For the week of February 17, 1999  thru February 23, 1999  

Hailey official clarifies position on highway relocation

Express Staff Writer

Hailey city administrator Daryle James has clarified remarks he made suggesting the realignment of State Highway 75 from Main Street to east Hailey as personal opinions that do not reflect the position of the city.

James had made the suggestion at a public Transportation Corridor Study meeting in Hailey on Feb. 4.

In a Feb. 9 letter to Bob Humphrey of the Idaho Transportation Department, James wrote, "The mayor and the city of Hailey are very focused on retaining Highway 75 in its current corridor at this time."

At the close of the letter, James announced his removal from participation on the Highway 75 Corridor Study Steering Committee and stated that Mayor Brad Siemer will find a replacement.

Copies of the letter were sent to the Hailey City Council.

At the highway meeting, which ITD organized to get public input on proposed improvements from U.S. Route 20 to Ketchum, James said he would like to see the community study realignment of the corridor from Main Street in Hailey to ITD property in east Hailey.

Several Hailey residents who overheard James at the meeting expressed concern about the idea.

At a Hailey City Council meeting Feb. 8, Mayor Brad Siemer said "those desires of the administrator were personal" and "do not constitute a represented or endorsed position by this council."

In an interview, James said he was only promoting a study of relocation options, not proposing an alternate route.

"As the volume of automobile traffic increases on Main Street, we are going to begin seeing difficult situations for businesses and pedestrians in downtown Hailey," James said.

James said a logical place for the relocation could be along the railroad right of way in east Hailey.

"The problem with that is that it goes through a residential area and would create a nuisance for the people there," James said,

At its Feb. 22 meeting, the Hailey City Council will discuss the transportation corridor, make a list of concerns and ideas for its development and forward the list to the steering committee, James said.


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