Ketchum Police Bike Rodeo 2014                                                                    
     City of Ketchum
P.O. Box 2315
480 East Avenue N.
Ketchum, Idaho 83340
"The Original Mountain Town" 
In This Issue

Our hearts and prayers are with Bowe. 
                                                          May 29, 2014

Message from Mayor Nina Jonas: Alternative Energy Will Keep Dollars in Ketchum
Why do we need alternative energy? Aside from the environmental benefits, alternative energy projects will generate local jobs and keep our hard-earned dollars in our community instead of sending them to out-of-town power companies.

Alternative energy sources are particularly important in view of Idaho Power's proposal to build a second transmission line to improve the reliability of our energy. The line will cost an estimated $21 million, $14 million of which will be billed to local property owners.

It is unclear as to whether local alternative energy projects could eliminate the need for an additional power line, but it is something we should consider.

The Ketchum City Council created the Ketchum Energy Advisory Committee to look at this and similar issues. Its role is to advise on ways to improve the economic, reliability and environmental profile of our electricity systems. Over the past four months, committee members have brought in additional expertise from Idaho National Laboratory and energy developers from Clean Energy Collective in Boulder, Colo., and NextEra Energy Resources, based in Florida and the largest wind and solar developers in the U.S. The committee is identifying generation sources, efficiency options, and storage and grid improvements that will help put Ketchum on a strong footing for a more reliable, cost-effective and environmentally sound energy future.

We are also seeing strong interest from Idaho Power in collaborating with us on our local renewable energy options, creating another opportunity for our community to benefit from a partnership with a company that brings experience and ability. We look forward to a Citywide conversation about our energy risks and opportunities, and will be announcing those soon.

Discussions about the "quality of place" at the Sustain Blaine (now Sun Valley Economic Development) summit in October, as well as conversations I had while running for office, focused on opportunities to align our economic prosperity, secure our infrastructure and promote our environmental values. An area of first oppportunity is energy.

Although as many as 80 home and business owners have solar hot water and/or solar electricity systems, the vast majority of our energy comes from outside our community. This is both a risk and opportunity. We face price risk, because providers determine prices. We face opportunity, because we can now choose to generate power locally from renewable energy sources, creating local jobs and keeping more of our energy dollars here in the valley. These will have the added effect of producing cleaner energy, further protecting our natural heritage and landscapes. 
It is an honor to serve you and I always welcome your input in person or via email, Nina
A "Gold" Lining to the Recession            
goldliningEvery cloud has its proverbial silver lining. For Thad Farnham, the lining was gold

His company, Farnham Construction, earlier this year built the first two houses in Ketchum that meet the National Green Building Standard's "gold" specifications.
"Gold" houses on Sabala Street 

"A benefit of the recession was that I had time to take classes at the Passive House Institute in San Francisco. The saying is that you can heat a passive house with a hair dryer. Once you learn how to build a passive house, meeting the gold standard is easy," he said.

Blower door test finds air leaks. 
Sealing potential air leaks is one major way to conserve energy. A traditional 10-year-old house has almost 10 exchanges of air per hour when pressurized with a blower door test, the standard method of measuring air leaks. A passive house has 0.6. One of Farnham's gold standard houses has 0.7 and the other, 1.2 exchanges per hour. The projected annual heating bill for the 2,214-square-foot homes is $400 each.

LED lighting, with bulbs expected to last 20 years, is another feature of the side-by-side homes at Sabala and Williams streets in West Ketchum. "My guarantee is that if a light bulb goes out within five years, I will personally replace it." Farnham said.

"Gold" house on River Run Drive 
Ketchum already has one house, constructed four years ago on River Run Drive by Idaho Mountain Builders, that meets the gold  Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) standards. Co-owner Joe Marx was a member of Ketchum's Green Code Team, which worked to upgrade city building codes in 2012 to require more environmentally sensitive buildings.

"The fact that all three gold homes were built as 'spec' houses signifies the growing interest in sustainable building," said Joyce Allgaier, City director of planning and building.

Companies that test homes for energy efficiency also are seeing an increase in business. Consultant John Reuter, whose company John Reuter Greenworks, LLC tested the Farnham houses, notes that almost every new building in the valley today is required to have testing for energy efficiency.

Infrared testing for energy leaks. 
City Councilman Baird Gourlay, whose Energy Management & Consulting Corp. or E=mc� is consolidating with other regional energy experts to expand their service, said "The demand for energy efficiencies in commercial sectors has exploded. It ranges from dairy farmers in Idaho to golf courses to municipalities and industries across the nation."

The Wood River Valley also has a gold-certified house in Bellevue and gold multi-family housing near St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center.

"People also are realizing that 'green' building is only part of the sustainability issue," Allgaier added. "Water conservation, renewable energy, businesses that serve the local community, infilling by constructing homes on vacant lots, living near services and jobs, opportunities to walk and bike to reduce the use of cars - these are all things that make a healthier and more resilient community."

Becoming a "greener" community is one of the core values of the City's Comprehensive Plan. As the plan notes, Ketchum residents "are willing to undertake local actions to reduce impact on the natural environment."  
How Will Sun Valley Lodge Renovation & Closure Effect Ketchum?

svrenovationWe talked with Sun Valley Vice President/General Manager Tim Silva about the impact on Ketchum when Sun Valley Lodge closes for nine months for guest room and public area renovation and construction of a spa, starting in September and continuing through mid-June.

How will the renovation affect Ketchum? 
From my perspective, this is the most exciting change to the resort since the express quads were first installed on Bald Mountain in 1988. I think these improvements will continue to position the resort and the surrounding communities as a world-class destination. The resort is the engine of our economy, and this renovation adds a new dimension and attraction for the entire community. 
Some people feel that Sun Valley can be a bit mysterious about its plans. Why do you think that is? 
While we are a private company, we strive to be proactive in communicating plans for the resort, particularly this very exciting Lodge renovation and spa addition. 
How will the closure affect business this summer? 
Sun Valley Resort will operate as usual. The Lodge, Lodge terrace, Pavilion and ice rinks will be open and the summer ice shows will go on. The Sun Valley Inn, retail shops, restaurants and entertainment venues will be unaffected by the project. We have relocated our existing beauty salon and spa to the Sun Valley Village until the project is completed. 
What about winter?
There will be lodging capacity constraints at a few peak times, and we are just as interested as Ketchum in retaining our holiday visitors. We already are working with community partners to be sure that all guests have accommodations. The village, the ice rink, the Christmas festivities and tree lighting all will operate as usual. Sun Valley Inn and all the condos and cottages will be open. The Lodge's traditional Christmas dinner will be at the Sun Valley Club.
What is important about the renovation? 
These improvements and upgrades will continue to improve the guest experience, which is very important for the continued success of the resort and surrounding communities. We have an excellent team guiding the process. First and foremost, Mrs. Holding (The Holding family owns Sun Valley Resort) is personally overseeing the designs for the Lodge renovation and we have very good and experienced architectural partners. Sun Valley has retained the Boston design firm of Frank Nicholson, Inc. and local architects Ruscitto, Latham, Blanton. They have worked together in Sun Valley for more than two decades, and they understand that we all want to maintain the character of the resort. Their prior projects include River Run Lodge in 1994, Carol's Dollar Mountain Lodget in 2004, the Sun Valley Lodge improvements in 1996 and 2004 and the Sun Valley Pavilion in 2008. 
Why is the renovation needed? 
Our guests expect a full service spa and a state-of-the art fitness center that is convenient and up to date. There's never a good time to do this work. We are thrilled that the Holding family is making the improvements. It bodes very well for Sun Vallely and the larger community.  
Additional information is available on the Sun Valley website
Making Downtown Friendlier to Bicyclists, Pedestrians
  bikepedBicycle corrals, diagonal pedestrian crossings, "sharrows" and new signage and traffic signals are all part of the Mayor's 2014 Bicycle & Pedestrian Friendly Initiative for downtown Ketchum this summer.

As part of the effort to make downtown safe and welcoming for cyclists and pedestrians as well as drivers, the City Council will discuss the following potential improvements Monday, June 2, at 5:30 p.m.

  • Install signs along Fourth Street from Spruce to Main streets identifying the street as a "Ped Bikeway" and asking motorized vehicles to use the street for visiting local businesses only. All parking would be retained. The portable signs would be in place only during the summer.
  • Install a diagonal crosswalk at the intersection of Fourth Street and East Avenue. The crosswalk has already been painted and permits pedestrians to go directly across the intersection.
  • Install a pedestrian crossing light, activated by a push button, at Fourth and Main streets.
  • Allow right turns only at Fourth and Main streets. This would encourage the use of the signalized intersections on Main.
  • Paint "sharrows," indicating that bikes and cars are expected to share the road, on portions of Fourth Street and First Avenue.
  • Paint a full green bike lane on the northeastern side of Spruce Street to connect the Sun Valley Road bike path with the Fourth Street "Ped Bikeway."
  • Install three bike parking corrals. One corral is tentatively planned for Walnut Street at the end of the center aisle parking in front of Velocio, whose management has offered to partner with the City to install it. Two others would be installed at East Avenue and Fourth Street, one in front of the Big Wood Bread Cafe, and the other near Leroy's in Town Square. No parking would be removed at this intersection. "The goal is to confirm that Ketchum values bikes in our community by providing a protected and designated areas to park," said Joyce Allgaier, director of Planning and Building

The estimated cost of the pedestrian crossing light is $10,000. The other costs are included within the City's maintenance budget, according to Robyn Mattison, public works director/city engineer.


In addition, the City is working with Mountain Rides Transportation Authority to locate several "bike share" stations in the City. A similar program operated in Hailey last summer.  Read the staff report here

Businesses Need City Permission for Sidewalk Signs, Tables
sidewalks As part of the effort to keep Ketchum safe and welcoming for pedestrians, the City reminds merchants that permission is required to place items such as signs or tables and chairs on sidewalks.

For example, permission typically will be given to place a table beside a building out of the normal flow of pedestrian traffic but not by a bus stop where people are loading and unloading.

The City will review each request to ensure that it complies with public safety and ADA access requirements. There must be at least five feet of clear space around anything placed on the sidewalk. Applications for "Right-of-Way Encroachment Permits" are on the City website.  
Business Owners: Remember Tonight's Forum

businessownersThe City will hold a forum for business owners today, Thursday, May 29, at 5:30 p.m. at the Sun Valley/Ketchum Visitors Center, 491 Sun Valley Road. The title of the program is "Business Owners: What's on Your Mind?" 


Mayor Nina Jonas is inviting all business owners to join her and other elected and appointed officials for informal discussions and keypad polling on a variety of topics. Topics to be discussed include how the City can better collaborate with its existing businesses, City communication with business owners, business training programs that would be helpful, opinions on permitting temporary vendors and whether Ketchum needs a new business organization.

Around Town
Tonight, Thursday, May 29 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., the Ketchum Innovation Center (KIC) presents the Local Food Products Panel where local company owners and producers of Wood River Valley's food products will discuss how they got their businesses off the ground and offer advice for other business owners.

Play 'Goofy Golf' Saturday   
The Weekly Sun describes it as "goofy golf in the finest sense of the word." It's the Ketchum Wide Open, a temporary miniature golf course with holes at nine restaurants and bars in downtown Ketchum. Sign up at 11 a.m. Saturday at Ketchum Town Square, with tee-off at noon. The $20 adminssion fee for a team of two benefits The Hunger Coalition. The City is among the sponsors of the event, which brings people downtown during the shoulder season.
Visit Sun Valley Summer Marketing Campaign Update    
A community meeting with Visit Sun Valley will be held on Tuesday, June 3 at 5 p.m. at the Wood River YMCA. Summer marketing campaign updates and the introduction of the new dues structure will be discussed.

Learn About Starting Social Ventures
The Ketchum Innovation Center (KIC), Wild Gift and Flourish Foundation will host an event on starting social ventures in the Wood River Valley on Tuesday, June 3, from 5-7 p.m. at the Innovation Center, 100 Lindsay Circle. Wild Gift Executive Director Deborah Knapp will answer questions about the program and the application process for 2015 fellowships. Flourish Foundation Executive Director Ryan Redman will discuss the interrelationship between personal transformation and social action, and "how to bring mindfulness into the challenging work of social change."

Science Pub Happy Hour

The Sawtooth Brewery will be hosting the Idaho Conservation League's Science Pub on Wednesday, June 4 from 6-7 p.m. The Science Pub kicked of their series with the topic of wilderness. The upcoming discussion will be on the wolverine, a rare species that faces significant challenges to its future in the U.S.  

Farmers Market to Start June 10 
The Ketchum Farmers Market will open June 10. It will run every Tuesday through Oct. 7 on Fourth Street between East and Walnut avenues from 2-6 p.m.

Legal Advice for Start-Ups on June 12 
A program on "Legal Advice for Start-Ups," part of the Ketchum Innovation Center's series of workshops for start-ups, will be June 12 from 5:30-7:30 at KIC. Speakers will be Dean Holter, counsel and chief financial officer at Christensen Global Strategies, and Amanda Breen, principal attorney at Amanda Breen Law. The program is free.

Ketchum May Offer Short-Term RV Parking  
With all the recreational vehicles passing through town in the summer, wouldn't it be nice if the occupants had lunch and did a little shopping in Ketchum? Council Member Anne Corrock raised the question at a recent City Council meeting, and Mayor Nina Jonas asked staff to investigate the possibilities. One potential location for short-term RV parking is in the center lane of First Avenue between River Street and Sixth Street. The City Council will discuss the question at its Monday, June 2 meeting. 

Housing 'Affordability' Gap Still Significant
The single-family home market in Ketchum and Sun Valley has shown very little change over the past two years, according to the Blaine County Housing Authority's semi-annual report for the period ending March 31. A family would have to earn $220,000 a year, or 20 percent of the area's median income, to afford a median-priced home. The median price of the 15 single-family homes sold in Ketchum and Sun Valley in the first quarter of 2014 was $1 million. The median price for condos and townhouses was $335,000. The two-year trend in the condo-townhouse market shows a 37 percent decrease in the number of units closed, a 3 percent increase in the median sale price and a 54 percent increase in the average sales price.

Mountain Rides Reduces Prices  
Mountain Rides Transportation Authority will reduce prices for monthly passes from 7 to 16.6 percent June 1, with the largest decreases for youngsters and seniors. Service within the City of Ketchum remains free. Ridership increased 13 percent in April, compared to April of last year. Read the Mountain Express article.  
Do You Have a Carbon Monoxide Alarm?
Prompted by recent events that claimed multiple lives in Idaho, the Idaho Division of Building Safety has launched a public awareness campaign focusing on the dangers of carbon monoxide gas and the importance of properly installed and maintained alarms. Since November of 2012, five Idahoans have died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. The Idaho building code requires properly installed carbon monoxide alarms near sleeping areas in homes and multi-family dwellings that employ fuel-burning appliances or that have an attached garage.

Sun Valley Summer Symphony in New York Times  
The New York Times included the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in its list of outstanding summer classical music festivals.

Following Up on Past Newsletter Stories
... The proposed two-year Blaine County property tax levy for roads and bridges failed in the May 20 election by a vote of 1,061 to 1,170.
... The Ketchum City Council voted to support the creation of a Boulder-White Clouds National Monument. Local supporters are optimistic as President Obama has said that he hopes to create more national monuments before he leaves office.
... Ketchum voted to amend city laws to prohibit traveling circuses with performances by exotic animals.

... Ketchum Police Department gave away 25 bicycle helmets and provided bicycle safety inspections and tips to more than 40 children at the Police Bike Rodeo last weekend. 

Would You Like to Be Notified of Special Events? Many outdoor special events are being held in Ketchum this summer. Find out what they are, when they are and where they are by signing up for notifications on the City's website.

How to Reserve Space in a Ketchum Park  
Ketchum offers reserved space for groups in many of its parks. Fees vary, depending upon whether the reservation is for a private party or nonprofit group or for a commercial activity. Additional details are available online.

Need a Summer Job? 
The Ketchum Parks & Recreation Department is looking for counselors for  summer youth programs. If you are interested, apply online by June 13.

KDPI Radio - "For A Cause"
Tune in to KDPI 89.3 FM next week to hear from Mayor Nina Jonas for a recap of the June 2 City Council meeting and upcoming items of interest. The half-hour program is held on Tuesdays following Council meetings from noon to 12:30 p.m. Next week's show will be on Tuesday, June 3 at noon. Listen live at 89.3 or online.
Meeting Information
meetinginfo9City Council
Attend the next City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, June 2. Possible locations for RV parking will be presented and there will be an update on Mayor Nina Jonas' Bicycle & Pedestrian Friendly Initiative. 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 packet.

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, June 9 in Ketchum City Hall.  Click here for agendas and meeting packets.

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

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In 2012, the City of Ketchum adopted the 2008 Edition of the National Green Building Standard (NGBS), amending Ketchum's Municipal Code. Read Ordinance No. 1096 here.

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