BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho will resume paying a $4,500 monthly governor's housing stipend to C.L. "Butch" Otter in June as it clears furniture from the governor's mansion in Boise in preparation for returning the home to the Simplot family.

The state decided this year to give back the hilltop mansion. That's after Otter declined to live in it and $180,000 annual charges for watering the lawn and maintaining the home threatened to drain a $1.5 million fund to cover housing expenses for the state's chief executive.

That's been cut in half. The decision to restore the stipend to 2009 levels was unanimous among the Governor's Housing Committee's Republican and Democratic members. They concluded the $54,000 annual cost was a bargain. Said Boise Rep. Phylis King Tuesday, "It's a lot cheaper than $179,000."