Idaho Election Day Also Includes Sales Tax, Hospital Merger and Nonbinding National Monument Votes

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There are scores of names on Tuesday's ballot, but there are also a number of local issues before voters in a number of Idaho communities.

In Boise, voters' mailboxes have been regularly filled from supporters of a $17 million fire bond package that would fund a new Boise Fire Department training facility and earmark funds to upgrade or replace four of the city's older fire stations. You can read more about the bond in this week's issue of BW.

In McCall, voters will be asked whether they're comfortable with a 1 percent bump in the city's sales tax. McCall officials say they need the bump, which would see McCall's sales tax go from 6 percent to 7 percent. A 60 percent majority is necessary to pass the increase. McCall officials say the extra estimated $1 million is necessary to fix their city's streets, water and sewer lines.

In Weiser, voters are considering whether Weiser Memorial Hospital should move forward with its plans to partner with St. Luke's Medical Center. But the referendum is only an advisory vote where hospital officials are looking for public support. Bottom line: It's not a binding vote. 

In Boise County, voters are being asked to approve a nonbinding resolution that could see county officials lobby the Idaho Legislature to get legal gambling into their communities. In particular, Idaho City may be targeted for so-called "limited gaming," which means that electronic gambling machines might be allowed in voter-approved commercial districts. Supporters say gambling revenues could help fuel supplemental school funding.

In Eastern Idaho, voters are being asked if they think Island Park should become a national monument. The advisory vote in Fremont County is asking citizens, "Do you favor or oppose the designation of any part of Fremont County as a national monument?" Advocates of a national monument designation say the results aren't binding but a positive advisory vote would have a positive effect on the effort.

And in Custer County, there is also an advisory vote on the contentious issue of whether the Boulder-White Clouds should become a national monument. Again, it's not a binding vote, but Custer County commissioners have decided to poll their community on the debate. The bulk of the Boulder-White Clouds lies in Custer County.