The Idaho Transportation Department's board is eyeing property near Interstate 84 in the Magic Valley. Observers say it could be a sign the agency plans to relocate its regional headquarters in Shoshone to an area closer to the cities of Twin Falls and Jerome.
The real estate ITD is looking at is near Crossroads Point and would put any future facility easily within the orbits of the two larger cities.
Devin Rigby, the engineer in charge of ITD’s Fourth District, says 50 employees work out of the regional headquarters in Shoshone. If the facility stays put, he says employee travel times will collectively be 1,221 minutes per day. Should the facility relocate to the Crossroads site, it would cut that down to a collective 963 minutes.
Out of the 50 workers at the Shoshone headquarters, 18 live in Rupert or Twin Falls and 21 live in Gooding or Shoshone. That means a majority of employees would actually have a worse commute if the facility moved closer to the bigger cities. Rigby says four employees live in Jerome and are basically commute neutral.
Following an ITD board meeting Thursday night at the Shoshone facility, Democratic State Senator Michelle Stennett of Ketchum released a statement saying the move would devastate the community. She isn't alone in wanting the headquarters to stay where it is. Republican Representative Steve Miller of Fairfield and Democratic Representative Sally Toone from Gooding also want the regional headquarters to stay put.
Building an updated and new facility in Shoshone or building a new facility closer to Twin Falls would cost about the same. A final decision on the move could come as soon as next month.
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