GUARDIAN Leases Fire Station For 99 Years

After learning it will cost an estimated $1,000 to put a $99 lease question before North Ada County Fire District patrons in May, the GUARDIAN presented Ada County Commission Chairman Rick Yzaguirre with the full amount of the lease Friday.

At issue is a lease agreement between NACFAR and Ada County for lease of #16 fire station at 5800 Glenwood on the county-owned fairgrounds. It’s one of those $1 a year for 99 years deals. We can see no logical reason to secure voter approval since the deal obviously doesn’t exceed a single year’s revenue.

We don’t know the legal basis for the advice from the Ada County attorney, but if he is looking at Article VIII, sec. 3 of the Idaho Constitution, it is pretty clear that voter approval is required only when the debt exceeds a single year revenues.

Since the GUARDIAN readers ponied up the cash, there is no longer a debt due and it seems absurd to require printing multiple ballots due to the precinct splits which cross NACFAR and city limits boundaries.

Here is the letter presented to the Ada Commishes along with the $99 check:

March 16, 2012
Ada County
200 W. Front Street
Boise, Idaho

To Whom It May Concern,

It has come to my attention there is a proposed question on the May, 2012 ballot which would authorize the commissioners of the North Ada CountyFire And Rescue District to pay an annual lease to Ada County of $1 for a fire station or land occupied by NACFAR for a period of 99 years.

It is our opinion the question to be put before patrons of the District is unnecessary and will actually cost many times more than the entire lease. To settle the issue in a timely fashion, please accept payment from GUARDIAN readers in the amount of $99.

With this payment there should be no need for further lease payment or discussion well into the next century. When the lease is up for renewal, most of us will be gone, but the record will show readers of the BOISE GUARDIAN blog provided quarters for first responders serving local citizens.

David R. Frazier, editor

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Politicians need to govern with common sense in mind. But maybe it has nothing to do with the money involved. The legalities of the lease may be the deciding factor for placing it on the ballot.

    Besides, the famous Frazier Decision has politicians scared.

    EDITOR NOTE–And that is why we thought it worth the investment! It also points out how silly those in command can be.

  2. BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HAAAAA! Oh, that is awesome! Thanks for making my day. :o)

  3. Let me think here…on things that are just plain silly we get the option to vote but on things like giving Dynamis $2 Million bucks we have no say whatsoever?

    I need to go back and visit my high school civic teacher to get a better understanding of this?

  4. Brilliant

  5. Political Junkie
    Mar 17, 2012, 11:03 am

    Right on, Dave! Where do I donate?

    EDITOR NOTE– Punch the green DONATE button and drop something in the Pay Pal account. It is NOT deductible, but we do use it for things like this, records requests, copies, gas to attend meetings, parking etc.

  6. So did they accept it yet? If so, and you’re the lease holder, can we have a party there?

    EDITOR NOTE–Obviously we are trying to make a point and seriously doubt they will ever cash the check. However we do like the idea of a party.

  7. Bravo! Ada County goes beyond silliness sometimes.

  8. Ada county debacle system strikes again… So long as the FireFighters never have to worry about being evicted, I think it shouldn’t matter, most of these people work for free (and are true heroes, unlike…some), and they shouldn’t be subject to hillbilly Idaho politics.

  9. Ronin – There are many places in Idaho that use volunteer firefighters, but NACFR/Boise isn’t one of them. Those guys are well compensated.

  10. Really? well I guess that I’ve been misinformed. Take ’em for all their worth then.

  11. Ignoring your dripping sarcasm, there’s no need to be misinformed at all. You can look up all Boise/NACFR firefighter salaries online quite easily. I won’t debate the merits of them being heroes, but at a certain point it will become necessary to determine whether paying more than $30 million per year is worth the few structural fires that they fight per year. There’s a reason why the fire service latched on to EMS and it’s not about patient care.

  12. BG, The taxpayers actually probably saved more than the grand you mentioned in the simple ability to move on to more important issues.

    AnnP: Remember there are two people to every side of the argument. NACFR/Boise couldn’t come up with a hundred dollars just to put this to bed? Any disdain you heap to one side should be more equally distributed.

    EDITOR NOTE–Not sure your issue here. The short version is the NACFR attorney correctly read the FRAZIER case from the Supremes which made no mention whatsoever about a long term lease or obligation payable within a single year. Also, the county claims the ballot language authorizes “much more than the annual $1 lease for 99 years.” It does not!

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