December 7, 2022
The public learned on 12/02/22, the Bannock County Commissioners intend to make a decision on Friday, 12/09/22 at their Work Session about using $8M in ARPA money for a proposed minor league baseball stadium (almost half their $17,055,676 allotment).
ARPA money is Federal taxpayer money—YOUR money! Contact your elected officials and share your opinion(s) with them. It’s disappointing our elected leaders didn’t make an effort to gauge public input/support specifically for this project (an amenity vs. infrastructure improvement) 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 this Friday, barely a week will have passed and the public has MANY unanswered questions.
Currently unknown is whether the County has asked other public entities (like City of Pocatello and Chubbuck) to contribute, too. Pocatello City Council has scheduled an executive session on 12/08/22. These meetings are closed to the public with no way to know whether their meeting is for consideration of this stadium project; possible discussions about Skywest since the $800K subsidy was nearly depleted by end of 3rd quarter; or topics entirely unrelated. The City (unlike the County) has NEVER sought public input for its $10.7M ARPA money, despite a written request to do so, and Council recently approved employee premium pay (of up to $1650/each for eligible employees) without indicating any total cost. Actions speak louder than words in demonstrating that Public input is valued. Regardless, the more contact/emails received, the more our elected officials will take us seriously. Continued apathy from the public has sent the message that the public really doesn’t care and is content with the financial decisions being made on our behalf and possibly to our detriment. Please take 5 minutes to email your representatives. Communicate directly with your elected officials. Share your opinion(s) about ARPA and express you’d like them to do a better job of seeking public input.
Bannock County commissioners: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pocatello City Council: email@example.com
Lydia Noble, Pocatello