By PAUL ALLDREDGE
THE GUARDIAN received a beautiful invitation to the groundbreaking ceremony for TVCC in Sky Ranch next week.
We did a public records request for the financial arrangements with the developer, City of Caldwell, TVCC and the Caldwell Urban Renewal District only to get a response from city attorney, Mark Hilty stating that no such documents exist. Another “cart before the horse deal.”
How does a multi-million dollar project get started without any financial documents or agreements? And why aren’t these financials out for the public to review? Not much “transparency” in Caldwell government apparently.
Smells like major taxpayer financial decisions made in a room the public never gets to visit, making this deal stinky–to use a polite term. Property taxes will pay for the TVCC project and yet we don’t get to see the terms and condtions. Our city deciders have circumvented the public process once again in a long term debt in violation of the Idaho Constitution.
Meanwhile they invite one and all to cheer the momentous groundbreaking where our tax dollars are going to be spent without any public inputs or comment. This is yet another back room deal by our elected leaders of Caldwell through the Urban Renewal District catering to a developer and an out of state school.
LATE DEVELOPMENTS MONDAY
The CALDWELL GUARDIAN obtained a note Monday from Caldwell’s finance director admitting the deal has not been approved by the urban renewal agency. He included a series of minutes from past urban renewal meetings which seem to fly in the face of all the reasons voters were given to approve the College of Western Idaho.
If the official minutes are to be believed, it appears to set a pattern of BSU and TVCC conspiring to provide things which at least some voters thought would be part of CWI.
Click “more” to read the timeline on this deal:
June 5, 2007
Mayor Nancolas provided an update on the TVCC project stating that Butch Gilliland has offered to construct a 40,000sf facility for TVCC, leasing 25,000sf to TVCC and finding a tenant for the additional square footage. Vallivue School District has expressed interest in the additional square footage to be used for an alternative high school. Negotiations are underway.
September 4, 2007
CEDC Update: Steve Fultz, Executive Director provided the following update:
CEDC Activity Report
Continued working with TVCC and Vallivue High School on joint project for expanded education opportunities in Caldwell. Several meetings with Bruce and Dean Susan Tinker regarding not only the expansion of current campus, but also a site at Polo Cove.
Chairman Waite noted that TVCC will probably be on the agenda for our next URA meeting. A draft proposal is in process from TVCC and Chairman Waite requested CCEDC’s assistance in growing TVCC’s campus. TVCC has an excellent nursing program in Ontario, however there are no wet labs in this area. BSU has inquired about shared expansion of the nursing program. Steve Fultz agreed to move this to top priority and help with discussions.
October 2, 2007
Four representatives of TVCC (named above) were present to discuss URA’s potential partnership with TVCC to assist them with expansion in Caldwell. Needs, opportunities, concerns and options were discussed. Critical issues at this point are ensuring Oregon and Idaho taxpayers are not put at risk, building a cooperative partnership with BSU, resolving articulation concerns, drafting a year-to-year lease that allows TVCC funds for research and development to increase enrollment, and creating private interest for ownership of the facility.
November 6, 2007
Bruce Shultz, TVCC, presented a funding request on behalf of TVCC’s Caldwell Center expansion. Their plan of action involves three steps: Student Support Services $35,000, Workforce Assessment and Curriculum Development $32,000, and Targeted Marketing Campaign $35,000, for a total of $102,000.00. Bruce announced that the TVCC Board of Directors reached a consensus at a recent meeting regarding the Caldwell campus: Increased support, build a full-time faculty, build staff capacity. They endorsed this decision with a
CEURA, November 6, 2007, Page 2
$115,000 commitment to the Caldwell Campus. Motion to provide $102,000 to support the TVCC Caldwell Campus expansion: Nancolas/Hopper M/S/P
March 4, 2008
Steve Fultz presented information concerning the TVCC Campus Relocation Project. He introduced Bruce Schultz, Jim Sorensen, President of TVCC; and Butch Gilliland of Norfleet Development. He stated that the new site contains three acres and is located within Sky Ranch Business Park. The projected start date would be March 2009. CCEDC will contribute $300,000 to assist with the buy down. Bruce Swanson noted that the new facilities will double the size of the current facility. The new location will assist in recognition and awareness of the campus.
Jamie Hoover reported that Freehold Development is responding with in-kind investments for the development and is looking forward to the campus location within the Sky Ranch Business Park.
Motion to authorize Chairman Waite to construct the agreement with the Urban Renewal Agency and TVCC concerning the Urban Renewal Agency parcel with the provision that the agreement be brought back for review by the UR members before being executed: Nancolas/Hopper M/S/P
May 6, 2008
The TVCC campus plan was presented by Butch Gilliland. The building will be approximately 60,800sf and includes two levels. The main level is currently planned to house the bookstore, resource center, etc (approx 5,000sf), West Valley Medical Center is considering using 5,000sf, and 20,000sf is available at this time. The second level will be filled with TVCC administrative offices and classrooms. Mayor Nancolas has had several meetings with BSU President Bob Kustra who has expressed interest in leasing space for BSU classrooms and offices. There is also the potential of offering high school Advanced Placement classes in a college campus setting.
June 3, 2008
Mayor Nancolas stated that the TVCC Campus partnership between TVCC, the city, Urban Renewal and the business sector is an excellent and unique model that has attracted much attention and praise. The partnership creates a long-term benefit for both education and business in the valley. Dialog is in process with BSU to house a BSU student services department and share classrooms with TVCC. BSU is seriously considering offering a “2 + 2 Program” with TVCC. This allows TVCC to be pro-active and responsive to the business needs in the community, and allows BSU to offer curriculum such as criminal justice and nursing in Canyon County.
“I continue to pursue an agreement for this project that will be taken back to the UR board for approval. The agreement will outline the requirements for UR ownership of the building or the sale/lease of UR land to support the project. If an agreement cannot be reached then UR will not have a part in this project. The developer has stated that he has the financial backing to complete the project. This project would be funded from current revenues streams and be paid off before UR sunsets in 2015. We are not plegding future growth revenues and do not need to obligate bonds to the project.” (ElJay Waite)
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