Urban Renewal Agency members discuss prospective projects

LEWISTON, ID - Clear lines are drawn, as the fate of three project areas dominated the conversation at a meeting of the Urban Renewal Agency.

The north Lewiston water enhancements, Nez Perce Drive infrastructure extension, and the improvement of downtown parking are three projects the URA has overseen and directed tax dollars to for more than eight years.

The agency is now looking into new projects to spend the revenue on, despite the county government's desire to close out projects one and two and re-direct revenues back to the city and county's tax rolls, where the money initially came from.

"If the City Council goes to the public and says, 'not only are we going to raise your taxes 3%, but we're going to look at foregone taxes too.' said URA member Doug Havens. "The public Is going to say, 'well you left $480,000 on the table.' Those kind of things have repercussions."

"I disagree that it's as black and white as you stated," said URA member Butch Alford. "I think we need a little broader view, I don't think it's automatic to shut down every area immediately at a given time."

If the base was to be reset, the URA would be limited to capital improvements they could make. New roads, an extension to Nez Perce Terrace, the beautification of downtown Lewiston, and the purchase of Twin City Foods are all prospective projects that were discussed at the meeting.

Nez Perce County Commissioner and URA member Doug Havens made a motion to close areas one and two, however it didn't pass