Governor’s hilltop mansion could be returned to Simplot family
J.R. Simplot, the deceased billionaire who built his agricultural empire, in part, on selling french fries to McDonald’s, donated his hilltop mansion in 2004 to the State of Idaho. A tentative agreement stated it would be the governor’s home; it has been vacant since the donation.
Now Idaho aims to return the mansion to the Simplot family, according to a resolution being considered at a meeting of the Idaho Governor’s Housing Committee on Friday.
Officials say, it has become a financial burden due to skyrocketing maintenance costs and has remained vacant. The fund to maintain the mansion has dwindled from $1.5 million in 2005 to $900,000.
According to the resolution, Idaho is “very grateful” for the gift but believes it is in the best interest of the state and the Simplot family to return it.
Simplot’s heirs originally insisted Idaho keep the mansion, but now are amendable to taking it back.