Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kuna City Hall questions need to be answered

In the next few weeks leading up to the Nov. 2 election on a $5 million bond for a new Kuna City Hall, adjacent 11 acres of land and indoor pool, city officials will have their work cut out for them.
The average Kuna taxpayer is expected to pay an extra $70 per year in city taxes, if the bond receives a two-thirds supermajority on Nov. 2.
Up until then, though, the city has a lot of questions that will need to be answered in order to persuade taxpayers that this is the right thing to do at this time.
The city of Kuna should be commended for working diligently on its plans for a new city hall. I agree the city should own its own city hall, and I tend to agree that the current building doesn’t fit the bill for the future of the city. I also agree that now is probably a good time to look for something to buy.
However, one of the things I think the city needs to answer over the course of the next couple of months is whether $1.08 million for an 8,000-square-foot building is a good deal. Since the city did not analyze any other properties in terms of asking price, I would like to see some sort of cost-comparison analysis before I cast my vote on Nov. 2.
Let us also commend the city for their bold plans for 11 acres of parkland, 650 feet of Indian Creek greenbelt and an indoor pool. This is great stuff — plans that I think most residents could get behind, even for a price.
Increased parks and recreation and a community pool have most certainly been common refrains from the public, and I am overjoyed that the city is finally — finally — coming up with a way to provide it. But why did it take this flap over city hall to finally get it done? And why won’t the city consider buying just the 11 acres of land and building a pool at a lower cost while at the same time saving money at the current city hall? In the future, the city could even build a new city hall on the 11 acres of land, once they’ve saved up enough money to do so. I’ve heard a lot of people voice a desire for a community pool, but I honestly haven’t heard anyone say they want a new city hall.
Part of the answer, I think, lies in City Council member Doug Hoiland’s answer to me during a break at last week’s council meeting.

Find out what he said on Page 4 of this week's Kuna Melba News.

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