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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of June 26 - July 2, 2002


Budget cuts may force KART route changes

Express Staff Writer

Marginal 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.

Potential budget cuts could force KART to cut Elkhorn from its service area, KART Board Chairman Dick Fosbury said.

"Weíre 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.

Sun Valleyís local option tax revenues are down 15 percent this year, Pincetich said, and the eventual closure of the hotel in Elkhorn wonít help.

But 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.

"Thatís 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."

Cutting Elkhorn from the service area would probably cover the $60,000 budget shortfall, he said.

According 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.

And Crawford was quick to point out that those numbers may slip significantly if or when Elkhorn Resortís hotel closes.

Municipal 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 City Hall.

"It will be a unifying decision between the cities and the KART Board about where those cuts are going to come," Crawford said.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.