With library challenges mounting, CCDC pulls dollars from project due to ‘timing’

Prime Day special: Save $10!

Our membership program makes these stories happen. Now for Prime Day, save $10 with code PRIME.  Sign up now to help support independent journalism – plus get our popular, exclusive daily newsletter!

Boise Library Expansion

With delays on construction of a new Boise Public Library, CCDC is making a key change.

The agency’s board of commissioners voted unanimously Monday to redirect $2.6 million it earmarked for the Boise Public Library campus project.

“I’m sure you’re aware of the complications with the new main library project,” CCDC’s Ross Borden said. He did not refer directly to the new legislation but alluded to it twice. “To get these monies spent, we’d like to get these funds redirected to other River-Myrtle/Old Boise projects.”

BoiseDev Project Tracker

  • Boise Library campus

Presented by TOK

The formal resolution CCDC adopted mentioned “uncertainties with the new main Library!’s (sic) development timeline,” but did not further detail those uncertainties.

The project faces several challenges, including a new law set to take effect this summer limiting the use of urban renewal funds in public projects without a public vote. It also faces a potential public vote after an citizen initiative process.

After the publication of this story, officials with CCDC reached out to say the redirection of bond dollars was not related to HB 217. An agency leader said if the project gets off the ground, they would likely still participate with “allowable” expenses. They said the decision was about “timing, not HB217.”

[ACHD says it will fight new CCDC areas: says they are ‘gerrymandered,’ illegal]

Projects that use urban renewal funds in Idaho would require a vote of the public if more than 51% of the total dollars come from public funds of any type – except federal dollars. The law takes effect on July 1, 2019. Some expenses are allowed, mostly around infrastructure and parking – and are not counted toward the public vote threshold.

BoiseDev attended this meeting on your behalf – as we do for many meetings each month. Consider a membership to support our work (and get our popular daily newsletter!). If you enjoy this content, your support will keep it rolling.

Agency must spend money in next 13 months

The dollars are part of a bond the agency has in place with Zions Bank. The board voted last May to redirect the $2.6 million to the library project. Originally, the agency set aside the money to purchase a portion of the parking garage inside The Fowler. Los Angeles-based Local Construct opted to terminate the option based upon “strong market conditions.”

Now, CCDC will redirect the money toward various projects in its River/Myrtle-Old Boise district, including public infrastructure, streetscapes and crosswalks.

The bond agreement contains a provision that CCDC must spend the money “without delay” according to Borden. The deadline is June of next year.

The City of Boise has not yet outlined how it may change the funding formula for the project in light of the new Idaho law.

Correction: The bonds are held by Zions Bank, not Wells Fargo.

Forecast for new Downtown Boise park: foggy; new ‘iconic’ project on the way

The City of Boise is working on plans for a new urban Downtown Boise park next to the forthcoming 11th and Idaho...

Long-envisioned marina on Lake Cascade closer to reality; Tamarack hopes to operate it

BOISEDEV MEMBER PREVIEW STORY A long-planned marina could soon pop up on Lake Cascade, and Tamarack Resort could operate...