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DESCRIPTION OF GOODING, IDAHO

Gooding, the County Seat of Gooding County has an approximate population of 2,820 inhabitants. In addition to being the County Seat, it is also the main trade center for Gooding County and to some degree the neighboring counties of Camas, to the north, and Lincoln, to the east.

Gooding is serviced by State Highway 26 and 20 that intersect at the south edge of the City and are maintained by the State of Idaho. There is a municipal airport located southwest of the community and it services small aircraft only. Utilities including power, phone lines, natural gas lines, sewer and water and cable television are all available within the City limits. It is reported that police and fire protection are good and there is a low crime rate in the area. Employment in the area tends to center around agricultural endeavors. Recently, Avonmore West Cheese Plant relocated and expanded into the area and employs a large segment of the Gooding work force. Other employment centers around farming and dairy industries and the limited amount of retail and professional positions available in the small community.

The major trade center for Southern Idaho is Twin Falls, located approximately 40 miles southeast of Gooding. Gooding does provide a limited commodity market for such items as beans, grains and other crops grown locally, however, to a lesser extent than the neighboring communities of Jerome, Wendell and Twin Falls. The commercial areas of Gooding were negatively impacted by the transformation of the Twin Falls area into the regional retail hub. But this was true of most small towns in the region and for that matter downtown Twin Falls. It led to considerable vacancy. However, at this time, vacancy rates are within acceptable parameters and are currently estimated at between 5% and 10%. The down side, however, is the comparatively low rents that are being experienced here.

Although population had declined somewhat in the late '80's. there is some indication that most recently population trends have been more positive. But in overall terms, Gooding is considered to be a stable community. It appears that part of the recovery here may have occurred when Avonmore West relocated into the area. It is felt, at least for the immediate future, that the City of Gooding will maintain a stable business and community atmosphere, albeit within the context of relatively low rent rates.




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