Friday, March 20, 2009

Boise to consider streetcar proposal by end of summer

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2009 at 11:23 AM

Boise City and CCDC,  the city's redevelopment agency, are circulating a timeline and letter to downtown property owners and other stakeholders updating them on plans for a streetcar line.

According to CCDC ED Phil Kushlan, who just stopped by the BW offices, the Boise City Council could vote on a streetcar plan, including a new downtown taxing district, as early as the end of this summer.

A March 9 letter to "downtown stakeholders" indicates that a detailed feasibility study is underway and will be shared with the public upon completion. If the City Council approves the plan--and the new taxing district--the cars could be ordered as soon as this winter, with construction underway through summer 2011.

The timeline matches calls by Mayor Dave Bieter for a streetcar clanging in Boise by 2011.

Some 1,200 downtown properties could be included in the streetcar district, meaning property owners along the route (down Main and up Idaho, between 16th and Broadway) would foot the bill for its construction. Kushlan said they are still calculating the costs and trying to make them as fair as possible. Properties that front the rail line would contribute more than outlying blocks.

The city is not seeking and federal or, by golly, state money for this first phase of development.

Along with Kushlan at BW HQ this morning was Cece Gassner, the city's economic development adviser, Clay Carley, who owns several blocks along the route and Joanne Taylor, PR director at Drake Cooper, who is advising CCDC on how to spin the streetcar plan.


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