2014.10.30


City of Ketchum
P.O. Box 2315
480 East Avenue N.
Ketchum, Idaho 83340
"The Original Mountain Town"

October 30, 2014
In This Issue
A Message From Mayor Nina Jonas: A Team That Serves Well

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Ketchum's ability to provide efficient and quality service and asset management for its citizens in a fiscally responsible manner depends upon organizational excellence. Such excellence is based on the skills and capabilities of the city's team, strategic planning and collaboration across its departments and with the public. The better the team is, the better the service will be.

 

Now that our new city administrator, Suzanne Frick, is here and the planning department is fully staffed, it is time to invest in an organizational development session with city staff to further enhance the performance that we provide the public. With the City Council's approval, we will be working with Diann Craven of ClearDirection, LLC to strengthen the city team serving you.

 

We want to continue to build a culture of respect and trust. We know that sharing information increases participation and transparency, and is an important ingredient in the culture we want to maintain.

 

The city of Ketchum has 55 full-time employees. The median income of these employees is $55,079. City services include water and wastewater, streets, planning and building, parks and recreation, fire and ambulance, police, clerk and treasury, and administration. The professionals who manage these city resources work hard to provide a responsive and quality public service that meets your needs, and we all appreciate their efforts.

 

Nina

Email me at njonas@ketchumidaho.org

ASK NINA
What is approved for Bigwood Bread under the conditional use permit and why was it approved?
 
Bigwood Bread received a conditional use permit for its restaurant on Northwood Way to stay open until 11 p.m. for no more than four consecutive days in a week. A public hearing will be held 18 months from the date of the signed findings of fact (Oct. 27) to review the permit and determine whether there have been any adverse impacts on the neighborhood, which is in Ketchum's light industrial area.

 

Do you have a question for Mayor Nina Jonas?  AskNina@ketchumidaho.org 

 

Note: If you submit a question to "Ask Nina," your name may be published unless you request that it be withheld.

 

PLANNING & BUILDING TEAM WILL SPUR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
 
Michael Austin 
With the selection of two new members of the city planning and building department, Ketchum will have a high-functioning team to support economic development.

 

"We will be in a position to provide fantastic customer service, process applications faster, update the zoning code making it easier to understand and facilitate the development planning process to help us become a more vibrant and productive city," Mayor Nina Jonas said.

 

The appointment of Micah Austin, currently Hailey community development director, as Ketchum's director of planning and building will go before the City Council for approval Monday. Austin joined the Hailey staff in 2012 after working as community development director in Jerome for nearly four years. Click here to read the press release.

 

"His experience with community development, urban renewal agencies and tax increment financing, as well as his knowledge of Blaine County, will be a tremendous asset," Jonas said.

 

Morgan Brim will become the department's second senior planner. Brim, who grew up in Nevada, has worked in Virginia for the past seven years and is looking forward to returning to the West. Brim brings skills in code writing, enforcement and processing of land-use applications. He will join Senior Planner Rebecca Bundy, trained as an architect, who has spearheaded the city's development of "green" building codes and its focus on renewable energy sources.

 

Linda Haavik, who retired as Blaine County planning director in 2006, is the city's interim planning and building director until Austin arrives in January. Haavik worked in the Ketchum planning department for 14 years before taking the county job.

 

Building Inspector Jim Lynch works for Ketchum under a contract with the State Division of Building Safety. This is cost-efficient and gives Ketchum access to a larger and specialized staff for projects such as the upcoming construction of two hotels.

 

Rounding out the staff are Rachel Martin, planning technician, and Marta Thompson, fire and building assistant. 

 

A substantial edit and update of the zoning code is a major focus for the department in the coming year. "Our goal is to make the codes more consistent, more predictable and easier to understand, as well as to meet today's standards," Bundy said.


DEMONSTRATION SOLAR ENERGY PROJECT PLANNED AT ORE WAGON MUSEUM
Ketchum will install solar panels on the city-owned Ore Wagon Museum early next year as a demonstration project on the effectiveness of solar energy. The city has allocated $25,000 from Idaho Power franchise fee payments to cover the cost of installation. Energy produced will be sold back to Idaho Power, reducing Ketchum's electric bill.
2014.10.30
The Ketchum Energy Advisory Commission proposed the project to demonstrate the feasibility of community solar projects. Citizens would buy into projects, allowing them to benefit from solar energy even if they live in areas where solar energy panels are impractical, and then share in the proceeds.

The city is accepting proposals for the project. For more information, contact Suzanne Frick at 726-7803. 

BUSINESS
SUPER BAH

Business After Hours is offered to members of the community who wish to network their businesses and create new relationships with fellow business people. Gary Hoffman explains why these events are important to our valley in this short video from yesterday's SUPER BAH.

 

Urban Renewal Agency Looks at 3 Projects 
The Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency is looking at three new projects:
1.    KURA allocated $25,000 for a space and location study for a new City Hall and police and fire station The goal is to replace or renovate the current building, a converted auto dealership built in the 1970s.  
2.    The URA is considering using property at First Street and Washington Avenue, occupied by the former Dollhouse consignment shop building and a city-owned parking lot, for a combination of commercial space; small, affordable and market-rate housing units; and underground parking. A possible tenant would be the new culinary institute that the College of Southern Idaho may open in the Wood River Valley. 
3.    The URA hopes to facilitate development of an "air barn," an indoor training site for freestyle skiing and other sports, on city-owned property adjacent to the Wood River Community YMCA.

Farewell to Smith Optics 

Despite our best efforts, Smith Optics is moving its operations to Portland and other locations. "Smith was born here, and we have always felt that Ketchum's location was a major agreement in the company's success. We think the intangible benefit of our environment far outweighs benefits that any city has to offer," Mayor Nina Jonas said. "We are sorry to see Smith leave."

2014.10.30

 

September 2014 Local Option Tax 

                $241,445.27 

 

Reminder - Wood River Valley Expo Nov. 5  

Remember the trade show, organized by the Hailey Chamber of Commerce, for local businesses on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at the Community Campus in Hailey from 4:30-7 p.m.  

  

Free Seminars for Entrepreneurs

The Ketchum Innovation Center will sponsor three seminars for entrepreneurs in early November. "Smart StartUp" will be Thursday, Nov. 6, from 5:30-8 p.m. and will offer advice on designing and implementing business models from a Zions Bank team. "Inside Secrets to Funding Your Business" will be Friday, Nov. 7, from noon to 2 p.m. and "Cashing in on Your Intellectual Property" will be Thursday, Nov. 13, from noon to 2 p.m. For reservations, contact Jon Duval at jon.duval@ketchumcdc.org or 727-2117.  

 

WHAT WE'RE READING ... and writing
NEWS AT A GLANCE
Remember to Vote Tuesday
Polling places will be open for county and state elections on Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. To find your polling place, click here.

City to Hear Reports from NGOs
The City Council will ask council member liaisons to various non-governmental agencies receiving city funds to schedule regular reports on current activities. On Monday, Nov. 3, Jim Slanetz and Michael David will bring fellow council members up to date on the Ketchum Community Development Corporation, and Anne Corrock will report on the Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency.

Planning and Zoning Commission Considers Parking Lots
Sun Valley Company will appear before the Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday, Nov. 10, for the renewal of the conditional use permit for parking at the Greyhawk parking lots at the Warm Springs base. Click here to read the permitting process for off-street parking areas.

Ketchum Needs Representative on School Board

The Blaine County School District is seeking a board member from Trustee Zone 4, which represents all of Ketchum as well as Hulen Meadows and parts of the unincorporated area south of Ketchum. If there are no applicants in the first 30 days, two additional 30-day periods will be open. If no one from the area applies within that 90-day period, the seat will be open to people living anywhere in the district.

 

"We have not had a representative from our area since 2009," Mayor Nina Jonas said. "The school district is critically important, and I hope very much that someone will apply."

 

Deadline for submitting a letter of interest, including all contact information and the physical address of the applicant, to Board Clerk Laurie Kaufman is 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 21. Call 578-5003 for more information. 

 

Paid-on-Call Firefighters Wanted
The fire departments of Blaine County are now accepting applications for paid-on-call firefighters. No experience is necessary for "one of the best jobs in the world!" Contact the Ketchum Fire Department at 726-7805 or your local firehouse to apply.

Moving Toward LED Streetlights 
LED lights have replaced the old bulbs on four streetlights at the intersection of Sun Valley Road and Walnut Avenue. The bulbs cost about $200 each, but save about 800 watts of power each. Ketchum plans to install more as the budget permits.

Ketchum to Refinance Wastewater Bonds 
Ketchum is planning to refinance two wastewater bonds, totaling approximately $2 million, through the Idaho Bond Bank. Sales of new bonds are scheduled for Nov. 6. Based on estimated bond rates, the city could save as much as $172,000 over the terms of the bonds. 

See 'American Mustang'
The film "American Mustang," benefiting Swiftsure Ranch Therapeutic Equestrian Center, will be shown at 7 p.m. today at the Community School theater.

Davidson to Head Community Library
Jennifer Emery Davidson, former director of the College of Southern Idaho's Blaine County Center in Hailey, has been named executive director of The Community Library. Unlike most public libraries, Ketchum's Community Library is privately funded and receives no tax dollars. Click here to read press release.

Living in Nature's 'Adventure Playground'
Read the column on page 24 in the Oct. 29 Weekly Sun by Jennifer L. Smith, Ketchum's director of parks and recreation, on the benefits to children of living in nature's playground.

Students Can Enter Sun Valley Film Festival
The Sun Valley Film Festival and its Future Filmmakers Forum are now accepting student submissions for the fourth annual Sun Valley Film Festival. Deadline for submissions is Dec. 19.

Game Dinner to Benefit Young Skiers
The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation will hold its 37th annual "Wild West Game Dinner" to benefit young skiers on Saturday, Nov. 15.

Firefighters Ball Set for Nov. 22
The Ketchum and Sun Valley Volunteer Firefighters' Association will have the 35th annual Firefighter's Ball on Saturday, Nov. 22, at 8 p.m. at Whiskey Jacques.

Reminders
Ketchum's traditional Halloween party, Nightmare on Main Street, starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 31. Lunafest, a festival of films, will benefit Girls on the Run on Thursday, Nov. 6 at 6 p.m. at the NexStage Theater.

MEETING INFORMATION
City Council 
Attend the next City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 3. 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 
Planning and Zoning Commission meetings are held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. The next P&Z meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 10 in Ketchum City Hall. Click here for agendas and staff reports or scan the QR code.

Public Comment 
If you cannot attend the Council or P&Z meetings and have an opinion, please submit your comments via email to participate@ketchumidaho.org. Your input and engagement is encouraged. All comments will be reviewed. 
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