Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Market will expand choices

Notice to the Ketchum public: Be aware of the clear issue currently before the City Council—whether the City Council will add a use to the LI-2 zone (Light Industrial No. 2 zoning district) that is currently not allowed under the city ordinance.

In other words: A "yes" vote by the council will pave the way for a grocery store to be in this zone. A "no" vote by the council will effectively block any new grocery store from the industrial area and force any future grocery store to be built in the city core (Planning Department info.).

The new Ketchum Market is all about:

( Providing the people of Ketchum an opportunity to have a competitive choice in our city of another value grocery store where they can shop right now.

( Delivering immediate employment in an under- and unemployed, job-deprived economy, when jobs are the No. 1 concern of our overall public.

( Moving Ketchum forward economically in preparation for the increased economic stimulus the visitors and employees of the four new planned hotels will bring.

When the longstanding Golden Rule grocery store (later to become Williams Market) decided to move and expand years ago, the city imposed requirements and obstacles for the first time:

1) A demand that a freight truck unloading dock be carved out of their new grocery store, materially reducing square footage of usable space within the building.

2) Limited available parking space to their own minimum property in front of the store, along with sharing inadequate spaces with the busy automobile agency on First Street and a small portion of two-lane Leadville Avenue behind it.

The consequences of a "no" vote appear to be in handing existing grocery markets a future monopoly on a non-competitive playing field, where all local residents and tourists alike will be denied the choice of where they want to shop in Ketchum well into the future.

Mary Jane Conger


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