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

Inform. Celebrate. Involve.
September 29, 2017
In This Issue
A Message From Mayor Nina Jonas

Nina My husband and my parents are coming of the age when senior planning becomes front and center. After a recent stumble that landed my father-in-law in the hospital, it became abundantly clear that more end-of-life planning and care needed to be addressed. Of course, this is always a difficult topic to breach and then compassionately accomplish.
  Realizing that we did not possess the required knowledge to embark on this task, I reached out to The Senior Connection and its Executive Director, Teresa Beahen Lipman. My grandmother had utilized the Connection for dining, transport and socializing, but we were given so much more. The Connection provided my husband and his siblings with the resources to guide them into a healthy conversation with their parents that was supportive and effective.
We are only at the beginning of this process, but knowing that a resource like the Senior Connection is here locally to support and counsel us is immensely reassuring and appreciated.
Thank you to the entire staff, board, volunteers and donors for sharing your wisdom, kindness and time. 

It's an honor to serve you.


Dear Nina: I remember hearing a while back about the city's Happy Trails program and the efforts to clean up and post signage on city trails providing access to the Big Wood River. I also remember hearing about how people could become sponsors of those trails. What are the chances you could provide an update on becoming a sponsor and the benefits of doing so?                                                                                                   -- Potential Trail Patron
Dear Potential Trail Patron: Your memory is a good one. Last year, the city received a $14,900 grant from American Rivers to pay for trail cleanup, signs and improving access to the river and other trailheads on as many as 14 access points within city limits. Before this project, many of those trails suffered from overgrown vegetation, which limited use and access.

That work is now finished and it is easier to access the rivers and trails. To help keep those trails in good condition, however, the city has put in place a sponsorship program. Sponsorships are available for an annual fee, with the money designated solely to keep the trails clean and clear. In return, the city will post a sign recognizing and thanking each sponsor. For more information, send an email to:

Thanks for your interest in this great local project!


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, Oct. 2, Council agenda and Council meeting information. The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. At this meeting, Council will consider approval of contracts for snow hauling, art installation at Guy Coles Skatepark, emergency sewer repairs, planning services and others. A presentation will be made by City of Ketchum fellow, Adam Baljevich, on his analysis of the solar panel project at Atkinson Park. Public hearings include the first reading of the ordinance to amend the Off Street Parking and Loading code and the third reading of the ordinance to adopt interim procedures in the floodplain code. There will also be a discussion regarding the state's proposed Property Tax Exemption.   
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:
Baseball Attention Ketchum little leaguer's: Come see what's new at your hometown ball diamond at Atkinson Park!

Thanks to a generous donation from the Atkinson family and the hard work of city staff, the Little League Field now has a new infield, remodeled pitcher's mound, cutting-edge grass and a new electronic scoreboard!.

To celebrate the makeover, the City is inviting parents and players of all ages to take part in an inaugural game Saturday morning at 11 a.m. There will be plenty of hot dogs, ice cream and prizes.

Bring your glove, helmet and bat (though there should be enough City equipment to share and join the fun.

"Come out and help us break in the new field," said Mayor Nina Jonas, who is primed and ready to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. "This is really an exciting new chapter in the rich history of the Little League Field."

Back in the 1970s, a group of local leaders decided Ketchum's young ball players needed a quality field to practice and play games. They raised money and volunteered the time and energy required to turn a dusty lot near the Hemingway Elementary School into a Little League Field.

That project was spearheaded by Chuck Atkinson, whose family made a generous donation to cover the costs of the new electronic scoreboard, which will be celebrated Saturday.

"I know he'd be proud to see that the scoreboard is one of the finishing touches on this great resource," said Don Atkinson. "Our family is proud of it and happy to do this."

The makeover included a complete reconstruction of the infield to meet current Little League ball-field standards.

Ketchum's Mayor Nina! 
HTV - Ketchum's Mayor Nina!

October is Children's Health Month as well as Walktober! Therefore, Mayor Nina Jonas will be walking eight miles a day during the month of October for an important cause: Raising awareness about children's health.
This effort to raise awareness and encourage kids to be active isn't just about physical health. Emotional health is just as critical to overall well-being as walking or spending time outside playing with friends.
The City's efforts to promote health gets started on Monday with a proclamation announcing that the first Monday of October be recognized as Child Health Day.
On Sunday, the 2017 Mayor's School Walking Challenge begins. The Idaho mayor who walks the most miles in October wins funds, sponsored by St. Luke's, Blue Cross of Idaho and the Idaho Dairy Council, to put toward healthy programs or projects for kids.
In 2015, Mayor Jonas raised money walking for the new playground at Hemingway School and in 2016 gave winnings to Girls on the Run. This year, the children get to vote for the project or organization that should receive the funds.
And walking with kids will earn even more miles! Each Wednesday in October, Mayor Jonas will join the Hemingway School students in their Way-Ta-Walker program. Way-Ta-Walker is a healthy classroom competition. Students receive tokens for each lap, earning steps to "walk" to various places in the world.
But there's more going on to raise children's health awareness.
The City is sponsoring its monthly photography contest at Hemingway Elementary School with the theme of "health." Young shutterbugs are encouraged to capture images of each other doing activities to improve physical, mental or emotional health.
The City will display the first, second and third place photos and invite the winners to the Nov. 6 City Council meeting to collect their prizes.
Water A few weeks ago, City Council agreed to extend its annual contract with WaterSmart, a software platform designed to help the City and its water utility customers manage and monitor water use.  
The City has been making WaterSmart available to customers since 2015 when Ketchum was picked to be part of a pilot project. Since then, about 15 percent of City customers have enrolled.  
To help coordinate this program, the City hired Wendy Pabich, who for 15 years has researched and consulted on a variety of water projects across the Wood River Valley.    
We decided to sit down and talk with Wendy to learn more about the features of WaterSmart and how it can help the City and its water customers save money and become more efficient water managers.  
Q: Tell us a little about WaterSmart and how Ketchum got involved in this technology back in 2015?
Well, it took a little bit of salesmanship on the City's part because at the time, WaterSmart executives were focused on bigger municipal users, cities like Greeley, Colorado, and Oakdale, California. For the founders, who started the company in 2009, getting smaller utilities on board didn't seem financially viable.
But we argued small cities should be part of their customer mix for one important reason: Statistics show most of the water utilities in the country are small. In fact, only 26 percent of all water utilities nationwide serve more than 1,000 customers.  
Q: So, what's the appeal or value of working with WaterSmart and getting customers to engage with their technology?
WaterSmart I first learned about their concept several years ago at a national water conference. At the time, they were talking about how providing customers with information can influence behavior and decisions.  
What WaterSmart does is provide a platform for customers to identify their patterns of use. This platform incorporates data provided by the City and other sources about a specific customer, information like the size of the home, lot size, irrigation usage, and the number of occupants and bathrooms. When WaterSmart users log in, they can then view data sets that show how and where you're using water.  
What WaterSmart is finding out, and what we've seen here during the pilot program, is that when people stop and examine their water use, they figure out ways to improve use patterns. In some cases, it's helped the City identify and notify customers of leaks in their system.
Q: Do you have any examples of Ketchum customers altering behavior or making management decisions to achieve more efficient use of water?
A few weeks ago, I made the case to the City Council to extend the contract another year. In my presentation, I used the example of one City Council member who signed on to WaterSmart more than a year ago. Data showed the council member used 51 percent less water in August 2017 than the same month in 2016. Moreover, the council member's water use in the last 12 months was 27 percent less than the same period in 2016.
Part of what we're trying to do with this program is educate, the concept being that the more people know and understand the more they seem keen to taking steps to save water, which in turn saves money on the monthly utility bill. So, there is a financial incentive.
The other feature of WaterSmart is the ability it provides those enrolled to log into their account and edit their profiles to enhance the accuracy of their use data. For example, users can adjust the number of occupants, or bathrooms or other factors to get a more accurate projection of use, and how that use compares to others.
Q: At the end of the one-year contract extension, how will you measure success and whether it's worth it for the City to spend another $10,300 to re-up on the contract another year?
In large part, success hinges on involvement. Right now, we only have 15 percent of the City's water utility customers signed up with WaterSmart. So, the plan for the next few months is to really promote this and get more customers enrolled and thinking about water use and efficiency.
If I can take a longer view of success, I think it plays out in terms of how this impacts the City's infrastructure and the costs of meeting increased demand for water. It's possible that making the City's customer base more efficient can save the City hundreds of thousands of dollars in capital costs, things like spending $2 million to drill a new water well to meet increased demand.  
In the short and long-term, I see potential results ranging from just increasing customer awareness to saving tax dollars and easing some of the stress on natural resources.

Busy Fall Schedule at KIC
The Ketchum Innovation Center (KIC) has a full schedule this fall beginning Tuesday, Oct. 3. All programs are open to the public and are held at the KIC building, 311 N. First Ave. View the calendar of events here
KIC programming is funded in part by the City of Ketchum. 
FREE - Visit Sun Valley Membership
Discussions between city representatives and Visit Sun Valley (VSV) have helped lead to a restructuring of the membership program. Read full press release here.
VSV is funded in part by the City of Ketchum. 
2014.07.17 Mayor Nina Jonas
RFP for Development at City-Owned 6th St. and Leadville Ave. Property
The City is requesting proposals for a development project that could consist of rental community housing and public parking, a public parking structure or a land swap for its property at 6th St. and Leadville Ave. Visit for full description. Submittal deadline is Nov. 6 at 5 p.m.  
Join the Ketchum Team
Apply for a job with the City of Ketchum. Visit to view job postings. 
Another Reminder on Snow Stakes
The City would like to emphasize the change in the type of snow stakes that should be used this winter. Steel snow stakes can be dangerous to pedestrians, vehicles and snow removal equipment. Please eliminate the use of steel snow stakes and replace them with fiberglass poles. 
Voter Information Available 
Visit for registration and absentee ballot deadlines, and other voter information. Mayor and two city councilmember positions are open. Each position serves a 4-year term. The election will take place on Nov. 7.
City Council 
Attend the next City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 2. 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, Oct. 9. 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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