Ketchum to host
Nov. 13 meeting on town center options
Express Staff Writer
winter, Ketchum’s town center site was the most controversial piece of
property in town, but city leaders want to put the past behind them and
determine an agreeable future for the property.
Ketchum City Council will host a meeting Nov. 13 at 10:30 a.m. to
collect citizen opinions and hash out the city’s options.
probably have a range of possibilities," Ketchum City Administrator
Ron LeBlanc said, adding that the city has not compiled a report on
winter, a proposal to build affordable housing on the property
eventually fell through because of financing, but only after dozens of
citizens dueled for months over the potential three-story, 20-room
affordable housing and commercial project.
general, those who objected to the housing concept said it would destroy
the site’s small-town character and would unnecessarily consume its
park-like attributes. Those who wanted the project cited the community’s
need for affordable housing.
building on the property, which housed the Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber
and Visitors Bureau (CVB) until early October, was formerly Ketchum’s
city hall. The old city hall is in disrepair and would need extensive
and expensive repairs to be saved.
Sievers, Warm Springs resident and a member of the Ketchum Planning and
Zoning Commission, was among the citizens opposed to the affordable
he would like to see the property used for "public and civic
it should be used to house a new city hall, including city
administrative offices and meeting space, leaving the existing city hall
for expansion of police and fire services," he said. "I think
something, two-story maximum, that would preserve the existing trees and
the existing visitor center, but still be appropriate for a city
administrative site, should be considered."
Executive Director Carol Waller said it doesn’t really matter to the
chamber what occurs at the site, so long as a visitor center and
brochure storage are incorporated into the plan.
agreement approved by the city last week, the chamber will coordinate
rentals of the old building’s meeting room in exchange for visitor
is imperative that, if something happens to that building, we need to
incorporate proper brochure storage in an expansion of that visitor
center," Waller said. "There’s no storage in there, and,
obviously, it’s an information distribution center."
the chamber’s new offices, on the second floor of the Jones Building,
above the Burger Grill, Waller said, "It’s a much more safe,
professional and efficient work environment for our staff.