Ketchum, Idaho circa 1970s

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

Inform. Celebrate. Involve.
March 30, 2017
In This Issue
Nina Things are a changing. Business and development activity in Ketchum are on the rise.
The national consumer and business confidence indexes are up, and that economic confidence is evident in Ketchum. The local option sales tax collections are back to their pre-recession levels of 2006 (2006 collections were $2,152,805; 2016 collections were $2,190,805). In 2016, 52 new businesses opened their doors and 111 building permits were issued reflecting this growing confidence in the local economy.
Community development projects like the proposed Argyros theatre on Main and First Streets - aka the nexStage - promise to bring visiting art performances from around the world while providing a showstopping space for local artists in one of two performance halls capable of seating a total of 416 patrons.
Five hotels were approved between 2006 and 2010, adding hundreds of future hotel rooms to Ketchum. Limelight is the first to be completed. Auberge, Simplot, Warm Springs and River Run developments are pending. All combine hotel, residential and commercial uses.
This will bring much anticipated change to Ketchum's landscape, culture and functionality. To keep pace with the growth, the City must tackle affordable housing and public infrastructure. These issues have been on the table for decades, unresolved.
I ask City Council and the Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency (KURA) to partner in developing a ten-year strategy to maximize property assets, tax revenues and volunteerism, and to work with local agencies and businesses. Partnership project ideas abound ranging from housing, parking garages, sidewalks and lighting, recreation facilities and essential service facilities. The strategy should include paying off any bond debt before the sunset of the KURA in 2030.
I welcome the challenge of leading the City to tackle affordable housing and public infrastructure and ask the good people of the City Council and the KURA to join me. They have demonstrated their fine commitment to finding solutions and are willing to do the hard work of analysis and planning to see these solutions come to life. While change is unavoidable, good change is planned.

It's an honor to serve you,


Q. Since the passing of the ordinance in 2006 [Ordinance 994, an ordinance that replaced a chapter of the land use code for the community core district "... with a form-based code, including regulations for land use, building form design regulations, affordable workforce housing inclusionary zoning requirements ..."], how much money has been collected as "in lieu" and where is that money now or what has been purchased with it?

A. Thank you for your question. The answer can best be provided via the two graphs below.

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, April 3, Council agenda, the Council meeting information and an energy information survey. This meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. At this meeting, Council will discuss the Argyros Performing Arts Center text amendment to remove parking requirements and request to postpone payment of in-lieu housing fees. Contracts for an ADA consulting firm, Wagon Days and roof replacement at Atkinson Park as well as agreements for this year's Art on Fourth will be presented to Council for approval.

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
The City of Ketchum spends its fair share of time on "best of" lists. This year, we can add an exciting, new distinction: We've been named one of the best places to view the 2017 total solar eclipse by the Los Angeles Times.
The eclipse, which will happen on Monday, August 21, will only be a partial eclipse to most of the country. Yet areas in the "path of totality" will be treated to a true total eclipse. In Ketchum, the partial eclipse will begin at 10:12:37 a.m.; the total eclipse will begin at 11:29:38 a.m. (and last over a minute); the entire eclipse will conclude a few minutes before 1:00 p.m.
As the LA Times reports, " this rare cosmic occurrence will turn the summer day dark, reveal stars in the daytime sky, and move the black disk of the moon to where the sun should be."
Because the full eclipse is viewable only in the United States, it's being referred to as "the Great American Eclipse." Millions of visitors are expected across the country to sites located within the path of totality, and Ketchum is excited to plan eclipse-related events and to welcome visitors to the city.
Ketchum and the City of Sun Valley are working collaboratively on an event to celebrate the eclipse on August 21 at Festival Meadow on Sun Valley Road. While details are being finalized, the cities' events are expected to coordinate with Ketchum's efforts to become a Dark Sky Community, and both cities' efforts to become a Dark Sky Reserve. Dark Sky Communities are " places around the world that recognize and promote excellent stewardship of the night sky through responsible lighting and public education," as recognized by the International Dark-Sky Association. Dark Sky Reserves are "formed through partnerships of land managers who have recognized the value of the natural nighttime environment through regulations and long-term planning."
According to NASA, an eclipse occurs " when one heavenly body such as a moon or planet moves into the shadow of another heavenly body." With a total solar eclipse, "the sun, moon and Earth must be in a direct line ... The people who see the total eclipse are in the center of the moon's shadow when it hits Earth."
A small portion of the sun's top layer, called the corona, will still be viewable during the eclipse, and NASA and other scientists use total eclipses as an opportunity to study the corona itself.
Stay tuned for more information on the cities of Ketchum and Sun Valley eclipse event. To learn more, refer to, NASA's 2017 Eclipse page, or the LA Times article in the What We're Reading section of this newsletter. 

Last fall, a team from the Idaho Policy Institute at Boise State University asked City Council to consider their proposed Ketchum Essential Services Facility Project. The project would begin this April if authorized by Council at the April 3 meeting.  
While a bond measure to fund new construction was turned down in 2016, many members of the Ketchum community believe that the current City Hall accommodations are inadequate. Specifically, the current setup does not fully support City Hall, city administrative services, the fire station, and the police station.
The work itself would be completed in three key phases. Phase One involves an assessment of the essential services facility project itself. The Boise State team would research the current status of the project, develop evaluation guidelines and space needs, assemble an independent community stakeholder group to serve as external advisers, develop and deploy a survey and analyze the survey results.
Phase Two would utilize the information and insight obtained in Phase One while moving to incorporate stakeholder ideas and concerns. Researchers would design a public engagement process, carry out the engagement strategy and analyze the results. While the other phases would only take 4 weeks each, Phase Two is the largest component of the process and is expected to take a full 20 weeks.
Finally, Phase Three would produce a final report and presentation to be shared with stakeholders and the Ketchum City Council. That presentation would be heard at a Council meeting in September.

ADA Ketchum is proud to be a welcoming, hospitable city to our residents and visitors. Part of our efforts to ensure that we are inclusive for all involves being accessible to individuals with disabilities.
At its April 3 meeting, the Ketchum City Council will be voting on a potential contract with the Northwestern ADA Center to ensure city processes, facilities, policies and staff training are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Enacted in 1990, the ADA " is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public." (ADA National Network)
The proposed scope of work will cover three key areas: 1) compliance analysis and the possible removal of barriers in public and private buildings for people with disabilities; 2) customer service and training on respectful interactions with people with disabilities; and 3) a self-evaluation and training for transition planning services.
The Northwestern ADA Center is part of the University of Washington's Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and serves Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.
If approved by the City Council, the contract scope is expected to conclude within one year.

Correction to Alternative Facts Regarding Additional One Percent LOT 
It is not possible to siphon off monies from the original local option sales tax or the additional 1% local option sales tax. Each local option sales tax (LOT) must be utilized for the purposes stated in the ballot.

In the case of the additional 1% LOT, the City must turn over the amount collected to the Sun Valley Air Service Board (ASB) that is governed by a legally binding Joint Powers Agreement (JPA).

The JPA requires that the money be directed by the ASB and utilized solely by the contracted entities for the purposes outlined in the ballot. Those entities are contracted to manage an increase in commercial air service to Friedman Memorial Airport using minimum revenue guarantees and marketing of those specific flights.

The current additional 1% LOT runs through the end of the calendar year 2018. The renewal of the additional 1% LOT would be for the years 2019-2023.

Initially, City Council unanimously asked to consider changes to the 1% LOT ballot. Councilmen Slanetz and David wanted to consider bussing from the airport to Ketchum. Mayor Jonas wanted future flexibility in marketing to allow for national and regional marketing as well as flight marketing. Councilwoman Corrock wanted more time to consider the represented concerns instead of rushing to the May ballot.

The original LOT was approved in 1978. Since then, it has been renewed by voters six times and amended five times. Each amendment and renewal reflected the changing needs of the public at large.

The 2012 undergrounding of powerlines on 5 th Street left the Idaho Power franchise fee fund in the negative because of cost overruns. Now the fund is flush and available for a private-public partnership. No private entity has applied to partner with the city on a powerline project. The fund remains intact, growing annually.
Water Outlook and Flood Potential for Blaine County
The Pocatello office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts high-water dates for the Big Wood River. Watch the video for a detailed forecast. Blaine County Big Wood information is provided early in the video, general weather information near the end, and lots of interesting information on neighboring areas in between.
Be Flood Ready
Flooding is more likely to occur in many areas of Ketchum this spring after the high snow levels. The American Red Cross of Greater Idaho is prepared to respond to weather events that may create the need for assistance and a shelter is on standby for the Blaine County area. You can access more flood preparedness information at any time at

City Begins Enforcement on Use of Hand-Held Devices While Driving 
Ketchum Police have been issuing warnings to individuals using hand-held, mobile electronic devices while driving. Issuance of citations will begin April 1 with a fine of $100.

Fellowship Program Available 
Proposals are being requested from participants interested in a paid fellowship to assist the City in moving forward to meet its established energy conservation goals. An application can be found at

Request for Proposals for Northwood Natural Area 
The City is seeking an earth science and engineering consulting firm to describe the process associated with developing access and recreational use for the city-owned Northwood Natural Area located at 100 Park Circle West. Access the detailed request at  

KIC Announces Slate of Spring Events
The Ketchum Innovation Center (KIC) has a number of workshops and other gatherings planned. IdeaBounce, an informal, monthly gathering to brainstorm with local entrepreneurs, will be held every first Thursday, beginning April 6 at 5:00 p.m. On Wednesday, April 19 the Boise/Sun Valley chapter of the Keiretsu Forum will evaluate four Idaho companies at the KIC at 5:00 p.m. A Women's Entrepreneur Event will take place on Thursday, April 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the KIC. Check the KIC calendar for upcoming events and additional information.

Call to Artists for Wagon Days
As Ketchum begins preparations for the 60th anniversary of Wagon Days, it is seeking artists to submit proposals for Wagon Days posters and memorabilia and for Art in City Hall. Artists may submit artwork related to the parade, the ore wagons or the history of mining in the valley. Artwork selected for the Wagon Days poster will be incorporated onto souvenir items such as commemorative mugs, pins, and T-shirts. The Art in City Hall exhibition will run from May 15 through Nov. 15. Details on submitting artwork can be found at

Council Approves Exceedance Agreement 
In response to litigation challenging the City's Floor Area Ratio (FAR) standards in relation to the affordable housing incentive, City Council adopted a resolution to provide an opportunity for pending and future development to move forward. The resolution allows projects to proceed with existing FAR standards and options by opting into an Exceedance Agreement.  
City Needs Facilities Maintenance Workers
The City of Ketchum is seeking two seasonal, full-time positions maintaining city parks, including sports turf, landscaping, trees and shrubs, natural areas, river access points, facilities and structures. Visit for a full job description and application.
Photo Contest
Three students featured in the last e-newsletter who won the first City of Ketchum Photo Contest for Hemingway Students will be honored at the City Council meeting on April 3 at 5:30 p.m. First place was awarded to Sasha Stahoski, second place to Natalie Gowe, and third place went to Dexter Morrison.
Property Tax Reduction Deadline
The deadline to file for Property Tax Reduction Programs, including the circuit breaker and homeowner's exemptions, is April 18. To learn if you qualify and to see application details, please visit the Blaine County Assessor's website or call the County Assessor's Office at (208) 788-5535.
City Council 
Attend the next City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, April 3. 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 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, April 10. P&Z meetings are held on the second 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. 
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