Around Idaho: July 2016 Economic Activity

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

  • Post Falls has begun a $14.75 million project to upgrade its water reclamation facility to meet the dual goals of river cleanup and odor abatement. The project, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year, will reduce the odor pollution which often affects surrounding neighborhoods. The upgrades will also improve the purification of the wastewater, which the facility discharges into the Spokane River. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

  • Several public works projects have been announced across Kootenai County:
    • An $8.5 million project to improve a high-traffic junction between U.S. 95 and Highway 53. This project will be supported with a U.S. Department of Transportation grant. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
    • An undeveloped waterfront area in Post Falls will be developed into a waterfront park and boat launch as part of a $900,000 city project. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
    • Kootenai County Commissioners have approved an $11.9 million expansion of the county jail, which will add 126 beds including expanded medical facilities. Representatives from the sheriff’s department said that expanding the facility will reduce the costs and logistical challenges of transporting prisoners to overflow facilities, as well as better equip the department to handle the growing number of prisoners who arrive with mental health and medical issues. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
    • With the 2016 property assessments completed, Kootenai County saw strong property value appreciation and a record low for appeals. The net taxable value in Kootenai County for 2016 increased 6 percent over 2015 to $13.3 billion. The county assessor’s office also received only 39 appeals, down from 172 the previous year. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Retail and restaurant outlets continue to crop up across Kootenai County, with 11 new openings so far in July.

Boundary County

  • The Kootenai Tribe, which owns and runs a fish hatchery in Bonners Ferry, is implementing two river habitat restorations on the Kootenai River. The projects, which are funded by the Bonneville Power Administration, will support the Tribe’s long-term efforts to rehabilitate populations of endangered Kootenai River sturgeon. Source: Bonners Ferry Herald

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

Region

  • The Clearwater Economic Development Association (CEDA) has received three U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Business Development Opportunity Grants that support activities leading to the development or expansion of rural businesses.
    • A $15,000 grant will be used to determine the feasibility of providing the last mile fiber connectivity in the city of Kendrick.
    • A $10,000 grant award will be used to gather input from lodging, food and beverage, transportation, outdoor recreation and organizations that manage museums, historical sites, recreation sites and events for the North Central Idaho Travel Association to develop strategies to address needs of the business network.
    • Using a $4,000 grant, Kerry Casperson of Idaho State University will conduct a feasibility study about establishing a telepharmacy network in Riggins, Nezperce, Craigmont/Winchester, Kooskia/Stites, Pierce/Weippe and Troy. A centralized pharmacy would use videoconferencing, software and automated dispensing machines to provide services in remote areas.
      Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • The Idaho Department of Commerce awarded four Idaho Community Development Block Grants to north central Idaho projects developed and submitted by the CEDA community development project team. In North Central Idaho, grants were awarded to:
    • City of Nezperce: $500,000 for a centralized emergency services building;
    • Idaho County, on behalf of Rapid River Water and Sewer District: $300,000 for water system upgrades;
    • Idaho County, on behalf of Syringa Hospital and Clinics in Grangeville: $500,000 for renovations and improvements;
    • City of Weippe: $486,500 for wastewater and collection system upgrades.
      Source: Idaho Department of Commerce

Idaho and Lewis Counties

  • Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests rescinded its authorization of the Johnson Bar Fire Salvage Sale in May, after a U.S. District judge granted a request made by Idaho Rivers United and Friends of the Clearwater to block the project and issued a preliminary injunction on the 34 million board feet sale. The sale would have involved trees burned in the 2014 Johnson Bar Fire. Source: Lewiston Tribune

Latah County

  • Centennial Renewable Energy Solutions LLC, based in Pocatello, plans to build a wood pellet plant in Potlatch. It would make pellets from residual wood scraps and sawdust from area mills. Located at the former site of the Potlatch Mill, which operated from 1905 to 1983, the plant would employ about 35 people. It would use trains to transfer pellets to the Port of Longview on the Lower Columbia River before shipping the product to Asia. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • Ammunition manufacturer PNW Arms, which sparked Potlatch’s plans to attract gun and ammunition makers to diversify its economy, filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July. Five years ago, PNW Arms moved to Potlatch from the Seattle area, adding to north central Idaho’s large gun and ammunition industry cluster. More than a dozen people worked there. PNW Arms listed its assets as $1.08 million and its liabilities as $3.9 million in documents filed at U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Idaho. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • I-Minerals Inc. plans to mine minerals northwest of Bovill within about two years. It has begun searching for the $108 million in financing it needs to build a mining plant on endowment lands owned by the Idaho Department of Lands. The operation — which would produce K (Potassium)-Feldspar, high-purity quartz, kaolin and halloysite — would employ 80 workers directly and between 30 and 40 others doing ancillary jobs including trucking. A feasibility reports says the mine contains 21.3 million tons of mineral resources and could be productive for 26 years. J.R. Simplot mined clay and paper filler in that area from the 1950s to 1970s. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • The Moscow Planning and Zoning Commission approved a planned unit development on a vacant six-acre space on South Main Street. The Identity on Main project will begin in August with the demolition of a vacant building and environmental remediation of the site. Eventually, the mixed-use development site could include 154 multi-family residential units and a 3,000-square-foot commercial retail building with three tenant spaces. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • Voters rejected a $14.78 million bond for a new high school in Potlatch. The Potlatch School District argued that a new building would cost less than the required repairs on the current building. Many rural Idaho districts struggle to keep facilities in safe, working order while they have had to pay larger shares of operating expenses. In the late 1990s, the school district levies covered about 15 percent of overall operating costs, while in recent years that figure has climbed to 35 percent for some districts. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News

Nez Perce and Asotin, Washington, Counties

  • The valley’s wine industry continues to expand. Clearwater Canyon Cellars, owned by Coco and Karl Umiker, will open a new tasting room and production area close to its vineyard in the Lewiston Orchards this fall. The 5,000-square-foot building will replace the 3,000-square-foot space it leases at a Port of Lewiston business incubator. A new winery, Vine 46, plans to move to downtown Lewiston after the city finishes its street renovation in early fall. Vine 46’s wine currently is stored in north Lewiston. It is made from grapes grown on the Wahluke Slope in Washington. Eventually, the winery’s owners hope all their grapes will come from the Lewis-Clark Valley. Carter Clary recently opened Woodie Cellars, just off U.S. Highway 12/95 outside of Lewiston. He uses grapes grown near Pasco, Washington, to make merlot, sauvignon blanc, sangiovese and pinot grigio. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Asotin, Washington, hosted the 2016 World Jet Boat Championship in May, drawing competitors from across the United States, Canada, Mexico and New Zealand. Boats raced on a circuit course of three 15-mile laps between Hells Gate Marina and Three Mile Island, about seven miles past Asotin. The Lewiston-Clarkston area bills itself the Jet Boat Capital of the World, because of the dozen jet boat builders located there. The race drew tourists and potential buyers. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Clearwater Paper estimates it lost $4 million to $5 million from a power outage at its Lewiston plant that led to a chlorine leak on July 6. The Lewiston plant is north central Idaho’s largest private employer with 1,370 workers. The plant’s production in the second quarter exceeded expectations. To increase efficiency, the company plans a major automation project for its Lewiston warehouse, using laser-guided vehicles, which is expected to reduce damage and improved yields as paper was handled, stored and retrieved. Currently, the company is making a $160 million upgrade of its Lewiston production facilities, including the installation of a pulp digester. Source: Lewiston Tribune

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 and Canyon Counties

  • The industrial vacancy rate across the Treasure Valley rested at 4.7 percent in April and as low as 3.87 percent in Nampa. That may as well have been zero, said Thornton Oliver Keller Commercial Real Estate agents Dan Minnaert and Devin Pierce. “Once you get below 4 percent, those are functionally obsolete buildings,” Minnaert said. Nampa dropped below the red line with Mother Earth Brewing, Heartland RV and Crossroads Community Church gobbling up 373,000 square feet of industrial space in the past year. “This time last year Nampa was at 10.57 percent,” Pierce said in April. Pierce said a 6-8 percent industrial vacancy rate is ideal to create a balance between landlords and tenants. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Tolsma Storage Technology, an international company that specializes in potato and onion storage technology, has opened the company’s U.S. headquarters in Boise. Tolsma, a 75-year-old company based in Holland, produces technology and equipment that controls and regulates the climate in potato and onion storage facilities. Within a few years, the company plans to build a new manufacturing facility in Boise that will employ about 100 people. According to a Tolsma news release, the company has 500 clients in Idaho, eastern Oregon and Washington.
  • Brighton Corp. and Gardner Company are developing two properties at the Ten Mile Road interchange. They are starting with the 75 acres at the freeway that Brighton CEO David Turnbull is calling Ten Mile Crossing. Brighton and Gardner are co-developers of the first two office buildings. Construction is set to start in August on a two-story, 70,000- square-foot office building that will house benefits administrator AmeriBen/IEC Group. A second start will follow in September on a four-story, 60,000-square-foot office building, where Brighton will relocate its headquarters to fill 15,000 square feet. Horrocks Engineers will take another 15,000 square feet. Both buildings are expected to be completed in May. Other proposed projects include a hotel right off the freeway and apartments, possibly in the multi-story retail-office-residential configuration. The second property, dubbed Ten Mile Creek, is on 55 acres at Ten Mile and Franklin roads and will include retail and some apartments. Brighton and Gardner are doing preliminary work on 500 multi-family units for Ten Mile Crossing and Ten Mile Creek. They are considering a retail-office-apartment structure. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • The state of Idaho and its consultant, The Land Group, are planning to build out a 615-acre mixed-use development in northeast Nampa. A grocery store, apartments and a nursing facility are in the works south of Interstate 84, and the city is putting together a high-level plan to encourage commercial development northeast of the I-84-Garrity Boulevard interchange. The project’s conceptual master plan calls for an 18-hole golf course; 258 single-family homes; 200 apartments, condominiums or townhouses; three hotels; a new transit center where 11th Avenue North and the railroad meet; nearly 250,000 square feet of mixed-use or retail space; a retirement community with as many as 160 independent living units; and almost 2 million square feet of commercial office space. The entire endeavor would cost somewhere around $600 million, according to the plan. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Custom homebuilder Sherburne-Marrs plans to start construction in September on a 42-home development called Lakeside Retreats at Legacy, the seventh phase of the 590-acre Legacy sport-oriented development in Eagle. The first set of 20 homes should be ready in February or March, followed by a second set expected to be competed in fall 2017. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • St. Luke’s Health Systems proposal to expand its downtown campus has been approved after over a year of public hearings, planning and zoning meetings, and plan modifications. The hospital group says it will phase in the $400 million project — one of Boise’s biggest in recent memory — over the next decade, affecting traffic flow, bike routes, sight lines and the biggest sequoia tree in Idaho. The work will likely begin with the Children’s Pavilion, an outpatient clinical facility for pediatric work that will connect to the existing hospital building by a skywalk over Avenue B. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • College of Western Idaho (CWI) is planning to build two buildings in Nampa to complement its single, existing 65,354-square-foot Academic Building. CWI intends to start construction within one year on a three-story, 80,000-square-foot Health Sciences Building directly across the canal from the Academic Building. The estimated $32 million to $35 million building is anticipated to be ready for students in fall 2019. Anchoring the south end of the future quad will be the 140,000-square-foot Student Success Center. Construction on the $40 million project is foreseen for an early 2020 start with completion predicted for fall 2021, Brown said. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Fiberpipe Data Centers is planning to build a second data center building three blocks to the east of the Emerald Street structure where the company has been headquartered since its beginnings in 2000. Fiberpipe plans to break ground in fall or winter on the new 70,000-square-foot structure, including 30,000 square feet with a raised floor that allows the cooling system to be installed underneath. The new data center is expected to come online in late 2017 or early 2018. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Micron Technology, the Boise-based manufacturer of memory chips, plans to cut about 7.5 percent of its total workforce of 32,000 to save money due to declining sales in its cyclical market. The layoffs and other cost-cutting measures will save about $300 million in the 2017 fiscal year. About two-thirds of those cuts — or 1,600 jobs — will be layoffs of existing employees, a Micron spokesman said. The other one-third consists of about 800 open positions the company will not fill. If those ratios are applied to Micron’s workforce in the Boise valley, about 350 jobs will be cut and 176 will go unfilled for a total decrease of 526 locally. Those ratios, however, have not been confirmed by Micron and no specific numbers have been released for how the company’s layoffs will affect the Treasure Valley. Source: Idaho Statesman

Boise County

  • A U.S. district judge denied a mining project in the Boise National Forest after deciding that the U.S. Forest Service never properly measured potential environmental damage to the area. The Canadian mining company American CuMo hoped to create 10 miles of new roads and to drill 137 exploratory holes in the forest in hopes of finding large amounts of molybdenum, a mineral used to harden steel. CuMo was originally given permission for the project by the Forest Service in October, but District Judge Edward Lodge found that the Forest Service’s decision to allow the project was “arbitrary and capricious” because it lacked evidence of properly evaluated environmental impacts, according to the judge’s published decision. Source: Idaho Business Review

Payette County

  • Fruitland-based Eckhardt Company Inc. (ECI) plans to construct two multi-purpose buildings on land it has purchased at the junction of Highway 95 and U.S. 30 in Fruitland. The company’s asset manager, Rick LaHuis, is building a 6,000-square-foot and 4,000-square-foot building as a result of the medical dollars that have been flowing into the community from the St. Luke’s and Saint Alphonsus Health Centers, as well as the Spring Creek assisted living center that have all opened in the past several years. Source: Idaho Business Review

Valley County

  • The Cascade City Council is again considering some form of local-option tax as it hunts for extra dollars for street repairs. The discussion came during the council’s regular meeting where members cut 13 percent from the proposed budgets of city departments next year to devote $80,000 to street improvements. Source: McCall Star-News
  • The city of McCall has filed a lawsuit seeking to acquire 15.3 acres of land adjacent to the McCall airport to build a new taxiway required by federal officials. The lawsuit, filed in state court in Cascade, asks a judge or jury to determine the value of the land after negotiations between the city and the land owners broke down. Source: McCall Star-News
  • The fifth auction in three years of state-owned lots around Payette Lakes is scheduled for Aug. 19 in Boise. The Idaho Department of Lands auction will see 25 lots currently leased and five lots not leased put up for sale. Source: McCall Star-News
  • St. Luke’s McCall has started construction on a building that will house an onsite magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) device this fall. The new building and device are expected to be finished this fall and will cost $2 million. Source: McCall Star-News

Openings

  • The Hyde House, in Hyde Park in Boise
  • Waffle Me Up, a waffle house in Downtown Boise
  • Masala Bistro, on Emerald St. near the Boise Towne Square
  • Azteca Mexican Grill on Ustick Road near Five Mile Road
  • Primary Health in Garden City
  • Tailgate sports bar, taking the place of Cheerleaders, on Ann Morrison Park Drive
  • Barrel 55 on Eagle Road in Eagle
  • Café Zupas in Nampa
  • Cascade Aquatics and Recreation Center

Closings

  • Cheerleaders sports bar
  • The Women’s Business Center in Boise
  • The Book Exchange in Nampa

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

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

Blaine County

  • Another new nonstop Horizon Air flight from Hailey, Idaho, to Portland, Oregon, and back will begin this winter. The flight will use a Bombardier Q400 aircraft that can carry up to 76 passengers. A grant of $500,000 was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation offsets the need to use the new local options taxes to ensure there is minimum revenue generation. Two earlier grants paid for similar flights – one destined from Los Angeles in 2003 then another from Denver in 2014. Source: Idaho Mt. Express
  • Affordable housing has always been an issue among Blaine County communities. However, there is added impact from the popularity of Airbnb and VRBO – two home-sharing rental operations. Short-term rentals have impacted communities across the nation but particularly in attractive, tourism communities. The short-term rentals can bring in three times as much revenue as a long-term lease. There were approximately 650 short-term rentals available around the Hailey area advertised in early July. Meanwhile, Airbnb posted 794 offerings throughout the Wood River Valley, with only 27 available around Independence Day. It is estimated that short-term rentals brought in $4.8 million in fiscal year 2015, contributing $144,275 in local option tax receipts, which is a retail sales tax add-on. Source: Times News
  • The 58-room Bellemont Hotel in Ketchum was sold out of foreclosure for $4.45 million. The buyer has not been disclosed. The assessed value of the 1.26 acre property with its three-story hotel on Main Street was estimated at $4.35 million. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Aspen Skiing Company, owners of the Limelight Hotel, hosted a barbecue for the community almost one year after the start of construction. The celebration occurred with the final beam being placed on the hotel’s roof. The hotel property is on schedule to open for Christmas holiday bookings. The hotel has 99 rooms and 14 residential units that will be finished in time for the winter grand opening. Source: Idaho Mt. Express
  • Once again, famous media, sports, technology and business people arriving on multi-million dollar jets at the Friedman Memorial Airport converged on Sun Valley in July for the annual Allen and Company conference. The host is a New York City investment firm that attracts big names and provides a venue to cut a deal or hear the latest opinion from individuals such as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Argentine President Mauricio Macri and Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk. The annual event brings an economic boon to the area as participants, their families and guests take part in activities at the resort and the Wood River Valley. Many area residents are hired each year as drivers, babysitters, caterers and tour guides at high wages. Source: Idaho Mt. Express
  • St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center held a ribbon cutting for its new infusion center costing approximately $1.5 million. Most of the funds came from community donations. St. Luke’s reported patient visits for chemotherapy and infusion services increased by 143 percent since 2009. Source: Idaho Mt. Express
  • Hailey Mayor Fritz Hammerle’s 2017 budget proposes salary increases and better benefits packages for city employees to keep them from moving away to gain higher wages. He aims to turn this trend around by redirecting funds. Source: Idaho Mt. Express

Cassia County

  • Dow Chemical Company announced it will start construction on a Styrofoam insulation plant in Burley later this year. There will be approximately 21 full-time manufacturing jobs created to work in the 60,000-square-foot plant, production is planned to start the beginning of 2018. Source: Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization
  • Cassia County Joint School District will ask voters in August to renew its two-year supplemental levy of $744,244. This was last approved by votes in March 2014. Supplemental levies support operations for most school districts in south central Idaho. A simple majority is required for approval. Source: Times-News

Jerome County

  • The Jerome Chamber of Commerce hosted an open house at the new Jerome County Jail. The county had 51 inmates before moving to the new facility funded by an $11.2 million, voter approved bond. Source: Times-News

Twin Falls County

  • Jayco RV Trailers has been acquired by Thor Industries, both leaders in the industry. Thor paid $576 million for the Jayco brand, which will operate as a Thor subsidiary. Existing management will remain in place and no layoffs are anticipated as the industry rebounded strongly after the Great Recession. Jayco CEO Derald Bontrager reported he will continue as CEO. His father, Lloyd J. Bontrager, founded Jayco in 1968. Thor was founded in 1980. Source: Indianapolis Star
  • Idaho Power’s move to centralize its operations resulted in almost $60,000 in fees for Twin Falls based on the construction cost of $3.6 million. The company will house 110 staff in a two-story 26,496-square-foot building near its existing 65-year-old facility. Source: Times-News

Openings

  • The Brim, a new coffee shop in Twin Falls

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

Bannock County

  • The Pocatello Fred Meyer is getting a new look. The $9 million remodel is expected to be completed in November. The store has hired 30 more employees to assist with the remodel and plans to keep them on staff after the remodel is completed. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The giant retailing company Hobby Lobby is scheduled to open its doors in Chubbuck this fall. The new store, located at Yellowstone and Pole Line, will be the fourth Hobby Lobby in Idaho, joining ones in Ammon, Meridian and Nampa. Hobby Lobby is expected to bring 35 to 50 jobs into the community. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Passenger numbers to and from Pocatello Regional Airport are continuing their climb skyward. New figures compiled by airport staff show the number of travelers into and out of the airport at 6,594 for June, up nearly 70 percent from the same time last year. June also saw the average number of occupied seats on a flight at just over 80 percent. In addition, since a third weekday flight to Salt Lake City International Airport from SkyWest Airlines was added to the schedule in early March, the number of passengers is up by 42 percent. March through June 2015 saw 15,989 people take to the skies, while the same time period in 2016 had 22,675 take flight. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Officials from ON Semiconductor recently broke ground on a two-year remodel of its facility. While most of the work is cosmetic, the biggest change will come to the building’s front entrance. This facelift is anticipated to cost $1.3 million. Source: Idaho State Journal

Bingham County

  • A ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the official opening of the city of Aberdeen’s new wastewater treatment facility. The treatment plant, which was completed last summer, is to replace an outdated system previously in place. The $6.9 million project was funded by loans and grants from U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development and the Idaho Department of Commerce. Source: KPVI News
  • Work is expected to begin on a six-mile stretch of Interstate 15 north of Pocatello near Fort Hall this July. The $7.1 million project is funded by surplus in the general fund. The primary partners/stakeholders benefiting from this work are the city of Blackfoot, Bingham County, the Shoshone-Bannock tribes and the trucking industry. Source: Local Morning News
  • Three bridges on Interstate 15 in southeastern Idaho between Blackfoot and Idaho Falls in Bingham County, will be repaired or upgraded in a series of projects underway now and concluding in late October. The $1.5 million project is one of a dozen maintenance initiatives advanced by the Idaho Transportation Board following the state’s transportation-revenue increase. Source: The Blackfoot Journal

Caribou County

  • The board of trustees for the Soda Springs Joint School district #150 is drafting a $6.5 million bond resolution for its middle school gym and annex wing. The final bond resolution will be adopted in August. Source: Caribou County Sun

Franklin County

  • Southeastern Idaho Public Health’s (SIPH) Franklin County Office building is undergoing some major renovations. Work is expected to last for about six months. SIPH has temporarily moved next door while renovations are underway. Source: Preston Citizen
  • The F.M. and Anne G. and Beverly B. Bistline Foundation Fund in the Idaho Community Foundation is providing $89,781 in grants to arts-focused nonprofits in southeastern Idaho. Recipients of the spring grant cycle include: Grace School District #148 (Grace) – $10,000 to repair and purchase musical instruments for the music department at Grace High School; and West Side School District #202 Education Foundation Inc. (Dayton) – $2,000 to supplement funds for quality live performances for the community of Dayton. Source: The Preston Citizen
  • County crews tore down the American Legion Hall on July 11. A new building will be constructed there beginning next week, to house the health department. The new 3,200-square-foot building will be designed like a clinic with a foyer and rooms for patients. It is being funded by the Southeastern Department of Public Health and is expected to cost $230,000. Source: The Preston Citizen

Openings

  • A&W Restaurant in Pocatello
  • Fuji Restaurant in Chubbuck
  • Rodeo Motors in Preston

Closings

  • Fashion Center, a major retailer in Preston, is in the process of closing its doors. The local clothing store has been in business for 32 years.

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

  • C-A-L Ranch began ground breaking on its flagship store located on Hitt Road. After consistently outgrowing smaller retail spaces, soon the business will be trading it in for 70,000 square feet of retail space with a 30,000-square-foot office headquarters nearby. Source: Post Register
  • Ammon and Jake Hartner are nearing completion of The Edge Climbing Gym. The facility will include 17,000 square feet of climbable wall space, as well as a kids’ cave, arch, repelling station and more. The Hartner brothers have targeted opening to take place this fall. Source: Post Register
  • The Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for the grand opening of the Center for HOPE.  The facility is a nonprofit community center-for-hope-logopeer recovery center and mostly volunteer-operated.  Its goal is to link individuals to the community with jobs through a comfortable environment and peer support. Source: Rexburg Standard Journal

Custer County

  • IRay’s Plumbing and Heating employees have been digging trenches in Challis to install new fiber optic cable, replacing the old copper wiring and providing higher internet speeds to homes around the area. Source: The Challis Messenger

Jefferson County

  • Rigby Rotary Club recently presented a $10,000 check to Jefferson Joint School District #251. The money was raised through the annual Heart and Sole of Rigby race in April. Source: The Jefferson Star
  • Jefferson Joint School District #251 is transferring just under an acre of land to the city of Menan. The land, valued at $18,000, is adjacent to the Menan City Park. The city will pay to clear the land title and associated land exchange fees. Source: The Jefferson Star

Lemhi County

  • Free rides for Salmon’s senior residents will continue under a renewed grant contract with the Idaho Commission on Aging. Lemhi Ride is a program of the Lemhi County Economic Development Association that also offers full-service transit in the Salmon area. Source: Recorder Herald (Salmon)

Madison County

  • Rexburg Planning and Zoning projects BYU-Idaho will need student housing for an additional 3,500-4,000 students in the next few years. The university believes that the private sector will be able to absorb the influx of student housing needs and has no current plans to expand university housing.  The city of Rexburg is currently preparing for this growth increase by updating the wastewater treatment plan. The city is also looking into another long-term plan to make Rexburg more easily navigable, adding a second crossing over the Teton River. Source: Rexburg Standard Journal
  • Madison School District is working closely with the Rexburg Police Department to secure the safety of elementary school students. They plan to purchase solar powered speed limit signs that will help remind drivers they are in a school zone. Each sign will cost from $3,400 to $4,000. A state grant, operational levy funds and the police department will help pay for the project.  Source: Rexburg Standard Journal

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