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Large Music Festival Creating Debate Over Feasibility of Location in Garden Valley

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A big event preparing to come to Garden Valley May 31st to June 3rd called Konnexion Music and Arts Festival. The event location will be at the Jerome Ranch property, which is private property, located three and a half miles at the end of Southfork Rd. The festival is a techno music festival with over 1,000 people in attendance planned.  Boise County has received their application for the Mass Gathering Permit.

Concerns are being discussed between the county, the event promoter and people who will be impacted by the increase of traffic to and from the event. Tickets are already being sold to this event in anticipation that the permit will be approved. The county approval process takes time since safety and health concerns to be properly met. The county commissioners meet with different department heads, including road and bridge, EMS, and sheriff to determine if there is an approval. This is a painstaking process to make sure everything will meet standards for a mass gathering.

Bob Showalter, Boise County Emergency Manager, has been informing the public about the event and the things that are of concern when approving a mass gathering permit. He explains the event and what is required of the event sponsors. This is a camping event with traffic, fire and security issues to be addressed and responding actions to be covered to attain approval. There is a well water on the property which is helping to address the fire concerns of the public.

The festival is in its 6th year and has had other venues in Idaho. The first festival was in Heyburn, Idaho. Other places have been in Ola and Twin Springs Resort near Atlanta, Idaho. Garden Valley was the choice this year. This is a camping event where participants will provide their own camp shelter, food and drink.

According to information, there is well water on the property which can help with immediate fire needs. The Event sponsors will be providing 30 unisex toilets with cleanout planned for the second day. There will be recycle bins and volunteer trash pickup after the event. The event sponsors are also hiring security for Absolute Security of Idaho to watch for any illegal activity. It is said that no alcohol will be for sale.

Traffic is on the minds of the Southfork Road residents.  Elizabeth Pabst is one of those residents and has told the event promoter her concerns saying, “The road leading to Jerome Ranch cannot sustain the traffic for a 4-day event.”  This issue has been taken into consideration by Emergency Management. Showalter says, “The event planners will take care of this by providing traffic control by festival staff and volunteers with two-way radios and signs.”

Showalter wants to make sure people will know that fire and EMS and security will not be supporting time at the event.  These services will remain for the county residents as is normally provided. “The promoter is required to take care of their own, fire, EMS and security for the safety of the public and has said he will do what it takes to satisfy concerns,” according to Showalter in his media outreach.

County officials look at this event as an early economic boost for the area. Showalter is happy to listen to all concerns. This will be on the Agenda with the Boise County Commissioners in a coming week where the public can weigh in any thoughts or concerns.  Showalter says, “If you want this event to happen, or don’t, please show up with your valid reasons why it should or shouldn’t happen. Make sure you get the time on the agenda as it may be in the afternoon.”

Showalter asks the community to get the word out so anyone who want to weigh in can do so. Keep an eye on the Boise County website (www.boisecounty.us) after February 12th to see when the meeting is set on the Commissioner Meeting Agenda.  Boise County Emergency Management has a Facebook page to follow these items like this or contact rshowalter@co.boise.id.us.

Written by Janet Juroch

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