- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 26, 2018

MCCALL, Idaho (AP) - An Idaho business is short staffed and having trouble finding people to hire, and the owner blames the problem on a lack of housing options for workers in the resort town.

The Pancake House in McCall has been open for nearly 70 years. Owner Bonnie Bertram said this is the worst worker shortage she’s seen in 40 years in the restaurant business, KTVB-TV reported .

“Why (would they) mess with it when they can go to other places and get housing where it’s a lot more affordable,” she said. “I pay better than most in town and it’s still not enough.”

Eighty percent of the town’s workforce commutes from other areas, and 42 percent of those people travel 50 or more miles (at least 80 kilometers), one way, to go to work, McCall Mayor Jackie Aymon said.

“If we can’t find people, the waits are longer,” Bertram said. “If somebody were to get sick or not show up for work then you’ve got that problem. It’s a real challenge.”

The Pancake House isn’t the only establishment struggling to find workers.

“It’s impacting our Parks and Rec Department, it’s impacting our golf course, a lot of different agencies . departments we have within our city,” Aymon said. “The lack of being able to hire someone because there’s no place to live has been problematic.”

Town officials are exploring different options to help, including working with the housing trust to buy properties for workforce housing.

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Information from: KTVB-TV, http://www.ktvb.com/

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