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

October 14, 2016
In This Issue
A Message From Mayor Jonas: Healthy Democracy and Economic Development

What is the connection between a healthy, participatory democracy and economic growth?

Democracies result in higher rates of economic growth over the long term than other forms of government because they are more stable and predictable institutions, accountable to the public over elites, and have lower barriers of entry promoting competition and innovation.
A healthy democracy involves participation from citizens at the voting booth and before. Participation in democracy's greatest strength is its people's willingness to resolve together to combine opposing ideas into lasting solutions. Increased polarization of ideas and refusal to listen to the other side leads to echo chambers of ideology that result in disdain rather than lasting solutions. Polarization of ideology does not make for a healthy democracy nor long-term economic growth.
We must step out of the echo chambers, walk in each others shoes and respectfully listen to the concerns, fears and considerations of the opposing side before standing our ground and solidifying our position. Without the willingness to give, compromise or at the very least respectfully agree to disagree, democracy will produce short-term solutions and stunt economic growth.
Voting is incredibly important, but before and after that vote, our choice to put polarizing rhetoric aside for the democratic act of working together is how we will build long-term solutions.

It is an honor to serve you.


Q. What happens to the in-lieu money that has been collected for affordable housing and parking?   Does it go into a separate account?   How are the monies used? Thank you.      --Ed Sinnott
A. The city has a Community Housing In-Lieu Fund. This fund is a separate, independent account from other city operating funds. The use of the funds is restricted to the support of the city's community housing efforts. Presently, the city is not collecting parking in-lieu fees and there is no account set up for this purpose.

The use of the housing in-lieu money is determined by the City Council as part of the annual budget adoption process. The city contracts with Blaine County Housing Authority for $70,000 each year for the management and operation of the community housing units located in Ketchum. Funding for this contract comes from this account. This year, City Council will be discussing and identifying ways to provide new community housing units in Ketchum.  The In-lieu housing money will be used to support the development or acquisition of these new units. 

Do you have a question for Mayor Nina Jonas? AskNina@ketchumidaho.org

Note: If you submit a question to "Ask Nina," your name may be published unless you request that it be withheld.
Stay involved. Included here are links to the Monday, Oct. 17, Council agenda, Council meeting information and a survey on off-site vending in the city of Ketchum. The survey asks what you think about vending on private property and asks for your suggestions. Survey closes at 9 a.m., Monday, Oct. 17.

It is the responsibility of the city to inform the public and gain public input. Please provide the city with your opinion and comments by taking this week's survey, attending Monday's meeting beginning at 5:30 p.m. in Ketchum City Hall, 480 East Ave., N., or sending an email to participate@ketchumidaho.org. Thank you, Nina
The city of Ketchum will celebrate the designation of Main Street as one of five "Great Streets" in America at festivities on Thursday, Oct. 20, at noon in Town Square.
"Nowhere is the quirky spirit of the Mountain West stronger than on Main Street in Ketchum, Idaho," the American Planning Association said in making the award.
Speakers will include Mayor Nina Jonas, state Sen. Michelle Stennett and Idaho American Planning Association President Daren Fluke.
Vendors from downtown businesses will have booths at the celebration. Cajun and zydeco band Tom Rigney & Flambeau, here to perform for the Sun Valley Jazz & Music Festival, will begin at 12:30.
"This year's designees highlight the power of a single, well-planned street to stimulate economic activity and energize an entire community," said Carol Rhea, president of American Planning Association. "The main thoroughfare of this tiny Idahoan town hosts unique festivals that are only enhanced by a pedestrian-focused design."
All of the shops and restaurants on Main Street are locally owned, a distinction that sets Ketchum apart from other communities. While a few now have additional locations in Idaho, all started in Ketchum.
Buildings on Main Street range in age from the Limelight Hotel, now under construction, to the 1887 Mercantile Building that is still in use with Enoteca restaurant on the ground floor and offices on the upper floors.  
Two other historic buildings are still in use. The 1884 Lewis/Lemon General Store is now the Cornerstone Bar & Grill. The 1925 Ketchum Kamp Hotel has been the Casino Club since the days that it was frequented by Ernest Hemingway.
Festivals frequently occur on Main Street. Wagon Days' centerpiece, the Big Hitch parade, one of the largest parades in the country without motorized vehicles, brings a procession of carriages, wagons, horses and occasional camels each Labor Day weekend. The grand finale, as always, is the "Big Hitch," historic Lewis Ore Wagons pulled by a 20-mule team from Bishop, California, on a jerkline.
This past weekend featured the Trailing of the Sheep Festival, with 1,500 sheep trailing along Main Street as they returned from summer grazing in the mountain meadows north of town. Halloween will bring Nightmare on Main Street, a giant block party for all ages.
" Ketchum's Main Street is more than a century old, displaying its character with architecture from then and now. I have much appreciation for all those who have worked to build and preserve Ketchum's pedestrian-oriented and charming Main Street," Mayor Nina Jonas said.
"Community values and a strong sense of place have become priorities in the global economy. Ketchum is a lively destination whose citizens honor what a special place it is and focus on maintaining its authenticity," she added.
The selection committee considered a number of factors:
  • Balancing the competing needs of different users; offering options for all residents of the community, regardless of age or preferred mode of transportation.
  • Providing a mixture of uses and services.
  • Showcasing local architecture, landscaping and urban design, and standing out from the norm.
  • Serving as important local economic drivers.
  • Encouraging social activity by serving as the host of events, community programs, festivals and more.
  • Reflecting the local culture and history of the greater community.
  • Employing green infrastructure to promote sustainability.
"Ketchum meets all of these criteria, and the city is proud to have been recognized," Mayor Jonas said.
Banners recognizing the award will be placed at six locations on Main Street. 
poles The construction of a second overhead transmission line from Hailey to Ketchum has been a topic of discussion for over a decade. Throughout this period, many questions have been asked. Is it necessary? What other options will provide redundancy? Will the new line accommodate future energy solutions like solar or microgrids? Is this $30 million project the most cost-effective solution to providing power reliability? These and other questions have been asked, yet no clear answers have been provided by Idaho Power.

The Wood River Valley is not the only area dealing with the issue of power reliability and redundancy. Both urban and rural communities are working with their utility providers to identify innovative and cost-effective solutions for providing redundant power. Utilities such as Central Hudson Gas and Electric, Duke Energy, DTE Energy Company, San Diego Gas and Electric, and Edison International's Southern California Edison are turning to other options to ensure power reliability. Options such as distributed energy resources (DER) and microgrids are cost-effective, viable options for providing redundant power.

So what is a DER or microgrid and how can it improve reliability? First, we need to understand how the power grid works. According to the US Department of Energy, the typical power grid connects homes, businesses and other buildings to central power sources, which allow us to use appliances, heating/cooling systems and electronics. But this interconnectedness means that when part of the grid needs to be repaired, or goes down, everyone is affected.

This is where a microgrid can help. A microgrid generally operates while connected to the grid, but importantly, it can break off and operate on its own using local energy generation in times of crisis like storms or power outages, or for other reasons. A microgrid can be powered by distributed generators, batteries, and/or renewable resources like solar panels. Depending on how it's fueled and how its requirements are managed, a microgrid could run indefinitely.

Before the Idaho ratepayers invest over $30 million on a second overhead transmission line in the Wood River Valley, we need to know if this is the best and most cost-effective solution to providing redundancy. This is why the Ketchum City Council is asking the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to require Idaho Power to conduct an independent cost-benefit analysis of energy reliability solutions for the Wood River Valley prior to the approval of a second overhead transmission line.

Ketchum has concerns that the second overhead line as proposed by Idaho Power, may not be the optimal use of ratepayer funds to meet our power reliability needs now and into the future. The study is critical in determining the solution. It would take only about four weeks to complete and would respond to questions on these topics that have gone unanswered for years.

Mayor Nina Jonas is walking with Hemingway Elementary School students three Wednesdays in October as part of its Way-Ta-Walker program and the Mayor's School Walking Challenge. Both programs promote healthy living.
Hemingway's Way-Ta-Walker program is a classroom competition. Students receive tokens for each lap, earning steps to "walk" to various places in the world.
The mayor who walks the most miles in October during the Mayor's School Walking Challenge can win up to $5,000. Every time a mayor walks with an elementary school during the challenge, they will earn an additional 10,000 steps, which will be added to their step total at the end of October.
The students who walk with Mayor Jonas will help her to earn money for every step. She plans to contribute funds raised to the scholarship program of Girls on the Run of the Wood River Valley this year.
Mayor Jonas is competing with 25 mayors in southern Idaho for her donation, funded by Blue Cross of Idaho.
"I want to thank the students who allow me to join them this month," she said. "With their help, the goal to contribute to Girls on the Run is much more achievable."
Girls on the Run is a program for girls in the third through eighth grades whose mission is to "inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running." Lessons inspire girls to become independent thinkers, enhance their problem-solving skills and make healthy decisions.
October has been designated as "Walktober," and celebrations around the world are designed to inspire everyone to make walking a priority throughout the year.
"Walktober is great fun. Walking is a wonderful way to get exercise, share an experience and, while walking with the Hemingway students, learn what they are thinking and what they are wearing for Halloween," Mayor Jonas said.
Last year Mayor Jonas raised $1,000 for the playground equipment at the school. So far, she is in fifth place with over 220,000 steps since the program began on Oct. 3.
You can hear her talk about the program in a " commercial" for the Hemingway School news program, broadcast each morning at the school.

Sage School's 10th and 11th grade students are exploring American political identity. The project gives students the opportunity to see government services firsthand. Four city departments are participating in their Government Work Shadow Project.

Fire Department 
Two students will have an opportunity to respond to emergency calls in fire trucks and ambulances, wearing firefighter "turnouts," and experiencing emergency services in real time. They will also learn the day-to-day duties of a firefighter.

Parks and Recreation Department 
One student will assist with lesson plan organization for the 2017 Summer Youth Recreation Program and equipment organization. The student also will learn about the mission of the department as it relates to overall city functions. 

Police Department
Two students will go on a four-hour ride-along with a police officer 
Public Works Department 
Three students will first tour the city's utilities facility. They will assist the plant operator in analyzing all treatment plant buildings and processes to ensure functionality and efficiency. Data and gauge reading comparisons to existing records may involve them in discussions over potential adjustments to equipment, chemical dosage, valves or other operations to remain compliant with federal permits. The students will also have the opportunity to participate in lab work.  
Crown the Best Après Bar in North America  
FREESKIER is planning an après party tour to the best après ski bar in North America. Help bring the tour to Ketchum and VOTE before Nov. 4, once each day. FREESKIER has nominated Apples Bar & Grill, Grumpy's, Lefty's Bar & Grill and Sun Valley.

Attention Entrepreneurs 
The College of Southern Idaho is offering a program providing assistance to entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship: How to Build and Tell Your Business Story." Contact the Blaine County Center or access the Fall Semester 2016 catalog for more information. 
Ribbon Cutting at Little Park
Jason Middlebrook's Homage to the Limber Pine has been installed in Ketchum's Little Park on Fifth Street, between East Avenue and Walnut Street. Join Mayor Nina Jonas and members of the Ketchum Arts Commission for the ribbon cutting ceremony, which takes place Thursday, Oct. 20, at 11:30 a.m. This event is followed by the Great Places in America Celebration at Town Square, beginning at noon.
Celebrate Main Street
Ketchum's Main Street has been named as Great Places in America by the American Planning Association. A community celebration will take place on Thursday, Oct. 20, at noon. Join the festivities at Town Square for the award presentation with vendors and jazz music by Tom Rigney & Flambeau. This event follows the ribbon cutting ceremony at Little Park.
Coming Up at City Council and Planning and Zoning
City Council will discuss using Boise State University to conduct the outreach analysis and evaluation of options for Ketchum Essential Services Facilities on Monday, Oct. 17. Several contract approvals, including those with Sun Valley Marketing Alliance and Sun Valley Economic Development. Also on the agenda is a proclamation to designate October 2016 as National Arts and Humanities Month.
At the Oct. 24 Planning & Zoning Commission meeting, an application will be presented for the complete reconstruction of the NexStage Theater, located on First Street between Main Street and Leadville Avenue. The Commission will also deliberate on the application for a gas station, convenience store and food establishment, Bracken Station. Public comment on this application is closed. 
Tennis Court Construction Continues
Concrete pouring and leveling is taking place on the first half of the new tennis courts.
New Tennis Courts at Atkinson Park 
New Tennis Courts at Atkinson Park
City Council 
Attend the next City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 17. 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.

Planning and Zoning Commission 
Attend the next Planning and Zoning Commission meetings at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 24. 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 participate@ketchumidaho.org. Your input and engagement is encouraged. All comments will be reviewed. 
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