December 9, 2022
Pocatello–During this morning’s work session, the Bannock County Commissioners concluded that while the stadium project isn’t dead, it is “on life support.” The diagnosis came from Commissioner Moser, who, after consulting with the county’s legal department, explained that “using ARPA funds for a multiple-use facility doesn’t fit in with the guidelines…at this time.”
Commissioner Tovey immediately expressed his disagreement, arguing that ARPA funds can and have been used for a variety of projects that “create reserve surplus that can then be used for other things. I would highly suggest that we continue to research and understand that before we make decisions.” In order to gain other perspectives on the matter, he called for outside input from other legal groups, whom he says Commission Hough has been in contact with.
Tovey also noted his frustration with the public’s response to the presentation made by Azalea Sporting Ventures’ Jeff Eiseman at the Commissioners’ November 29 meeting. “I’m flabbergasted by the complete and absolute misunderstanding,” he said. He stated that Pocatello “is failing at an epic rate” and warned that the city will soon be “competing with Blackfoot and Rexburg” rather than Idaho Falls and Twin Falls. “We will find all of the Mom-and-Pop businesses shuttered because we have lost the economic ability to support them,” Tovey added. “I’m sick and tired of the flippin’ “Don’t spend my taxes”. I’m sick and tired of the very vocal minority ruining this community–that’s what’s happened.”
Hough added that while the community does need to compete and the County Commissioners should investigate all opportunities to do so, there are two projects that have higher priority than a stadium or multi-use facility: the Pathology Lab construction and the ambulance bay improvements in McCammon. He said that the designer of the Pathology Lab has informed him that it “might be a bit more expensive than we originally thought,” and clarified that he wants to see what happens with that project before allocating ARPA funds for new projects.
Commissioner Moser stressed that while Bannock County does need to grow and develop, they will follow the advice of legal counsel. He is open to continuing to research the project, but stated that they were “not making decisions” at today’s meeting.
To watch the entire meeting, click on the link below: