Idaho’s never-lived-in governor’s mansion will cost the state about $180,000 to maintain from now until next July.
The state has justified that cost by saying the mansion is frequently used by government departments and the first family. So, we wanted to know just how often it’s used, and how much rent it brings in on a yearly basis.
The hilltop house was donated to the state by the Simplot family in 2005. The Idaho Department of Administration has kept track of state agency events at the mansion since 2009. Since June 19 of that year it has been used for 42 state retreats and meetings. Those events brought in a total of $6,800 in rental fees over the last three years.
Governor's Mansion Use 2009-2012
|6/19/2009||Department of Corrections - Strategic Planning Meeting|
|12/4/2009||Department of Education Meeting|
|12/21/2009||Bureau of Occupational Licenses Christmas Meeting|
|1/10/2010||House of Representatives Reception|
|1/26/2010||Department of Agriculture, Idaho Preferred Annual Meeting|
|2/23-25/2010||Liquor Division, Listing Meeting|
|5/17/2010||Dept. of Commerce - International Reception|
|5/24-25/2010||Soil & Water Conservation Commission Meeting|
|7/12/2010||State Board of Education - Senior Staff Retreat|
|9/1/2010||Department of Commerce - Investment Delegation|
|9/5/2010||DEQ Senior Staff Retreat|
|9/17/2010||Meridian District Education Foundation Annual Retreat|
|9/20/2010||Idaho Commission on Aging Meeting|
|10/20/2010||Department of Agriculture - Administration Meeting|
|12/13/2010||Department of Education - Senior Staff Retreat|
|4/13/2011||Department of Education - Senior Staff Retreat|
|5/11/2011||Division of Financial Management|
|5/25/2011||Office of the CIO - Strategic Planning|
|6/1/2011||Department of Administration - Strategic Planning|
|6/8/2011||DEQ Senior Staff Retreat|
|6/16/2011||IEN Content & Curriculum Meeting|
|6/21/2011||PERSI Investment Manager Conference|
|7/6-9/2011||PTE/Idaho FFA State Officer Training|
|8/19/2011||Lt. Governor & Wyakin Warrior - Event|
|9/20/2011||State Board of Education - Retreat|
|10/12/2011||Department of Administration - Mgmt Training|
|10/25/2011||Department of Agriculture - South East Asia Dairy Group|
|11/9/2011||Department of Administration - Mgmt Training|
|11/15/2011||Idaho Fish & Game Annual Bureau meeting|
|11/30-12/1/2011||Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security Mgmt Meeting|
|12/16/2011||Holiday Open House for the Public|
|1/11/2012||BSU Health & Recreation Planning Retreat|
|2/7/2012||BSU Economic Development - Keiretsu Forum|
|3/13/2012||BSU Economic Development - Keiretsu Forum|
|3/19/2012||Department of Ed - Executive Team Meeting|
|4/10/2012||BSU Economic Development - Keiretsu Forum|
|5/1/2012||Department of Agriculture - Trade Mission Ambassadors|
|5/16-17/2012||State Board of Education - Retreat|
|5/24/2012||Department of Agriculture - Korean Cheese Buyers|
|6/14/2012||Division of Veteran's Services - Executive Leadership Meeting|
|6/26/2012||Division of Human Resources - Strategic Planning Meeting|
|6/29/2012||Idaho Potato Commission - Simplot Mexico Buying Mission|
Source: Idaho Department of Administration
Even though Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter and his wife, Lori Otter, don’t live at the house, it’s still considered their official residence.
The governor’s spokesman, Jon Hanian, says his office doesn’t
track how many events the two host, but he estimates Gov. Otter uses the residence about once a month for things like cabinet meetings and fundraisers. The first lady uses the home more often, says Hanian, estimating “several times per month”.
Upkeep of the governor’s mansion is funded by state tax revenue and the income generated from selling the previous governor’s mansion in 1989.
Costs to maintain the more than 7,000 square foot home include a $40,000 electricity budget, $80,000 for grounds maintenance, and $10,000 for security.
Two Boise Democratic lawmakers say it’s time to sell the home. As a condition of funding upkeep for the coming year, the panel that oversees management of the mansion has agreed to a public meeting in mid-September to discuss whether the state should list it.
We want to hear from you, should the state hold on to the donated home or sell it?