Tracking code caldwell guardian

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

King's Bldg., Downtown Caldwell (and other stuff) Discussed at City Council Meeting/Workshop

THE GUARDIAN attended the Caldwell City Council meeting/workshop last night as there were subjects of interest on the meeting agenda. 

Bill Deal along with two other people from the State Insurance Dept. who discussed the oversight the state has with self insured cities and other public entities that fall under their oversight.  City of Caldwell is self insured for claims up to $75k and then their insurance policy kicks in for city employee health, dental and other insurance claims. 

Next subject of interest is what to do with cash that will flow to taxing districts from the urban renewal.  Will it be retained by the urban renewal agency or will the taxing district claim the money and use it to spend or reduce property tax burdens.

There was a lively discussion about downtown and how $1.3 million of unencumbered URA money will be spent from 2015 to 2022 tax years.  The lack of sidewalks in Caldwell was discussed and the safety issues this presents to school children walking to and from school.  There was a lack of consensus on this matter and little input from the city council noted.

Members of the URA board made a motion to get bids for demolition of the King's Building eyesore in downtown back in  December 2013 URA Board meeting. To date there have been no solicitation of bids has been done for this project.   URA Board Chairman Eljay Waite stated he was busy with audit issues but would have the biding process completed and perhaps the demolition of the King's building done  by April 1, 2014. 

There were several downtown business owners there to discuss the plight and blight of downtown and how to improve on the $2-5.00 lease rates that are now the norm for renting space in downtown.  Obstacles like sprinkler systems, ADA compliance issues and lack of investment by the URA in downtown were discussed.  Another issue brought up was the previous efforts to get the King's building land area converted to a plaza and the plans presented to both Mayor Nancolas and URA Chairman Eljay Waite at previous URA board meetings.  Both Mayor Nancolas and URA Chairman Eljay Waite declined to give any hint on the preferred plaza location at this meeting. 

One business owner spoke to the lack of interest he has seen from members of the City Council and the Mayor.  He has not seen Mayor Nancolas and only one City Council member since he opened for business across from the Post Office.  Nor has there been any press releases from the city or the chamber of commerce on his new business in downtown Caldwell.


  1. I am amazed at how little has been done to "renew" anything downtown. I was in downtown Nampa a couple of weeks back and it seems to be humming with activity. Downtown Caldwell offers little incentive for me to go downtown except for the Post Office and my bank.
    It will take a lot more niche places like the Bird Stop and the Craft Corner to for me to go downtown on a regular basis.
    I can't believe the King's building hasn't been vandalized given the amount of time it has been sitting there vacant. Not even any graffiti that I can see when I drive by. If it isn't demolished I can only wonder what it will be used for but right now it is a ripe target for vandals.

  2. Urban renewal cost Tom Dale his job as mayor of Nampa, it is just taking a bit longer for the reality of it to set in for Caldwell. My observation is, millions have been spent and what do we have to show for it? Boise has kept focus on downtown but even they are now looking at a trolley folly in downtown again. It is clear to me downtown Caldwell received little from urban renewal.

  3. The answer for controlling property taxes and urban renewal agencies are to amend the property tax system with a menu system just like Otter Care and Obama Care. The property tax payer needs a property tax choice. One could pay the current levy system rate or a 1% cap on assessment for property taxes and fees with or without home owner exemption assessed value. for example a $ 100,000 at 1% is $ 1000. In Nampa this would save me $ 900 on my current assessment. You should be able to choose the lesser taxes of the two taxes if love the constitutional individual ownership of private property rights or if love government and social justice pay the higher taxes of the two plans. This is extremely simple language and choice. I call it "Robert Muse Tax Reduction Initiative Plan (TRIP)". Let your tax bill take a TRIP to your savings account.

  4. The $2/sf - $5/sf lease rates will never be remedied, unless the URA funds are returned to the downtown property owners for Code Requirement updates. The cost of capital investment to make the required City Code updates cannot be recouped by any "potential" lease increases for many, many years. Most of the property owners cannot fund these new Code requirements. Until these updates are done, however, new, "higher" lease tenants or possible use changes will not be obtainable. Consequently, the downtown district will never recover, unless the property owners have the means to update their properties to meet costly Code requirements. The URA could best serve these property owners by returning the $1.3 million back to these property owners to help meet these Code requirements.


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