Spring Lupine                                                                                                                           Photo courtesy of Carol Waller

City of Ketchum
P.O. Box 2315
480 East Avenue N.
Ketchum, Idaho 83340
"Small Town, Big Life"

Inform. Celebrate. Involve.
June 2, 2017
In This Issue
A Message From Mayor Nina Jonas

Nina And then it was summer! Any season in the Rocky Mountains of central Idaho is worthy of cherishing. But summer, lovely summer! Animals are frolicking and the luckiest of humans get to see even baby animals frolicking. Flowers are blooming and it's once again snowing cottonwood fluff. Rivers are running high and bringing the fantastic loads of winter snow right into some of our yards. It's a fascinating time of year to witness nature in action!

Ketchum staff have been hard at work meeting with concerned residents and property owners, issuing emergency permits and dealing with impacted city infrastructure. Tallying exactly how many times "it's called the Big Wood for a reason" was uttered would reveal a staggering figure. All that wood in the river will reveal great new fishing holes, and water cascading over new downed woody material helps with water aeration and aquatic habitat.

Once Mother Nature settles into her summer routine, in come the summer events! Ketchum is working hard on an off-the-charts Wagon Days event in honor of its 60th celebration. Additionally, The Great American Eclipse will likely bring thousands of travelers to our area and we are encouraging businesses and residents to be prepared for just about anything.

So strap in, grab the reins and hold on tight - the busy summer is just about upon us! Yahoo! Stay safe everyone!


Q. Nina, been thinking as the fire season begins...why don't we make fireworks illegal in Ketchum and even Blaine County. If I can do anything to make this happen, just let me know. It's really important!                                                                                       --Ann Wescott 
A. Thanks for the timely question, especially as we get closer to the peak of the holiday fireworks season. What's interesting is that some types of fireworks are already illegal in Ketchum, and in the state. In fact, state statute prohibits the sale of bottle rockets and aerial fireworks that fly more than 20 feet in the air for private purposes. But a loophole allows those items to be sold, providing that the businesses require buyers to sign an affidavit stating the fireworks will not be set off in the state. A bill proposed in the 2017 Idaho Legislature attempted to close that loophole, but never made it out of committee. You can find more detail in the city ordinance or in the state code.

The help you - and others - can provide going forward is educating the public on the risk and threats posed by fireworks. Newspaper headlines constantly remind of the physical risks and harm caused by fireworks. We also need to look no further than our own backyard, where fireworks have ignited blazes scorching acres of land, to better understand the dangers to public safety and private property posed by fireworks.

Do you have a question for Mayor Nina Jonas?

Note: If you submit a question to "Ask Nina," your name may be published unless you request that it be withheld.
Stay involved in your community. Included here are links to the Monday, June 5, Council agenda and Council meeting information. The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. At this meeting, Mayor Jonas will introduce the new Art in City Hall exhibit. Council will consider approval of contracts and agreements for maintenance of bus stops with Mountain Rides, completion of the city's tree inventory with Community Forestry Consultant, Inc. and completion of tennis courts at Atkinson Park. Funding requests for the upcoming FY17/18 budget will be presented by the Ketchum Arts Commission, Ketchum Energy Advisory Committee, Visit Sun Valley, Mountain Rides, Blaine County Housing Authority, Ketchum Community Development Corporation and Sun Valley Economic Development. Recommendations will also be made for design and construction amendments to the Ketchum Sidewalk Infill 2017 Project and to purchase a radio system for the top of Bald Mountain.    

It is the responsibility of the City to inform the public and gain public input. We encourage you to provide the City with your opinion and comments by attending Monday's meeting at 5:30 p.m. in Ketchum City Hall, 480 East Ave. N., or by sending an email to

As we're all aware, Ketchum, and other communities in the Wood River Valley, are experiencing flooding. NOAA is predicting the Big Wood River will rise this Friday back to the levels that existed in early May. The City has been keeping close watch on the rivers by monitoring multiple websites. Two key websites that track water levels and velocity, (cubic feet per second, CFS) for Warm Springs Creek and the Big Wood River in Ketchum are the following:

Warm Springs Creek:
Big Wood River:
Ketchum has been preparing for flooding since February by taking the following actions:
  • Updated the Ketchum Flood Response Plan, a document that outlines city staff roles, responsibilities and identifies resources to employ when the flooding occurs.
  • City Council enacted emergency permitting procedures for streambank alterations and discharge of water into public property, including the waiving of permit fees.
  • Public communications via social media, council reports, public meetings, and other avenues urging residents to be prepared for flooding.
  • Ketchum stocked up on sand and sandbags and offered free sandbags to residents in need.
  • When waters began to rise, daily river monitoring occurred. City staff monitored streambanks, trees, infrastructure and overall conditions in the community and responded when necessary.
  • Established the non-emergency flood hot line number, (208) 720-9992, for residents to access all flood related information.
  • Hosted three community sandbag filling parties and filled over 10,000 sandbags.
  • To date, issued 20 emergency stream alteration permits to minimize immediate flooding damage.
Currently, Ketchum and the other communities experiencing flooding are finding ways to dispose of sandbags once river conditions return to normal. Please do not empty the sandbags into the river and stay tuned for more information as this plan is developed.

Flooding is not over and we must all remain prepared and aware of the river conditions. Ketchum will continue to keep the community informed and prepared to respond. In the long term, Ketchum will be evaluating future development standards and approaches to minimize flooding impacts throughout in the community.

Summer is in the air and Ketchum events are taking shape. The City is making plans for several new and free events this summer. A few are highlighted below and information on those in the works will be coming soon. To view a full calendar of events, go to

Summer Concert Series 
Ketchem Alive Blue skies and warm temperatures are perfect for Ketchum's free Summer Concert Series. Ketch'em Alive kicks off the season on Tuesday, June 13, at Forest Service Park with the valley's own Grateful Dead Tribute. This year, Washington Avenue between First and River Streets will be closed and filled Jazz in the Park with food trucks offering dinner and drinks. Picnics are still welcome but take the night off and support our local vendors. Enjoy Sunday evenings at Jazz in the Park beginning June 18 with Avenue B. The free concerts are held at Rotary Park each Sunday until July 23 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Click on the links for Ketch'em Alive and Jazz in the Park schedules.

The Great American Eclipse 
This year, Ketchum lies in the "path of totality," where a full solar eclipse will occur on August 21, 2017. Ketchum will be busier than ever and is expecting its largest influx of visitors.

This moment marks the first total eclipse of the sun visible from all 48 contiguous United States since 1979 and the first visible from coast to coast in the U.S. since 1918.
A community event is planned at Festival Meadow to celebrate this extraordinary event. Learn about the solar eclipse and find details on the event at
Wagon Days  Wagon Days New
Ten days later ... Wagon Days. Plans are underway for the 60th celebration of Wagon Days over Labor Day weekend. The City is thrilled to present live music by Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real at the street party following the parade to celebrate this landmark anniversary.
The centerpiece event is the Big Hitch Parade, one of the biggest, non-motorized parades in the Pacific Northwest featuring more than 100 museum-quality buggies, carriages, carts, stage coaches and wagons. The parade begins Saturday at 1 p.m. and is followed by the street party at Town Square and East Avenue with local food trucks and live music. The street party is a free, family-friendly event.
Promise of the Real, led by Lukas Nelson and his brother Micah, both sons of country music legend Willie Nelson, released their latest album this spring after touring with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Neil Young.
Promise of the Real
The lineup of events also features traditional reading of cowboy poetry and a barn dance planned at the Ore Wagon Museum, meandering musicians, the Papoose Club pancake breakfast, children's activities and antique and art fairs.
Wagon Days Headquarters opens August 18 and additional information is available at

The Mayor's budget preparation is underway. Funding requests, Council review, and presentation, discussion and public hearings all take place during regular City Council meetings beginning Monday, June 5, at 5:30 p.m.

June 5:  Funding request presentations by non-governmental agencies and city commissions 
June 19:  Overview of all projected revenue for fiscal year 2018 
July 3:  Public Hearing - presentation and discussion of Proposed Budget 
July 17:  Public Hearing - adoption of budget resolution and first reading of appropriation ordinance 
August 7:  Public Hearing - second reading of appropriation ordinance 
August 31:  Public Hearing - third reading and adoption of appropriation ordinance 
Startup With Help From KIC 
See what's been happening at the KIC building. The Ketchum Innovation Center is hosting a Startup Showcase where local entrepreneurs and startups will present their projects to the public, potential investors and the Sun Valley Band of Angels & Mentors. The Showcase will be held on Thursday, June 22, from 4-8 p.m. at 311 First Ave., N. June workshops include IdeaBounce, Introduction to Patents and Turn Your Ideas Into Cash. Visit the KIC Calendar for dates and times.    
Michael David, City Councilmember 2014.07.17
Suzanne Frick, Ketchum City Administrator
Keep Your Sandbags in Place 
High waters may continue over the next several days and projections are at 7.89 feet at the Hailey gauge on Friday, June 2. Stay safe by keeping sandbags in place. If you need sandbags, they are available at the Ketchum Street Department, 200 Tenth Street. For non-emergency flood concerns, call 208-720-9992. 
Trails Continue to Open 
Many trails on the Ketchum Ranger District that have been closed due to wet conditions are now in a partial-open status. However, with the Big Wood and its tributaries raging and some trail footbridges missing, please take extra precautions and turn back if you come to flood stage waters. Follow summer trail information here.

Planning & Zoning Commission Hold Special Meeting 
On Thursday, June 8, at 2 p.m., the Planning and Zoning Commission will consider an appeal over an administrative decision to deny a request by the applicant for a fueling station, Bracken Station, to accept and review a new conditional use permit application. The meeting will be held at Ketchum City Hall. The meeting packet can be viewed here.

Still Time to Register for Summer Recreation Program 
Programs include active outdoor recreation and creative activities such as tennis, gardening, golf, swimming, skateboarding, mountain biking, birding, geocaching, and arts and crafts. Optional Friday Adventures offer excursions to nearby attractions and include river rafting and caving. Register at or contact John Kearney at 726-7820 or   
City Council 
Attend the next City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, June 5. City Council meetings are held on the first and third Monday 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 Special Planning and Zoning Commission meeting at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 8. P&Z meetings are held on the second and fourth Monday of each month 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 would like to express an opinion, please submit your comments via email to Your input and engagement is encouraged. All comments will be reviewed. 
You are receiving this email because you have requested it or done business with the City of Ketchum in the past. We appreciate our residents, businesses and visitors and look forward to telling you more about Ketchum and receiving your input. To subscribe, click here. If you would like to unsubscribe, please click on the link below.

City of Ketchum