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Debating over forensics lab costs

BANNOCK COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI) - Bannock County Commissioners are at odds over a proposed forensics lab.

The project is intended to reduce travel time to Boise for autopsies out of east Idaho.  

The original proposal would fund the lab with $900,000 from the state and $2 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds from the county. 

Bannock County Commissioner John Crowder says a look at the cost analysis reveals much higher numbers.

At last week’s meeting, Crowder said, "Financial analysts project the lab’s construction cost at 9 million dollars, a 400% increase over the most recent estimate of 7.8 million. And while an autopsy in Boise is $2,000, an autopsy at the new pocatello lab will be $6,000, a 300% increase."

Crowder is also pointing to extra costs incurred by bannock county taxpayers.

“We’re asking Bannock County taxpayers to subsidize, to the tune of perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars more, our surrounding counties’ autopsies if they balk at paying such dramatically higher cost," Crowder said. 

Crowder’s request to terminate the project was put to a roll call vote Thursday, and commissioners voted to keep funding the project 2-1.

Article Topic Follows: Pocatello

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Stephanie Lucas


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