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

October 5, 2015
In This Issue
A Message From Honorary Commander Nina Jonas:

Lt. Col. Gary Marlowe, Mayor Nina Jonas and F-15 Strike Eagle
I am an honorary commander to the 389th Fighter Squadron, the "Thunderbolts," under the guidance of Lieutenant Colonel Gary "Ziggy" Marlowe.
The honorary command is a public relations initiative allowing bases to open their gates to their neighbors to gain awareness of each other's community. Honorary commanders are selected through an application process and are chosen for a strong connection to their own community and a lack of connection to the military services. The honorary command is a two-year program.
The 389th is a fighter squadron unit of the 366th Fighter Wing located at the Mountain Home Air Force Base . The Thunderbolts are comprised of 71 Airmen and 21 F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft. The aircrew train for missions including close air support, interdiction, defensive counter-air, strategic attack and suppression of enemy air defenses. They are capable of employing a full arsenal of weaponry including air-to-air missiles, 20mm guns, laser or GPS guided bombs, general purpose munitions and stand-off weapons. The Commander of the Thunderbolts is Lieutenant Colonel Gary "Ziggy" Marlowe.
The 366th Fighter Wing, known as the "Gunfighters" of the Air Combat Command, is responsible for training and equipping five squadrons and supporting two tenant units (the 389th fighter squadron, the 391st fighter squadron, the 428th fighter squadron, the 390th electronic combat squadron, the 366th operation support squadron, the 266th range squadron and the 726th air control squadron). The 366th Fighter Wing ensures combat readiness for short-notice worldwide Air Expeditionary Force deployments and contingency operations.
The Gunfighters gained their name in 1967. During the Vietnam War combat planes equipped with guns were not in use, which became a problem for airmen when engaged by gunfire. Therefore, pioneering airmen strapped machine guns under the planes' wings to enable close range air-to-air combat, aka dogfighting. This innovation was so successful during sorties that the name "Gunfighters" was given to the 366th Fighter Wing. The Commander of the 366th Fighter Wing is Col. David Iverson. 
The Mountain Home Air Force base is approximately 120 miles southwest of Ketchum; about a 2.5-hour drive or a 12 minute flight in an F-15.


Thanks for the information on water bottles (in the Sept. 18 newsletter). I can understand the desire to reduce use of water bottles for many reasons. One thing it would be useful to know is how Ketchum treats its water to make it safe for drinking. Does Ketchum put fluoride in its water? -- Leslie Manookian 
 Fortunately, we are blessed with mountain well water! Ketchum does not add flouride. The city is required by federal regulation to disinfect the water, and uses a sodium hypochlorite process at each city well. This treatment process offers the best mix of low cost, ease of use, safety and effectiveness. Ketchum's lab analyses can be found here

Cement is the third largest source of greenhouse gas pollution in the U.S., Scientific American reported a few years ago. In the past few years several companies have found a method of producing concrete that absorbs more carbon dioxide than it produces. Does the city have any plans to switch to this type of concrete?
Thanks for bringing this up. Since you did, the city has done extensive research on the topic and companies, some that are still in the R&D process and another that makes the product, which is very expensive. The local batching plants so far have declined to mix it because it has to be stored separately from other concrete. The city would have to purchase large quantities in order to meet the economies of scale. We will continue to monitor the development of this product, as it is very much in keeping with the city's goal of environmental sustainability.

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.
All power will be out in Ketchum and Sun Valley from 11 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 13, until approximately 7 a.m. the following day. Idaho Power will be preparing to replace transmission line poles during the outage. Click here for notice.

Be prepared by checking your security systems, refrigeration and other power essential appliances. If you know of anyone with health needs such as oxygen, please help to make sure they are aware of the upcoming power outage.   
ROW The city dedicates a considerable amount of resources each year to maintain public streets and sidewalks throughout the city. Recently, the city has become more focused on managing our public rights-of-way beyond the paved surface. The public right-of-way is defined as improved or unimproved public property dedicated or deeded to the city for the purpose of providing vehicular, pedestrian and public use. In Ketchum, the public rights-of-way consist of roadway, curb, gutter, sidewalks, signage and drainage facilities. The public rights-of-way are also used for public parking, wintertime snow storage and conveyance of utilities, such as water, sewer, electricity, telephone, cable, etc.

For many years, property owners have planted grass, trees and shrubs, and placed rocks, planters and other improvements in the public right-of-way. When landscaping or other obstructions impede the public use of the right-of-way, the city is obligated to remedy the situation, especially when there are safety concerns.

One safety concern is the narrow drive lane along roadways when vehicles are parked in the street. Fire code requires a minimum of 20 feet of clear travel lane for emergency vehicle access. You may have noticed new signs in some residential areas that say "PARKING ONLY PERMITTED OFF PAVEMENT." The purpose of the signs is to shift parking off the street and onto the public right-of-way so a 20-foot wide clear travel lane is maintained. The city has also begun clearing small rocks and landscaping within 8 feet from pavement to allow room for vehicle parking and prepare for snow removal. Large rocks, such as the ones shown in the photo below, hinder snow removal operations by creating a barrier for the plows and limiting snow storage areas. 

Fences can create a safety issue and may need to be relocated. Over the years, some property owners installed fences or landscaping making it difficult for drivers to see around the corner into oncoming traffic. City regulations prohibit fences or hedges within 75 feet of the center line of an intersection for this reason. The city issues fence permits to ensure public safety is met. Occasionally fences are built without an approved permit or not installed in accordance with the conditions of the permit.
The city's practice is to provide a courtesy notification to affected residents when changes are made in their neighborhood, new parking signage for example, and when obstructions or landscaping need to be removed or pruned back. Notifications are either mailed or posted on properties, even when the removal or pruning occurs within the public right-of-way. Property owners have the option to move the obstructions or landscaping onto their private property.

In the future, the city will be addressing larger encroachments into the public right-of-way such as large trees, garages and sheds.

Residential Right-of-way Standards
The city has right-of-way standards for owners who choose to make improvements in the right-of-way. The standards achieve goals of drainage, parking, snow storage and access for emergency vehicles within local, residential street rights-of-way. They also require materials that can be reasonably maintained by the city. Council supported these standards on July 6, 2015. These standards consist of:
  • With the exception of driveways, material in the right-of-way must be permeable to allow drainage.
  • Material within the first eight (8) feet from edge of asphalt must allow for vehicle parking, and must be distinct from driveway and rest of the property in order to visually appear to be available for parking. No buried irrigation systems within the first eight (8) feet from the edge of asphalt. Subsurface irrigation lines are permitted beyond the first eight (8) feet, however pop-up heads are not permitted anywhere in the right-of-way.
  • No live plant material within the first eight (8) feet from edge of asphalt. Short plant material, such as drought-tolerant turf grass, is permitted beyond the first eight (8) feet.
  • Grading and drainage improvements must be approved by the city engineer and be no more than a 5 percent slope. No obstructions, such as boulders or berms, within the right-of-way.
If a property owner wishes to install a material other than road mix that conforms to the standards listed above, the owner will need a Right-of-Way Encroachment Agreement with the city. The agreement will permit the improvements within the right-of-way with the condition that the property owner will maintain the improvements and remove the improvements at any time if required by the city.
Improvements or changes to the appearance of the public right-of-way may require a Right-of-Way Encroachment Permit.

Contact Brian Christiansen, street superintendent, for more information at 726-7831 or

Ketchum's WaterSmart program is active. Residents now have access to detailed information about their household water use through a modern digital portal. The portal can be reached on a mobile device or web browser at .
To register for this free service, enter your billing account number and email address. You can then access all of your utility data as soon as it becomes available each billing period. Single-family properties can see how your water use compares to similar sized homes in your neighborhood and get access to customized recommendations on how you can save water and money.
Read more in the September 18 newsletter and send questions or comments to

The Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency is making the following requests of City Council:
  • make future amendments to its bylaws without Council approval
  • change its meeting time from 3 p.m. to 2 p.m. on the third Monday of each month
  • reduce the number of City Council members who serve on the board 
At one time, the entire board was made up of elected City Council members. The current board has three Council members and four at-large members. Appointments to the KURA board would continue to be made by the mayor with City Council approval.

Keisha Owens Keshia Owens has joined the planning and building department as a planning technician.

A native of Florida, Owens graduated from Michigan State University in 2013, earning a degree in urban and regional planning with a minor in German. She began her career with the Federal Highway Administration as a transportation planning intern and also served as a planning intern with the city of Flint, Michigan. She gained experience in geographic information systems with the city of Lansing, Michigan.

An outdoor enthusiast, she enjoys camping and hiking and looks forward to learning to ski.

Ketchum Website Now Offers Business Directory
Want to learn more about a business in Ketchum? A directory of all businesses, which hold a city business license, is now available on the city website  . You can find out the name of the business, the location and contact information, and how long it has held a business license. Please check your listing if you are a business owner, and send any corrections to . Every business in the city is required to hold a license.

Take a Look at Winter Advertising Campaign
Visit Sun Valley, the regional marketing agency funded by the city, has some great winter ads. Most are produced in several versions for different target markets. Here's a family-oriented video ad.

Aimee Christensen, chair, Ketchum Energy Advisory Committee and founder, Sun Valley Institute for Resilience
Water Bond Refinancing Saves $403,000
Ketchum taxpayers will save $403,000 over the next 20 years, thanks to the refinancing of water bonds through the Idaho Bond Bank Authority.

City Treasurer/Clerk Sandy Cady Honored Sandy Cady  
City Treasurer/Clerk Sandy Cady has received the James B. Weatherby Award, the
highest honor given by the Idaho City Clerks Treasurers and Finance Oficers Association. She was nominated by her peers as someone who has provided "outstanding service to Idaho cities." 

Ketchum to Establish Child Health Day Oct. 5 
Child Health Day is a United States federal observance day on the first Monday in October since 1928. Ketchum will join this effort to ensure the health and well-being of Ketchum's children and invest in the health of future generations by protecting our environment. Read staff report here .

Trail Access Relocated 
The trail access located on Walnut Ave. and East 9th St., sometimes referred to as the "Kinderhorn Trail," has been relocated. The trail ran through private property and has been moved due to construction. The new location is 101 feet northwest of the previous location. The parking area is still accessible. 

Fire Prevention Week Fire Prevention Week Oct. 5 
Ketchum firefighters will be visiting local daycare centers and elementary schools to teach basics of fire safety during Fire Prevention Week. Children will learn techniques like stop, drop and roll, and to be comfortable and feel safe with firefighters in full gear. 
Please Remember: Fire Danger Is Still High
Please remember that fire danger is still high. One spark, accompanied by warm temperatures and windy days can still cause a significant fire. Here are some tips for preventing wildfires:
  • Equipment-caused wildfires are very common; just one small spark can ignite dry grass. Spark arrestors are required on all portable, gasoline-powered equipment, including tractors, harvesters, chainsaws, weed-eaters, mowers, motorcycles, portable welders and all-terrain vehicles.
  • One small spark can ignite dry grass. Take the time to make sure your vehicle and trailer are properly maintained, with nothing dragging on the ground. A shower of sparks from a loose safety chain striking pavement can easily start multiple fires in dry vegetation.
  • Cooler weather is around the corner, and many of us are cutting firewood for our fireplace or woodstove. Take the time to make sure your chainsaw is properly maintained. Sparks may fly and ignite a wildfire if the spark arrestor is not properly serviced or the tip of the bar comes in contact with a rock. 
  • Hunting season is under way. All it takes is one spark or ember from an unattended campfire, muzzle of a gun or hot exhaust pipe on a vehicle, trailer or ATV to ignite a destructive wildfire.
ICL Blogs About Single-Use Water Bottles in Ketchum 
Idaho Conservation League posted this blog supporting the city's ban on plastic water bottles on city property. 

Remember Deadlines for the Nov. 3 Election
Tuesday, Oct. 6, is the last day to file as a write-in candidate for the Nov. 3 City Council election. Voter registration closes Friday, Oct. 9, although you may register in person during early voting at the Blaine County Courthouse, beginning Oct. 19, or at the polling place on Election Day.

Trailing of the Sheep Festival Starts Wednesday
The Trailing of the Sheep Festival, which has won half a dozen awards as a top fall festival, runs Wednesday through Sunday, Oct. 7-11. This year's activities continue the theme of "Celebrating Generations."
City Council 
Attend the next City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 5. 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 
Planning and Zoning Commission meetings are held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. The next P&Z meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 12 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 have 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