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Idaho to return mansion to Simplots

By By The Associated Press
Published On: Mar 01 2013 03:31:41 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 01 2013 07:35:00 PM CST
J.R. Simplot

J.R. Simplot

BOISE, Idaho -

Idaho aims to return the hilltop mansion to the Simplot family by June 30 in a tentative agreement over the would-be governor's residence-turned-money pit that remained vacant even as maintenance costs skyrocketed.
   
That's according to a resolution approved unanimously by Idaho Governor's Housing Committee Friday at a meeting in Boise.
   
J.R. Simplot, the deceased billionaire who built his agricultural empire, in part, on french fry sales to McDonald's, donated the home in 2004.
   
But the fund to maintain the mansion has dwindled to $900,000, from $1.5 million in 2005.
   
According to the resolution, Idaho is "very grateful" for the gift but believes it's in the best interest of the state to return it.
   
The family says it agrees.
   
The home will cost about $180,000 for Idaho to maintain this year.

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