City of Ketchum
P.O. Box 2315
480 East Avenue N.
Ketchum, Idaho 83340
"Small Town, Big Life"
A Message from Us
As your police chief, I lead a group of men and women sworn to put their lives on the line to protect you. The conditions in which they now work are deplorable. Our department has no windows, and the ventilation is so bad that we once had the highest number of sick days of any department in the city. We have taken partial steps to correct this, but cannot do any more within the existing building.
-- Dave Kassner, April 2016
A yes vote on giving the city the go ahead to bond, is the start of the process to find the most economical and affordable way to house essential city services.
As working folk who pay property taxes in Ketchum, working with the community to figure out how to lower the price tag as much as possible while still taking into account future city needs, is directly in our interest.
It is analogous to owning a car that is costing more money than it is worth to keep on the road. At some point, it doesn't make sense to keep pouring money into that car, and it becomes fiscally irresponsible not to look for other transportation alternatives. The city doesn't need a luxury vehicle, just the permission from the voters to explore finding a vehicle that will get us from point A to point B, for a reasonable price. Or not; and we can keep dumping money into our current beater, and let the next Council and mayor deal with it in a few years.
-- City Council President Jim Slanetz, May 2016
As your fire chief, I have dedicated my career to protecting our community. Our firefighters can do this only with a proper building housing the emergency operations of the city. We outgrew this facility years ago. Today, the antiquated building is creating dangers for both firefighters and members of the community we serve.
-- Mike Elle, April 2016
"I'm 100 percent behind going forward" ... "My fear is we won't get the vote."
-- Councilman Baird Gourlay, February 2016
"I'm a huge supporter of getting out of this building before it falls down. It's been a priority for me and in my discussions with the public. This has been going on since 2001 and maybe before ..."
-- Councilman Michael David, January 2016
It's not a matter of "if" we should replace the outdated building that houses all of our city services, it's a matter of "when." The answer to that is "now," so the next question is "How?"
The answer is similar to what each of us would do if we were to plan a building project: Estimate the cost, secure funding, and proceed with design and construction. We would manage our costs during the process with a line of credit and upon completion, secure a mortgage.
On May 17, Ketchum voters are being asked to authorize the city to borrow money to fund this project, up to an estimated total cost of $23.1 million, through a general obligation bond. Bond anticipation notes (BANs) would be the "line of credit" used. Upon completion of the project, which would take about three years, the BANs would be paid by the sale of municipal bonds. There would be no cost to the property owners until the completion of the project when the amount of the actual funds used, up to $23.1 million, would be known.
The vote on May 17, would ensure that we have the funds to deliver a complete project to the citizens of Ketchum. The BAN funding would allow us the opportunity and flexibility to keep the final costs to the Ketchum property taxpayer down by considering alternative locations, designs and even funding sources. As elected officials, it is our job to provide the services our community needs in an efficient and fiscally responsible manner. As property owners ourselves, we are highly motivated to find cost savings in building the necessary facilities.
-- Councilwoman Anne Corrock, May 2016
There are many solutions, but time only makes them more expensive. The Tuesday vote is about giving the city the authority to access funds so we can explore the many options in providing new essential services facilities.
-- Mayor Nina Jonas, May 2016
More information can be found at
Q. How much would the city get if it were to sell the current City Hall site?
A. Based on the examination of seven properties that are listed for sale in Ketchum, the 0.39-acre City Hall site could bring $3 million to $5 million. Because the existing building has hazardous materials, the sale proceeds would be reduced in order to remove them.
The city is required to sell its property through an auction process. The property must be sold to the the highest bidder.
Q. What is a BAN?
A. BAN is the acronym for bond anticipation note; the option the city would choose to pay back the general obligation bond if it passes on Tuesday, May 17. BANs are similar to construction loans and can be borrowed against the bond. BANs would be issued as project costs were incurred and for amounts needed for specific elements of the project. Once the project was complete (estimated to take approximately 3 years), the BANs would be tallied and property would then be assessed. Property owners would be taxed for the actual amount that was spent on the TWO buildings. If the project costs were $23.1 million, the assessment would be approximately $50 per $100,000 in property value. If the project costs were less, the tax assessment would be less.
The alternative to this borrowing method would be for the city to take the entire $23.1 million once the bond was approved. If the cost for the TWO buildings is lower, taxpayers would be paid back, but that is a challenging process. It makes sense to only take the money as it is needed.
Note: If you submit a question to "Ask Nina," your name may be published unless you request that it be withheld.
Police and City Operations/Emergency Network Communications Facility
Construction Cost: $10,185,000 ($261/sf)
Construction Cost: $6,540,000 ($358/sf)
Approximately one-third of construction costs: $6,446,000
Included in the soft costs are demolition; relocation and temporary facilities; surveying and utilities connections; architectural, engineering and legal fees; signage, furniture, fixtures, equipment and technology systems; builder's risk insurance; and bidding and construction contingencies.
Savings could be found in the total project. The bidding and construction contingencies alone are $2.6 million. With public input on needs, desires and design, and approval of all contracts in public meetings, the costs will be scrutinized and controlled. However, there is still the need to have the estimated cost funds available to ensure the completion of the project.
Mmmmm. Morels. The New York Times describes the delectable mushrooms this way: "They look like sponges or Dali-esque brains, but ... their unique earthly flavor can't be topped."
It's morel-hunting season in the Wood River Valley this week, and the best locations are a closely guarded secret by those who know. Morels emerge in moist weather with air temperatures in the 60s and 70s and soil temperatures in the 50s. When you find them, simply cut the stem at the cup or base above the dirt. This keeps the dirt out of your collection bag and the theory is that by leaving the root you are assuring that the patch will reproduce next season.
Hint: Look near a riverbank or a dying tree or in areas ravaged by forest fires in recent years. Indeed, the record number of recent forest fires across the country has brought the benefit of record numbers of morels.
There are 19 known varieties, and the edible ones have hollow cores from stem to cap, which you can see when you cut it open. The false morel (Verpa bohemica) is filled with cotton-like fibers. Also, the cap is attached to the stem at the base of the cap in a true morel. If you're a new morel-hunter, check photos of edible and false morels carefully. Sometimes slugs will eat the fibers of poisonous morels, making them appear hollow.
An easier way to obtain the delicacies, of course, is to buy them at the grocery store or already prepared at a restaurant.
You can simply saute morels with butter and garlic or coat them with flour and fry them. You can add them to soup, chicken, pasta, prawns, steak, asparagus ... the list goes on. Epicurious.com lists more than 50 recipes for morels.
However you find them or fix them, be sure to enjoy them. It wouldn't be a true springtime in Ketchum without morels.
Current Summer Event Card is Out
Visit Sun Valley has cards listing 2016 summer events. If your business would like to distribute them, contact
Hotel Building Permit Received
Developers of the proposed
Auberge Resort Sun Valley
, to be constructed on River and South Main streets, have applied for a building permit. This is a major step in the process toward building another major hotel in Ketchum.
NEWS AT A GLANCE
Talk to Mayor Nina Jonas About Tuesday's Election Monday
Stop by for an informal chat with Mayor Nina Jonas about Tuesday's special election for a general obligation bond. She'll be at the U.S. Post Office in Ketchum Monday, May 16, from noon to 1 p.m.
Vote Tuesday, May 17, on General Obligation Bond
Polls will be open at Hemingway School from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Think We're Best Place to Be? Tell the Magazines, Now
Please vote online and help us win two competitions.
magazine will select the "Best Town" on May 27, and
magazine is taking its annual survey of top resorts ending on July 1.
City Plans Community Housing Study - May 31 Deadline
The city is
for a study of
the effectiveness of current community housing standards and development incentives, and recommendations for enhancements.
'Clean Sweep' for Appliances, Tires & More on May 14
Friedman Memorial Airport to Close for Runway Work, May 17-19
Friedman Memorial Airport
will be closed from 8 a.m. on Tuesday, May 17, through 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, for runway work.
Observe Bike to School (and Work) Day May 20
Join Mayor Nina Jonas at the
in Ketchum at 7:15 a.m. on Friday, May 20, and bike to Hemingway School together. City employees plan to bike to work in observance of the event, sponsored by
Craters of the Moon Exhibit to Open May 20
Kids to Parks Day Is May 21
City Council Monday is expected to proclaim May 21 as the sixth
Kids to Parks Day
as part of the event organized by the National Park Trust.
How to Create Beautiful Landscapes That Save Water, June 5, 8 and July 16
Ketchum is co-sponsoring a series of
to promote water-saving landscapes. Next in the series are "Attracting Pollinators to Your Landscape" on June 5, "7 Steps of Xeriscape Design" on June 8, and "Do-It-Yourself Steps to Saving Water" on July 16. Co-sponsors are the cities of
Wood River Land Trust
Mayor's Radio Talks Resume on June 7
Mayor Nina Jonas talks about current city issues on
KDPI-FM Drop-in Radio
, 88.5 FM, after every City Council meeting. Her next appearance will be Tuesday, June 7, at noon.
City Council Sets Special Budget Meeting on May 23
The City Council will hold a special meeting on the FY 2016-17 budget at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, May 23. There will be no Planning & Zoning Commission on that date.
Become a "Fellow," Now
The city is offering internship and fellowship opportunities to gain valuable assistance on city initiatives, inject the city with fresh perspectives and introduce Ketchum to a new audience. Please encourage your friends and family to apply. Click
Chip Sealing Scheduled for July 11-14
Summer chip sealing of streets is scheduled for July 11-14. Click
for schedule and locations.
Summer Youth Program Starts June 15
Online registration for the
Summer Youth Recreation Program
is open. Programs start June 15 and include active outdoor recreation such as soccer, swimming, golf, tennis, mountain biking, skateboarding, social games or ball sports, or stewardship and creative activities such as arts and crafts, gardening, birding and geocaching. Optional Friday Adventures offer excursions to nearby attractions and include river rafting, mountain biking and caving. The city also is hiring recreation leaders for the program.
Idaho Press Club Recognizes This Newsletter
Idaho Press Club
presented an award for this newsletter to Mayor Nina Jonas, Assistant City Administrator Lisa Enourato and public relations consultant Jo Murray. Awards also went to the Idaho Mountain Express, Weekly Sun and KMVT.
Attend the next City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, May 16. 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.
A special meeting of the City Council will be held on Monday, May 23, at Ketchum City Hall. The Planning and Zoning Commission meeting normally scheduled for that evening has been cancelled.
Planning and Zoning Commission
Attend the next Planning and Zoning Commission meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, June 13. 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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