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Sandy Downs future tied to Prop One

The Idaho Falls Parks and Recreation Department has begun work on a revised master plan for Sandy Downs Park. The city is outlining its priorities as Bonneville county builds out a new 4-H facility on 25 acres south of the facility.

But, Department Director Greg Weitzel told the Idaho Falls City Council the extent of its improvement plans could be pinned to the fate of Proposition One on the November general election ballot.

The initiative would authorize historical horse race betting at “certain locations.” Sandy Downs is one of those locations.

City Attorney Randy Fife explained that if voters approve, the fate of the initiative still lies with the Idaho Legislature, which could repeal, amend, or adapt the proposed law. If adopted by the state, it could then be open to constitutional challenges.

If it does ultimately stand, Fife said the city of Idaho Falls will have options of its own. As the owner of the race track, he said the city could become the licensee, run the facility, its horse races and the “historical racing” program. That, in turn, could generate new revenues to pay for improvements to the facility.

Mayor Rebecca Casper said that, once the legislature is done with it, Idaho Falls will have decisions to make based on what it determines the community wants.

Idaho Falls’ plans for improvements to the area can be found here.

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