Urban renewal agency change afoot in Caldwell

The city is considering following the leads of other Valley locales.

cmsewell@idahostatesman.comMay 8, 2014 

Caldwell is weighing whether to replace members of the Caldwell East Urban Renewal Agency Board with City Council members, a move taken by Eagle in 2012 and Nampa earlier this year.

Unlike in Eagle and Nampa, which made the moves to increase oversight and gain control of spending and debt, Caldwell's move is part of a long-term plan.

"This is not a hostile takeover. This is a natural progression," said Caldwell Mayor Garret Nancolas.

Under conditions of the 2005 amendment to the urban renewal agency plan, the agency on Dec. 31 will cease projects that require incurring debt.

"They can no longer issue bonds. They can no longer do projects that require long-term financing," Nancolas said.

The new board would administer the agency, which has about $23 million in debt. Any new projects would be "pay as you go," Nancolas said.

"It is very appropriate to have those decisions in the hands of elected officials," he said.

The City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposal May 19. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Caldwell Police Department meeting room, 110 S. 5th Ave.

Nancolas said the proposal calls for terminating the urban renewal board of commissioners (ElJay Waite, Theresa Hardin, Rob Hopper, Scott Syme, Kathy Alder and Leona Fouts) and then appointing council members Terrence Biggers, Jim Blacker, Dennis Callsen, Rob Hopper, Mike Pollard and Shannon Ozuna. Nancolas would continue to serve as an ex-officio member.

An advantage to the city assuming control of the agency would be access and accountability, Nancolas said.

"The council members are elected, so that way the public has direct access to their elected officials," he said.

Cynthia Sewell: 377-6428, Twitter: @CynthiaSewell

Idaho Statesman is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service