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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Nampa City Council Dissolves URA Board

Nampa City Council voted to dissolve the Nampa Development Board and take over as the URA board functions and responsibilities.  Voters will now have a direct line of ability to hold elected officials responsible for how URA funds are spent. 

The make-up of the city council in Nampa has taken a complete reversal of how they want to fund capital projects in Nampa.  It is a far more conservative board with Councilman Paul Raymond stating his thoughts on revenue bonds v. general obligation bonds: 

" You borrow money and take it out of the tax base, removing the tax base from the city to the urban renewal agency and selling bonds, Raymond said, To me it is a debt.  And that separates the public taxpayers from  the urban renewal agency."

All the existing projects currently in the works will remain unchanged and will still be debts paid for with URA funds.  All of this is a huge step in the right direction and is the second time Urban Renewal has left a sour taste in the collective palate of Nampa property taxpayers.  Various estimates of outstanding debt to be repaid have put the total repayment at nearly $100 million with debts still outstanding on the Idaho Center and the latest additions are for the Police Building and the new Library. 

All of these debts were incurred by Nampa Urban Renewal agencies. 


  1. This won't happen in Caldwell until we have an engaged and enlightened city council. Kudos to Nampa for taking this bold step. It shows their city council understands the downside of taxation without representation. If they want it then let voters decide via bond elections.

  2. If Caldwell could find the stones to do this it would stop a lot of the baloney. Sadly, it won't happen and things will pretty much continue as they are now.

  3. You'll have to replace the mayor in Caldwell like we did in Nampa in order for the people to be put back in control. If Nancolas is considering retirement due to health or age reasons, he doesn't have any reason to be fearful of losing his job.

  4. Well, the problem is solved for now, but when does the URA expire, 2025 maybe 2030. The people are still stuck for $100M. Kudos for what the council did, but keep the eyes and ears open. The word amongst the Restaurant Grapevine is, is that Team Tom and company are being real sore losers about what has happened to them since November. Watch out for this bunch. They are a pack of retaliatory wolves.

    1. Don't be surprised if Team Tom makes a bid at the County level.

    2. I too have heard this about Tom. I would assume he would be running against Kathy Alder if this turns out to be factual.

  5. saw the piece in the paper today about "saving" $80 grand. how do you "save" it and still spend it? the joke is on all of us who will get to pay for this monstrosity.

  6. In 2006 during the formation phase of NDC all signs of a weakening economy were ignored in favor the crystal ball predictions of "SPPRE" (Stainback Public/Private Real Estate). SPPRE wrongly predicted NDC gross tax increment collections to be $6.5 million for 2014 (missing the actual number by just a couple of million!) Can anyone explain to me how Nampa hopes to retire 100 million plus interest and ongoing operational losses based on current TIF revenues? Principal plus interest payments alone appear to require three times the amount of the total current TIF revenue available this year. Default on current bonds seems almost a given in light of the lack of adequate TIF funds. Hopefully the bond holders will have a sense of humor for years to come. Lastly, Watching the "wart" of a parking structure rise up using every bit of space except for sidewalks is visually uninviting and disappointing. Final finishes may improve the appearance but it will still look like a bikini on a corpse. We could have done so much better.

  7. Basic problem of Library even if you were for it is the location. Hundreds of thousands of $$$ have been spent on traffic studies and traffic lights to fix what is essentially a round-a-bout with traffic lights at each corner. There is nothing that will fix the traffic with the beet trucks still coming thru downtown for many years to come. In addition does it make sense to put a library on the busiest streets in Nampa when a large number of children of all ages will be present. Other locations were put forth such as the empty Macy Building at Karcher Mall and the former Lloyds lumber property. You can't fix stupid and we will just have to live with what we have been handed. Next problem will be what to do with the old Library


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