Gemstone construction update

Construction continues May 19 at the Gemstone Climbing Center in Twin Falls.

PAT SUTPHIN, TIMES-NEWS

TWIN FALLS — The Urban Renewal Agency says it will not reimburse Gemstone Climbing Center for costs it incurred to remove debris from its property.

The business had asked the URA to reimburse it $40,000 for excavating concrete from 135 Fifth Ave. S. The property had been sold for $1 as-is to Gemstone Climbing in 2016, URA Executive Director Nathan Murray said.

At its meeting Monday, the URA board tabled the item with the understanding the agency was under no obligation to pay the funds, and did not intend to.

“We don’t want to pay people to take property off our hands,” Murray said.

He said some discussions with the business left concerns about whether there could be litigation. But the URA’s attorney, Fritz Wonderlich, said giving money to Gemstone Climbing should not even be considered because there was no legal means to do so.

“They bought a piece of property for $1 and they’re not getting their money’s worth, is what they’re saying,” Wonderlich said.

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No one from the business attended the meeting. Gemstone Climbing partner Hailey Barnes declined to comment about the decision.

“They’re a great group of people that represent the city,” she told the Times-News over the phone. “We appreciate their time in this matter.”

The $2.5 million gym has been under construction for about a year.

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