More On Ada Courthouse Dealings

Yesterday’s posting prompted some comments from Commishes past and present.

The GUARDIAN wants to make clear at present we don’t see any illegal activity by the Commishes with regard to purchasing the first floor commercial space in the apartment building to the east of the courthouse.

We think it is ill advised, probably not needed, and not at all a “clean” transaction. Our advice is to stay as far away as possible from Civic Partners and any joint ownership of structures–let alone having private structures on public land.

While Civic Partners (a private company) has paid its lease payments to the CCDC for the courthouse–which they in turn lease to Ada County–the company has demonstrated a lack of ability to lease commercial space in the courthouse or their own building to the east.

Current Commish Paul Woods tells us the county has made attempts to negotiate a purchase of the commercial space in the apartment building , but they have been unable to reach an agreement and are resorting to condemning the property for public use through eminent domain process.

We speculate that Civic Partners may be strapped for cash since rental income was aimed at funding their payments to the CCDC, Boise City’s urban renewal agency which owns the Ada County Courthouse. Former Commish Roger Simmons says “no way.”

He claims there is a “bank account” with about 10 years worth of payments stashed. He says the escrow money was paid in by Civic Partners to prevent bankruptcy or other financial problems from hitting the CCDC and hence the county.

Finally Simmons disputes the GUARDIAN claim that original courthouse financing was made without a vote of the people. There was indeed a non-binding ADVISORY VOTE, but not a traditional bond election pledging the full faith and credit of the citizens…hence the involvement of so many parties.

In short, we fear the original financing scheme–for better or worse–is becoming clouded if not downright unraveled.

For instance, if the current deal goes through, the County will own the ground and the first floor of a private apartment building. Imagine someone owning your basement, but not your house! They will probably call it a condo development.

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