Tracking code caldwell guardian

Saturday, June 29, 2013

County Jail Site On Sale at Half Price

We learn today Canyon County Commishes have decided to put property they purchased for a jail out of town on Hwy 20/26 on the auction block with a starting bid of $1.1 million.  County Commissioners originally paid $2 million for the property they designated as a jail site. 

Three bond issues have failed in their quest to build a new jail and now they want to get the property back on the tax rolls generating revenue for all the taxing districts impacted when they bought and removed the property from taxation.  The sole dissenting voice is the Canyon County Sheriff, Kieran Donahue.

Here's a link to the article in the local paper regarding the property auction:

Friday, June 28, 2013

Property Tax Comparison In Treasure Valley Cities

Our friend, Ron Harriman wrote a very good OP-ED piece in the IPT today.  There is a link below to read the whole piece by Mr. Harriman.  I am giving GUARDIAN readers the table of tax comparisons compiled for your review.  You can draw your own conclusions from the article and the data.

Property taxes in Treasure Valley cities
City           Property taxes   Populations   Per capita     Per household
Boise         $112,383,000.00    212,303    $529.35      $1,397.49
Meridian    $20,544,000.00      80,386      $255.57      $725.81
Nampa      $31,630,265.00      83930      $376.86       $1,104.21
Caldwell    $12,824,323.00     47,665      $269.05       $774.87

Here's a link to the IPT Guest Opinion by Mr. Harriman:

Ron Harriman is a real estate appraiser in Nampa.

Caldwell and Nampa Chambers of Commerce to "Study" Fair Move Out of Town

THE GUARDIAN has followed the County Fair announcement they will be moving out of town with interest.  Today in the local paper we see the Chambers of Commerce from Caldwell and Nampa are now going to "study" this move. 

The short version of the study will no doubt conclude the move will be bad for both Caldwell and Nampa.  In the case of Caldwell the impact in pretty obvious but Nampa not so obvious.  Moving the County Fair out of Caldwell is a subtle move to create a Horse Park at taxpayer expense despite the claims by the Fair people they need room to grow.  THE GUARDIAN has reviewed the master plan in detail and it is clear the Fair will be a secondary venue for the new site. 

Nampa is struggling to balance the books at the Idaho Center and the best they can come up with financially is a $1-2 million subsidy by Nampa taxpayers to keep the doors open.  They have a huge white elephant on their hands and the creation of a new Horse Park under the guise of a new fair grounds will only exacerbate the revenue situation at the Idaho Center.  Taxpayers will be on the hook for more cash to keep the doors open when the new fair site opens.

Additionally, our new County Commish, Craig Hanson has made his feelings on the know buy poking a lot of folks in the eye with his comments on the move.  Something this politically charged and he has come out in full support of the move by the Fair Board.

Here's a link to the IPT story on the fair move out of town:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

People of Caldwell to Decide King's Building Future Use

It has been reported to THE GUARDIAN Mayor Nancolas is going to let the people of Caldwell decide the future use of the King's property in downtown.

Caldwell East Urban Renewal bought the property from the Salvation Army for a reported $230,000.  Prior to the purchase a citizens committee put together a plan with architectural renderings as well as cost estimates to turn this piece of blight into a central plaza.  Eljay Waite, Director of CEURA stated there were no plans for the property.  When questioned by several downtown business owners Mayor Nancolas stated he was going to let the citizens decided what will be the fate of this property.

THE GUARDIAN has learned there is a petition circulating via downtown business people to move the plaza idea forward. It will be presented to the Caldwell City Council in the near term, probably this month or next month barring any decisions made by the URA before the petition is submitted.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Low Water Year and Ongoing Wind Expenses Equal 15.3% Idaho Power Rate Increase

We got this post from David R. Frazier aka, Boise Guardian

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has authorized Idaho Power to bump power rates with an average hike of 15.3% due to low water levels.
Spillway of the C.J. Strike Dam on the Snake River near Grand View, Idaho, USA.About 70% of all water in the West comes from snow pack and this year’s low levels are already putting a crimp on everything from fish to power generators.

Here’s how the PUC explained the situation in a press release:

Declining water, reduced revenue from surplus energy sales and ongoing wind power expenses all contributed to a $140 million Power Cost Adjustment, the fourth highest in PCA history. To make up for the shortfall caused by these factors, Idaho Power Company’s residential customers will be assessed a one-year surcharge of an average 12.5 percent effective June 1. For all customers classes combined, the average increase is 15.3 percent.
None of the money collected in the surcharge can be used to increase Idaho Power earnings or salaries, but is kept in a deferred account, audited by the commission, to be used only for paying extraordinary power supply expense. While base rates cover fixed costs, the PCA, adjusted every June 1, covers costs that vary from year to year, and are largely outside the company’s control. These costs are related largely to water levels, gas and fuel expense, transportation expense and renewable power contracts for projects mandated by federal law. 

In six of the last 11 years, the PCA has been a decrease or no change, but this year’s is the fourth highest on record due largely to a 19 percent reduction in water the company uses to power its hydroelectric plants.