Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Housing Authority dips into the red

Plans to request regional funding could rectify $178,000 deficit

Express Staff Writer

Members of the Blaine-Ketchum Housing Authority board met Monday night to discuss the fiscal year 2006-2007 budget and to hammer down funding requests from all of the county's municipalities, which could lift the organization out of a $178,663 deficit.

The authority, which strives to create sustainable and affordable housing solutions for residents of the Wood River Valley, operates across the entire county but only receives funding from the city of Ketchum and from Blaine County.

The organization will once again rely heavily on the county and Ketchum for funding, but it also plans to request assistance from the cities of Sun Valley, Hailey, Bellevue and Carey.

The request gels with the housing authority's intention of expanding into a true regional authority that is represented on the board, and funded, by all five cities in Blaine County.

Ketchum and Blaine County will be asked to provide $67,000 apiece. The authority will ask Sun Valley for $27,000, Hailey for $15,000, Bellevue for $3,000 and Carey for $500.

This is the third consecutive year the authority has been in the red.

A significant portion of the deficit can be attributed to a $100,000 loan from the city of Ketchum to facilitate the authority's operational costs.

Housing Authority Associate Director Drew Sanderford said that money is held in a Ketchum housing reserve account and that it will be repaid.

Sanderford said an appeal on the approval of the Quail Creek subdivision, the largest community housing development in Blaine County history, also added to the deficit.

Authority representatives met with the Sun Valley City Council on Tuesday to pitch their funding request. Sanderford said meetings with the other four cities will be held over the next month.

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