Hailey asked to consider bus barn alternative
By TRAVIS PURSER
Express Staff Writer
Critics of the Blaine County School Districtís plans to
build a bus maintenance facility in Croy Creek Canyon are calling for
several alternatives, most of which schools superintendent Jim Lewis says
are too flawed to work. One idea that may be considered further, however,
is to have the city of Hailey and the district pool money to buy an
alternate piece of land away from homes.
Neighbors to the project say they are worried the
aesthetics of the proposed 6,000-square-foot light-industrial structure
would clash with surrounding hiking areas, and that it would increase
traffic, noise and light pollution.
Plans currently underway have the district purchasing land
adjacent to the city of Haileyís Lionís Park. If the sale goes
through, city engineer Tom Hellen said, a land-sharing agreement would
allow Hailey planners to build a street department shop without the cityís
purchasing any additional property.
Lewis and other district officials held a public meeting
to answer questions on the bus barn plans at the Wood River High Schoolís
auditorium Thursday and have called for another meeting on May 30 at 7:00
Lewis told about 30 concerned neighbors Thursday that he
couldnít comment on suggestions that Hailey contribute money to
purchasing alternate property because no Hailey officials were present.
Hailey Mayor Brad Siemer was out of town, he said, but would answer
questions May 30.
However, Lewis told the sometimes abusive group, "I
hear you, I really do."
Other alternatives members of the group suggested included
somehow finding more money to purchase land elsewhere, even though it
would likely be more expensive than the 25-acre, $262,000 parcel the
district has formally agreed to purchase. Lewis said a suitable parcel
elsewhere in the county would cost around $1 million.
"It seems like if you go looking for money, you can
find it," Croy Canyon resident Brian Emerick said, apparently
referring to the $40 million school levy county voters approved last year.
"It looks like you might have to go find some more money."
Another unidentified man suggested the district move Wood
River High Schoolís sports fields to the Croy property and build the bus
barn at the high school.
Another man suggested, "Why not tell the kids they
canít drive," and build the bus barn on the high school parking
"I donít know if the parents would go for
that," Lewis said. "I can do that for you, if youíll buy me a
ticket out of town."