City Government

Boise To “Upgrade” Council Chambers For Only $1,300,000

UPDATE Tuesdy 5/8/12–Councilors passed the expenditure on a 4-2 vote. Councilors TJ Thomson and Ben Quintana stood up against staff and four of their colleagues to cast the no votes. Thomson noted it was hard to justify the expense in the face of the current budget crunch. The GUARDIAN was asked by one wag if the council chambers would now have thrones.

Couched as a routine budget transfer of funds, the Boise City Council will be asked Tuesday to pony up $1.3 million of tax money for what amounts to a three room upgrade–the council chambers area. It will be an INCREASE to the code upgrade previously approved.

Like most things “on sale,” the upgrade will actually save $200,000. Right!

Here is how it is presented in the Council work agenda:

Public Works (Capital Fund) – City Hall Building 1, 3rd Floor Public Space Upgrades: $1,300,000 (one-time)
Public Works is requesting approval of a $1.3 million increase to the City Hall Code Upgrade capital project, funded by a transfer from the Capital Facilities Contingency. The additional funding will be used to improve the functionality and configuration of the public-use areas of Building 1, 3rd Floor, which have not received any significant enhancements since the building was constructed in the 1970s. Completing these enhancements now is advantageous because the 3rd floor is being significantly impacted by the current Code Upgrade project; the upgrade work can be incorporated into the overall project with minimal impact to the overall schedule. Postponing this work to a future date would result in a $200,000 increase to the overall project cost as well as increased inflationary costs. Improvements will be focused on the areas used by the public when participating in government activities, including the Council Chambers, lobby / reception area, Bonneville Room / City Council work space, as well as associated utility / storage areas. Staff has worked with the design team to develop a conceptual plan to resolve long- standing issues such as lobby noise / acoustics, limited flexibility, outdated audio-visual capabilities and inadequate Americans with Disabilities Act access.

The GUARDIAN reported in December that no local artist’s work made the final cut for inclusion in the new City Hall makeover.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Maybe they took a look at the new Meridian City Palace and the envy kicked in. (I’ve not seen it, but hear it’s pretty sweet. And Eagle has a nice city hall, too, don’t they? Not like that hovel that Boise’s public servants are forced to toil in.)

  2. Golly gee whiz, I sure would like to update my kitchen and bathrooms but I just don’t have the cash.

    All this for only $1.3MM! Leaves me weak. This has to be one of the worst demonstrations of taxpayer abuse in quite a while. What are these fools thinking?

  3. Hey, I’ll do it for half the price.

  4. Not to be outdone by the legislators and their multimillion dollar facelift of the capital, City wants nicer accommodations as well. Nice that during tough economic times our elected officials still have enough vision to give themselves nicer offices…Meanwhile I am reading this as I wait in line at the gas station for the lady in front of me to buy all her kids a bag of Cheetos with food stamps. why do I even go to work anymore, silly notions that I should be a contributor.

  5. this is a joke…right???

  6. If one looks carefully at the numbers. the budget has grown dramatically faster than inflation or population. And the services we get are less with more fees. YOU ARE CROOKS! YES YOU!

  7. time for a revolution…. George Washington was a traitor, then he was a hero…. just saying, I know some of you disagree, but I truly think its time to stand up and fight against these people with force and fire.

  8. The Money Tree! Taxpayer’s.

  9. Dontfleecemedude
    May 8, 2012, 3:11 pm

    I think Dave Bieter would properly say he won the last election. He has always governed as a socialist and met with very little opposition.
    Boise will just become a slum like every other city of any size in the country. The budget increases for boise city and the boise school district are not mathematically sustainable. Over time productive people will flee the taxes. Detroit is a prime example of runaway government theft, that is Boise’s future with the likes of Bieter at the helm.

  10. @Ronin: Perhaps clueless about what it takes for a real revolution; the motivations, the leadership, the huge mess in the aftermath. Our primary problem is voter apathy resulting in an overgrowth of government and repeat offenders entrenched in elected office. Do you think you can get the apathetic to have a revolution? We’re not even close to the conditions needed to motivate the average American slug off their couch and into the streets. Perhaps if you cancel TV and beer, but simply making TV and beer far too expensive will not do the trick.

    PS: Are you the guy I saw at HomeDepot back in December of 1999? Buying up one of everything and building Noah’s Ark in the backyard? This Aztec calendar thing has got to be of grave concern for you too?

    PPS: The Tea Party has one main problem: It does not have a way to keep the nuts out of the spotlight. Every party has nuts, but the Ds & Rs keep a muzzel on their nuts.

  11. This is as hypocritical as Blue Cross of Idaho going to a New York ad agency to do their advertising while being a member of “Buy Idaho”. So much for buying Idaho! The communications staff at Blue Cross should be fired right along with the Boise City Council. Both situations show a disregard for those from who the funds come. That is what you get when you turn the check book over to folks who have more loyalty to the east coast than to the tax payers of Boise or local businesses.

  12. I guess I’m confused. They took the 3% they are allowed, they increased their levy rate, other taxing entities didn’t take their 3%, property values have declined, their budget has increased, we’re still in a recession, people don’t have jobs, and they are spending money to update their chambers so we the people can better talk to them? They don’t hear us now! What makes them think that a new sound system will help?

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