What the watchdogs sniffed out this week

Lindsay Atkinson Articles

Every week, as I read through the news, attend county and city meetings, and hear comments from residents, I learn more about the complicated pool of local-government authority.

Below are recent noteworthy actions by local governments across the state.

Boise. On October 28, a $9,000 street mural was removed from the intersection of Eighth and Fulton Streets in Boise. The mural was slated to last about a year but, after just two months, the paint on the street was fading. The art project was a collaboration between the city, the Capital City Development Corporation, and the Ada County Highway District. Karl LeClair, the Public Art Manager at the Boise City Department of Arts and History, stated, “While the outcome is extremely disappointing for all, we plan to build upon this experience and hope to explore the feasibility of intersection murals like this one in the future.”

Based on the contract between the artist Jason Keeble and the city of Boise, all mural removal costs will be covered by Keeble, with no additional expense to taxpayers.

Idaho Falls Auditorium District. This week, the Idaho Falls Auditorium District began construction of a road that will lead to the future site of the Idaho Falls Events Center. Since 2011, the auditorium district has been raising funds for the center via hotel taxes. The center is expected to cost $60 million and, once constructed, will seat 4,000 to 5,500 people. Before event center construction begins, the auditorium district plans to hold a private fundraiser for the naming rights of the building as well as components within it, such as basketball hoops and ice machines.

Custer County. On the November ballot, Custer County voters will again see a bond measure for the construction of a new jail. This same bond measure appeared on the ballot both this past May and last November. The current bond measure asks for $4.5 million but, when you include interest, the sum totals $6.5 million. That bond amount would add $24 to $48 to property taxes for residents per $100,000 of taxable property, depending on exemptions.

What is your local government doing that should be highlighted? Please comment below and let us know. Thank you!