Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Suggestions for Warm Springs

It might make sense for Ketchum city leaders and DDRM Greatplace to review the emerging field of urban agriculture and aquaponics.

The hotel developer is asking townsfolk to toss aside their well-thought-out comprehensive plan (which currently bans the proposed high-density project on grounds that it will irrevocably change the character of the neighborhood and town), and people are understandably upset. Maybe if the developers proposed a large community geothermal aquaponics facility it would sweeten the deal enough to convince people that the forthcoming change would be worthwhile. People don't want drastic change, but if they can envision drastic change for the better, they might go along.

The facility would be very expensive, no doubt (the deep test well alone will require $2 million). But once constructed it would be a tourist attraction in itself, providing a constant return to the hotel owners and the city (just ask Bernie Karl at Chena Hot Springs resort). Drilling and development of the geothermal resource out Warm Springs Canyon surely qualifies for the alternative energy investment that the Obama administration has been promising—so much of the development costs would not necessarily be borne by either the developer or city. Seems worth checking out.

Dan Solaro


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