Ada County Commissioner Sharon Ullman might not remember the conversation we had by phone in May. She called me out-of-state responding to an e-mail I wrote to the commissioners, and to our homebuilder. With only a week to close on our new house, we had become more uncomfortable with the supposed Dynamis gasifier that was to be built nearby, something we did not know about while house-hunting.
Though we were hundreds of miles away from the project, we did additional research and were not happy. There were inconsistencies in the Dynamis team member stories, no company or project history, no experts, and an odd shiny website containing no substantial information. The commissioners actions were puzzling. Every day the press seemed to have a story on some new twist on Dynamis. Something wasnt right.
Ms. Ullman literally yelled! The conflict regarding this project was supposedly a "personal political vendetta" against her, even as I was not yet a voter in a position to affect her political aspirations. I specifically asked Ms. Ullman if our home value would go down due to this project, and she quickly answered YES, but not due to the project, only due to all the misinformation that was being generated about it. Really? Whats the difference? Whats the truth?
Our homebuilder offered all our earnest money repaid if we chose to walk. We had five days to make that decision, with our old house mid-move. In choosing to stay the course, we anticipated this project could never really launch based on what we read. We met with an industry expert who concurred this could not possibly move forward. We had to sign a builders disclosure form regarding Dynamis and absolving them of any potential future litigation. How many realtors from Boise, Eagle, and affected areas are aware of this possible disclosure issue now? How is it being addressed? What are the potential future legal ramifications?
It is lovely here. Yes, we knew we were in unincorporated lands, we knew about the sanitary landfill, and in the end, we signed off that we knew about Dynamis. But we never imagined the depth of deceit and lack of transparency on this project until we unpacked and continued to scratch deeper.
Sadly, we are prepared to sell our home and leave Ada County, perhaps Idaho, should this be built. There are other neighbors who have said the same. Has any study been done on potential loss of property values (as confirmed by Ms. Ullman), and the emigration of productive families to areas outside Ada County, maybe even out of state, due to this project? Would this be offset by the so-called 60 jobs Ms. Ullman touts will be brought to Ada County through this project? Are the jobs generated equivalent to those potentially lost? Will cancer clusters appear years from now, as we witnessed near us in our old state (childhood brain blastoma in neighborhood near old toxic disposal site)?
We wont take a chance with an entity with no proven track record that wont even take the time to truly listen to and address public concerns. Additionally, the politics makes me question our move here in the first place. Though our home is phenomenal, this whole mess has truly left a bitter taste that will be hard to wash away.
Kristin Stilton is a Hidden Springs resident.