Around Idaho: December Economic Activity

Information provided in this article has been gathered from various sources throughout the state, including 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

Benewah County

  • The Coeur d’Alene tribe plans to pursue a claim to water rights in Benewah and Kootenai counties. This means that the tribe will move forward with court proceedings to establish that it has exclusive rights to use Lake Coeur d’Alene within tribal reservation boundaries. Source: St. Maries Gazette Record

Bonner County

  • Sandpoint and the Kootenai-Ponderay Sewer District are conducting a wastewater treatment study in response to tightened permitting rules from the Environmental Protection Agency. The study will assess what changes, if any, need to be made before the EPA will renew a permit allowing the discharge of wastewater into local waterways. Source: Bonner County Daily Bee

Kootenai County

  • The City of Hayden is trying to resolve a lawsuit over the way it assesses sewer capitalization fees. The lawsuit alleges that fees are currently being assessed based on the costs of a project to expand the city’s sewage treatment facility. Usage fees are very important to Hayden and fund almost 80 percent of its budget. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • The City of Post Falls will add staff to meet skyrocketing demand for building permits. The city furloughed much of its staff when the construction industry floundered in the recession, but 2015 building permits were almost 50 percent above 2014 levels, leaving the city struggling to cope with the administrative burden. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

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

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

Region

  • The Clearwater Economic Development Association, the economic planning organization for north central Idaho, received a 2015 Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations for a project addressing the skill needs of the metal manufacturer supercluster. Research by the University of Idaho and CEDA determined the skills needed for the most in-demand occupations. The research will be used to improve regional workforce training programs. The university applied for National Science Foundation funding to establish a high school training program. CEDA solicited commitment from 16 school districts and 20 manufacturers to participate in the program. Source: Window on the Clearwater

Nez Perce Tribe

  • The Nez Perce Tribe’s Nimiipuu Health Center in Lapwai recently was awarded $482,178 to provide distance learning and telemedicine services to educators, medical professionals, students and residents of the Nez Perce Reservation. The project is part of a $23.4 million investment through USDA Rural Development. Source: Clearwater Progress

Latah County

  • The Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport passed its annual record for plane travel in November with one of the busiest travel months still ahead. From January to December, the airport hosted 44,533 commercial boardings, 7 percent ahead of the record of 41,525 for the year 2014. Both Delta Airlines and Alaska Airlines added flights this year. Alaska also invested in new equipment that allows its planes to operate better in poor-visibility conditions. In November alone, the new equipment saved 14 flights from cancellation due to fog. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • The Idaho State Board of Education approved the University of Idaho’s plan for a $5 million renovation of the Wallace Complex, which houses 1,000 students. Work includes asbestos abatement, removal of unused pipes, installation of more efficient lighting, new carpets, new sinks and counter tops. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • Camas Prairie Winery, founded in 1983, is moving from downtown Moscow to Bovill. There wasn’t enough walk-in traffic to keep the tasting room open. A shortage of downtown parking also caused problems. The new location provides room to grow and has potential as a tourist destination with the growing appreciation for the region’s viticulture industry. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • 2015 brought fast growth at Alturas Analytics Inc. in Moscow. Gross sales for the technology transfer company were nearly twice as high as in 2013. A year ago, the company employed 20 people, now it employs 30. Alturas, which uses liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to test for drugs and other metabolites in biological samples, plans to double its size by 2020. The company needs additional lab space, which has become available. Populi, a college management software developer, leased office space within the Alturas building until it outgrew the location this fall. Now those rooms are being turned into additional lab space. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • Inland Northwest Partners, made up of economic development organizations in northern Idaho and eastern Washington, named Gene Merrell of the University of Idaho and the Palouse Knowledge Corridor winners of the 2015 Hometown Awards. Merrell, an associate vice president for economic development and chief technology transfer officer at the University of Idaho, received the Hall of Fame Award for his contributions to the local economies of the region. He works with researchers to help them turn good ideas into profitable businesses that create jobs. Established in 2007, the PKC works with both Washington State University and the University of Idaho, as well as the private sector, economic development agencies and city and council governments to unify economic development efforts and overcome shared challenges. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News

Nez Perce and Asotin, Washington, counties

  • Clearwater Paper began a $160 million upgrade of its Lewiston paper mill in November. Nearly 50 contractors are working on the 72-square-foot, 8-foot-thick slab for a 110-foot-tall tank, which will be able to hold 1,000 tons of high-density pulp. Work on the tank will begin in January. The project will include a new 230-foot-tall chip digester that will replace 12 existing pulp digesters. While hundreds of people will be employed by the building project, Clearwater Paper doesn’t expect to increase employment at the mill after the project ends. The work, is expected to make the operation more viable in the long run, keeping the current 1,370 jobs in the community. Source: Lewiston Tribune

Opening

  • Tyler and Sierra Nash opened White Pine Gear Exchange and Fly Shop in downtown Moscow. It sells used outdoor clothing and equipment along with new fly fishing gear. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News

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

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

Boise Metro Area

  • Albertsons — now the second largest grocery store chain in the U.S. — has been cleared by the Federal Trade Commission to acquire 30 stores owned by Haggen Food Grocery Stores. These stores were previously owned by Albertsons, Safeway or Vons and were sold to Haggen earlier this year. The FTC required these stores and 116 others to be sold to Haggen as part of the Albertson-Safeway merger to avoid anti-trust violations. Albertsons will close on the sale in the coming weeks and will reopen the stores under the Albertsons banner within the next year. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Jackson’s Food Stores, headquartered in Meridian, has acquired Premium Oil Co. in Utah, adding 15 stores to its organization. To accommodate this acquisition and another in 2014, Jackson’s is expanding its Meridian headquarters by 50 percent to 34,000 square feet. The expansion is expected to be completed by Jan. 23. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Westside Pizza, a pizza franchise restaurant that has more than 25 stores in three Western states, has moved its headquarters from Auburn, Washington, to the Treasure Valley. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • The first residents have moved in the High Point on Overland Apartments in Boise. Construction of the 11-building, 190-unit complex is expected to be completed in June 2016. The tallest buildings are three stories high. Nine of the development’s 14 acres will be the High Point on Overland Apartments. The other five acres will be an assisted living home. Construction for that project will start this summer. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Syringa Valley, a 601-acre, 2,000 home residential development, has been proposed in Southwest Boise, near Lake Hazel, Cole and Orchard streets. The development would include a high school, elementary school, a city park and two commercial areas. The first phase of the project — 453 homes on 101 acres — will likely break ground next year. The developer is Michael Coughlin, a foot and ankle surgeon at Saint Alphonsus. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Oppenheimer Companies has taken over the management of the 8th Street Marketplace in downtown Boise’s BoDo district. Oppenheimer manages about 1.7 million square feet of retail and office space, all but 200,000 square feet in downtown Boise — including the Wells Fargo Center and Cap One Plaza — and the University of Idaho Water Center. Jeremy Malone, vice president at Oppenheimer, said no noticeable changes are anticipated. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Gardner Co. has proposed to develop a mixed-use entertainment and commercial project in downtown Caldwell on Ninth and 10th avenues between Main and Arthur streets. Caldwell Urban Renewal Agency requested proposals for redevelopment of the property, which includes the Trolley Square building and a building formerly occupied by Southwest District Health. The proposal includes a two-story, 11-screen Reel Theater. In October, the Urban Renewal Agency’s board agreed to purchase the properties and is expected to close on them this month. Source: Idaho Press-Tribune
  • Two new hotels are planned for Caldwell near the Franklin Road exit off Interstate 84. A Holiday Inn Express is expected to open in late 2016 at Aviation Way and Muller Lane followed by a Hampton Inn next to it with plans to open in late 2017. Both hotels will be operated by BHG Hotels, which is based in Wilsonville, Oregon. Source: Idaho Press-Tribune
  • The Idaho Arts Charter School in Nampa will expand into a new location at the former Broadmoor Golf Club, which closed last April. The new building will be 37,000 square feet and will be designed and constructed by Mussell Construction, which built the current Idaho Arts Charter School. Source: Idaho Press-Tribune
  • The College of Western Idaho has committed to buying a 10.33-acre property on the corner of Whitewater and Main streets for its Ada County campus. The parcel, a former car dealership, will cost the college $8.74 million. CWI hopes to open the campus by 2019, when its current lease at the Black Eagle Campus on Overland Road expires. Currently, there is no timeline for construction. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • College of Western Idaho’s law enforcement program has received accreditation from the Idaho Peace Officers and Training Council. The program’s inaugural class had 18 students, who entered in August. Depending on the degree, the program takes anywhere from 11 to 24 months to complete. Source: Idaho Press-Tribune
  • Boise State University has released a new master plan that outlines its growth strategy for the next 30 years. The plan calls for adding 2 million square feet of new buildings to support academic departments, research programs and student services and would expand service from 22,000 students today to 35,000. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • LiveRez, the Eagle-based vacation rental software company, has partnered with Airbnb to help expand that company’s slice of the vacation rental pie. In 2014, Airbnb established a vacation rental division to compete with Expedia and other leaders in the vacation rental market. The division’s first move was to find a vacation rental software company that interacted with clients in desired vacation destinations. The partnership involves no monetary exchange. Instead, Airbnb receives access to LiveRez’ rental inventory, while LiveRez’s property managers are now listed on Airbnb. LiveRez currently has 40 employees in Eagle and 10 others who work remotely. The partnership won’t move the company or its employees out of Boise. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Boise-based Kount, a company that offers fraud detection services for businesses, says it has accepted an $80 million investment from CVC Capital Partners, one of the world’s largest private-equity firms. The investment will allow Kount to add to its 65-employee base and expand its global reach. In addition to providing fraud protection services to U.S. companies such as New Balance, Spotify and Boise-based Bodybuilding.com, Kount already sells its services to companies in the United Kingdom, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and Asia. Source: Idaho Statesman

Payette County

  • The state has approved the drilling of two more natural gas wells in the Willow Creek area outside of Payette. Alta Mesa, the company that submitted the proposal, now has a total of 19 wells permitted in the county. Six are producing, four are not yet drilled and the remaining nine have been closed down. Source: Payette Independent-Enterprise
  • Woodgrain Millwork will close its facility in Prineville, Oregon, affecting about 55 workers there. As a result of this closure, the Woodgrain plant in Fruitland will add 10-15 people in the coming months. The company will be moving its exterior door frame work to Fruitland. Source: Payette Independent-Enterprise

Elmore County

  • The Boulevard East Retail strip mall in Mountain Home was sold to William Norris, a Sun Valley real estate investor, for $3.54 million. The 18,060-square-foot strip center was built in 2006 and has two buildings that are home to eight tenants including GameStop, Maurice’s, Sally Beauty Supply, AT&T and Verizon stores, Tobacco Connection, Fast Bucks and Anytime Fitness. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • The Mountain Home County Commissioners have approved a large-scale subdivision outside of Mountain Home. Blue Sage Subdivision will occupy a 65-acre parcel along Frontage Road near Interstate-84. Source: Mountain Home News

Openings

      • Jack’s Urban Meeting Place — JUMP — a not-for-profit creative center and community gathering place in downtown Boise
      • Mor Furniture in the Karcher Mall in Nampa
      • Happy Teriyaki on Rivershore Lane in Eagle
      • Big Jud’s on Overland and Eagle roads in Meridian
      • LaBry Fine Arts at the 8th Street Marketplace in downtown Boise
      • Big K BBQ on Chinden Boulevard in Garden City
      • Westside Pizza on Overland Road in Boise

Closures

      • The Syringa House in Nampa, a mental health care provider that treated girls aged 9 to 18 who experienced childhood trauma
      • Global Travel in the Karcher Mall
      • Stinker Station on Glenwood Street in Boise

  Ethan.Mansfield@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
(208) 332-3570 ext. 3455

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

Blaine County

  • Zenergy Sports Rehabilitation Clinic acquired Sun Valley Physical Therapy. Zenergy Sports Rehabilitation Clinic will offer aqua therapy at a couple of saline pools and diagnostic lab testing.  Source: Times-News
  • Hailey is already experiencing the economic benefits of the new skating rink with higher lodging occupancy and restaurant usage during the first week of December — typically a slow time for tourism. The skating rink attracts hockey teams from schools statewide and from Idaho’s neighboring states such as Utah. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
  • The Balmoral apartment complex in Hailey was recently purchased by Dominium. It is the largest affordable-housing complex in the Wood River Valley with 192 units and high occupancy rates. The Minnesota-based Dominium management said they will spend close to a half a million dollars to update the complex in the spring. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
  • The Village Market grocery store opened its doors to the public in Ketchum but held off on a grand opening until 2016. The company also has similar grocery stores in Moab, Utah, and Edwards, Colorado. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
  • Hailey was ranked #14 in the “Best Small-town Main Streets” category by Top Value Reviews. Hailey met the criteria of 60,000 or less population but its inclusion on national registers, downtown attractions and historic sites also attracted attention. Other small towns ranking higher than Hailey included Deadwood, South Dakota; Mackinac Island, Michigan; Paso Rubles, California; and Virginia City, Nevada, to name a few. Source: Idaho Mountain Express

Cassia County

  • DOT Foods was recognized by the Idaho Governor’s Office of Energy Resources as a Leader in Industrial Energy Efficiency by decreasing its energy usage by 9 percent from 2013 to 2014.  LED lights replaced traditional lighting in key spots throughout the plant causing the dramatic reduction.  Source: Times-News
  • The Burley-Heyburn’s Industrial Park completed the replacement of its wastewater pipe across the Snake River, funded with a Idaho Department of Commerce Community Block Grant for half a million dollars. The existing pipeline had outlived its functionality and the new pipeline, which is almost 800 feet long and high-density polyethylene (HDPE), is expected to last 50 years.  Source: Times-News
  • Cassia County Joint School District realized the bond approved by voters to build, add on and/or renovate is short by an estimated $15 million, between 30-40 percent. This impacts the Declo and Burley projects rather than the Oakley and Malta schools that were truer to cost. The school board will determine whether to return to the voters and ask for another $15 million or resolve it by scaling back plans on the Declo and Burley projects. Source: Times-News/The Weekly Mailer

Jerome County

  • Rush’s Truck Center broke ground on its new 30,000-square-foot facility at Crossroads Point. It is the largest commercial truck dealership in North America. It will employ about 20 when construction is completed in late spring 2016. It sells and services medium and large size trucks. The location was chosen because of its location right off I-84. Source: KMVT

Twin Falls County

  • ConAgra has announced wide-sweeping changes under a new CEO including layoffs, selling of brands and moving the headquarters from Omaha, Nebraska, to Chicago, Illinois. Locally, the Twin Falls plant will revert back to its original name when the private label Lamb Weston splits from the brands that will be held under ConAgra. Lamb Weston will continue making frozen potatoes, sweet potatoes, appetizers and vegetables while some analysts believe it will eventually be sold. Source: Times-News
  • New school zones were presented to the Twin Falls School Board for the first time after a 36-member committee dissected the city’s student enrollment using ArcGIS, a mapping software. The current enrollment of 9,200 students will be distributed between nine elementary schools, three middle schools and three high schools, including the alternative high school. The school board is waiting for public feedback before making a decision but with two of the three new schools coming on line next fall, decisions must be made expediently. Source: Times-News
  • College of Southern Idaho reported 30 percent of its enrollment consists of high school students taking dual-credit courses. President Jeff Fox reported to the State Board of Education that CSI provides dual credit to approximately 4,000 students from 32 different Idaho counties. Some credit was given to the Idaho Department of Education that implemented a Fast Forward program in 2014 paying for junior and senior level students to take college-level courses. Source: Times News
  • Seneca Foods has discontinued its frozen sweet corn processing operations in Buhl. This is the second major change in the past five years, moving from canned vegetables to frozen product. The company has mentioned difficulty in hiring seasonal labor for the harvest and process aspect as it is a short season to work. In the past, migrant seasonal workers would make a circuit through Washington and hit scheduled harvests. Some of the other sites have curtailed operations as well, losing that schedule of workers. This will impact about 30 full-time workers, hundreds of seasonal migrant workers and growers filling the sweet corn contracts.

Openings

  • XWays Fitness and Life Center boutique gym in Twin Falls
  • Blu, a new restaurant at Pebble Ponds Golf Course in Filer.

Closings

  • Bell’s Family Books will close in Twin Falls after 36 years in business citing changing consumer preferences.

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

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

Bannock County

  • New jobs are coming to the former FMC plant west of Pocatello. The former phosphorus plant turned superfund site has been undergoing clean-up for years. Now Valley Agronomics LLC plans to move to a portion of the property. The company will lease about 27 acres of land from FMC for its new facility which will bring a capital investment of $12 million and employ 60-70 people. Valley Agronomics currently operates 15 plants across Idaho, Utah and Oregon. The facility in Pocatello will be the largest plant in the company, primarily serving southeastern Idaho with fertilizers and crop protection. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The Grace Lutheran Academy and the Pocatello-Chubbuck Auditorium District are working together to build a roughly 40,000-square-foot event center to help bolster the economy. The auditorium district has a 20-year lease on the building from Grace Lutheran and hopes to attract youth sporting events that will bring more people to the area. The event center has been in the works for five years and once completed will be large enough to house three portable, full-size, basketball courts. The project is funded with the hotel pass-through tax and will be constructed by local contractor MBA Construction. The building is expected to be finished next fall. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The Pocatello Regional Airport has applied for a $3.74 million dollar grant from the Federal Aviation Administration under the Airport Improvement Program to rehabilitate and reconfigure taxiways at the Pocatello Airport. The grant will require a local match of 6.25 percent from the city which comes to just over $233,000. The local match will come from the passenger facility charges which are collected by the airlines. If the airport receives the grant, construction would begin in the summer of 2016. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The J.R. Simplot Company has agreed to spend approximately $41.5 million on pollution controls to cut sulfur dioxide emissions at five sulfuric acid plants, including the Don Plant in Pocatello, and pay $899,000 in civil penalties for violations it made against the Clean Air Act. The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality will receive $167,000 of the total civil penalty Simplot has been ordered to pay. Upgrades at Simplot’s Pocatello plant will reduce the plant’s sulfur dioxide emissions by approximately 825 tons per year. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The Chubbuck-based company Inergy Solar reached its goal of $50,000 within 24 hours of launching a campaign for its new portable generator “Kodiak” on the crowd-funding website Indiegogo. The Kodiak is a portable generator that can be charged using solar panels or a car or wall outlet. It has a power bank of 1,100 watts and can be equipped with up to five solar panels to recharge. While the generator is currently being manufactured in China, the company hopes to be manufacturing in Idaho within five years. Source: Idaho Business Review

Bingham County

  • The Shoshone-Bannock tribes have issued a request for proposals to design a new 70,000-square-foot casino. The phase-two casino project will connect to the west side of the existing Shoshone-Bannock Hotel and Event Center. It will include 1,000 slot machines, a high-end buffet, a gaming floor bar and lounge and a food service court. The tribes estimate the project will average 90 jobs for a 16-month construction period. A formal groundbreaking is scheduled for early spring 2016. Source: Idaho State Journal

Franklin County

  • Preston City is replacing 4,700 feet of the city’s main waterline. According to the city’s engineer, the old line, which was installed in 1978, had rotted out leaving big holes in the line. Work on the line will be completed by Mesquite Construction and will cost approximately $250,000. Source: Idaho State Journal

 Christopher.StJeor@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
(208) 557-2500 ext. 3077

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

Bonneville County

  • Jackie Flowers, general manager of Idaho Falls Power, was elected this week as the new chairwoman of the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems board of directors. She is the first woman to head up the Salt Lake City-based organization, a city news release said. UAMPS is a cooperative made up of 45 community owned utilities spread across the Intermountain West. Flowers has recently served as chairwomen for two key committees for UAMPS, the release said. One is on the Horse Butte Wind Project east of Idaho Falls and the other is the Carbon Free Power Project committee, focused on the possibility of bringing a small modular nuclear reactor power plant to the U.S. Department of Energy’s desert site. The reactor, designed by Oregon-based NuScale Power, is working its way through the federal regulatory process. Source: Post Register
  • As Idaho Falls continues to grow, the Idaho Falls Regional Airport plans to make updates to keep pace, providing the most efficient routes to help Idaho Falls businesses. Airport officials are working to create a daily non-stop route to Seattle to help serve the energy sector. Source: Post Register
  • The Idaho Falls City Council recently approved a cost-sharing agreement for a Tesla station, which would be used by Tesla owners to recharge the vehicle. Idaho Falls Power will gather information about the impact it has on the grid from this type of electrical vehicle charging and the demand on the infrastructure. It will study battery technology and how to efficiently charge without affecting normal power usage. Source: Post Register
  • The Idaho Public Charter School Commission recently approved the charter for Alturas International Academy, a proposed kindergarten through eighth grade International Baccalaureate school. The school plans to open in the fall. It will house a maximum of 250 kindergarten through sixth-grade students with plans for future expansion. Source: Post Register
  • The next phase of development along the Snake River in Idaho Falls likely will include a second Marriott hotel alongside restaurants and other residential and retail buildings. The proposed projects — covering about 12 acres between Broadway and Pancheri Drive — would fill in one of the last remaining undeveloped stretches of riverfront in the city. Source: Post Register
  • The Museum of Idaho gained significant momentum toward its expansion goal by securing a $500,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. This year marked the ninth time the museum had applied for it, with previous attempts being unsuccessful. The museum plans to build a second building next to its current facility. The new building will house all of the traveling exhibits, while the current infrastructure will feature local exhibits. Currently, the museum has to shut down to move one exhibit out and another in. With dual exhibit areas, the museum could be open year-round. Source: Post Register

Butte County

  • The Idaho National Laboratory is best known for research on nuclear energy, but advanced transportation has in recent years become a growing area of expertise for the lab, from researching new types of electric vehicles and batteries to charging stations and driver habits. In a recent study the INL found a big problem with current electric car charging infrastructure is the numerous types of chargers and plugs that only work with specific types of cars. Starting this spring, INL researchers will be tasked with helping car manufacturers come up with plugless charger designs that do not have that same issue. Source: Post Register

Clark County

  • Thanks to a combined $2,300 in donations and grants from businesses including Sam’s Club, the Melaleuca Foundation and Larson Farms, 161 students in the Clark County Joint School District received a pair of brand new shoes – some for the very first time. The district also received enough funding to purchase winter clothing for children most in need. Statistics show that a large number of students are in low-income or poverty level situations with more than 78 percent of Clark County students qualifying for free and reduced lunch in the 2014-15 school year. Statewide that number was just more than 49 percent. Source: Post Register

Jefferson County

  • After months of debate, discussion and budget negotiation, the Rigby City Council decided not to contract its local policing through the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office as a cost-saving measure. The proposal of possibly contracting local policing through the Sheriff’s Office could have saved the city $200,000 to $300,000 annually. The Police Department’s $712,000 annual budget accounts for about 55 percent of the city’s $1.2 million in tax revenue. Source: Post Register

Lemhi County

  • Lemhi Valley recently received an $11 million conservation easement, which is one of the largest steps ever taken toward recovery for the area’s Chinook salmon population. The easement protects an 11-mile stretch of the Lemhi River that contains more than half of the valley’s Chinook salmon redds (fish spawning grounds). Source: Post Register
  • Pilots seeking to fly in or out of the Lemhi County Airport have been unable to efficiently access current weather conditions for more than a month because of a breakdown in a system that allows the automatic transmission of weather data. The Lemhi County Airport is routinely used by Gem Air, private pilots and helicopters that provide emergency medical flights to area hospitals. Pilots use the current weather information to determine such factors as whether visibility is within the required range and if there are conditions that would warrant diverting to a different airport. Source: Post Register

Openings

  • Renew Cryotherapy – Idaho Falls
  • WeeBee Toys – Idaho Falls
  • Splatters Paintball and Family Fun Center – Rexburg
  • Rita’s Italian Ice – Ammon
  • Great Clips – Ammon
  • Snake River Hypnotherapy – Idaho Falls
  • Broulim’s – Ammon

Christopher.StJeor@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
(208) 557-2500 ext. 3077