Simplot Hill expensive to water, but no, they are not painting the hill green

A reader who lives in the neighborhood near Idaho's vacant governor's mansion said he saw crews spray-painting the hillside green on Wednesday.

The reader speculated that it's become too expensive to water, which, given the mansion's celebrated financial woes, would be big news.

But it's not true.

Maintenance on the huge lawn below the mansion is done for the state by the J.R. Simplot Co. Simplot spokesman David Cuoio said Thursday that the spray is a insecticide that kills billbugs, pests that make lawns look drought-stressed.

"The chemical has some kind of agent that makes it go on green," Cuoio said. "That's why it look like green paint is being applied to the hillside."

Gov. Butch Otter calls the site "Idaho House," after he declined to move into the mansion that was donated to the state in 2004 by his former father-in-law, the late J.R. Simplot. The company subsidizes the property's upkeep, assigning an employee as caretaker. Simplot pays 53 percent of the total grounds maintenance bill, according to the Department of Administration. The state pays 47 percent.

Still, it will cost the state $177,400 this year for landscaping, mowing and watering the lawn. There is less than $900,000 left in the state's maintenance fund.

Cuoio said he was glad to learn that the green application was targeted at bugs, not trimming maintenance expense.

"I must say that I breathed a huge sigh of relief," Cuoio said. "I mean, can you imagine the repercussions? 'Well, yeah, you know, we just can't afford the grass anymore and we got some Sherwin-Williams.' That'd be something. But not the case."

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That's great they are covering that giant lawn with pesticide - NOT! Not only could it be potentially harmful to the many kids who play on it, but as soon as they start watering it, all that poison will either run off into the Boise River or seep into the aquifer. Loose-loose-loose if you ask me. I say bulldoze the house and return that giant lawn to native grass and sagebrush.

Lose, lose lose

If you ask me.

Thanks Mr. Science

Please pull your head out of the you enjoy Camelsback park...think the city doesn't control billbugs? Jesus folks use your brain. and before you start raving about pesticides, poison...blah, blah blah...go to school and learn what the actual chemicals do and how long they last before the go inert.

Enjoy the Ride...there is no return ticket.

Guardrail, sounds like YOU

Guardrail, sounds like YOU are Mr. Science. Please provide facts for the rest of us "brainless" folks so we can better understand how pesticides are, as you suggest, good for us.

oh the rich

First rule of being rich- look like you are rich. Wasting money is the easiest way to do that. Shirts with collars and shoes with spikes do well also. But, whatever you do, LOOK like you are rich and waste money.

What with the anti collared shirt routine

this is about the third crack about collared shirts I've seen today. I guess i should really place my trust in the tie-dyed tee shirt goof who mows the neighbors lawn. As for the former Simplot mansion...look like lots of folks enjoy the lawn everyday and the Simplot Co. flips the bill...BTW that is called charity...

Enjoy the Ride...there is no return ticket.


That's called a tax write-off! Not that there is anything wrong with that.

I see it as charity because

I see it as charity because they can and chose to. You view it negatively as a tax write off...interesting social perspective. Conservatives chose to be generous, donate and act out of service above self...and conversely it is viewed as only a tax they need the break. No wonder great societies only last about 200 years.

Put about 10,000 head of cows on it

and turn it into a feedlot. Rotate the stock between the Statehouse grounds and the Simplot hill. Let the fecal heaps grow to be as high as the hill.

Occupy Boise

I think that would be the perfect place to camp...i mean Protest!!!

Can't believe the

EPA or the enviros haven't stepped in to return it to it's natural state.
Just have some Boy Scout troops and County inmates re-establish natural vegetation and quit watering it.

Fantastic idea! Better yet,

Fantastic idea! Better yet, just quit watering it. The desert will reclaim it quickly.

The greenest part of the hill...

...seems to be the giant grass-killer phallus that they had to replant a few years back.

I think they should paint it

I think they should paint it blue. :)

New stuff, Dan

We didn't know the Simplots were paying 53% of the upkeep. Makes sense, since they'll get it back anyway when the state runs out of the $900,00 slush fund.

Won't chickens eat billbugs?

Won't chickens eat billbugs?

What a collosal waste.

What a collosal waste.

Such an excellent use of money and natural resources!

The State, i.e., taxpayers will contribute $177,400 this year to keep a huge hill in the desert green, bug free, and mowed. If that isn't outrageous enough, how about the enormous waste of natural resources (water)for the purpose of ????????? We should be ashamed of ourselves for allowing something so useless, expensive, and wasteful to continue year after year!