Budget cuts may
force KART route changes
Express Staff Writer
tourism last winter and spring and the prospect that Elkhorn Resort
probably will soon close its doors are combining to create an economic
ripple that ended last week with the valleyís free bus system, KART.
budget cuts could force KART to cut Elkhorn from its service area, KART
Board Chairman Dick Fosbury said.
taking a real hard look at what we need to do with routes. Thatís our
fiduciary responsibility," said KART Board member Tim Eagan.
At a KART
Board meeting June 19, Sun Valley City Administrator Dan Pincetich said
his city might not be able to cough up a 5 percent budget increase KART
had requested to cover regular inflation in the cost of doing business.
That 5 percent amounts to $24,000.
Valleyís local option tax revenues are down 15 percent this year,
Pincetich said, and the eventual closure of the hotel in Elkhorn wonít
because Ketchum and Sun Valley have an agreement stating neither entity
can fund more than 60 percent or less than 40 percent of KARTís
budget, Ketchum would be forced to reduce its contract this year by
$36,000, KART Manager Terry Crawford said.
a $60,000 decrease for KART," Crawford said. "Itís
preliminary right now, but Iím looking at all the options. I have to
cut hours out of the budget."
Elkhorn from the service area would probably cover the $60,000 budget
shortfall, he said.
to statistics compiled by KART, about 10 percent of the bus systemís
total riders originate from Elkhorn Resort and surrounding condominiums.
Another 8 percent originate from Elkhorn neighborhoods.
Crawford was quick to point out that those numbers may slip
significantly if or when Elkhorn Resortís hotel closes.
budget discussions should begin in Ketchum and Sun Valley in July, and
the KART board is scheduled to meet again on July 24 at noon at Ketchum
will be a unifying decision between the cities and the KART Board about
where those cuts are going to come," Crawford said.