- Associated Press - Thursday, March 3, 2016

FILER, Idaho (AP) - The Twin Falls County Fair Foundation is proposing a $30 million indoor event center.

Earlier this week AECOM, a professional and technical services firm, completed a feasibility study, confirming an event center in Twin Falls would be self-sustainable, The Times-News reported (http://bit.ly/21JVl47).

“We need it. We want it,” said Stan Mai, foundation board vice president. “Now how do we raise the money (to build it)?”

County commissioners looked at the feasibility study on Tuesday, but say they have no opinion yet on the proposed center.

“The county is in a good solid growth mode, drawing a new workforce and a new resident that expects more services than we have,” said commissioner Terry Kramer. “If we are going to keep bringing in qualified workers, (the fair foundation’s) argument is that we have to supply this kind of quality of life.”

The Fair Foundation last tried to fund an event center in 2006. Voters rejected the center by just 27 votes, 5,877 to 5,850.

Longtime fair manager John Pitz said the foundation then had to wait because of the economy, but now is the time to look at getting Twin Falls its own space.

“People are driving to Boise and Salt Lake for entertainment,” Pitz said. “We are losing skilled workers here because there is nothing to do.”

Pitz said the foundation is looking at ways to pay for the proposed center through philanthropic foundations, corporate sponsors, an auditorium district or a levy.

If taxpayer money is needed to complete the construction, the issue wouldn’t go on a ballot until 2018.

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Information from: The Times-News, http://www.magicvalley.com

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