Hailey council cracks new budget
after weekend party
By MATT FURBER
Express Staff Writer
The Hailey City Council was
on high ebb Monday as it tackled current business after a full weekend of
Before diving into regular
business and the first discussions of the new budget proposal for the 2003-2004
fiscal year, Mayor Susan McBryant had congratulatory words for everyone who
helped make Saturday’s skate park dedication, airport appreciation day and the
free fishing day activities a success. She also commended the police for their
response to the alleged threats made by two teenagers at Wood River High School
just before graduation.
The first agenda item to pass
Monday was a fireworks permit that clears the air for the annual Independence
Day display. As specified by the fire chief, the launch site is 1,000 feet from
the nearest structure, and traffic will be deliberately controlled. Some public
concern was heard about the impact of the celebration on farm animals in the
An amendment was made to the
city’s banner ordinance making it necessary for all applicants wishing to fly
a banner over the highway to adhere to a "first come, first serve"
schedule and to affix specific dates that advertise community events.
The ordinance says that
banners should not say, "support the Wood River Wolverines" but
"support the Wood River Wolverines on this date," McBryant said by way
McBryant added that the
ordinance was particularly important because there are new banners flying nearly
every week as Hailey city clerk Heather Dawson confirmed.
Somewhat begrudgingly, an
extension was granted to Thomas Development for the completion of the Balmoral
community housing project in Woodside.
Specific concerns were raised
about the fact that the project was not yet finished but more importantly city
staff and council members wanted to address the surface quality of the Balmoral
Park soccer field.
The council commanded
developer Tom Mannschreck to carryout an eight-step improvement process to
ensure the high quality of the field.
Under the terms of the
extension, the council also reminded the developer that the planned unit
development requires a regular maintenance schedule and demanded a biweekly
progress report until the revised completion date of Aug. 31. The council
promised "draconian" measures would be taken if the project fails to
meet terms of the new deadline.
A new park permit fee was
instated for organized seasonal events that expect to turn a profit. That
includes "not-for-profit" organizations that are running fundraising
The fee fills a loophole,
said Parks and Land board member Steve Keefer.
"There was nothing that
addressed these types of users," he said. "Issuing the fee is a way to
know who is doing what and who is in charge."
The new fee will be $100 per
year to reserve park time. The money will help contribute to maintenance of
public park space that is seeing ever-increasing use.
At the end of the meeting the
mayor presented her 2003-2004 budget proposal to the council. Council members
will have until the public hearing scheduled for Aug. 11 to prepare questions
and recommend changes to the budget. Public comment on the budget can be heard
as soon as the council ratifies a sum that the budget shall not exceed.
As proposed the total city
budget will be an increase of 19 percent or $7.3 million.
The city is going into the
next budget year without carryover, said McBryant. "But, the budget is
One of the main goals of the
budget will be to increase and facilitate support staff, said McBryant.
There are six new positions
recommended citywide in the budget to accommodate the workload brought on by
growth in the city. One position that still needs to be filled is for a new city
administrator. The new position has been published with an salary range of
$70,000 to $86,000 per year.