City Government

BoDo Offers New Library Scheme

Dirk Kempthorne used to look into the camera and say, “We need to do it for the children”–whatever “it” happened to be. The preacher like solemn tone of voice was intended to offer creditability to the venture.
Library types.jpg

It looks like Team Dave has latched onto “libraries” as his legacy–not a bad legacy if he can get it done legally and with a vote of the people.

He needs to look at a countywide library system and stay away from the used car salesman deals offered up by BoDo developer Mark Rivers. We hear Rivers and Mayor Bieter have talked since the last proposal involving the CCDC failed to pass muster.

In his latest scheme, Rivers is trying to divest Boise citizens of a bunch of ground–unspecified in the Daily Paper, but we figure it is near the rock climbing wall at 25th and Fairview. Two years ago the city council declared that city owned property to be “surplus,” ordered it to be prepared for sale, and then did NOTHING.

Now Rivers wants to trade land for a library he claims will be worth $30 million to be located at the current library site on Capitol Blvd. near the River. He made a presentation to the library board, but to us it looks like an illegal deal because the city has to SELL the land to the highest bidder at auction. They can make LAND swaps, but they already own both parcels.

If Rivers is sincere he will pay the cash for the land he wants by outbidding anyone else and paying the minimum reserve bid of whatever he claims the new library is worth. (He wants the city to pay the $30 million to him in the form of land, donations, and $6 million cash–we think.) Not a clean deal at all.

GUARDIAN says we need a countywide library system because we already have a lending policy among libraries in place–only problem is Boise provides the majority of resources AND PAYS smaller libraries to allow city residents in the door. If libraries are a priority for the community, they need to be done right–either as a City or County system, but city residents shouldn’t pay twice.

Like most things, the worker bees do a good job, help residents, and the movers & shakers at the top need more direction. That direction should come from voters. Give us a good honest plan that is clean and we will gladly pass a bond.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Guardian, you are right in one respect. A community wide library system is the way to go. Many people never get downtown, and they need the same access as those that do. However, I think that there is room for both a community system and an “anchor” library in the heart of the city.

    Bodo has a number of problems (they don’t keep it very clean to start with), but it is a heck of a lot better than what was there before. A development like Rivers is proposing could be the final link in tying downtown together with the park system and the university.

  2. I’ll re-iterate my comment from the first BoDo-Library article on BG. There is nothing wrong with the library building. They just need more parking there.

    The city does not need to co-operate with developers (become their partner), the city just needs to regulate what developers do (and of course lean heavily toward what is in the public interest, and not in the developer’s interest).

  3. This is just another insider deal to get around voters and have the loony massive density urbanists on the city council stick it to the voters.

  4. The enemy now has a name: “looney massive density urbanists”. Well done, Pat. Here’s a partial list of things these looney massive density urbanists have inflicted upon us: row houses, traffic jams, giant apartment complexes, traffic jams, BoDo, traffic jams, urban sprawl, traffic jams, overpopulation, traffic jams, the idea to bury Front Street, traffic jams, the fact that the mall was put out in the middle of howhere 20 years ago instead of in the dust bowl where it belonged, and traffic jams, and the train to nowhere.

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