City Government

Despite Empty Lot And Declining Passenger Use, BOI Airport Seeks $15 Million Parking Garage

Locked securely behind a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire sits a well constructed landscaped parking lot with sparkling restrooms and waiting rooms at the corner of Victory Road and Orchard.

The “ECONOMY AIRPORT PARKING LOT” is closed and has sat mostly unused–despite more than $2 million in recent improvements. Now, despite a decline in passengers and cutbacks by airlines serving Boise, the Boise City Council has set in motion the formalities to sell at least $15 million worth of revenue bonds which will be repaid by parking fees over the next 20 years.

The move no longer requires approval of voters, thanks to a constitutional amendment which removed the right of citizens to approve long term debt for cities and counties. Boise used $60,000 of public funds to mount a statewide campaign in 2010 to exempt airports and public hospitals from seeking voter permission to go into debt. With the help of a reported $2 million from the hospitals, they were able to get voter approval of the measure.

The DAILY PAPER shows a timeline detailing the failed attempt by the city to get around the voters as well as their successful constitutional amendment.

Bottom line is the council can spend $15 million for a parking garage, leave the newly built economy surface lot empty, and voters have no voice in the decision.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Developers busting the public piggy bank via their friends in office.

  2. It must be an inherent right for them to do this despite the lack of need. The loony legislature passed this mess now taxpayers get to fund this pork project.

    Where is the “certified need” for this project?

  3. Fiscally conservative Republicans? You bet.

    EDITOR NOTE–Seems as though Team Dave is DEM. Mayor was delegate, TJ Thomson was Obama guy last election, etc. etc. Nearly all if not all of “non-partisan” councilors are Dems. Penchant for spending is a bi-partisan effort.

  4. The paper said that one-third of those wanting priority parking couldn’t find it–and that was the issue. The thought is that people don’t want economical parking. I suggest that the loss of the low-end lot forced everyone up a notch. I love that lot. Last time I used it there were a few of us on the shuttle and the driver drove us right to our cars!

  5. The already in place parking lot (not being used) will be used for rental cars storage. BTW…heard UNITED is also considering leaving the Boise market. Yep…we are truly turning into a “drive to” ONLY tourist destination…quickly. Sad.

    EDITOR NOTE–But on the good side those visitors will have plenty of parking.

  6. EDITOR-how true. WAIT A MINUTE! How about we turn some of the “empty” lots – both parking and abandoned – into camping sites!? Yeah…the fees and the local tax (GBAD tax of 5%) and STATE tax of 2%) could help offset some expenses…great locations…besides with the closing of hotels (Owyhee is next to close) we will need to provide housing to those convention goers and visitors. AND then the trolley could transport “campers” around town…HOLY COW-now this is an idea.

  7. No Voice? Call the Mayor and tell him just what you think of his careless planning and spending. Force a hearing through public pressure. Ask if they already picked a favorite contractor, engineer, designer etc.

    I’m guessing they need to build a structure so they have a place to mount the new solar pannels.

    EDITOR NOTE–Mayor already promised to mount panels at the surface parking lot and like other energy deals he has advocated, (gas fired generator south of airport) it seems to have failed.

  8. @ editor sub-note: We have no need for any additional energy now that a 400MW combi-cycle gas turbine is available nearby. Any additional power, and especially green power, will just raise our rates.

    Our airport is over-built by about 3X is my best guess. Even in the hayday a few years back they had huge extra capacity.

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