Facing lease payments more costly than bond payments, Eagle voters still rejected a 15-year bond to purchase City Hall for $1.9 million.
The measure fell fewer than 30 votes shy of the two-thirds super-majority needed for approval. With all precincts counted, 6,512 ballots 66.4 percent included votes in favor of the bond, with 3,295 opposed.
Voters also rejected bond measures for a new City Hall in 1997, 2003 and 2004, so city leaders got creative. In 2006, they entered an agreement with Boise developer Hawkins Smith. The company agreed to build and own a 13,000-square-foot building on city-owned property near the library; the city agreed to pay Hawkins Smith a year-to-year lease of $240,592 to occupy the building.
If the city decided it wanted to purchase the building under that 2006 agreement, Hawkins Smith's asking price was $2.4 million.
When the recession caused city revenues to plummet, Eagle was able to renegotiate for a smaller lease rate of $142,405 annually. That deal expires Oct. 1, 2013, when the lease payment goes back to $240,592.
Recently, the owner agreed to sell the building to the city for $1.9 million, a 21 percent reduction from the 2006 price.
A task force crunched the numbers and decided that Eagle can take on up to a $1.5 million, 15-year bond without increasing property taxes, and even save the city money annually because the annual bond payment would be less than the annual lease payment.
The city had earmarked at least $603,000 toward purchasing City Hall.
In Garden City, voters split the two Greenbelt initiatives.
One of two measures presented by Citizens for an Open Greenbelt, a group that sought to overturn the city's policy banning bike riding on a stretch of the Boise River Greenbelt, met with voter approval.
Initiative B, which will require voter approval for the city to restrict non-motorized traffic on the Greenbelt, passed by a scant 231 votes.
Initiative A, which would have repealed a city ordinance that bans bike riding on a section of Greenbelt that is now dedicated to a non-paved nature path, failed by a larger margin 656 votes.