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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 11 - 17, 2003


Incentive pay 
plan rejected for housing chief

Express Staff Writer

Had it not been turned down by Blaine County and the city of Ketchum, the new Blaine-Ketchum Housing Authority would be paying its new executive director a base salary plus $2,500 as an incentive for each new affordable housing unit completed in the county.

The failed pay plan was disclosed June 4 at the authorityís annual meeting attended by only one news reporter, two spectators and a member of the groupís transportation committee, Sue Noel.

Outgoing acting chairman David Kipping said after the proposed incentive pay plan was rejected by the county and Ketchum, the housing authority then approved a $75,000 salary for Executive Director Dick Duncan.

Blaine County Commissioner Sarah Michael, who said the housing authority wanted to pay Duncan a $60,000 salary and $2,500 for each new affordable housing unit, later confirmed details of the plan for the Mountain Express.

"Thatís not the way government does business," she said.

Duncan said there now are about 20 occupied affordable housing units with 70 to 80 units proposed or in the works.

Kipping also said an official told him, whose name he didnít disclose, that such an incentive plan for Duncan "might produce excessive compensation." He said he accepted the rejection by the county and city.

"The purse strings talk," he said. "When they talk, we listen."

Kipping then stepped down as acting chairman after property management executive Tim Egan, of Ketchum, was elected chairman by fellow authority members. Attorney Jim Laski, also of Ketchum, was elected vice chairman.

In what may develop into a future affordable housing possibility, Duncan said Mercy Housing, a nationwide housing developer, was working with a landowner in Carey on a project that could include affordable housing. Under consideration is restoring and moving the former Iconoclast bookstore building to Carey for housing.

Housing commissioner Connie McGowan said she was "opposed to putting money into Carey and taking people away from employment centers" of the Wood River Valley.

However, Egan disagreed. He said thereís "a crying need for housing closer (to jobs), even in Carey," which is about an hour from Ketchum. Carey also is close to the Craters of the Moon National Monument thatís expected to evolve as a more prominent tourist attraction requiring service personnel.

The authority also approved a tentative budget of some $120,000.

The countyís affordable housing has four general levels of means-tested income levels to qualify for buying or leasing, beginning around $14,900 and rising to incomes of about $71,000.

Developers of multiple housing are given incentives for setting aside some of their dwellings as affordable housing.


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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.