Water bond passes; Hospital bond falls short

by Daniel Moore
Press Staff Writer

A bond for Power County to buy water rights for $8 million passed with 80 percent of voters approving it. However, a bond to renovate the Power County Hospital for $15.25 million failed to reach the super majority needed for approval, with nearly 60 percent of voters approving it.

The bonds needed two thirds of voters to approve them, or 66.66 percent or more.

“I was very pleased that the community seemed to value water,” said Power County Commission Chair Ron Funk. “I think they understood the importance of water to this area and ultimately it would be very difficult to grow or have any economic development without it.”

Nearly 2,200 people voted in favor of the water bond, while 579 voted against it.

The water rights came from a potential fertilizer plant, Magnida, slated to be built outside of American Falls. While the official line is that Magnida is still looking for investors, the company has started to sell off its assets, and gave the county the first chance to buy its water rights, which is about 6,000 acre feet of water.

Had the voters not approved buying the water, Magnida already had a buyer in line for the rights, Funk said.

The county will pay $2 million from its own budget as a down payment on the water soon. The county will then work…

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