New Tennis Courts: Public Input at its Best
Ketchum will soon have reconstructed tennis courts at Atkinson Park, thanks to a cooperative effort on behalf of the tennis community to support the project that has been on the city's priority list for a number of years. The courts were originally constructed of asphalt in 1972.
The decision to reconstruct the tennis courts this year is a great example of public participation in action. The City Council and I had discussed budget priorities and the possibility of waiting to see whether a grant for the tennis courts could be obtained.
Thanks to significant community input on recreation infrastructure improvements, it was decided that reconstruction of the tennis courts was indeed the community's top recreation priority.
Recently, the City Council and Urban Renewal Agency together have approved the funds for reconstruction of the tennis courts. We anticipate the start of the project in early October and the work completed in spring 2017. The city is utilizing the technology of post-tensioned concrete for the reconstruction to ensure that the courts will endure for many years to come, continuing to allow generations of community members and visitors to enjoy life-long sports opportunities.
The City Council and I are also in agreement that additional recreation infrastructure improvements are a priority and we continue to work with the Parks & Recreation Department and the community to revisit and reprioritize the projects list. Grant funding opportunities exist and research is underway for these projects. The city is grateful for community support of these projects as well.
We thank people for taking the time to tell us their priorities. Citizen comment made a difference in the public process, as it should.
Please keep talking. We will all have a better city as a result.
COUNCIL AGENDA - MEETING INFORMATION - COMMENT
Stay involved. Included here is Monday's Council agenda, Council meeting information and a survey on water use. It is the responsibility of the city to inform the public and gain public input. Please provide the city with your opinion and comments by taking this week's survey, sending an email to
or attending Monday's meeting, beginning at 5:30 in Ketchum City Hall, 480 East Ave., N. Thank you, Nina
NEW WAGON DAYS ACTIVITY: STREET PARTY & CONCERT
Ketchum's annual Wagon Days celebration will have an added touch this Labor Day weekend; a free downtown concert following Saturday's Big Hitch parade.
The street party will begin after the parade on East Avenue between Sun Valley Road and Fourth Street with music, local food and drink vendors, and parade awards.
Headliner will be country singer Amy Clawson and her band, Coltrane. She has been described as the new big thing in country music and has played alongside legendary entertainers like Martina McBride, Toby Keith, Clint Black, Lee Ann Womack and many others.
Opening act will be Boise band New Transit, featuring Americana, alternative country music and rock. The Idaho Statesman has called the group "one of Idaho's best bands."
"Wagon Days is the city of Ketchum's signature event. This year the city is adding a street party and concert so people will stay in town after the parade," Mayor Nina Jonas said. "I am looking forward to seeing everyone downtown and having an end-of-the-season celebration with our local businesses."
Saturday morning activities start with the Papoose Club's Pancake Breakfast, from 8 a.m. to noon in Ketchum Town Square. The event raises money for children's activities.
The Big Hitch Parade, with more than 100 museum-quality buggies, carriages, carts and stagecoaches, begins at 1 p.m. and proceeds down Sun Valley Road before turning north on Main Street. The grand finale, as always, will be the "Big Hitch," historic Lewis Ore Wagons pulled by a 20-mule team from Bishop, CA on a jerkline.
The ore wagons, which brought ore from backcountry mines to a smelter in Ketchum, will be on display throughout the weekend adjacent to the Ore Wagon Museum, East Avenue and Fifth Street.
Wagon Days headquarters will be in the museum starting Aug. 22. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Sept. 5. Cowboy Poets will recite their work at the museum on Friday, Sep. 2, from noon to 1 p.m.
Grand marshal of this year's festivities, Ketchum Finance Director Sandy Cady, will be honored at a reception open to all in Memory Park, Main Street between 5th and 6th streets, on Friday, Sept. 2, from 5:30-7 p.m. Cady, who will retire in November after 42 years with the city, remembers riding in the parade in the family buggy when she was 5 years old.
Meandering musicians will stroll through town on both Friday and Saturday.
Wagon Days is made possible through the support of businesses, citizens and the city of Ketchum. To explore sponsorship opportunities and ways to support this family-friendly event, visit wagondays.org.
A complete schedule of events is available here.
VISIT SUN VALLEY PRESIDENT: FIVE YEARS OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS
As Arlene Schieven prepares to leave Visit Sun Valley, she reflects back on the accomplishments of the organization during her five-year tenure as president and chief marketing officer.
The area is "positioned well for future success," she said. "What we offer is different than what our target market experiences in day-to-day life, and it is also different from what many of our competitors offer. Our upcoming campaign, 'There is no beaten path,' focuses on the quality of the experience that visitors will have here. I think people are looking for that quality. Visit Sun Valley is also well positioned with more funding -- and more stable funding -- and strong support from stakeholders."
When Schieven accepted the job as president of Visit Sun Valley, she noted, the marketing organization was charged with achieving specific goals.
"The main goals were to increase awareness, increase visitation and attract a younger demographic. With a very supportive board and a small but great team, we were able to stay focused on the mission and ensure our dollars were being used to achieve those key goals. We have experienced success in each of those areas - more talk about Sun Valley in the media and in our target market, more visitors to the area and a downward trend in the age of visitors.
"We've introduced strategic marketing and campaign-planning processes," she added. "Although it may not sound exciting, this allows us to find creative ways to bring our campaigns to life. We have had some fun along the way too, with campaigns like 'The Sun Valley Singletrack Remedy' and 'Skippy, the Stone-Skipping Robot.'"
"Overall, our goal was always to showcase the beauty and unique experience of the Sun Valley area in a way that would make people want to find out more.
"One of the other personal goals that I had for the organization was to be a full year ahead in our campaign planning," she continued. "We have now achieved that goal and are in a much better position to develop strong, proactive campaigns. Our summer 2017 campaign concept has already been established and we have procured all of the video and photography that we will need in support of that campaign."
Schieven has accepted a position as president and CEO of Tourism Sun Peaks, the second largest ski area in Canada.
"I would like to thank the board, advisory committee, stakeholders and staff for their support of Visit Sun Valley over the past five years," she added. "I am excited to see what the future holds for Ketchum, and I will be watching from afar. This is a very special place and we will most definitely be back to visit as often as we can!"
"Arlene has been instrumental in focusing on long-range planning and destination marketing for the Sun Valley area," Mayor Nina Jonas said. "The city appreciates her tremendous work and accomplishments and wishes her well in her next venture."
KETCHUM AWARDS FELLOWSHIP FOR HOUSING MARKET STUDY
Ketchum will study changes in the local rental and ownership housing markets, as well as whether a real estate transfer fee could produce community housing.
The study will be conducted by Genevieve Marie Pearthree, a graduate student at Arizona State University pursuing a Master of Urban and Environmental Planning and a Master of Arts in Sustainability, and the first person to receive a grant under the city's new fellowship program.
The city is seeking an accurate assessment of population trends in Ketchum over time and how changes in occupancy impact the rental and ownership housing markets. This study will provide a framework that will allow the city to evaluate its housing policies in light of comprehensive plan goals, such as Goal H-3: Ketchum will have a mix of housing types and styles and Goal H-1: Ketchum will increase its supply of homes, including rental and special-needs housing for low-, moderate-, and median-income households.
Pearthree will investigate whether an apparent decline in the percentage of owner-occupied units is correlated to recent loss of population. Another question is how the percentage of short-term rental units is affecting the number of long-term rental units. She also will study whether this may be driving up real estate prices as investors purchase units in order to earn rental income.
Specific research topics include the following:
- Research changes in the long-term housing market over time, primarily in the owner-occupied market.
- Compile data on number of short-term rental listings in zoning districts where short-term rentals are permitted and listings in unpermitted districts.
- Compare number of short-term rental listings to total number of housing units within the city and percentage of owner-occupied units.
- Analyze case studies/best practices on short-term rentals and their impacts primarily in other mountain/resort communities and secondarily in sought-after metropolitan areas.
- Evaluate Ketchum's local short-term rental policy strengths and identify areas for improvement based on findings from case study research and best practices of peer communities.
- Recommend changes that are likely to preserve long-term rentals or cause owners of short-term rentals to put them in the long-term rental pool instead.
- Analyze real estate transfer fee programs implemented by other mountain/resort communities, as well as in desirable metropolitan areas.
- Analyze historical data on dollar value of local real estate transactions, identify revenue that would have been generated if a local real estate transfer fee program had been in place, and project revenue that could be generated if such a program were enacted in the near term.
- Evaluate current Idaho law that prohibits real estate transfer fees, and identify legislation from other states that could allow such programs.
The study is to be completed within 10 months. Pearthree will present her findings to City Council during a public meeting.
In addition, the city is analyzing existing incentives for community housing, which are based on the density of proposed developments.
WATERWAYS SMITHSONIAN EXHIBIT HERE THROUGH AUG. 28
|"The Great Return" by Deborra Marshall Bohrer (2012)
is an interactive exhibit that explores water as a critical scientific and cultural resource. The exhibit will be on display until Aug. 28. Admission is free.
In addition to the multimedia exhibit, there is a large-scale map of the local watershed, a video oral history project, a display of fine art by local resident Deborra Marshall Bohrer, and a set of word puzzles pertaining to water.
The Library's video oral history project, created especially for this exhibit, includes 25 short video interviews with various locals who have different kinds of relationships with water.
Additional programming will enhance the water-themed exhibit:
- "Slipping Through the Cracks: The Snake River, Its Aquifer, and Idaho's Water Conflicts," a lecture by Kevin Marsh, Idaho State University professor, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 6 p.m.
- "How Water Works," a panel discussion on local water issues, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 6 p.m.
- LitWalk Video Project, Friday, Aug. 19, 5-8 p.m. Individuals will be invited to record their own water stories in a video booth at the museum during the Library's LitWalk festival.
The Sun Valley Museum of History, located in Forest Service Park on the corner of First and Washington avenues, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 1-5 pm. Admission is free. For more information, please call 726-3493 ext.112 or email Mary Tyson
HELP YOUR LAWN BY WATERING LESS FREQUENTLY
Did you know that lawns are healthier when you water them less frequently? Watering every day or two can encourage shallow roots, fungus diseases and nutrient run-off. Less-frequent watering encourages the growth of deep roots.
Water well-established lawns until the soil is wet 6 inches down. Then allow it to dry 4-6 inches down before watering again. Dig a hole or use a soil moisture meter to check the moisture depth.
Also, although it seems it should be obvious, please position sprinklers so they are not watering sidewalks and driveways.
FIRE DANGER IS HIGH: BE 'FIREWISE'
With record temperatures across the country, it's more important than ever to be "Firewise." Please remember that it is all too easy to start a wildfire by driving in tall grass, dragging trailer or truck chains or carelessly tossing a cigarette.
On the average, humans cause more than 60,000 fires each year. They burn an average of 2.4 million acres, an area larger than the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined.
Human-caused fires are usually easy to prevent and most often caused because people failed to take proper precautions.
Information on preventing wildfires is available here. Please be careful.
DEHYDRATION FREQUENT CAUSE OF AMBULANCE CALLS
Ketchum is experiencing an increasing number of ambulance calls in which dehydration is a contributing factor.
People are at higher risk of dehydration if they exercise strenuously, have certain medical conditions or fail to get enough fluids during the day. Older adults are at higher risk. As one ages, the brain does not sense dehydration as well and may fail to send signals for thirst. The problem is particularly acute with people who have recently arrived from lower altitudes.
Click here for details on why it is important to stay hydrated and how to avoid dehydration.
A FEW MORE DAYS FOR SUMMER CONCERT SERIES
Mark your calendar for upcoming free concerts in Forest Service and Rotary parks, sponsored by the city and private donors. Picnics and low-back chairs are welcome. Food and beverages also are for sale at the Ketch'em Alive events.
Sunday, July 31:
- Idaho Falls Jazz House Big Band returns for this summer's final free Jazz in the Park concert. Seventeen musicians and singers will play favorite tunes of the big band era from 6-8 p.m. at Rotary Park.
Tuesday Aug. 2:
- Salt Lake City's Pixie and the Partygrass Boys will be playing classic rock 'n roll favorites at Ketch'em Alive from 7-9 p.m.at Forest Service Park.
Tuesday Aug. 9:
- Ketch'em Alive presents Doc Rock and DJ Alien for its final concert this summer from 7-9 p.m. at Forest Service Park.
Latest Summer Video from Visit Sun Valley and Partners Freehub and TGR
Next Exit // Episode 1 Sun Valley, Idaho
Ketchum Innovation Center to Open New Offices
Ketchum Innovation Center will hold an open house at its new offices in the former post office building at 311 First Avenue N. (corner of Sun Valley Road and First Avenue) on Friday, Aug. 5, at 4 p.m. KIC staff will be available to show the building to visitors until 6 p.m., concurrently with the Gallery Walk that evening.
NEWS AT A GLANCE
More than $72,000 in Energy Savings at Wastewater Plant
Ketchum has saved more than $72,000 on energy bills at the wastewater treatment plant since it began participating in the Idaho Power energy cohort program in 2014.
New Feature as Part of the WaterSmart Program
You can now add additional users, such as tenants, property managers or landscape contractors, to your WaterSmart account.
- Secondary users also can track the monthly water use at your property.
- Secondary users can set up their own notifications if there is unusual water use.
- You can delete their accounts at any time.
Protect your property -- sign up today at ketchumidaho.org/watersmart. You will find the "Additional Users" feature within your account settings.
Airport to Close Oct. 3-5
Friedman Memorial Airport will be closed for runway maintenance from 8 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 3, through 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 5. Please consider this when you are making travel plans.
Idaho Power Intern Sees Ketchum's Energy-Saving Program
Jonathan Alban, engineering intern with Idaho Power, wrote about his visit to the Ketchum wastewater treatment plant to see first-hand how it has successfully reduced energy consumption.
Analysis of Harriman Square to Begin
What will it take to rebuild Harriman Square? An engineering analysis will be performed on Harriman Square, located at the intersection of Fourth Street and Leadville Avenue. Construction of an analemma and gnomen, which would allow people to determine the time of day using a shadow cast by the sun, was planned in 1983. This and other elements of the square remain uncompleted, and some previously installed elements of the project are deteriorating.
KDPI Looking for Radio Show Host
Mayor Nina Jonas' appearance on the "For a Cause" show, which features local public agencies and nonprofits, is on hold. KDPI Drop-in Radio is looking for a host for the show. If you are interested, contact Michael A. Scullion at 928-6205 or
Firefighters Union Negotiations Continue
Negotiations between the city of Ketchum and the firefighters union continue at City Hall from 9 a.m. to noon on Aug. 2 and 4. House Bill No. 167, passed in the 2015 legislative session, amends Idaho Code to state that "all negotiations between a governing board and a labor organization shall be in open session and shall be available for the pubic to attend." The public can attend these meetings in person or watch the live or recorded version here.
City Has Two Job Openings
Ketchum's opening for a management assistant closes on Friday, July 29. The Director of Finance and Internal Services position will remain open until Aug. 12. Visit ketchumidaho.org/jobs for full job descriptions and application instructions.
Coming Up at Council: Street Closure, Historic Building
Ketchum City Council will consider a temporary closure of Main Street for the Sun Valley Film Festival next March, as well as a request for a demolition permit of an historic building on River Street. Also on the agenda is a resolution to approve the proposed budget for FY 2016-17. This is the first of three readings required for budget approval.
It's 'Solar Energy Summer'
Thinking of installing solar? As part of its efforts to create a sustainable city, Ketchum is waiving all fees, for home and business owners, associated with solar installations now through September.
Learn About Water Management Aug. 16
Robyn Mattison, public works director/city engineer, will discuss Ketchum's water management at a
sponsored by the cities of Ketchum and Sun Valley, the
Wood River Land Trust
Sun Valley Elkhorn Association
. The program will be from 3-4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 16, in the Harker Center in Elkhorn. Register by calling 622-7420.
Attend the next City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 1. City Council meetings are held on the first and third Mondays of each month in Ketchum City Hall. Click here to see the agenda and staff reports or scan the QR code.
Planning and Zoning Commission
Attend the next Planning and Zoning Commission meetings at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 8. P&Z meetings are held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month in Ketchum City Hall. Click here for agendas and staff reports or scan the QR code.
If you cannot attend the Council or P&Z meetings and would like to express an opinion, please submit your comments via email to email@example.com. Your input and engagement is encouraged. All comments will be reviewed.
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