Wednesday, June 10, 2009

County: Make the cop agreement money neutral

Commissioners will consider Ketchum contract on June 23

Blaine County officials continue to move forward on a proposed contract for services that would have the county Sheriff's Office take over police duties in Ketchum.

During their regular meeting in Hailey on Tuesday, County Commissioners Tom Bowman and Angenie McCleary discussed details of the contract with Sheriff Walt Femling.

Commissioner Larry Schoen was away on vacation.

Bowman reminded Femling that he wants to make sure the county doesn't lose money on the arrangement.

The county already has a law-enforcement contract with Bellevue, in place since the end of 2007.

If approved by both sides, the Ketchum police contract would run through September 2010. After that, it would be reconsidered on an annual basis.

"We'll review it when the contract comes up for renewal," Bowman said.

Ketchum City Administrator Gary Marks has pegged the cost savings from the proposed contract at about $1.16 million over four years. Marks calculated the savings by looking at what it would cost the city to restaff its police department, currently down from 12 officers to eight and without a full-time chief or assistant chief.

Ketchum and county officials had hoped to have the contract approved and in operation by next Monday. However, they've now set a date of July 1.

The Blaine County Commission will review the contract next on June 23.

Jason Kauffman:

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