Ada County Assessor Bob McQuade is looking forward to improving public access to his office when it moves out of the court house, but the GUARDIAN’s radar went on high alert when we got the tip.
Seems the new Ada court house on Front Street is just too small to house all the agencies currently residing there. The Development Services will be moving to the “Meridian Campus” one of these days and the Assessor will take up quarters next to the existing Courthouse.
The Meridian Campus currently has an ambulance station and the weed and skeeter agencies. They will also have a branch of the Assessor’s office. It is at 975 E. Pine near Locust Grove with easy access from the new Locust Grove overpass.
These “evictions,” combined with the recent remodeling of the empty space on the first floor of the courthouse, (retail space which was supposed to help make lease payments) has us really concerned about how things are being handled. Do they need to kick agencies out of the court house even after taking over the ground floor space on either side of the entrance?
The courthouse was built, and financing was arranged by previous commissioners without voter approval. It is nearly impossible to determine who owns what at the court house, but we think it is owned by the city of Boise’s urban renewal agency–CCDC (Capital City Development Corp). They lease it to a private outfit known as Civic Partners to get around paying property taxes. Civic partners in turn subleases it to the county. The underlying land is owned by the county.
It is a highly irregular financial scheme that was created to get around the voters and the Idaho Constitution. We understand the agreement is more than 400 pages in length.
Unless someone can show us otherwise, we think the Assessor will be moving into a private building and Ada taxpayers will be paying rent for space in a building that has been unable to rent vacant space…BAILOUT?
Let’s hope were are witnessing a rental “bailout” of sorts and not another lease-purchase agreement that obligates taxpayers or even an outright purchase using accumulated cash.
The deal just doesn’t sound right and based on the shady history of the court house and University Place–all on the same parcel of land–the mainstream media needs to start digging.
Any way you look at it, Ada County Government is bigger than it’s current crib.
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