have low taxes in Canyon County when you can step over the county line and property tax rates are nearly 40% less.

    Virtually every potential employer comes to town with their laundry list of handouts they "demand" for creating jobs that don't pay a living wage and they want all manner of tax exemptions at the expense of those already here who get paying the bills for these handouts.

    Saw in the news a few days back it takes about $40 for a family to survive and the median job in Idaho pays a paltry $24k. We are building a job base that is at best an investment in more underclass subsistence level wages. And our elected officials are proud of what they are doing in this regard.

  2. Urban Renewal board in Nampa have lost their focus. What the public wanted was a new library. We got a new police station. Location of new library has been changed and they can't get it financed at reasonable rates because they have too much debt. Almost every month UR is before city council asking for debt restructure, general fund help to put in sewer and water lines or another study to reroute traffic. Now we have abanded buildings in the pivot block while city has paid for a new building next to city hall. Overhead for Urban Renewal expenses are approaching $500,000 /year and who knows how much more is subsidized from city general fund. City should abolish the agency and take it over.
    Couldn't be run any worse.

  3. But mayors Dale and Nancolis are building their legacies....isn't that what is most important?

  4. I guess 1 explanation of how our city officials think is that win loose or draw their check shows up on time and in full every time. Their livelihood doesn't depend on their performance. In the real world it's produce or die and maybe die anyway. it's easy to do "great things" with someone elses money. Its a little tougher we you have to write the check.

  5. These folks are just following the best examples they have before them. Corporate Welfare, Misbehavior and repetitive government bailouts. All of which came courtesy of Ronald Regan when he promised "We can trust corporate America, we can trust them to do the right thing." Thus began deregulation. Interesting fact: Thanks to welfare bailouts and monopolies in this country we pay higher than anyone else for Satellite TV and Cellular Service. Kenya Africa has a better banking and payment system (internet based) because our system is too old and archaic. They also pay less for cellular service. So tell me again why they are a third world country?

    Chobani Idaho (Twin Falls) has already cost the Idaho taxpayer $54,947,974 and now the city wants an additional $500,000 to upgrade its water plant on that end of town to meet the demand by Chobani. This after trying to comply with a so-called federal mandate to reduce arsenic in the drinking water. It all gets conveniently excused with the following statement from the developer "I am trying to make a living here and provide much needed jobs." Interestingly enough Chobani is not anymore healthier than say Tillamook. Chobani costs $1.19 each at Costco. Tillamook costs $.78 at Win-Co. Chobani got it start with help from the Greek government. The same government that is being bailed out by the Germans. My Source for Chobani:

  6. By the time Team Tom and Company leaves office, they are going to do the same thing to Nampa that Bush 43 did to the country when he left office. Nampa is going to be left with a big fricking mess to clean up, and high property taxes.

  7. In August 24, 2011 Community Development Inc. Senior Vice President Jerry Gunstream Presented a plan for low income housing to the Rexburg city council. In February 2, 2011 according to Jerry Gunstream, company representative was in Minot, North Dakota trying to get city council approval for low income housing. Jerry Gunstream is now in prison for scams that have been pulled on Nampa people. Who either hasn't done their homework on Community Development Inc. or in a much worse possibility puts their trust in a company such as this--or do the powers that be know and are just keeping quite about it? I think some background checks are in order.


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