The push by BoDo developer Mark Rivers to sell the City of Boise on a new library continues apace. Now, Rivers wants to take city leaders to Salt Lake City, Utah next week, to tour that city's new library and inspire them.
"We stand at a threshold moment in the public dialogue about this initiative," Rivers wrote the council. "Will others in the community share this vision and lend their leadership, including our elected officials?"
City Council President Maryanne Jordan said councilors would have to (a) pay their own way and (b) find the time to go, she said.
The "public dialogue" Rivers mentions has been primarily led by Rivers. Mayor Dave Bieter has said that he'd like to proceed with a central library and branches, possibly paid for with the sale of some city land.
But Rivers wants that land too, to finance the library. His new proposal, laid out before a dazzled Boise Public Library Board earlier this month, goes something like this: the city gives Rivers almost $15 million in public property, as well as the $4 million existing library site. Then, he said, he'd like to raise another $5.5 million from private donations. That leaves $6 million in an initial price tag for the city, he said.
"It's probably not legal, the way he's proposed stucturing it," said City Councilor David Eberle. But, he added, "I'm thrilled that he hasn't walked away from it, yet."