Time for the Boise Parks Department to stop living the BIG LIE. Each time we raise the issue of the citizens being locked out of the BOISE DEPOT we all own, they promise it will be opened soon, but it never happens.
Latest development is in KBCI-TV reporter Sarah Dallof’s story Monday about caterers who are not being catered to and some are unhappy. Only “preferred vendors” are allowed to use the depot for profitable enterprises.
It is the citizens who should be able to use and share the building with summertime visitors. It should not serve as a reception hall for a select few caterers. A few directional signs and a brochure would make the historic landmark a tourist attraction–but it would conflict with the PRIVATE USE of the building.
The GUARDIAN would like to see the Depot serve as the “welcome center” for visitors to our fair city. They could climb or elevator to the top of the bell tower and view the City of Trees. It has plenty of parking and is perfect spot for visitors to relax and get to know a little about us. The Visitors and Convention Bureau could make more contacts at the Depot than under the parking garage at 9th and Front.
Boise Mayor Dave Bieter is following in the steps of his predecessor, Brent Coles, by locking the general public out of the building we rallied to “save,” purchasing bricks, t-shirts, and posters.
Only if you pony up nearly a grand will Boise Parks let you into the historic train depot which stands guard over the city at the south end of Capitol Boulevard facing the State Capitol at the other end.
The view from the bell tower is spectacular, but if you can’t afford to rent the place for the $900 minimum fee you can “forgetaboutit.” Sad state of affairs when citizens own a building used almost exclusively for commercial office space and social receptions. For a few years it was open to visitors, but only mornings and afternoons–it was CLOSED weekends and during lunch! Last we heard there was a token opening on a week night.
If it costs $75,000 to run it for PUBLIC ACCESS, so be it. It is simply wrong to keep the public out and rent it to a select few. Better to sell to a private high bidder…afterall it was owned by a private railroad for nearly a century, never went anywhere and the Union Pacific would let you in!
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