Press Releases

Simpson Secures Funding for Idaho Projects in Agriculture Legislation

Projects for Twin Falls, Jerome, McCammon, Challis and Kimberly Included

Simpson Secures Funding for Idaho Projects in Agriculture Legislation
Projects for Twin Falls, Jerome, McCammon, Challis and Kimberly Included

Washington, D.C. – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson today announced that he has secured over $9.7 million in funding for five projects in Idaho’s Second Congressional District in the Fiscal Year 2023 Agriculture Appropriations Bill. The projects are located in Twin Falls, Jerome, McCammon, Challis, and Kimberly.

“Responding to my constituents’ needs is one of my most important duties as a member of Congress. I am proud to participate in directly funding community projects in Idaho rather than leaving funding decisions up to Biden-appointed bureaucrats or letting these funds go to other congressional districts,” said Simpson. “These projects will undergo the same competitive vetting process as competitive government grants and will boost local economies, provide desperately needed resources, and improve the health and safety of our treasured Idaho communities.”

To ensure transparency and accountability, the House Appropriations Committee established several new rules that every project submitted for funding must follow.  For a new Community Project Funding (CPF) request to be considered, the following criteria must be met:

  • Members must certify that they, their spouse, and their immediate family have no financial interest in the projects they request.
  • Members must post every CPF request online simultaneously with their submission to the Committee on Appropriations.
  • Members must provide evidence of community support that were compelling factors in their decision to select certain projects.
  • Members are allowed a maximum of 15 CPF requests.
  • No CPF grants can be directed towards for-profit grantees.
  • Total CPF spending will be capped at 1 percent of discretionary spending.

The following projects are included in the Fiscal Year 2023 Agriculture Appropriations Bill:

Project Name: Rock Creek Conservation and Water Quality Enhancement Project
Project Location: 203 Main Ave E. Twin Falls, ID 83301
Project Sponsor: City of Twin Falls
Funding Amount: $4 million
Description: The funding is designated to the Rock Creek Restoration and Water Quality Project to enhance water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, urban outdoor recreational opportunities, and to provide flood control benefits in the lower Rock Creek Watershed in Twin Falls County, Idaho. Through acquisition of property and construction of off-stream ponds, the project will help alleviate flooding while also providing sediment removal and total phosphorus reductions from agricultural runoff. the removal of sediment and the reduction in total phosphorus will further improve water quality in Rock Creek and also contribute to the reduction of nutrients in the Mid-Snake River. The project will connect city owned properties and preserve and provide greater public access to enhanced outdoor urban recreational experiences in the creek corridor.

“Rock Creek Watershed is an important tributary water source to the Middle Snake River, however, flooding and water quality has been an ongoing issues in the Twin Falls community for several years now.  This proposed project will address issues negatively impacting the wider Snake River ecosystem as well as enhance water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, and increase local recreational opportunities.,” said Simpson. “Twin Falls County has grown by nearly 20 percent since 2010, making this project even more important and necessary.   I am proud to support the Rock Creek project to address this issue before it becomes an even greater concern.”

“The city’s proposed Rock Creek project is a model for watershed conservation efforts that will help improve water quality in the stream and the mid-Snake River.  It has the support of local government and area non-profits and companies such as the Southern Idaho Water Quality Coalition and the Twin Falls Canal Company. Voluntary water quality projects such as the Rock Creek project will assist the State of Idaho in ensuring clean water for its citizens for years to come.” Governor of Idaho Brad Little

Project Name: Jerome Education and Training Center
Project Location: Jerome, Idaho
Project Sponsor: College of Southern Idaho – 315 Falls Ave, PO Box 1238 Twin Falls, ID 83303
Funding Amount: $3.3 Million
Description: The funding is designated to construct a new education and training facility to support regional needs for the College of Southern Idaho in Jerome, Idaho. The Jerome Education and Training Center would be a 20,000 square foot facility in downtown Jerome, Idaho. Jerome County has experienced record-setting growth in the food processing, dairy, and meat processing industries. The growth of the industry needs has guided the College to plan for an education and training facility to support regional workforce development. Beyond food processing related training and instruction, the College intends for the Jerome Center to also support healthcare training for high school students and other for CNA and Medical Assisting in support of regional needs the center will also serve as a community hub supporting CSI’s role as a Hispanic Serving Institution. 

“Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District contributes the 13th largest supply of total agricultural products to market and boasts the second most valuable dairy industry of any congressional district. Jerome has become a crucial hub in the production of  these agricultural goods, and its growth has created workforce demands in all sectors of the community’s economy,” said Simpson. “I’m proud to support CSI’s new education and training center, which will provide the region with a workforce ready to meet its economic demands.”

“An expanded physical presence for CSI in Jerome would provide multiple benefits to the community including an increased ability to serve the rural educational needs of Jerome residents and the opportunity to add to Jerome’s identity as an agriculture and food manufacturing hub.” Jay Theiler Executive Vice President: True West Beef

Project Name: McCammon Fire Station
Project Location: McCammon, Idaho
Project Sponsor: City of McCammon – 802 Front St. McCammon, ID 83250
Funding Amount: $813,750
Description: The funding is designated to construct a new fire station in McCammon, Idaho. The City of McCammon’s current fire station was originally built to serve as a maintenance shed and currently has no running water and no insulation. Cramped quarters have limited the ability to upsize equipment and effectively deploy engines due to lack of maneuverability. The current station lacks space and function to meet the needs of the growing community safely and effectively. A new facility would allow for increased volunteerism, a site for an ambulance, and allow the city to recruit more firefighters and increase training for volunteers.

“The current fire station in the City of McCammon has no running water or insulation.  It is a former maintenance shed.  A new fire station is clearly needed for the safety and protection of the city, and I am eager to see these funds used for the benefit of the whole community,” said Simpson.

“As our County grows, the need for additional emergency services facilities becomes increasingly important. The current facilities are in poor repair and detrimental to providing the needed services. The city has been unable to upgrade aging fire trucks and equipment due to insufficient space and poor configuration of the existing facility. This new facility would have the ability to serve as a hub for expanding emergency services in the area, which would help in many ways.” Commissioner Jeff Hough: Bannock County Commissioner

Project Name: Custer County Court Annex Building
Project Location: Challis, ID
Project Sponsor: Custer County Commissioners
Funding Amount: $600,000
Description: The funding will be used to construct a new court annex building in Custer County, Idaho. The current court building in Custer County is non-ADA compliant, is ageing, and has degraded as a result of two major earthquakes in the region. The funding will go towards the construction of a new building that will house the courtroom, judge's chambers, jury room, three court clerk offices, all required bathrooms, and two evidence vaults.

“Custer County’s aging courthouse is currently unable to serve the needs of all citizens in the community,” Said Simpson “The building is non-ADA compliant and does not have the space and capacity to house the staff needed to operate this essential government facility. This funding will provide critical structural and accessibility updates to meet the needs of all citizens served by this facility.”

“The funding for this project is essential since the Custer County courthouse was found to be non-ADA compliant in 2017 and we were required to file a Transition Plan addressing future repairs and upgrades, which includes an elevator. Our courthouse was built in 1957 and has survived two major earthquakes.”  Wayne F. Butts, Chairman, Custer County Commissioner

Project Name: Idaho Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment
Project Location: Kimberly, Idaho
Project Sponsor: University of Idaho – 875 Perimeter Dr MS 3010 Moscow, ID
Funding Amount: $1 million
Description: The funding is designated to support the collaboration between the University of Idaho and ARS Kimberly. Researchers at USDA ARS in Kimberly work closely with the University of Idaho faculty to protect the sustainability of agriculture, identify ways to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses, improve the health of soil and quality of water, and increase the efficiency of irrigation while supporting the critical economic drive in Idaho agricultural production. Funding will be prioritized for facilities and equipment that will aid ARS scientists in determining the extent of the impact of dairy production on the environment such that solutions can be credibly developed.

“Generations of farmers and ranchers have shaped our state, culture, and economy. I have a strong responsibility to ensure that Idaho’s agriculture sector can continue to thrive in the future. The research conducted by the University of Idaho with the Agriculture Research Service’s facility (USDA-ARS) in Kimberly will do just that by supporting increased  sustainability and efficiency of Idaho agriculture,” said Simpson. 

“These facilities will provide USDA ARS scientists the ability to carry out research in the sustainability of agriculture in Idaho. In particular, the USDA ARS partnership with the University of Idaho at CAFE will provide the necessary infrastructure to ensure the viability of the dairy industry through research of manure handling facilities and experimental lagoons. These examinations will protect the beauty and productivity of Idaho and the nation.” - Paul Amador, Idaho State Representative, District 4

“While I am grateful for these important projects’ inclusion in this bill, unfortunately the overall bill is based on a funding level that passed the House without Republican support. With inflation at the highest levels in 40 years, we need to be more judicious about how much and where we allocate discretionary appropriations,” said Simpson. “I look forward to working together as the bill moves through the legislative process to develop a final FY23 Agriculture Appropriations bill that reflects a balanced set of priorities that can be supported by members on both sides of the aisle.”

Appropriations legislation is expected to be considered on the House floor at the end of July.  For more information on the individual projects or the Community Project Funding (CPF) process, visit Congressman Simpson’s website here.