Change in fair plans could cost taxpayers big money

Change in fair plans could cost taxpayers big money »Play Video

CALDWELL, Idaho (KBOI) -- One big change in this year's Canyon County Fair may cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars. The City of Caldwell and the College of Idaho have told the fair board it can't hold this summer's concerts in Simplot Field like it usually does.

The College of Idaho is putting artificial turf in at Simplot Field for the return of its football team. Caldwell Treasurer, Eljay Waite, says the reconstruction should be finished by the beginning of July, before the fair starts. But a fair board member got a call from him last night, saying the fair's concerts couldn't be held in Simplot Field this year.

"The college had asked that we do not use the stadium for concerts this year because they would like to be the first event that's held in the stadium when it's complete," said Rosalie Cope, Canyon County Fair Administrator.

When KBOI called the College of Idaho, a spokesman said he couldn't confirm what Cope told us. He said that keeping the new turf in good condition is the school's primary concern.

Now the fair has to move its concerts over to the rodeo arena. With the move, the Mounted Shooters event will have to be cancelled, the Hogs and Mud event is being moved to a different night, and there's a possibility that the Junior Rodeo will have to be cancelled as well.

  The fair board estimates that it's going to lose about $36,000 in revenue because of the move, and it expects that setting up concerts in the rodeo arena will cost about $25,000 more than if they were kept at Simplot Field. While fair revenue from last year goes toward some of the cost, the rest comes out of the city's general fund, paid for by tax dollars.

"Our budgets were approved last year, not knowing what was coming exactly, and there is a chance that we may have to go back to the commissioners at the end of the fiscal year and ask for more money," Cope said.