Developer Seeks Welfare From Boise Citizens

Used to be developers planned their subdivisions around golf courses.

These days, thanks to urban renewal, tax increment financing, special taxes like Auditorium Districts, and planning associations the developers have a virtual buffet of taxpayer-funded financing options surrounding sports stadiums.

Such is the case with the plans revealed today in the STATESMAN by Sven Berg. Boise Hawks owners want to build a new stadium and surround it with residential and commercial development.

Based on Berg’s story, it is obvious Boise Mayor Dave Bieter and his “Team Dave” have been secretly conspiring with commercial interests behind closed doors. The PROPER thing to do is simply offer up a bond proposal and see if folks want to pay for a new stadium. Ada County Highway District has plans to actually reduce Americana to two lanes in favor of a dedicated bike lane…good luck with that plan when you have the promised major events at a new stadium. We will all face more taxes for schools, sewers, etc.

There have been hints of a “downtown stadium deal” for several years, but Bieter refused to share any details with the citizens of Boise. He once said on KBOI radio that “he wasn’t ready to release details yet.” Not ready! Why hide plans from citizens? We are not aware of any public agendas at City Council, CCDC, or GBAD which discussed any proposals to go around the voters debt approval.

The proposed plans call for a ballpark in the vicinity of Americana and Shoreline. Some of the land is owned by St. Luke’s hospital which got a sweet deal when Jefferson was closed. They also owned land along 25th and Fairview which Boise City acquired in a questionable trade with a group of doctors who eventually were bought out by St. Luke’s. We find the city land swaps and speculative purchases distasteful at best.

It’s sad the mayor of the city cannot trust the citizens to know of plans which will have such a profound impact on the citizens–for better or worse. It is obvious his allegiance is to developers first.

Idaho’s constitution favored the citizens with control of the public purse, but the politicos have emasculated that document in favor of development without consent of the voters.

As Boise’s longest serving mayor, Dave Bieter’s legacy will be that of the “Guy who ruined a once delightful town” or “The progressive mayor who stimulated more growth than anyone else.” History will decide.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Borrow $40 Miliion?
    Feb 11, 2017, 7:01 pm

    So the city wants to BORROW $40 MILLION dollars via the “Urban Renewal District and the Auditorium District?

    The area has already been “renewed” – but now that will need to be torn down – and the area is nowhere near the convention center!

    PS – St Luke’s gets to line its pockets with more cash as well. Dr Pate needs another $1,000,000 paycheck this year.

  2. “The voter doesn’t know what they want they are stupid.” Words spoken by former State Senator Bruce Newcomb when the legislature undid the term limit law the voters voted on.

    Maybe we, the voters, should bring back the lynch mob.

  3. Meeting laws
    Feb 11, 2017, 7:30 pm

    I think there are open meeting laws and that somebody needs to review them.

    In another sense it just seems like a way to spend and hide the tax collection excess the municipality has collected. If it is off the books it doesn’t count; as in TIF’s.

    No increases in income and increases in property taxes are a sign of problems.

    EDITOR NOTE–Probably no legal issue with open meeting laws. These guys meet one-on-one and don’t vote on anything. The just “conspire” to make proposals.

  4. I keep telling everyone…It is no longer called Boise…It is now BieterVille!

  5. And now we have school bond proposals with elections to be held in the dark of March. A new urban renewal district will shift more of the cost to homeowners.

  6. I saw all the bond measures in the paper today for the shopping list of new and improved stuff for all the schools. Now we have another option of paying for a ballpark for all those who love baseball.

    I saw the pitch for a new stadium on the TV news a while back during the baseball season. The stands were virtually empty. Does a new stadium mean more interest in going to the games on a 100 degree day? I tend to think NOT.

  7. “As Boise’s longest serving mayor, Dave Bieter’s legacy will be that of the “Guy who ruined a once delightful town” or “The progressive mayor who stimulated more growth than anyone else.” History will decide.”

    As as senior citizen that has lived his whole life in Idaho….. mostly Idaho City… and will probably die here..It is very interesting how many people are upset over growth in the valley.

    Less than 40 miles away from Boise towns are dying. Idaho City is the county seat of Boise County. But still no jobs or growth.
    Cities grow, or they die. When you look at signs that a town dying… 1. you look to see if the population is going down 2. The income of the residents are going down 3. The population is getting older.. 4. People are not paying property taxes.

    No jobs for our kids here in Idaho City. Most leave and never come back after High School. Can you blame them? Many folks here are on welfare, some use drugs because they are out of work. Most people shop in Boise because of cheaper prices. Out one store really doesn’t carry that much and prices are high. The folks stop at winco on the way back home if they have a job in Boise. And because of our aging population in Idaho City we have to go to Boise to the Doctor or to the hospital. No pharmacy… No cell phone service.

    People that are upset on growth still don’t want to move to a town that is dying. Can’t blame them. But every one is welcome to move up here.

    Be mad at your mayor but at least you have one that hasn’t resigned.

    I too miss the old days when I drove to work from Idaho City and didn’t have to fight traffic like I do now. But at my age I am thankful for the good Drs. and the services in Boise.


  8. I just don’t understand what is wrong with where the Boise Hawks are now? Maybe it’s because that area has a Garden City address and the boys and girls in the Boise city offices can’t beat their chest for having an “auditorium” in “Boise” proper. I believe that any this big that will have very big impact (positive and negative) NEEDS to be brought before the people. I am so sick and these “hidden” deals that the rest of the citizens get to pay for.

  9. western guy
    Feb 12, 2017, 7:28 pm

    Somewhat related, I understand that Dave B is downright scared of Councilmember Lauren McLean.. thinks she will keep him from his next term as Mayor.

  10. The end of Whoville, Thanks Team Dave!
    Feb 12, 2017, 7:57 pm

    Hope they build the upper deck tall enough for seating above the plume of kerosene fumes from the new F-35 base.

    Sidebar: Watching the likely failure of a massive and fairly modern dam in California. Considering the incredible melt water we will be receiving in the Boise river drainage this year, is anyone paying attention to our three big dams? I’m worried the government employees are wasting their time sending anti-trump emails to each other rather than avoiding catastrophic runoff problems. These agencies have been focused on drought for decades, so I really got to wonder if they are even thinking flood?

  11. If you build it
    Feb 13, 2017, 12:06 pm

    Boise’s Strategic Real Estate Manager has been busy per his LinkedIn profile. He has: “Revived languished downtown stadium plan. Worked with minor league baseball team to structure a public-private partnership that includes three public agencies and two private partners for a $190+ million mixed-use project including a multi-use stadium, a hotel, residential units, and various retail/entertainment amenities.”

  12. Corporate Welfare
    Feb 13, 2017, 2:40 pm

    Total corporate welfare in the USA is now over $150 BILLION dollars. It hides under the politically correct name of “government subsidies”. Don’t count on seeing any of this money if you are an industrious small business, this cash is only for the owners of our politicians.

  13. As long as the legislature allows Boise to spend tax money to tell voters how to vote (same with the Boise school district) and allows Urban Renewal districts and auditorium districts to COMPLETELY DISREGARD the votes of the tax payers Boise will continue to engage in “unique” funding schemes.

    The laws need changed and enforced.

  14. Maybe all this stadium talk will take the mayor’s mind off the stupid trolley for a while…

  15. Wolf – the stadium requires a Trolley

  16. St Luke’s, St. Al’s, BSU, and CWI, are going to suffocate Boise.

    Nontaxable land to such a degree simply puts too much of a tax burden on the rest of the paying property owners.


  17. Steve Rinehart
    Feb 17, 2017, 10:34 pm

    Apparently this project only works if the public pays for the private project. Doncha just love “public-private partnerships?”
    This stadium would lock up a lot of public money and a big chunk of land for an occasional use by a sport whose popularity trend is uncertain at best. Who actually wins?

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