Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Carey economic revitalization group formed

Boyd K. Stocking Pavilion nearing completion


By TONY EVANS
Express Staff Writer

The Boyd K. Stocking Pavilion in Carey will provide amenities for bikers, pilots and other visitors. Courtesy photo

The city of Carey has formed an economic revitalization group to build strategies for developing tourism in a town with a rich agricultural heritage.

Pilots use the grass airstrip in Carey for annual fly-ins, and recently the town began hosting a 40-mile annual mountain bike ride over nearby ranch lands. But the lack of public amenities has hindered campers from staying in the area, until now.

The Boyd K. Stocking Pavilion, which is nearing completion, is the first amenity that has emerged out of the Carey Economic Revitalization Group. It will feature two bathrooms and two showers on city-owned property adjacent to the Blaine County Fairgrounds.

Construction of the pavilion has been funded with a $30,000 donation for materials from the Little Wood Irrigation District. Hundreds of volunteer hours from Carey resident Joe Dilworth, City Councilwoman Vonnie Olsen and others have helped bring the pavilion toward completion.

"We have a lot of bikers come through and sometimes stay over night, but seldom because there are no facilities," Olsen said.

Boyd Stocking, a lifelong resident of Carey, was a longtime employee of the Little Wood River Irrigation District. His expertise continued to be sought long after he had retired, Olsen said.

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Olsen has been working with representatives from the Pioneers Alliance conservation coalition, the BLM, the nonprofit Idaho Conservation League and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to create strategies for the Carey Economic Revitalization Group.

Olsen said she was aided in her efforts by consultant Ben Alexander of Headwaters Economics in Bozeman, Mont. She said Alexander, a friend of Pioneers Alliance coordinator Mike Stevens, was invited to speak at a Carey City Council meeting.

"The people from these agencies who have given their time and met [the Carey Economic Revitalization Group] have been amazing," she said. "Everyone brings something different to the table."

During the last year, the Carey Economic Revitalization Group has been busy on a number of projects. They include commissioning a report on economic recovery ideas for Carey, beautifying Main Street with trees and flowers, and hosting a spring cleanup day.

The organization is accepting private donations to raise $15,000 toward completion of the pavilion, which it hopes can be done next summer.

For more information, contact Olsen at (208) 823-4330 or vonols@frontier.com.

Tony Evans: tevans@mtexpress.com




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