It looks like Boise is going to ask voter permission to sell $37 million worth of bonds to build a new airport parking facility. They say the rental companies will fund 40% of the financing for the five story facility–two floors will be for rental cars.
Boise’s airport Commission and City Council had a joint meeting Thursday to plan their next move following the Idaho Supreme Court decision earlier this month which declared their financing to be unconstitutional. That suit was brought by GUARDIAN editor David R. Frazier who has worked for nearly three years to get the city to follow the law and have an election.
Councilor Alan Shealy grudgingly conceded defeat at the public meeting when he said, “I hate the idea of a local photographer’s hat size going up anymore, but I think (a bond election) is the most feasible option.”
They concluded the best course of action is to hold an election in November.
Councilors had been adamant about not allowing voters a voice at the original public hearing and continued spending tax money for the legal battle they ultimately lost. They will also have to pay the legal fees for Frazier’s winning attorney.
Had the councilors allowed the citizens a vote for the much needed parking garage, they could have been parking cars today. Now, they say it will be completed sometime in 2008.
The sticky point was a provision in the Idaho Constitution which mandates bond elections for long term debt “unless it is ordinary and necessary.” The Supremes cleared that issue up when they pretty much said “ordinary and necessary” would apply to emergencies, but a construction job didn’t apply.
Throughout the state, banks have made a tidy profit offering “lease-purchase” deals and getting judges to approve “ordinary and necessary” deals. That should pretty much be a thing of the past as lawyers are telling schools, cities, and other entities they need a vote to buy things they can’t pay for in one year.
Our deepest sources tell us a group of bankers, lawyers, and local government types did a conference call in the past day or two in an effort to plan their next move. If they take the lead of Boise, there will be more bond elections and local officials will be asking permission of the citizens to spend their tax money.
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