For the week of April 21, 1999  thru April 27, 1999  

Ketchum asks for postponement of McHanville meeting

Council wants new meeting start time

Express Staff Writer

A meeting to collect feedback from city and county officials on the addition of water and sewer services to the new St. Luke’s Hospital in Cold Springs, may be postponed pending a request from the Ketchum City Council.

Ketchum officials announced Monday night during a regularly scheduled meeting that they will ask the Sun Valley Water and Sewer District to reschedule the May 4 meeting to sometime in June.

Sun Valley, Ketchum and Blaine County officials were invited to attend the meeting.

Currently, the area known as McHanville, a strip of businesses and residences near the site of the hospital, does not receive sewer or water services from either municipality or the county. With the slated addition of water services to the hospital from the water and sewer district, the district has received requests for services from several of the hospital’s McHanville neighbors.

In a letter to county and city officials, Sun Valley Water and Sewer District manager John Brown writes that the district intends to "annex and serve the St. Luke’s Hospital as an accommodation to the public interest purposes of the facility."

Brown also expresses that the district has no need or desire to expand the current service area. However, because of the site’s central location, a "natural evolution" of the area could result from the hospital’s construction should zoning restrictions allow such an evolution.

Because of this, the district invited county and city officials—the agencies that determine land-use concepts in Blaine County—to the meeting to discuss the area’s future.

McHanville, on county land, lies within Ketchum and Sun Valley zones of impact, a factor that allows the cities to participate in the area’s active planning.

Ketchum officials said Monday they will need more time to consider the options associated with McHanville.

"This is not an easy discussion," said Councilman David Hutchinson. "We need to make a proactive planning decision… We need to hash this out and see how it looks in comparison to (Ketchum’s) comprehensive plan."

Ketchum council members agreed that each development proposal, those that requested water and sewer services, should receive individual examination.

"This is a big issue," Hutchinson continued. We need to get sufficient staff input; we need to know what has been on the table before."

In an interview Tuesday, Brown said, June seems very late to work on planning the future of the McHanville area.

He said he will consult with the sewer and water district board to determine what to do next in light of Ketchum’s request. The board will next meet on May 17.

"It will only slow down the planning for the rest of the area," Brown said. "It won’t slow St. Luke’s down."


Also Monday, Ketchum officials approved the pre-design funding for a secondary clarifier for the Ketchum and Sun Valley Sewer District plant.

A clarifier, or settling tank, is used as one of the physical processes of sewage treatment.

The pre-design will cost $21,237, but the cost will be split between the sewer district and Ketchum. Each will pay $10,618.

The sewer district approved its expenses at a Monday afternoon meeting.


Ketchum’s Local Improvement District (LID) sidewalk improvements should be completed by mid-June.

Doug McCoy, a contractor from Twin Falls, will construct new sidewalks, curbs and gutters at six locations in Ketchum at a cost of $37,317.

McCoy was the only contractor to bid on the project, city administrator Jim Jaquet said. His bid came in $6,000 higher than the city’s engineer projected. Other contractors proved to be too busy this spring undertake the project.

"This is the best we got for a relatively small project," Jaquet said.

The project should be completed by June 15.

Sidewalks will be built or replaced at the following locations: a stretch on Fifth Street by Formula Sports, a stretch in front of Omlay’s and the adjoining apartment complex on Washington Avenue, two stretches on the corner of Washington Avenue and Fifth Street across from the Sun Valley Center and one on the Sixth Street-side of the Cantho restaurant.


The city council also voted to start its meetings at 6 p.m. rather than at 6:30 p.m. as it has in the past.

"This will make it so we’re not making decisions late at night," Hutchinson said. "It’s a better opportunity to serve the people."

In addition, the council resolved to stick with a predetermined timeline to improve meeting efficiency. City staff, in conjunction with applicants, will set up appropriate time frames that tasks should be completed in. The idea will be to stick with that timeline.


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