CALDWELL -- A new report details the factors being considered in moving the Canyon County Fair from its current location to the Ford Idaho Center.

The County County Fair has been a staple of summer in southwest Idaho for years, but its site in Caldwell was never meant to be a permanent home. Over the last 25 years, the Canyon County Fair Board has met with the City of Nampa, or the Ford Idaho Center a dozen times, discussing whether to move it to the Ford Idaho Center.

This building behind us was constructed between 1982 and 1983, said Rosalie Cope, the Canyon County Fair Administrator. At that time the discussion with the Fair Board and the Canyon County Commissioners was that this was temporary solution to a larger issue, that they would go ahead and construct the building, knowing that they would continue seeking a full-time home for the fair.

After years of meetings, the fair is at the same site off of 22nd Street in Caldwell.

Early this year, Nampa Mayor Bob Henry asked the county commissioners to revisit the idea of having the fair out at the Ford Idaho Center.

I think it's a process to put it down in writing: here are the issues, here's the costs associated, will it or won't it work, and finally resolve the issue, said Cope. I think the mayor just wanted, being new in leadership, kind of wanted to see for himself what the issues were and if it would work.

The latest report from the Ford Idaho Center, received by the fair board last week, shows some of the obstacles: They would probably have to host part of the carnival on the black top, which could get extremely hot; and the Ford Idaho Center cannot provide year-round offices or event space.

The fair board does not want to run a bond or seek public funds for a new location, as their goal is to become self-sustaining.

Currently we are part of the county's general fund budget and we do receive money for the fair every year, Cope said. The end goal with full build-out of a facility is that we can house enough year-round events to be self-sufficient and pay for ourselves.

With that in mind, the fair board bought a piece of property several years ago off U.S. Highway 20/26. They like this site because it would allow them to build new, permanent structures, and host events year-round. If they chose a different site, like the Ford Idaho Center, they could sell that property.

The Canyon County Fair Board will discuss the report from the Ford Idaho Center at a meeting next week.

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