Around Idaho: Economic Activity in March 2018

Information provided in this article is from professional sources, news releases, weekly and daily newspapers, television and other media.

Northern Idaho
North Central Idaho
Southwestern Idaho
South Central Idaho
Southeastern
Eastern Idaho

NORTHERN IDAHO – Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai & Shoshone counties

Kootenai County

  • Innovative Electrical Solutions LLC – an electrical contractor – has leased a new complex in Hayden where it plans to consolidate its operations, which are currently distributed across multiple office and warehousing spaces in Kootenai County. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
  • Kootenai County Commissioners voted 2-1 to change the county building permit system to allow residential builders to opt-out of acquiring permits. The opt-out provision will apply only to buildings in unincorporated areas. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Demolition has begun on the former Wild Waters waterpark. The park has been closed since 2010, but the demolition of the park and the leveling of the lot will finally allow the property to be placed on the market. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Prairie West Crossing developers formally unveiled their proposal for a technology park in north Post Falls. The Planning and Zoning Commission held a public hearing on the proposal, which includes multiple zoning and annexation actions on the part of the city. The technology park is designed to attract technology and aerospace manufacturers to Post Falls. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

Sam.Wolkenhauer@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451

NORTH CENTRAL IDAHO – Clearwater, Idaho, Latah, Lewis and Nez Perce counties

Clearwater County

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded a $3.24 million grant to Clearwater County to improve three bridges and replace five public crossings along the rail line from Jaype to Lewiston. It also will fund replacement of 46,000 railroad ties to rebuild 73 miles of rail. “Repair of this rail line will be important to Clearwater County as it will keep additional logging trucks off winding, narrow county roads while still enabling those who work in our timber industry to efficiently deliver harvested logs to mills in Lewiston,” said U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo in an announcement approving the grant. Source: Clearwater Tribune
  • National Public Radio’s All Things Considered featured the Bald Mountain Ski Area in February. “North America was once full of little ski clubs on small mountains run by volunteers and full of grinning kids and families. Today there are only a few of these left, including Bald Mountain in Idaho,” the piece began. “There are only about a dozen runs, and the vertical drop is a quarter as long as you might get at a resort.” Keeping the ski area open provides winter recreational opportunities for families in the area and helps bring some tourists. Source: Clearwater Tribune; National Public Radio
  • Voters approved Orofino School District’s two-year supplemental levy for $2.685 million in the March 13 election. It will pay for roof upgrades and creation of bus drop-off and car unloading zones at Orofino Elementary School. Source: Lewiston Tribune

Idaho and Lewis Counties

  • Advanced Welding and Steel in Grangeville is offering a nine-week training program for people wanting to become certified welders. The company – which makes building skeletons including beams, columns, stairs and handrails for hospitals and large industrial buildings throughout the Pacific Northwest – employs more than 60 people. It struggles to find experienced welders. All tools and classroom materials are provided for the course, which is free of charge. The class began March 19. Source: Idaho County Free Press
  • Voters approved Kamiah School District’s one-year supplemental levy of $500,000 March 13. Kamiah currently does not have a levy in place, and the district no longer has reserves. The loss of federal forest funding from the Secure Rural Schools Act is making the district more reliant on taxes. The school district possibly would have had to close its middle school if the levy had not been approved. To reduce costs, the district will move to a four-day school week in the next school year. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Highland School District voters approved a one-year supplemental levy that pays for all activities outside of the normal academic school day. It will provide 19 percent of the district’s budget. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Mountain View School District voters approved a one-year supplemental levy of $3 million. The levy makes up 23 percent of its budget offsetting the loss of federal forest funds with the sunset of Secure Rural Schools (SRS). The 2015-16 school year was the last year the school district receive SRS funds when it received $992,000. If the levy had not been approved, the district — serving Grangeville, Elk City and Kooskia — would have been forced to close buildings and cut classes that are not required for graduation. Source: Lewiston Tribune

Latah County

  • The University of Idaho is moving forward with its project to renovate the former Business Technology Incubator building for the growing Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho (WWAMI) Medical Education Program. This phase of a $4.21 million project, financed by the permanent building fund, will expand the 17,000-square-foot facility by 4,000 square feet. The project will go out to bid this spring and be completed in the spring of 2019. The State Board of Education authorized the move. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • The University of Idaho held the 51st annual Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in late February. It is Moscow’s largest tourism event, attracting thousands of elementary and high school students from the Pacific Northwest and jazz fans each February. This year, more schools participated, growing from 131 last year to 145 this year, and the number of students registered grew from 3,995 to 4,110. Ticket sales were slightly higher than the record levels in 2017. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • The Appaloosa Horse Club in Moscow is preparing to celebrate its 80th anniversary this year. Founded in 1938 in Oregon, the club moved to Moscow in 1947. Today, more than 635,000 Appaloosas living all over the world are registered in the club. The Appaloosa Museum and Heritage Center on West Pullman Road near the Washington border is one of Latah County’s major tourist attractions. Together, the club and museum employ nearly 30 people. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • In the Genesse School District, voters passed a one-year supplemental levy of $935,000 to pay for additional teachers and classroom aides, and cover building maintenance and overhead costs. The levy will provide 23 percent of the district’s budget. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Voters in the Potlatch School District approved a one-year supplemental levy for $1.75 million. It accounts for about 30 percent of the district’s budget. It will help cover salaries, benefits and utility costs. The district plans to purchase a new 48-passenger propane bus, replace 10 furnaces in the elementary school and add electronic door systems at the elementary and high school. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Two measures passed in the Kendrick School District March 13. A two-year supplemental levy for $810,000 a year will pay for nine-tenths of the district’s classified staff as well as for supplies, electricity and transportation. A five-year facilities levy for $50,000 annually will help maintain the district’s HVAC systems, replace windows and lower the ceilings at the high school. Source: Lewiston Tribune

Nez Perce and Asotin, Washington, Counties

  • Vista Outdoor’s ammunition manufacturing operations, which employ about 1,280 people in Lewiston, recently landed two contracts with law enforcement agencies. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security gave Vista a contract for as many as 120 million rounds of ammunition for up to five years. The French National Police awarded a long-term contract for Luger Gold Dot Duty ammunition, continuing a relationship with Vista that started nine years ago. The law enforcement purchases will help make up for the lower level of consumer demand for ammunition that began after the 2016 presidential election. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • In the career-technical education budget approved by the Idaho Legislature in March, Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston will receive $83,300 and one new position in its graphic communications program and $52,500 for its diesel technology/collision repair program. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Lewiston Independent School District’s five-year supplemental levy, estimated to bring in $12.4 million annually, passed with 81 percent of the vote. As one of three districts with a territorial charter dating to before Idaho was a state, the district may pass levies for five years, while most other districts run one- to two-year levies. The levy will provide a third of the district’s budget — funding 24 certified staff positions and 164 classified staff positions. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will provide $210,000 to the city of Lewiston to fund most of a water systems master plan. The city also will use a $45,000 grant from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and $24,000 from its own water fund to pay consulting firm Mountain Waterworks, based in Coeur d’Alene, to create the master plan. The corps’ contribution frees up funds the city can use to address critical needs at the water treatment plant on the Clearwater River that pulls in 90 percent of Lewiston’s drinking water. The system experienced several failures last year. The master plan will provide direction on how to deal with the city’s long-term water needs. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Patrons of the Culdesac School District approved a two-year supplemental levy of $250,000 per year. The money will go toward building maintenance, activities and technology upgrades. The supplemental levy is almost 15 percent of the school district’s budget. Source: Lewiston Tribune

Openings

  • The Killgore family — who operates an outfitter and guide company, a real estate firm and cattle ranch near White Bird — recently opened Killgore Motors on Highway 95. It offers repair of automobile, diesel, UTV, ATV, aircraft and boats. Source: Idaho County Free Press

Closing

  • Bi-Mart, a membership department store including a grocery store and pharmacy, permanently closed its 10-year-old store in downtown Clarkston March 7, putting 27 people out of work.

Kathryn.Tacke@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 799-5000 ext. 3984

SOUTHWESTERN IDAHO – Ada, Adams, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Valley & Washington counties

Ada County

  • Brighton Corp. broke ground in Meridian for the first set of 10 homes for the latest phase at its Paramount master planned community. The Cadence development will offer about 208 home designed specifically for the 55 and older population, like the neighboring Encore development. The homes will range in size from 1,545 to 2,160 square feet. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Boise was named the fastest-growing city in the United States in 2017, according to a list published by Forbes Magazine in March, rising from 11th ranked city in 2016. The reasons for the jump include population growth of 3.08 percent; employment growth of 3.58 percent; and home prices, which Forbes says indicates wealth, increased 11.58 percent. Boise did not top the categories of wages and economic growth with wages only increasing 5.7 percent (sixth in the nation), and gross metropolitan product only grew by 4 percent (eighth in the nation). Reasons for the growth are the tech exodus from cities with higher costs of living and movement of senior citizens to Idaho, according to the magazine. Seattle followed Boise at No. 2 on the list and Dallas was No. 3. Tacoma, Washington, the only other Northwest metro area listed, was No. 10. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Boise-based property management company Vacasa is moving all Boise-area employees to the second and third floors of the One Capital Center building downtown when the remodel is completed, estimated for June. Vacasa specializes in managing privately owned homes as vacation rentals. The growing company currently employs 115 workers. Source: BoiseDev
  • A tight housing market is prompting buyers from other metro areas to expand their home search to secondary markets like Boise, according to a new report by realtor.com. Boise, with its growing tech hub status and a median home price of $299,000, is drawing interest from homebuyers in areas such as Los Angeles, where the median home price is $706,000. Boise is one of America’s top 10 markets to watch, according to the report. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Residents in March started moving into The Fowler, a seven-story, 159-apartment building in the newly named LIV district in downtown Boise. The building has studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments. The apartments range in size from 480 square feet to 800 square feet, with rent starting at $1,100 a month, which includes several amenities. Businesses on the ground floor include a coffee shop and pizza restaurant. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • The 29-unit Afton condominiums in Boise are fully occupied. Phase 2 is now under construction. The five-story, 35-unit second building will offer 22 two-bedroom units, 11 one-bedroom and two three-bedroom condos. Reservations are now open but prices have not been released. The first phase was sold out before the June 2017 completion. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • For the first time in more than eight years, March Madness returned to Boise as it hosted the first two rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament. The Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the tournament had a $15 million impact on the city’s economy for the week, primarily in the lodging and food and beverage industries with upticks in retail trade and recreation. Source: Boise Weekly
  • St. Luke’s Health Systems now owns and partially occupies what was once the  Morrison-Knudsen Co. headquarters in Boise as of March 8. Eventually, the campus will house more than 1,500 employees as St. Luke’s moves in employees from at least 15 other buildings over the next six years. Currently three state agencies lease space – the Tax Commission, the Department of Fish and Game and the Department of Finance. Northwest Nazarene University and several other tenants also occupy space. They will be allowed to stay until their leases expire. The name of the new St. Luke’s campus has not been decided. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Guerdon Modular Buildings is constructing a new Marriott TownePlace Suites, room-by-room, at its plant off Federal Way. As each module is completed, it is shipped to Hawthorne, California, where the new hotel will be located. The 354 rooms Guerdon is building are ready-to-go with everything in place, from furniture and appliances down to the mini shampoo bottles and soaps on bathroom countertops. Source: BoiseDev
  • Voters in the West Ada district passed a two-year, $14 million-per-year supplemental levy and a $95 million bond. The bond will fund a new high school in Meridian and cover an expansion at Mountain View High School. The bond will also finance a new elementary school to be built in Meridian and improvements to Star and Mary McPherson Elementary schools. Source: Idaho Press Tribune

Adams County

  • Voters in the Meadows Valley School District authorized a new 10-year plant facilities levy of $141,340 per year to fund school building improvements. Proposed uses of the funding includes replacing sinks and toilets, updating showers in locker rooms, buying an industrial washer/dryer, removing asbestos, heating system maintenance and a library upgrade at the school building in New Meadows. Source: McCall Star-News

Canyon County

  • Canyon County has requested information for construction and financing of a new jail as a preliminary step to putting out a request for proposals. The county is running out of jail space and has discussed expanding the jail. A study done by the DLR Group estimates the county needs a new 1,044-bed jail for a projected cost of $170 million – $198 million. Four companies have submitted information packets – international investment and management firm Piper Jaffray; Hunt Development Group of El Paso, Texas; private prison management firm CoreCivic; and the Molasky Group, a real estate development firm based in Las Vegas. A meeting to open and discuss the information packets will be scheduled. Source: Idaho Press Tribune
  • Paul’s Catholic School in Nampa will expand its STEM classes for the 2018-19 school year. The school has partnered with Project Lead the Way, a nonprofit group that develops STEM curriculum for K-12. The curriculum engages the students in hands-on activities, projects and problems reflective of real-world scenarios and careers, introducing students to computer science, engineering and biomedical science principles. Implementation of the curriculum will begin with kindergarten through fifth grade during the first year followed by sixth through eighth grades the next year. The new approach will emphasize collaboration, creativity, engineering and computer science. Source: Idaho Press Tribune
  • Honeygold of Nampa is expanding its pollination and honey production location on Bennett Road. A 17,500-square-foot building is being built to store beehives in the winter. The expansion allows the company to provide needed storage space for bee colonies. Honeygold produces about 150,000 pounds of honey annually. Idaho honey producers yielded almost 3.3 million pounds of honey in 2016 according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Source: Idaho Press Tribune
  • Sage Valley Middle School in Caldwell received its Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Demonstration Validation. AVID is a college-readiness program the school has been working on for the past four years. The process has allowed the school to change several policies, including streamlining its teaching strategies across subjects. Since Sage Valley started the AVID program in 2015, the middle school’s average GPA has risen from 2.79 to 3.0. The school’s changes regarding AVID have helped students decide what colleges they want to attend and how to get into those colleges. There are only 160 sites with AVID Demonstration Validation in the U.S. Source: Idaho Press Tribune
  • Northwest Nazarene University signed an agreement with the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine to guarantee interview spots for NNU students. Idaho’s first medical school is slated to open in Meridian in August. The agreement will ensure that up to 10 NNU undergraduate students will have the opportunity to apply to the medical school, though it doesn’t guarantee admittance. The agreement will take effect for the upcoming year. The college has admitted 60 to 70 percent of the students interviewed for the 2018-19 school year. Source: Idaho Press Tribune
  • Voters in the Caldwell School District March 13 passed a measure to renew a $2.5 million supplemental level for two years. Similar bonds and levy issues failed, however, in the Middleton, Wilder and Parma districts. Source: Idaho Press Tribune

Payette County

  • Saint Alphonsus Medical Center-Ontario celebrated the opening of its 27-bed medical surgical unit March 16. The project included finishing a pre-exiting shelled space, remodeling the existing 15-bed medical/surgical unit and former operating room area. Still under construction is a new critical care unit with the current one to be used for rehabilitation. The project cost, which is the final phase of the medical center’s master plan, was about $11 million. It modernized patient rooms, providing private and adequately sized bathrooms. The new rehabilitation area will allow patients to practice such activities as getting in and out of bathtubs and walking up and down stairs. Source: The Argus Observer

Valley County 

  • Local residents propose to open a charter school in McCall by the beginning of the 2019-20 school year. McCall Community School initially would enroll students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It would offer a place-based curriculum, which connects classrooms to communities to increase student engagement, academic outcomes and community impact. Students focus on projects, competency-based assessments and personalized literacy, math and technology lessons. Funding and a location for the school are the first challenges for the group. Source: McCall Star-News
  • The Idaho Legislature passed a joint memorial in late February asking the federal government to take steps necessary to approve Midas Gold’s Stibnite Gold Project. Midas Gold currently is working with the U.S. Forest Service and other federal, state and local agencies to redevelop a portion of the historic Stibnite Mining District, and reclaim and restore areas that have been impacted by legacy mining operations. The project would produce gold, silver and antimony — a metal used to retard flames and strengthen metals. The memorial’s lead sponsor, Rep. Terry Gestrin of Donnelly, called the Stibnite Gold Project a $1 billion investment in Idaho, bringing hundreds of well-paying jobs to rural communities. The Forest Service started the permitting process for the proposed open-pit mining project from Midas Gold last year. Source: Midas Gold news release
  • The McCall City Council put a measure on the May 15 ballot to extend its 3 percent tax on lodging for 10 years. The 3 percent tax, first approved by voters in 2005 and renewed in 2013, is expected to raise more than $450,000 this year. It is levied on motel rooms, campgrounds and short-term rentals of homes and condos. It has been used to promote tourism, support Treasure Valley Transit and care for city parks. In the future, it also could be used for affordable housing. The city also levies separate local-option taxes — 1 percent on items eligible for the state sales tax and an additional 3 percent on lodging — to raise money for rebuilding city streets, which is not on the ballot this year. Source: McCall Star-News

Washington County

  • Attorneys Steve and Kiley Stuchlik opened their law firm, Stuchlik Law, PLLC, in Weiser. They will be practicing law at Charles Kroll’s former office on East Liberty St. Kroll is retiring after more than 40 years providing legal services in the Weiser area. The Stuchlik Law firm will focus on civil matters such as estate planning and probate; real property, natural resources and the environment; agriculture and equine law and local government law. The firm intends to serve residents across the region. Source: Weiser Signal American

 Openings

  • Disc-Cover Records opened in March in Nampa on 12th Ave South. The store is open on Saturday and Sunday with approximately 11,000 records available. The cost for most of the records and CDs are $4 to $5.
  • Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grill opened its fourth location in Boise in early March at Chinden Boulevard and Linder Road.
  • CrossFit Fireside gym opened in the former Canyon County Co-Op in Nampa in mid-February.
  • Frugal’s, part of a fast-food chain, opened in March in Nampa. It bills itself as somewhere between a McDonald’s burger and Five Guys. It is drive-through service only. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Good Burger, a locally owned fast-food restaurant, opened at Boise Towne Square in the former McDonald’s.
  • Paddles Up Poke opened a second location in March in Eagle. The restaurant serves rice bowls with raw fish, customized with a variety of sauces and toppings.
  • Aladdin’s Egyptian Cuisine is reopening after 10 years at Boise Towne Square. The eastern Mediterranean concept will be tailored to mall-shopper surroundings.
  • Txikiteo opened in the Watercooler Building in Boise. The menu includes Basque-inspired tapas, coffee and wine.
  • Donut Daze opened in downtown Boise in March. The restaurant offers fried chicken and donuts from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. five days a week and closes at midnight on Sundays and Mondays. It also serves coffee, beer and wine. Source: Country 104.3
  • Caffeina Roasting Company is slated to open soon on West State Street in Boise. Besides coffee, it will serve kombucha, cold-brew coffee, beer, wine and “small bite” food. Customers will be able to see the roasting process as part of the ambiance. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • The Lemon Tree Co., a new lunch restaurant in the former Bleubird in downtown Boise, serves sandwiches from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and can be reserved at other times for special events. The shop offers online ordering for takeout and delivery service via Uber Eats. Gluten-free and vegan options are available. Source: Idaho Statesman

Closings

  • Trip Taylor Bookseller in downtown Boise closed at the end of March due to rising rents, changing tastes, increasing property values and burgeoning development.
  • Lux Fashion Lounge in downtown Boise will close in early April after 14 years in business. The store sold secondhand and new clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories.
  • Tai Pan Trading Post located on Milwaukee Street in Boise is closing. The store sold Asian-themed home goods.

Janell.Hyer@labor.idaho.gov, senior economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 332-3570 ext. 2330

SOUTH CENTRAL IDAHO – Blaine, Camas, Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka and Twin Falls counties

Region

Voters approved $11.9 million in necessary annual subsidies to education budgets throughout the region March 13.

Passed, required 60 percent:

  • Twin Falls School District10-year, $4.75 million annual plant facilities levy with 71 percent in favor.
  • Jerome School District – 10-year plant facilities levy, $650,000 annually for the first five years and $700,000 annually for the next five years with 77 percent in favor.

Passed, required simple majority

  • Blaine County School District – Two-year, $2.99 million annual supplemental levy with 62 percent in favor.
  • Buhl School District – Two-year, $350,000 annual supplemental levy with 64 percent in favor.
  • Cassia County School District – Two-year, $1.595 million annual supplemental levy with 64 percent in favor.
  • Castleford School District – Two-year, $350,000 annual supplemental levy with 86 percent in favor
  • Kimberly School District – Two-year, $250,000 annual supplemental levy with 74 percent in favor.
  • Richfield School District – Two-year, $275,000 annual supplemental levy with 81 percent in favor.
  • Shoshone School District – Two-year, $300,000 annual supplemental levy with 72 percent in favor (283 for v. 112 against).
  • Valley School District (Hazelton) – Two-year, $300,000 annual supplemental levy with 76 percent in favor.

Failed, required super-majority of 66.6 percent

  • Shoshone School District – $6 million bond failed with 58 percent in favor. This is the third time the bond intended for facility upgrades has not reached its super-majority level. Source: Times-News

Irrigation Update

  • The Magic Valley Reservoir and Murtaugh Lake are releasing water in anticipation of the snowpack melt and upcoming irrigation needs. Source: KMVT News

Blaine County

  • Sun Valley hosted hundreds of skiers and even more guests at the 2018 Toyota U.S. Alpine Championship and the 2018 Junior U.S. Alpine Championship on the Warm Springs side of Baldy in March. An estimated 400 volunteers assisted with these major events. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
  • Construction will start on a $16 million animal shelter in Hailey. It was the first ‘no kill’ shelter in Idaho in 1999. An estimated 600 dogs are adopted from the shelter annually – 30 percent by people from outside the area. The new 20-acre campus and facility will feature an adoption center, cat colonies, dog housing, a spay and neuter clinic, training area, classroom, a “cat café” and dog splash park. An estimated 1,000 students visit the shelter to study humane education. Currently, $14 million has been raised with the fundraising campaign expected to raise the remaining $2 million. The original shelter will continue to be used for storage and as a crematorium. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
  • The city of Sun Valley sold $17.5 million worth of bonds to fund road and path development and repair. The bonds were approved at the ballot box last fall and will add an assessment to each property tax bill of about $277 per $500,000 valuation over 20 years. Source: Idaho Mountain Express

Minidoka County

  • The Rupert Police Department has moved into the former administrative offices of the Minidoka School District. The costs have been minimal, and the larger facility will allow for regional trainings and more secure space. The building has been empty since 2012 when the school’s administrative offices moved into the former Memorial Elementary School. Source: Times-News

Twin Falls County

  • The College of Southern Idaho’s Office on Aging no longer has sufficient funding for the Senior Corps Foster Grandparent, Senior Companion and the Retired & Senior Volunteer programs. The aging of the baby boomers has put stress on programs that cater to senior citizens. Source: Times-News
  • Woodbury Corp., the Utah-based leasing and management group released plans to expand its Magic Valley Cinema 13 complex, adding an IMAX cinema option at the Magic Valley Mall. Source: Times-News
  • The Idaho legislature Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee approved a 1.1 percent budget increase for the College of Southern Idaho. CSI President Jeff Fox described the college’s funding for next year as a “bare bones budget,” but said he’s not complaining and is optimistic. “We’ll have to figure out how to do more with less,” he said. Source: Times News
  • Buhl Fire Department donated an engine that had been sitting idle to the Castleford Fire Department. Source: KMVT News

Openings

  • Hotel Ketchum hosted a ribbon cutting for its newly remodeled hotel owned by HayMax Capital of Colorado. The family-owned investment firm owns other boutique hotels such as the Tamarack Lodge in Ketchum along with the Hotel Aspen and the Molly Gibson Lodge, both in Aspen.
  • Habit Burger Grill and Sports Clip opened at Canyon Rim West in Twin Falls.
  • Cap Ed Credit Union opened its first branch in Twin Falls hosting a ribbon cutting.

Jan.Roeser@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 735-2500 ext. 3639

SOUTHEASTERN IDAHO – Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida & Power counties

Region

Many southeastern Idaho school districts will receive additional funding thanks to voters who approved more than a dozen requests for levies as well as one bond. The results follow:

  • Snake River School District 52 will receive a school plant facilities reserve fund levy of $750,000 each year for 10 years.
  • Aberdeen School District 58 will receive a supplemental levy of $675,000 each year for two years.
  • Firth School District 59 will receive a supplemental levy of $300,000 each year for two years.
  • Shelley Joint School District 60 will receive a supplemental levy of $575,000 each year for two years.
  • Marsh Valley School District 21 will receive a school plant facilities reserve fund levy of $900,000 each year for 10 years.
  • Grace School District 148 will receive a $150,000 school plant facilities reserve fund levy and a $300,000 supplemental levy. Both levies will be in place for one year.
  • Soda Springs Joint School District 150 will receive a supplemental levy of $728,000 for one year.
  • North Gem School District 149 will receive a supplemental levy of $300,000 each year for two years.
  • Bear Lake School District 33 will receive a school plant facilities reserve fund levy of $400,000 each year for 10 years.
  • Oneida School District 35 will receive a plant facilities levy of $120,000 each year for 10 years and a supplemental levy of $290,000 each year for two years.
  • West Side School District 202 will receive a supplemental levy of $90,000 for one year.

Source: Idaho State Journal

Bannock County

  • The Idaho Transportation Board has approved additional funding to start construction on the Northgate Interchange. The additional $4.6 million toward the project brings the total cost of constructing the interchange to $12.5 million. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • High school and middle school students from across southern Idaho and parts of Wyoming packed Holt Arena for the largest college recruiting event in the state. Idaho State University’s College of Technology hosted the 17th annual Tech Expo with 3,300 students in attendance — nearly four times the number of students as the next biggest college recruiting expo in Idaho. Source: Idaho State Journal

Bingham County

  • Both the Idaho Senate and House of Representatives have passed Concurrent Resolution 140, authorizing the financing of a new skilled nursing facility at the State Hospital South in Blackfoot. The estimated cost of demolishing the current facility and building its replacement is $35 million. Source: Morning News
  • The city of Blackfoot recently was awarded $612,485 from the Idaho Local Highway Technical Assistance Council (LHTAC). The grants are for road and safety improvements. There is no matching funds requirement for the city to receive these grants. Source: Morning News
  • The city of Firth received a $250,000 grant from Local Highway Technical Assistance Council and the Idaho Transportation Department. The grant will be used to put in a HAWK (High Intensity Activated Crosswalk) system across Highway 91. Source: Morning News

Caribou County

  • The Soda Springs mayor and city council gave support for an air medical helicopter to be located full time in the community, based at Caribou Memorial Hospital. The service will bring 14 new jobs and an additional service to the community. Source: Caribou County Sun

 Openings

  • The Wildhorse Coffee Shop and Grub, Blackfoot.
  • One Stop Auto Sales, Blackfoot.
  • Little Shop on Main, Grace.

Esther.Eke@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 236-6710 ext. 4331

EASTERN IDAHO – Bonneville, Butte, Clark, Custer, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhi, Madison & Teton counties

Bonneville County

  • Idaho Falls officials affirmed their commitment to carbon-free affordable energy by passing a resolution to support the operation of the Columbia Generating Station, a nuclear power plant operated by Energy Northwest in Washington state. Idaho Falls gets about 7 percent of its energy from the power plant, and affirmed that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said the power station could continue providing safe nuclear power through 2043. Almost 90 percent of Idaho Falls’ power is from low-cost hydropower purchased from the Bonneville Power Administration and has an almost completely green power portfolio. Source: Post Register
  • The Museum of Idaho received a $905,000 gift from the Carr Foundation for the museum’s expansion. The museum ran into trouble when there were complications excavating the planned basement storage facility. This storage facility is vital for the expansion because it allows space for traveling exhibits, a museum news release said. Despite the changes made during the design phase the museum remains on track to begin construction in June and complete the expansion in mid-2019. Source: Post Register
  • Goodwill Industries has filed with the city of Idaho Falls building department to remodel the former Hastings store in the Albertson’s shopping center. Source: Bizmojo

Idaho Falls Construction Updates

  • The Broadway project underground parking garage had some final work completed in March.
  • The strip mall at Hitt Road and 25th Street has four new tenants – The Little Gym, Bee Happy Pediatrics, Idaho Central Credit Union and Sushi Time. All are still under construction, but slated to open within the next few months.
  • The medical industry is booming in Idaho Falls. All under construction now in the Idaho Falls area are Just 4 Kids Urgent Care, Cardio Renal Center, Speech and Language Center and Adventure Braces. All are slated to open in mid-summer.

Fremont County

  • Island Park Hospitality hopes to build a 115-room Marriott SpringHill Suites Hotel at the current Mack’s Inn site. The company reported on its website the facility will open spring of 2019. Island Park Hospitality official Kirk Barker says plans call to tear down various buildings and add commercial buildings and a boathouse. A restaurant is also planned for the new hotel, he said. Source: Rexburg Standard Journal

Madison County

  • The first phase of a development that has been in the works for the past decade recently received approval for its final plat by the Madison County Commissioners. The Preserve at Henry’s Fork is a new, 152-lot development coming to the Hibbard area. The property, near 3000 West and 3000 North, was purchased 10 years ago by Teton Land and Development Group, LLC, based in Jackson, Wyoming. Phase one consists of 67 lots. Source: Rexburg Standard Journal

Openings

  • Deseret Industries has relocated its Idaho Falls store to Ammon and opened in March. The chain of thrift stores provides vocational training.
  • Tangled in Tulle, Idaho Falls.

Hope.Morrow@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 525-7268 ext. 4340

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