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Eye On Boise

Tue., Dec. 8, 2009, 11:57 a.m.

Unload the Guv’s mansion?

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — After spending $310,000 in private donations to remodel and furnish the governor's mansion, a five-member panel is now investigating whether to unload the vacant hilltop home. The Governor's Housing Committee decided late Monday to spend two months gathering information about the advantages of keeping the place — or putting it on the market. There's little parking, electricity bills are exorbitant and the steep, narrow drive makes access tricky — especially when it snows. And so far, no governor has ever lived there.

The late J.R. Simplot donated the home in 2004 and Idaho must give the potato mogul's surviving family the right of first refusal, though at market prices. Though empty, it is being used for state meetings and even private events. Otter and his wife may occasionally stay there, when they don't want to drive back to their private residence west of Boise, though they've not done so yet.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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