TWIN FALLS, Idaho • Twin Falls City Council members said they were shocked Monday night by the cost of a laundry list of property improvements they’d like to see at Evel Knievel’s Snake River Canyon jump site.
City staff estimated the paved roads, trails and other park amenities the City Council wants once Ed Beckley is finished would cost nearly $2 million.
City Manager Travis Rothweiler said he would take the report to Beckley to negotiate what items each side would be willing to fund.
Ultimately, what improvements will be made to the site and who will make them will end up in an agreement between the two sides subject to City Council and public review. Rothweiler presented a draft of the deal.
Both sides have yet to finalize many details, he said, including how much Beckley will pay to the city directly for the right to jump, a public safety and transportation plan, and a plan for covering prosecution of crimes or other litigations stemming from Beckley’s jump.
Perhaps the biggest question — and ultimate cost of the park the council desires — will be the amount of rock needing to be unearthed to pave the 2,500-foot access road and 45,000-square-foot parking lot.
“There’s a little sticker shock going on up here … and I’m sure that when Mr. Beckley gets wind of this there’ll be some sticker shock as well,” Twin Falls Mayor Greg Lanting said.
Council members discussed what items they thought would be needed for the jump and which wouldn’t. Councilman Chris Talkington said the site didn’t need to be “first class.”
“There’s no way I could personally encumber Big Ed with $1.9 million on this, however, there are a couple of things that, to me, make sense,” Talkington said. “… For me, the road is not conscionable. The people can get out there and it doesn’t have to be developed at this time.”
Councilman Shawn Barigar said the council also needed to think about which improvements would be critical to a successful jump, namely the road.
Barigar’s peers agreed that the $51,250 estimate for 650 feet of pavement and fencing to connect the canyon rim walking trail was needed. Rothweiler agreed — that cost should be a “mandate” for Beckley, but the rest was negotiable.
Council members also discussed whether or not to prioritize the items they’d like to have, but Rothweiler advised otherwise — “we don’t want to negotiate against ourselves,” he said.