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BUILDING: Rip-off to the taxpayers

| April 14, 2010 10:00 PM

The new 17,000 sq. ft. building is set to break ground this month for $4,000,000 of your tax dollars (including land), in Post Falls.

The department currently occupies 16,000 of a 26,000 sq. ft. building on Ironwood Drive in Coeur d’Alene. That entire building was offered to the state in late 2008 for $4M. The state never counter offered. More recently it was offered for $3.5M.

The recent newspaper articles reported that the current building only had 95 parking spots, and did not have visibility from the interstate as principal reasons for leaving. In reality the CDA building has 180 parking spaces, is directly adjacent to the interstate (I-90) and is sanctioned for a big sign (not just a flagpole). Taxpayers would save $500,000 in the purchase price, moving costs, new furniture, around $200,000 in additional leasing during construction, and the state would be able to lease the additional 10,000 sq. ft. in the current building (could generate over $150,000 per year for Idaho). The current owner of the Ironwood building has even offered to buy the Post Falls building site.

On top of that, the architect and builder of the project are from southern Idaho. Shouldn’t the Department of Labor create local jobs? Purchasing the current building would clearly be a win-win situation for the taxpayer and the state, yet the state continues to ignore this. This leaves us with the question: Who is getting commissions on the new project?

T. VOLZ

Hayden

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