Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Ketchum Council renews contract for consultant

Express Staff Writer

More than three months' work on the downtown master plan—and the document outlining initial findings—was given the thumbs up by the Ketchum City Council.

Council members unanimously approved Monday, Feb. 6, a resolution accepting and adopting the framework for the downtown master plan.

The framework document, completed in phase one of three, addresses the scope of work necessary for the revitalization of Ketchum's core.

The framework was put together by economic development consultant Tom Hudson, under contract with the city, following months of meetings and discussions with city officials and members of the public.

One person attended Monday's meeting to weigh in on the matter.

"I would really urge you guys to look at some of the aspects of downtown revitalization differently," said Ketchum resident Lee Chubb. "A lot were business oriented. As far as I'm concerned, we need to look at a couple of amenities that don't return immediate business benefits."

He said a park would be more beneficial than a plaza, and the community needs a performing arts center in the commercial core.

"These are two things that could double our (local option tax) revenue," he said. "We need to make it fun to be here. If we pursue a schedule of improvements that ... just try to be cute, we miss the mark."

Councilman Baird Gourlay said the framework conceptualizes more of an Italian-style piazza than a bland plaza or walking mall.

"We are trying to look at a lot of variations," he said, adding that a performing arts venue is "high on the list."

The master plan project entered phase two Monday as the council approved a contract for services with Hudson not to exceed $128,885.

An additional contract for related, implementation services was approved for $57,745.

The framework document is available at

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