Craters of the Moon
John Grade, Spur, 2016 located at Craters of the Moon National Monument

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

June 19, 2016
In This Issue
Ketchum lost a dear friend this weekend, a friend who brought joy to the soul and music to the ear. Jazz pianist Paul Tillotson walked into the room with a large and genuine hello, and if it was you who walked into his room, it was a welcome sung out from behind the keyboard with your name and story. His conscious and generous energy flooded the room. He engaged, called out to the audience, and encouraged dancing and singing. He embraced whatever expression of joy you wanted to bring.
Paul and the Love Trio were the last addition to a fine tradition of the Sun Valley Lodge's Duchin Room musicians that filled the room with revelry from the likes of the Maccarillo Brothers, Hap Miller, Joe Fos and Alan Pennay. Paul cajoled friends from New York, Texas and California to come join him for a season in Idaho to play music for us.
Like so many Ketchum characters that we have been fortunate enough to call friends, Paul was part of the fabric of our home. He showed us to live with a full heart and open arms. It is living with individuals like Paul that make our community the wonderful place that it is.
Thank you, Paul.


Q. Why don't we have Uber or similar services in addition to taxis?

A. The city is ready for Uber! However, it is the state of Idaho that regulates Uber and all "transportation network companies." To date, Uber has come for some special events but has not permanently entered the local market. From what we know, this is due to the lack of demand and lack of a sufficient number of available drivers. Click here for an interesting link on the possible effects on small towns with Uber. What's your opinion?

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.
Busy  Street 
Ketchum's current parking regulations limit the city's goal of building a more vibrant downtown; one full of pedestrians, storefronts and activities. The regulations also conflict with objectives of the Comprehensive Plan this community supports. So, the city has begun to review the regulations and ask the public to participate in workshops to get your input and find out just what types of changes are important to you.
Ketchum's current parking regulations promote a car-oriented culture, prioritizing the convenience of drivers above the goals of a healthy community. They also discourage development and the mix of retail, restaurant and entertainment uses that creates a vibrant community.
The current parking demands make it virtually impossible to open a new restaurant, for example, requiring one space per 100 feet of the dining area. Retail uses require one space per 300 square feet of area. A parking space is 9 feet by 18 feet, 162 square feet; over 50 percent of the retail area it applies to and one and a half times the restaurant area! This a significant deterrent for new development and natural flexibility of the market.
"Ketchum's current parking regulations are barring the uses the city is trying to promote to increase the vibrancy of our town and our quality of life," Mayor Nina Jonas said. "Old rules, such as these, are out of touch with the new economy," she added.
The city began regulating parking in 1961 when it adopted the city's first zoning ordinance. It was amended 273 times over the years causing regulations to become "disjointed, internally conflicted and difficult to navigate," according to Planning and Building Director Micah Austin's report.
Ketchum will actively engage the public in the discussion and seek input from all community members who are interested in these changes. The first meeting will be held on Thursday, June 30, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in City Hall. Light lunch and refreshments will be available. Please RSVP to .

Ore Wagon Solar Solar panels on the museum started feeding energy into the Idaho Power electric grid on Monday, June 6. The hour-by-hour report shows the production of kilowatt hours, which varies between early morning hours, sunny midday hours and cloudy hours. You can follow the production at this link:
A private investor, OWM Solar, owns the panels. The city leases the panels with the benefit of a 10 percent reduction in electricity costs.
"Solar energy is another example of Ketchum's growing efforts toward sustainability," said Mayor Nina Jonas. "These efforts are essential to our quality of life and economic success of our town," she added.
The Ore Wagon Museum is located on East Avenue across from the north side of City Hall.

Chick and Egg
Remember the familiar adage the city used in its education efforts on the proposed general obligation bond for new essential services facilities? Whether public input and design is the chicken or the egg is unsure, but the voters spoke and the city listened. So let's get started!

The chicken and egg question ... Do residents want to authorize the city to borrow money for a project they haven't seen, or do residents want to invest money to design a project before it goes to the voters to approve a bond. It became clear at the May 17 election. Voters said "no," we want design first.

At the City Council meeting on Monday, June 20, Mayor Nina Jonas will propose a plan for new essential services facilities, as well as the anticipated comprehensive public outreach and community input effort. The outreach efforts by the city would be in addition to outreach and committee efforts by groups outside the city organization.

The goal would be to engage as many members of the public as possible through this process. A citizen committee of community stakeholders would be established and stakeholder groups would select their own representatives. The Mayor and Council would select the at large community members. The committee could look like this:
  • 5 at-large community members who are registered voters
  • Arts/gallery Association representative
  • City department representative identified by the mayor
  • Community housing representative
  • Construction contractor representative
  • Events representative
  • Fire department representative identified by the Ketchum firefighters
  • Health care representative
  • Light industrial business or manufacturing representative
  • Office or local business representative
  • Police department representative identified by the Ketchum Police Department
  • Restaurant association representative
  • Retail representative
  • Sun Valley Board of Realtors representative
  • Urban Renewal Agency board member
  • Visitor Center representative
  • YMCA representative
Five key issues would be addressed by the committee:
  • Location
  • Funding
  • Extent of use by community groups
  • Building configuration
  • Schedule and implementation
All committee meetings would be open to the public and facilitated Town Hall meetings would be held. An outside, experienced and objective facilitator would be hired to gain input in a fair and open process, so that every voice is heard and all ideas are considered.
In addition to facilitated meetings, a professional survey firm would conduct a community survey, collecting data both by telephone and over the Internet. This will reach people who find it inconvenient to attend meetings or who are uncomfortable expressing opinions at a public meeting.
Assistance from a design firm would be necessary to help address feasibility of design and location options and building code requirements. The city could retain ZGA Architects, which already has conducted a space study of city needs. ZGA would not provide detailed cost information or building design. Another option would be to issue a request for qualifications for a design firm and cost estimator for the project.
City staff would be available to assist the citizen committee and attend meetings and Town Halls to provide information. Groups or individuals outside the city organization would have access to that same information.
A bond issue for new police, city operations/emergency network communications and fire facilities, was defeated in May. The citizen committee would recommend whether another bond issue should be placed on the ballot and during which election.
The existing City Hall, built more than 40 years ago in a remodeled auto dealership, is overcrowded and is no longer structurally sound. It fails to meet modern building code requirements and is inaccessible to people with mobility issues.

Fire Expo 2016
A junior firefighters race, designed for 4- to 8-year-olds, will be a new addition to the Blaine County Fire Expo and barbecue, an annual city of Ketchum event. The Expo will be held Saturday, June 25 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Festival Field on Sun Valley Road.
Firefighters from Ketchum and Sun Valley will demonstrate car extrication, rescue drills, training in extinguishing fires and fire safety planning at the family-friendly event.
The junior firefighters race will include an obstacle course, letting children pretend to be a firefighter by climbing a ladder, moving toy fire trucks, and using a hose to knock down a cardboard fire.
The Blaine County Fire Expo began in 2003 as Fire Services Appreciation Day, a way for firefighters to interact with their neighbors while demonstrating some of the many services they perform. These include backcountry technical rescues, wildland firefighting, swift water rescue, advanced life support emergency medical services, hazardous materials mitigation and structural firefighting.
This year's expo also will include tours of Ketchum Fire Department's ambulance and Air St. Luke's helicopter, as well as a firefighter skill drill. Fire crews will force entry through a door, extinguish a fire, cut through a roof and "rescue" a trapped firefighter. U.S. Forest Service firefighters and firefighting mascot Smokey Bear also will be present.
The Blaine County Fire Expo is believed to be the largest fire fair in the west.
More information can be found by visiting the Ketchum Fire Department or by calling Lt. Lara McLean at 726-7805.
The Ketchum Fire Department was established in 1883 and is a combination of career, paid-on-call and volunteer firefighters who specialize in fire protection, emergency medical services and, with the assistance of the Sun Valley Fire Department, technical rescue throughout northern Blaine County.

Ketchem Alive
Tuesday, June 21 - Ketch'em Alive brings back a longtime valley favorite The Heaters, playing dance party, classic rock from 7-9 p.m. at Forest Service Park. Picnics are welcome and food and drink will be available at the event.

Jazz in Park Sunday, June 26 - Jazz in the Park at Rotary Park from 6-8 p.m. Hear the Louis Romanos Quartet, touring the west from Boise after being founded in New Orleans by Louis Romanos. The quartet includes Boise State's Director of Jazz Studies Alex Noppe. Their multi-layered and internationally influenced sound is a testament to the fine art of American Jazz. Ketchum's Jazz in the Park is excited to bring this level of jazz performers to our series.

Luke Bike Tuesday, June 28 - Ketch'em Alive brings its first DJ performance ever, featuring Luke McNees & Friends, from 7-9 p.m. at Forest Service Park. Luke will play his usual style of house music and add a live element by having local musicians play along to his mix. Picnics are welcome and food and drink will be available at the event.
Recent News Coverage Recognizes Arts as Summer Draw
Good news coverage in regional and national publications should help boost this summer's economy. Recent stories, including mentions of several Ketchum businesses and events, have appeared in Forbes, National Geographic and the Idaho Statesman. We're particularly pleased to see that all three publications have recognized the arts as an important draw for summer visitors. The stories are a result of our cooperative efforts with Visit Sun Valley and the Sun Valley Resort.

Early Bird Prices on Business Ski Passes
Business ski passes, which can be transferred among employees, are now on sale with "early bird" prices through Sept. 5. Sun Valley Resort donates the passes to Fly Sun Valley Alliance, with proceeds going to support air service.

Mayor Participates in Sawtooth Vision 20/20
Mayor Nina Jonas participated in the recent Sawtooth Vision 20/20 workshop, designed to create a 20-year plan for the Sawtooth National Recreation Area north of Ketchum.

Mattison to Speak on Water Conservation
Robyn Mattison, public works director/city engineer, will be among the speakers at a workshop on water conservation sponsored by the cities of Ketchum and Sun Valley, the Wood River Land Trust and the Sun Valley Elkhorn Association. The program will be from 3-4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 16, in the Harker Center in Elkhorn. Ketchum and Sun Valley residents can register online or by calling 622-7420. 

Ketchum Water Conservation Begins 
Help preserve our precious water. From June 15 to Sept. 1, sprinkling and watering of outdoor plantings is prohibited between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily. Exceptions may apply for those using drip- or bubbler-style irrigation systems, or if you have new plantings. Contact the Public Works Utilities Division at 726-7825 to request an exemption. Commercial nurseries are excluded from the prohibitions and restrictions of city ordinance no. 587.  

Mayor's School Walking Challenge Pays Off 
Mayor Nina Jonas walked an average of 10,000 steps per day during the month of October and received $1,000 to spend toward school or park improvements. The money went toward the new playground at the Hemingway School and it is under construction.
American Rivers Blog Features Ketchum Project
Ketchum's "Happy Trails" project, designed to increase access to the Big Wood River, was featured on the American Rivers blog with a guest post by Robyn Mattison, public works director/city engineer.
The city, in partnership with the Idaho Conservation League, received a grant from American Rivers for the project. 
Report Repeated Phone Calls to FCC
Ketchum police have received numerous complaints about repeated telephone calls about a local individual. Police are unable to take action, as this is not a criminal offense. Persons bothered by repeated calls may file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission.

Used Computers Available 
The city has several used computers, monitors, printers and speakers that it will donate to people in need or local nonprofits. If you are interested, please call 726-3841, or email, no later than Friday, July 1, at 5 p.m. 
Apply for City Jobs
Ketchum has job openings for an associate planner and a seasonal equipment operator. Details are on the city website at

Coming Up at City Council 
Helios Development Monday will request an eight-year extension to its development approvals for the Warm Springs Ranch Resort to Aug. 2, 2024. The original agreement was approved in 2009 and amended in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Also on the agenda are an update on the building permit status on the Auberge Hotel and a discussion on a proposed public outreach and community input plan for new essential services facilities. 

Cell Phone Signs Are Up, Enforcement Has Begun 
Signs alerting drivers to Ketchum's ban on using handheld devices while driving have been installed at the entrances to the city, and police have begun enforcement. For the first year, warnings will be issued to drivers seen violating the law. However, if a handheld device is found to be the cause of an accident, the $100 fine will be imposed.   
Mayor Talks on KDPI After Every Council Meeting
Mayor Nina Jonas talks about current city issues on KDPI-FM Drop-in Radio, 88.5 FM, after every City Council meeting. Her next appearance will be Tuesday, June 21, at noon.
Chip Sealing Scheduled for July 11-14
Summer chip sealing of streets is scheduled for July 11-14. Click here for schedule and locations.
Property Tax Deadline is June 20
The deadline for property tax payments is June 20. The Blaine County Treasurer's Office will be open on Friday, June 17 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist with taking payments, as well as during the regularly scheduled hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, June 20. For questions, call 788-5530. 
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 Monday, June 20. 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, June 27. 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 meeting 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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