ACHD wants to be 'truth police' on Mayor Bieter's comments

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Ada County Highway District says Mayor Dave Bieter was way off on some of the numbers he quoted during his State of City address Wednesday.

During the speech the mayor mentioned a restaurant that was going to start up, but the deal died when the owner found out what he would have to pay.

"The quote came back at $125,000, it killed the deal," said Mayor Bieter during his speech. "Especially because no work was going to go on on the site or anywhere near the building."

The mayor went on to say he has heard similar stories from other people, but never mentioned the specific place or owner of the business.

Impact fees are charged for road projects and maintenance so it doesn't all fall on taxpayers.

"The impact fee is a fee that is based on what the traffic generation of that land use in that structure will be on the road system," said Craig Quintana, ACHD spokesperson.

Quintana said they have no record of an application being put in for a project. He claims a member of the mayor's staff asked about a property on Warm Springs Avenue that a businessman was interested in.

Even if they wanted to build a restaurant ACHD says the fee would have only been around $54,000.

The Mayor Bieter's office responded by saying he never specified the location of the development. His office went on to say they believe the impact fees are too high on already developed areas. Considering no transportation spending is being used to accommodate any new development.

ACHD said their fees are market tested and changed as needed. They also note it's the same in downtown Boise as it is in Meridian.

ACHD also claims the mayor's comments on a changing of the districts fee structure is wrong. Quintana said they are reviewing it, but have no immediate plans to change it. They say the reason they are looking into it questions from the major's office.