An Ideal Contractor-Developer Marriage

Two stories in the Daily Paper look like a potential marriage for contractor and developer.

First there was the collapse of the new overpass being built on Robinson Road over I-84 east of Nampa. There was one serious injury, but luckily no deaths or “serious injuries.” Of course a smashed thumb is serious if it belongs to you.

Graham Construction of Spokane has the contract to build the bridge as part of the “Improvements” to the freeway between Nampa and Boise.

The second story in this potential marriage saga involves Boise and its urban renewal agency, the CCDC (Capitol City Development Corp.). Far from ever “gettin er done,” the CCDC has its eyes on expanding into the area of Fairview and 30th to take even more of the downtown property off the City tax rolls.

Any project involving the CCDC includes a provision that property in the area is taxed, but tax revenues on any improvements or appreciated value is diverted AWAY from schools, city, county, and ACHD…leaving citizens in the rest of the city to pay for expensive services such as police, fire, roads, etc. The CCDC keeps those revenues for “infrastructure” within the district. Much of their money is spent on legal fees defending their actions as well.

Included in the project’s first phase is construction of a diversion dam in the Boise River behind the old Ford dealership to create a whitewater park for kayaks.

Sooo…if we can get the CCDC to hire Graham Construction to build the dam using the same techniques and quality control standards they applied to the bridge, many GROWTHOPHOBE issues could be solved in one gala wedding ceremony between CCDC and Graham.

–When the dam fails during spring runoff, the houses along the river in Garden City will be flooded, leaving no reason for Developer/mayor Evans to ban bicycles from the Greenbelt.

–Boise’s city attorney would have reason to expand the staff, buy some new computers, and further enhance the economy.

–Of course we would have a boost to the economy with JOBS.

The vast weed choked bare wasteland in the area of 30th and Fairview is a direct result of Boise City actions which encouraged businesses to leave. The city even owns or owned a bunch of the property.

Enlightened citizens meeting at Whittier School on 29th St. at 5:30 p.m. tonight might get the idea to plant trees and grass on the city property instead of condos, creating a huge CENTRAL PARK. Then Boise could be the most livable city in America!

Comments & Discussion

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  1. The whitewater park is not being funded by CCDC. A $1 million donation came from Mr. Harvey Neef. $750,000 for 2 consecutive years has been pledged by the City of Boise and there have been tens of thousands in other private donations.

    When the dam fails? I guess your time in England has given you quite the dry sense of humor.

    It was the construction of the Broadway/Chinden Connector more than anything else that drove business out of the Fairview/Main Corridor.

    As to taking that property off the tax rolls, it’s already off the tax rolls to a great extent because of the area’s significant under-utilization.

    West Downtown property owners have been paying taxes for 70/80 years and when was the last time any of that tax money was spent in the neighborhood? Oh yeah, we got a few sidewalks rebuilt and new playground equipment at Fairview Park. The tax money is already being sucked out of the neighborhood, it’s high time for a URD so the taxes paid in the neighborhood stay in the neighborhood.

  2. Amen, Cynic. I own a little piece of property about two blocks from the blight. My property was assessed at $140,000 – the house is about 80 years old and has had no improvements done since the late 70’s. The lot is very small. Typical North End. I can’t raise the rent because I couldn’t do that to a disabled Vet. It really annoys me that the City of Boise keeps all that weedy property off the tax rolls while they keep charging me more and more.

  3. Cynic, while you make some valid points, I’m afraid I can’t agree with you on this one.
    We simply cannot afford to dedicate any additional monies for the CCDC to run their operation. With the called for audit by Tibbs, and seconded by the mayor, we are now approaching 18 months since the CCDC audit was requested! Is the CCDC trying to hide something? I don’t know because they won’t respond. But, I DO know that their current position is starting to stink to high heaven! I know junior high school kids that could “cook” a set of books in 18 months!
    With regard to the “wading pond”, we are still talking about an expenditure by the city of 1.5 million dollars over the next 2 years! For something that will directly benefit maybe 200 people, that is economically insane! We are talking about a city that is complaining they don’t have the funds to open the Depot to the PUBLIC more than 1 1/2 days a week! Yet we have the funds to develop rocks put in the river?
    As much as I respect your opinion, we are at odds here. I would certainly be willing to re-visit the new URD, the day AFTER the audit is released!

  4. Crap, I love the area, because you got these 6 or 7 lane one-way roads and NO TRAFFIC!!!! It’s like being a kid on a go-kart track.

  5. I don’t think getting Graham Construction of Spokane to build the dam is a good idea. They didn’t even finish the bridge before it fell down.
    Look for the outfit that built Teton Dam a few years ago. That project was completed, and as soon as the water flowed in to fill the reservoir, the dam disintegrated.

    Much more effective.

  6. Cyclops, your handle should be cynic not mine. 🙂 The white water park will most likely be used for at least one annual event that will draw thousands. Many from out of town who will stay in hotels and eat in restaurants. I contend the economic impact from these events will pay for the investment in a very short time frame. How is this very different from BSU football games.

    Google the Reno River Festival, not to be confused with the defunct Boise River Festival. The Reno festival is actually about the river and not fatty foods and big balloons.

    Vail, small town Vail has an annual whitewater event that brings in an estimated $2.3 million. Tourism is a legitimate business.

    Boise city’s contribution of $1.5 million is only one percent of the annual budget. Not annually, but for 2 years only. Not a bad investment for something that will last 100 years or more.

  7. boisecynic:
    “Vail, small town Vail has an annual whitewater event that brings in an estimated $2.3 million. Tourism is a legitimate business.”

    What Vail? Colorado or Arizona?

    Or, if you meant Vale, as in Oregon: Did the town spend $1.5 million-plus to create whitewater, or does it have it naturally?

    Seems to me there’s lots of whitewater in Idaho; dunno as we need to spend money to “move” it to Boise.

  8. Cynic, from one to another, are you really wanting to compare Boise and it’s proposed park to the Reno River Festival? Unless you know of three or four American Indian tribes that want to come to town, and or, you can convince the state legislature to approve gambling, to compare us to Reno is silly. the River Festival is NO DRAW! It is a reason to go because there are over 40 damned casinos in the town!!
    Vail is a tourist DESTINATION! Again, the whitewater competition is an ATTRACTION, not a draw!!
    By the way, if I were your side on this, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the city’s part of the funding. Time’s are tough and this type of expenditure may be attractive when there is a 10 million surplus. Not so much when the budget is contracting! Just a little head’s up!

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