BOISE — Lawmakers voted Wednesday to hold off on funding the Idaho Transportation Department’s controversial proposal to relocate its District 4 headquarters — but it’s not yet clear how that could impact the department’s plan to move the facility out of Shoshone.
A budget passed unanimously by the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee did not include funding for the move. Opponents of the plan say that moving the headquarters out of Shoshone would have a detrimental effect on the rural town’s economy.
Rep. Steve Miller (R) of Fairfield, who represents Lincoln County in District 26, recommended waiting on funding the project until the department finalizes its plans.
“We’ve had a lot of discussion about the Shoshone facility,” Miller said, noting that a final location for the facility has not yet been determined.
Miller and his fellow legislators Rep. Sally Toone of Gooding and Sen. Michelle Stennett of Ketchum have all previously spoken out against moving the headquarters from Shoshone.
A study released last year by Bengal Solutions, a consulting group within Idaho State University’s College of Business, estimated an economic loss of roughly $82,000 to $125,300 per year without ITD employees patronizing local businesses.
“The moving of that facility has a tremendous amount of impact on Shoshone and those counties, so we’d like to see what the final plans are before we make a final decision,” Miller said.