How much will this approach cost?
The use of public monies for a project that is ill-conceived with its justification based on unrealistic economics and outcomes is irresponsible. These funds and department resources could be better utilized if they were dedicated to priorities and projects that would better benefit the citizens, taxpayers, property owners, and visitors to the great State of Idaho.
Since when does $8-$16 million in construction costs make good economic sense?? Where is the proof that by adding colder water to Priest River will ever enable a naturally developed “high-value fishery” when it could not even be done through restocking? IDFG has stated that it would take around 10 years to develop a “high-value fishery.” There is no data that IDFG has provided to validate this estimate and again, during this period, there is no way that the annual benefits economics would be achievable, if ever!
The siphon’s economic life is projected to be 20 years, to ensure that any “pipe” can be replaced, assuming 2% annual inflation, the cumulative cost through 2040, would be around double, requiring IDFG to set aside somewhere between $180,000-$450,000 each year for the next 20 years, to ensure funds are available to fund the replacement. This is another expense that is not addressed in the costs of this project.