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Friday, July 12, 2013

Caldwell and Nampa Chamber of Commerce Meet With Commishes Regarding Fair Move to New Digs

County Commishes met with members of the Caldwell and Nampa Chambers of Commerce regarding the pending move to an 80 acre site out on Hwy. 20/26 this past week.  The meeting started off on a contentious note on both sides with the Commishes in defensive mode and the Chamber people in an opposition posture at the meeting.  Commishes thought the meeting was going to be a presentation and it quickly got to a question session the Commishes were not ready to answer at the meeting.

Here's a quick summary of the questions by the Chamber people:

1. What is the mission of the Canyon County Fair?

2.  What is the Fair model with respect to the money supplied to the Fair and the economic impact to businesses, city and county services?

3.  Has any consideration been given to the sprawl issues with respect to the new Fair location v. staying in Caldwell or going to the Idaho Center?

4.  What are the economic loses to businesses when the Fair makes a move to the new site?

5.  What are the long term losses to taxpayers to provide fire, police, utilities, and the ultimate impact on the Idaho Center?

6.  What will the $40MM cost of the new site be on the community as well as impacts on other economic issues in Caldwell and Nampa?

7.  What is the Business Plan for the new fair site?

8.  Who will pay for the clear need for budget increases to operate and maintain the new site and will it result in a levy rate increase on taxpayers?

I might have missed a point or two but this is a summary of the questions presented to County Commissioners.  Here is a link to the meeting:  you will have to scroll down to the meeting option on this page.

Comm. Alder sited Canyon County is now 190,000 people and people of the county deserve a dedicated site for a county fair and that does not currently exist.  She also cited the possibility of linkage of the site with classes that could be offered in agricultural issues and opportunities with a dedicated fair site along with the FFA and 4-H programs.


  1. No matter how well intentioned the new fair land purchase appears, the fact remains that once again the Commissioners got out way ahead of any public support. And as far as the Idaho Center goes for a new Fair it might may sense but is just another project costing taxpayers millions. No business plan, no oversight and it is now facing financial ruin. I won't be surprised if they close the doors and open it once a year for the Stampede.

  2. How much money is spent subsidizing the fair as it now exists?

    1. I checked into this a while back and remember it is somewhat less than $500k per year. And as far as the levy rates go they can increase their levy rate by a factor of 4 before they hit the legal limit. If you want an exact number you can get it via a Freedom of Info request from the clerk auditor.

    2. The legal section of the IPT today had the County budget, line by line and the Fair is budgeted at $328k this year.

  3. I find commissioner Alders comment that The citizens of Canyon County deserve a dedicated site for the county fair disturbing. I think what the citizens deserve is the opportunity to vote on large capital expenditures such as this project and the county building that is soon to be built. Its easy to do great things with other peoples money . Just ask Tom Dale, Martin Thorne and Pam White. The problem is that the money has run out.

    1. Don't forget the College Garret Nancolas built for out of state TVCC. A redundant effort and direct competitor of voter approved CWI.

  4. The head count that go to the fair is about 45,000 each year. While having a place that is a designated Fair Grounds for Canyon County would be desirable the price tag of $40 million is spendy by any reasonable yardstick. The Idaho Center is a great example of a venue that was built without a proper business plan and now Nampa taxpayers are stuck paying for it.

    If the main focus of the fair is 4-H and FFA it would seem to me the mission and price are out of reality for a county this size.

  5. You know what just might work to get the taxpayers behind it? Just say "But it's for the children" and poof it will pass. Not too long ago, taxpayers said we as a county cannot afford to spend $40 million on a jail, but just last month a smaller portion of this very same population voted overwhelmingly to commit everyone living in the Vallivue school district to spending $50 million on another high school. So 190,000 people cant afford a 40 mil price tag but 40,000 can afford a 50 mil price tag? This county is full of hypocrites......Guess you cant believe em when they say they cant afford it. I guess it really has to do with who will benefit from the money being spent. Disgusting....

  6. I was reading in the paper the other day how this $50 million dollar school bond would only cost me another $46 a year on my taxes. Wow, that's only a 5% rate hike on my taxes. Apparently I am made of money and someone already has figured out a better use for it than me. Considering how Vallivue already gets over 35% of my total taxes paid, I think they are asking for too much already.

    So someone tell me how much this 50 million dollar mega fair complex is going to cost me per year based on the magic number of $100,000 worth of property they like to use when they are trying to convince us it's a good use of our money?


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