Idaho Abandons Plan for New Governor’s Mansion
NAMPA, Idaho (AP) — Idaho lawmakers abandoned plans to build a new governor's mansion on a Boise property and will instead hand over the land to the city for a park.
State legislators on the Governor's Housing Committee voted Tuesday to give the 15-acre (6-hectare) site in the east Boise foothills to the city to manage, the Idaho Press-Tribune reported .
The state received the property near the Military Reserve park from the Bureau of Land Management in 1981. Deed restrictions require that it only be used for a governor's residence or a public park.
"It will be managed just like the Military Reserve open space property," said Sara Arkle, foothills and open space superintendent for the Boise Department of Parks and Recreation.
People already use trails on the property to access the Military Reserve, Arkle said.
The state will license the property to the city while legislators address issues concerning the transfer of the title.
"Licensing gives us some time but still maintains the public purposes of the property," Arkle told the lawmakers.
Lawmakers had considered the spot for a new mansion, but a consensus developed over the years that it wasn't the right location, said Republican Sen. Chuck Winder, chairman of the committee.
"The consensus was to go ahead with a park," Winder said.
The family of businessman J.R. Simplot had donated a north Boise mansion to the state to use as a governor's residence, but no governors ever lived in it. The state gave back the property in 2013.
The state gives Republican Gov. Butch Otter a housing stipend each month.