Friday, February 13, 2009

Decision coming for Ketchum police?

Express Staff Writer

Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling is expected to present a proposal for a contract for service to the Ketchum City Council on Tuesday, Feb. 17, that would transfer law enforcement responsibilities in the city to his department.

Ketchum city officials have been pondering the future of the Police Department since former Chief Cory Lyman resigned from the position in October.

While other options under consideration include promoting Interim Police Chief Mike McNeil to the position full-time, looking outside of the department for a new chief or merging with the Sun Valley Police Department, a contract with the Sheriff's Office has gained the most traction recently.

On Feb. 2, Femling spoke with the council during an executive session, closed to the public because it dealt with personnel issues, and is on the agenda to make a public presentation at the Feb. 17 council meeting.

City Administrator Gary Marks said the city has asked Femling to make some adjustments to the proposed contract in light of the city's worsening economic outlook.

While no details of the potential contract have been made public, other than that it would not require layoffs in the Ketchum Police Department, Councilman Baird Gourlay called the original proposal "not as great a deal as we first thought."

The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at Ketchum City Hall.

Jon Duval:

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