Pocatello–Local government watchdog group Pocatello For Accountable Government Entities has published a social media post expressing their concern over Bannock County’s proposal to construct a professional sports stadium using ARPA funding and other, undisclosed funding sources. The post reads:
Per this ISJ article and the 11/29/22 Bannock County Commissioner’s meeting video, the Commissioners intend to make a decision about the proposed minor league baseball stadium on 12/09/22.
ARPA money is federal taxpayer money. Contact your elected officials and share your opinion(s) with them. It’s disappointing our County elected leaders circumvented the community and didn’t make an effort to gauge public input/support specifically for this project earlier in the process and before moving forward with scheduling a meeting to make a decision involving such a large investment. Between this public announcement and their decision date, barely a week will have passed.
Currently unknown is whether the County has asked other public entities (like City of Pocatello and Chubbuck) to contribute, also. Pocatello City Council has scheduled an executive session on 12/08/22. These meetings are closed to the public, so there’s no way to know whether their meeting is for consideration of this project, possible discussion about Skywest since the $800K subsidy had been nearly depleted at the end of 3rd quarter or something entirely unrelated to these two topics.
The City (unlike the County) has never sought public input for its $10.7M ARPA money despite a written request they do this. Actions speak louder than words in demonstrating to the public that input is valued. Irregardless of this, the more members of the public who make contact, the more our elected officials will take it seriously. Apathy from the public has sent the message that the public really doesn’t care and is content with the decisions being made on our behalf.
Please take 5 minutes to email your representatives. It doesn’t matter whether you support the project or not. Just share your opinion and express you’d like them to do a better job of seeking public input.
Bannock County commissioners: firstname.lastname@example.org