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

July 1, 2016
In This Issue
Mayor Nina Jonas' Budget Message: #SmallTownBigLife

Nina Color How can city government maintain the elements that make the city of Ketchum such a special place to live? As I consider the 2016-2017 budget, this will be my focus. Ketchum has the hashtag motto, "SmallTownBigLife." Exactly what is it that makes Ketchum a small town that offers a big life?
It is primarily the people - people who create a community with the small-town characteristics of friendliness and a commitment to care for each other. The "Big Life" is because Ketchum has a sophisticated population that values culture, the environment, world-class sports opportunities and majestic scenery.
In keeping Ketchum's commitment to have a world-class cultural scene, the city will continue to fund the arts. It will continue to work with the National Park Service and Sun Valley Center for the Arts on the Craters of the Moon project, and to support Art on Fourth and Art in City Hall. The latter two require minimal investment as the artists have been generous enough to loan their work to the city. Working with the Ketchum Arts Commission to promote performing arts will also continue.
An investment in energy efficiency initiatives proposed by the Ketchum Energy Advisory Committee will move the city towards achieving its energy goals. Energy upgrades such as a roof replacement on the Atkinson Park recreation center is one of those initiatives. Others are the purchase of a Level III EV charging station and the addition of photovoltaic panels for city facilities.
Utilities, such as water and electricity, are elements that we do not want to take for granted. At one time, their availability was a given. This is no longer true today. We must meet the challenge of effectively stewarding our resources and adding efficiencies that result in the savings of time, dollars and power.
City government creates the infrastructure that supports quality of life. In this year's budget, $1.7 million of one-time money will be invested in capital projects ranging from energy efficiency to undergrounding utilities, streetlights to sidewalks, and recreation improvements. These are essential to Ketchum's "placemaking," proven to generate a big return on investment in the new economy.

Infrastructure Upgrades
Quality of life is a key driver in the economic success of communities today. The city of Ketchum's commitment to quality of life remains strong and requires the need for substantial public investment. This year's budget includes an investment of $1.7 million with one-time money for capital improvements. The expenditure includes items such as:
  • $40,000 for sports field and irrigation upgrades
  • $120,000 for undergrounding utilities with Idaho Power franchise fees
  • $160,000 and partnership with the Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency for additional funding for improvements to the Northwood Natural Area, replacement of the Atkinson Park tennis courts and addition to the Guy Coles Skate Park
  • $450,000 and partnership with the Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency for additional funding for sidewalks and streetlights
  • $500,000 towards planning for new essential services facilities, including police, city operations/emergency network communications and fire facilities
New Economy Is Here
The transition to the new economy is over. The new economy is here and the city is contributing by focusing on improving our quality of life and amenities, key drivers of a successful economy. Ketchum must offer a style of living that will attract and retain businesses that can choose to work anywhere in the world.
The city needs businesses that offer year-round jobs with professional salaries. My vision is to bring 100 new $100,000 jobs to our city. Ketchum is off and running towards that goal with companies like Vyykn, Solu and Vie Active. The quality of life is the first and foremost consideration in location for businesses that offer these jobs.
Partnering with Urban Renewal Agency & Boise State
The budget calls for partnering with the Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency to support the Ketchum Innovation Center, the incubator that is nurturing new businesses with year-round jobs. Ketchum will share support for KIC with the Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency.
The city is working with Boise State University on economic development initiatives, and will invite faculty members and students to come to weekend "camps" in Ketchum, along with offering fellowship opportunities, to establish connections. I want entrepreneurs to think of Ketchum when they look for a location that will attract good employees, and students to think of Ketchum as a place to live and work when they graduate.
The budget calls for eliminating funding for Sun Valley Economic Development. The city must be equitable in its funding. Many organizations are having a tremendous, positive impact on our economy. It makes no sense to fund one over another, especially one that counters the city's efforts with negative information, lobbies against us, and represents a single viewpoint that is damaging the reputation of the city and region and discouraging outside investment.
Ketchum will continue to fund Visit Sun Valley at its request. Their presence and positive promotion of our area supports our existing businesses, whose success is vital to our city. It is the smaller businesses that helped Ketchum survive the past recession and they will be here in any future downturns.
Another important element toward Ketchum's economic success is transportation. The city will continue to fund Mountain Rides, which has expanded to provide additional services and more amenities. They have been quick to respond to requests for more convenient service, keeping the safety of citizens and businesses in mind. Its Night Owl service has not only helped residents and visitors get around, it's helped to increase business in local bars and restaurants by providing a late ride home after a night on the town. This late-night service may extend to Hailey and discussion to consider airport service is underway.
The ability to travel easy is critical to making Ketchum attractive as a business location and to maintain its quality of life. I want to focus on our subsidies for air service. Air service should not be centered around visitor travel alone and must work well for business and resident travel. This is critical in today's worldwide economy and in Ketchum's local economy.
The Blaine County Housing Authority will receive funding to assist in exploration of affordable housing options. As my goals for the city progress, the need for a greater and long-term supply of workforce housing grows. The city will work together with the BCHA on future opportunities and solutions for housing supply.
Ketchum's strongest economic development card is attracting people. This year's budget calls for a significant investment in the community to promote tourism, attract new business and enhance the quality of life to all who live, work and play in Ketchum.

Please join me in supporting this budget, designed to keep #SmallTownBigLife a reality in Ketchum.

Q. Although everyone in town is jamming and busy with the beginning of the summer season, those who rent or own at the bottom of 10th Street can perhaps find a few moments to fill you in on water rushing down 10th Street in heavy rains. If that water were to become contaminated by benzene and other possible toxic spills and leakage from fuel tanks at the proposed Bracken gas station on Main Street near 10th Street, the problem could become even worse.  I am concerned over a gas station on top of a hill. Is the station going to be built on fill? if so, what is that fill? if not, what is the soil like? What happens with gas spillage and leaks from vehicles at the pumps.   Is a soil study necessary?

A. The city is studying drainage issues at Warm Springs Road and 10th Street. However, the water comes from Lewis Street rather than from Main and 10th. Applicants will have to meet the state and federal laws that regulate gas stations. The discussion over the application for the gas station and food establishment will take place at the July 11 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. I encourage to attend the meeting.

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.
Ketchum already has had grim reminders of the dangers of fireworks. This year, a sleeping family near Boise barely managed to escape from a midnight wildfire, apparently started by fireworks, that consumed more than 2,500 acres. There were more than 20 wildfires, including two deaths, in California last month.
In Idaho last year, almost 60 percent of BLM fires were human-caused.  Those 84 fires burned over 31,000 acres.
Fireworks are illegal in Ketchum, even though they are legally sold in parts of Idaho.
"Despite a wetter than usual winter, vegetation still can ignite easily," Ketchum Fire Chief Mike Elle said. "We've seen the effects of two major forest fires in the past decade. We are asking everyone to cooperate in preventing another one."
If a wildfire starts because of fireworks, the person responsible may be held liable for damages, he stressed.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 32,000 fires occur each year because of mishandling of fireworks. Property damages average more than $30 million annually, and hospital emergency rooms treat more than 10,000 people. A third of the injuries are to children under 14.
In addition, the noise of fireworks scares pets, with many getting lost after fleeing the noise.
Any fireworks that go more than 20 feet in the air or travel more than 15 feet along the ground are illegal in Ketchum. Sparklers and "snakes" are legal, although the city urges people to take appropriate precautions to prevent fires. Details on the law in Ketchum are here.

It was less than a century ago that economic development brochures featured factories with smokestacks and above-ground power lines. Then came construction cranes, creating high-rise offices building, hotels and apartments, and highways filled with cars.
An economic development brochure with a picture of a factory smokestack would be unthinkable in Ketchum today. Instead, we talk about an educated workforce, good schools and healthcare facilities, and bicycle lanes and sidewalks that lessen our reliance on the car. The city's investment in Ketchum's infrastructure is significant to its economic success. Next year's budget reflects that with $1.7 million set aside for infrastructure improvements. These improvements go far beyond sidewalks. They include long overdue improvements to recreation facilities and our parks. "Placemaking" in Ketchum relies on investments such as these that have such a great return. We have realized that bigger is rarely better.
During the past recession we saw the crashes of giant companies and projects and the impact on the economy. It was the small businesses that kept the economy going and helped pull us out of the recession. Keeping our small businesses economically strong is critical to the future of Ketchum, both in financial terms and in terms of the quality of life.
We too often hear criticism over the restrictions imposed on development, rather than focusing on the reasons we need these restrictions.  True economic success comes from quality of life. We need to stay focused and celebrate our quality of life. If Ketchum is a town where people want to live, business will follow.

We hear great deal of talk about the need for government infrastructure. What exactly is it?
Infrastructure is the physical components of the services that every community needs and that would be impractical for each individual property owner to provide.
Elements include streets and bridges, sidewalks, telecommunications, transit, parks and access to utilities such as electricity, natural gas, water and sewer. They are critical to a community's success, whether publicly or privately owned.
Ketchum's infrastructure is suffering from deferred maintenance. Repairs and improvements will be a major focus in this year's budget with $1.7 million allocated toward capital projects. (See Mayor's message.)
Ketchum needs to maintain its infrastructure to continue its growth in the new economy.

Meeting Room
In today's world of instant communications, people expect alternative ways to stay informed quickly and conveniently.
Ketchum has been placing more focus on alternative ways to gather information from our citizens. We want to know what you think.
Of course there are legal notices on upcoming projects that the city must adhere to. But who reads legal notices? Mayor Nina Jonas is going far beyond just meeting the state's requirements with her robust social media interaction, this bi-weekly enewsletter, radio shows and weekly advertising in the local papers.
These alternatives are critical in communicating with local residents and businesses, second homeowners, and visitors. The city is reaching over 6,000 people with its enewsletter alone. An average of one-third of those individuals read it.
But this is not enough. It has become clear that the city needs to do even more outreach in informing the public about what is going on in their community. It is important to tell you what we are doing, but even more important to get your input. Future considerations are underway.
Online surveys will be conducted on a regular basis as staff reports on upcoming City Council topics are complete, and prior to the meeting. This will give the mayor and City Council members more information about their constituents' opinions, as well as offer convenience to people who may be unable to attend meetings or reluctant to speak in public.
Mayor Jonas will conduct roundtables consisting of residents, business owners and other opinion leaders in the city. These will be on a variety of topics and issues that are important to the members of this community.
As always, comments on any city-related topic can be sent to . You are still strongly encouraged to participate in City Council meetings.
We want to know what you think - and the sooner we hear from you on any upcoming topics, the easier it will be to address your concerns.

Ketchum has received an award from the Idaho Association of Cities for its rewrite of the city's zoning code.
The Ketchum zoning ordinance had not undergone a comprehensive rewrite since the mid-1970s. Since that time, the zoning ordinance had been amended more than 200 times, which made for an expansive document that was extremely difficult for applicants to navigate and cumbersome for city staff to administer.
The purpose for the rewrite was to:
  • Create a more user-friendly document
  • Correct more than 130 errors and issues
  • Add definitions to minimize interpretation challenges
  • Add recent state statutes that were not reflected
The rewrite effort of 2015 was the first of three phases in an exciting project that will eventually produce an entirely new modern zoning ordinance. Nearly 200 pages of the zoning ordinance were eliminated and replaced with a series of matrices, graphics and zoning standards that have significantly improved the public's understanding of the zoning code and the planning and zoning process. Most importantly, members of the public who need to address the zoning code understand it.
This effort was completed entirely by in-house staff. There were no negative comments submitted during the entire public hearing process. City Council approved the zoning code rewrite without issues or objections. "It has been good for the community, economy and for city planning in general," Planning and Building Director Micah Austin said.
"We want to complement our staff on the work involved, as well as the well-deserved recognition this reward will bring," Mayor Nina Jonas said.

The Ketchum Arts Commission will hold a fundraiser featuring the Boise-based performing arts group LED on Friday, July 15, at 8 p.m. at nexStage Theatre. Proceeds will be used to support future performance arts events as well as visual arts initiatives. Donations of $20 for adults and $10 for children under 16 are requested.
LED will present This Way to the Egress, a multimedia work that draws inspiration from the Boise Zoo's founding. In 1916, a circus briefly stopped in the city of Mountain Home. A monkey escaped from captivity and was eventually found in the nearby desert, long after the circus had moved on. The monkey became the animal that founded the Boise Zoo.
Using this story as the underlying metaphor for aging, This Way to the Egress will use circus, desert and zoo as the landscape for a work that unfolds from childhood through old age. It will involve artists from several different mediums.
"LED wowed the sold-out audience at The Spot last year," said Mayor Nina Jonas.  "We are excited to showcase such talented, innovative Idaho artists for another year, and encourage the community to contribute to the KAC's efforts to expand funding for public art."
The Idaho Commission on the Arts is underwriting program costs through a $719 QuickFunds grant to the Ketchum Arts commission.

Ketchum received $21,819 in donations to city programs from April 1 through June 30. They are as follows:
  • Youth Recreation Programs - $1,750 from The Campfire Foundation.
  • Ketchum Arts Commission -  Aspen Skiing Co., AC Houston Lumber Co., Viewpiont, Inc., Sun Country Management LLC and Tod Hamachek, $2,500 each for the Cover Art program, and $719 from the Idaho Commission on the Arts.
  • Ketch'em Alive free summer concerts - Aspen Skiing Co., $1,500; Atkinsons' Market, Barry Peterson Jewelers, D.L. Evans Bank and Pioneer Saloon, $1,000 each; and Timothy Nelson, $500.
  • Jazz in the Park free summer concerts - Wood River Fine Arts, $1,500; Banchik Family Foundation, Victoria Currie and Timothy Nelson, $500 each; Ken and Maggie Dolan, $250; and Gary Hoffman, $100.
We thank these donors for helping to make the city a better place to live. Donations to city programs are tax-deductible as permitted by law. For additional information, contact

Mark your calendar for the city of Ketchum's upcoming free concerts. Bring a picnic and a low-back chair. 

Sunday, July 3 - Jazz in the Park will feature Boise's Chuck Smith on piano withNicoleChristensen singing at Rotary Park from 6 to 8 p.m. Nicole is a total show stopper singing favorite jazz tunes. The band also includes guitar, bass, drums, and conga drums.

Tuesday, July 5 - Ketch-em Alive, 7-9 p.m. in Forest Service Park, will feature City City,with vocalist Claire Cetera, daughter of local Peter Cetera, who was recently inducted into the Rock & roll Hall of Fame.

Saturday, July 10 - Jazz in the Park features two of our favorite locals, Alan Pennay on the piano and vocalist Cheryl Morrell.


Tuesday, July 12 - Ketch-em Alive brings "Todo Mundo" Latin fusion rock band from California. 7-9, Forest Service Park.

City Offices Closed on July 4
City offices will be closed on Monday, July 4, for the Independence Day holiday. The City Council meeting normally held on the first Monday of the month will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5.
Call for Artists for Wagon Days Poster
Interested in creating the 2016 poster for Ketchum's annual Wagon Days festivities on Labor Day weekend? Submit your proposal by Wednesday, July 6. 

Burn Permits Suspended Due to Increasing Fire Danger 
Open burning requiring a permit from the Ketchum Fire Department is suspended until fall due to increasing fire danger. Campfires, barbecues and fire pits are still allowed if they are continuously attended by responsible adults.

Chuck Gates Junior Golf Tournament Set for July 8 
The city of Ketchum's 13th annual Junior Chuck Gates Golf Tournament for ages 7 to 18 will be held on Friday, July 8 at 1 p.m. at the Bigwood Golf Course. The $15 entry fee includes a barbecue following the tournament.
Celebration for 2016 Art on 4th in Town Square July 8
The city celebrate its eighth annual outdoor sculpture exhibition, Art on Fourth, during this summer's July Gallery Walk. The event will take place Friday, July 8, at Town Square from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m.

Mayor Jonas to Speak on Resiliency on July 10
Mayor Nina Jonas will speak at the Sun Valley Forum on Resilience, sponsored by the Sun Valley Institute, on Sunday, July 10.
Splash Park Now Opening at 10
Rainmaker Splash Park, offering a water play area for toddlers in Atkinson Park, will now be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., weather permitting. It will close if thunderstorms are in the vicinity.
Riding Tandem for Charity
Ketchum Wastewater Division Supervisor Mike Mummert and his wife, BettyAnn, are back from a 65-mile tandem bike ride from Gilmore Summit to Salmon to benefit the Lemhi Education Project . Joining them were Dave Taylor, former wastewater division supervisor for the city and his wife, Robin.
Coming Up at City Council and P&Z 
Partnering with the city of Sun Valley, Council will consider a resolution in support of the Solarize Blaine initiative to waive the alternative energy installation fee for July and declare July "Solar Energy Month." Also, Trail Creek Fund, LLC will seek approval from Council on its right of way improvements, its plaza area plan and the observatory public access program. Once approved, a building permit will be issued for Auberge Resort Hotel.

The Planning and Zoning Commission will continue discussions on the proposed Bracken gas station and food establishment in the light industrial district. 

Chip Sealing Scheduled for July 11-14
Summer chip sealing of streets is scheduled for July 11-14. Click here for schedule and locations.
Do-It-Yourself Steps to Saving Water Workshop on July 16
Ketchum is co-sponsoring a series of workshops to promote water-saving landscapes. The final program, " Do-It-Yourself Steps to Saving Water ," is on Saturday, July 16, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Hailey City Hall. Co-sponsors are the cities of Sun Valley and Hailey, and the Wood River Land Trust .

City Council 
Attend the next City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 5. City Council meetings are held on the first and third Mondays of each month in Ketchum City Hall, except when a holiday falls on Monday. 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 meetings at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, July 11. 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.

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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City of Ketchum