Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Resort sticks to Easter closure

Sun Valley Resort is sticking to its goal of April 24, Easter Sunday, as the last day of the ski season, as originally announced at the beginning of February. Resort spokesman Jack Sibbach said Sun Valley's smaller mountain, Dollar, would be open through April 3 with only Bald Mountain remaining open through Easter.

The amount of Baldy terrain that will remain open to skiers in April remains to be seen. The key word there is "weather permitting," Sibbach said.

"You never know about that," he said.

The closing date set last year was April 18, and the resort met it despite below-average snowfall. Only 186 inches of snow fell for the 2009-10 ski season. That's 2 feet, 10 inches less than the average of 220 inches. Early this week, Baldy passed 200 inches of snowfall for the season.

Ketchum curbs impact-fee increase

New homes built in Ketchum will now have to pay $14,000 in impact fees, a $1,400 increase. While residential impact fees have increased 11 percent, commercial fees increased 2 percent, equating to $12,100 for a 3,000-square-foot building.

Impact fees are one-time charges paid by newly constructed buildings for the additional burden that their residents or customers place on city services. The original plan was to increase fees by one-fourth based on the assumption that potential funding sources for city projects—such as federal grants—aren't received, forcing the city to pay for everything.

If all those potential funding sources were received, the city would be able to decrease impact fees by 4 percent for homes and 8 percent for the average commercial building. The City Council decided Monday to assume that half the sources materialize, enabling the compromise of 11 percent and 2 percent increases for residential and commercial construction.

"I think we've reached a happy medium," said Councilman Baird Gourlay.

Councilman Larry Helzel agreed, saying the city was "terrified" that increasing residential impact fees by 24 percent would dissuade development.

Free weekend rides to Bellevue

Hitting the bars and restaurants in Bellevue, and getting home safely, got a little easier last week when Mahoney's restaurant, the Silver Dollar Saloon and The BrickHouse teamed up to provide free transportation between Hailey and Bellevue on Friday and Saturday nights.

The service—offered from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.—was organized by business owners responding to the lack of taxi services to and from Bellevue late at night when people need it most.

People needing to go to and from Ketchum will be charged for the run from Hailey to Ketchum.

In order to request the free service, call Mahoney's at 788-4449, the Silver Dollar at 788-2900 or The BrickHouse at 788-4999.

Former City Councilman Shaun Mahoney was not the only person using the free service after a busy St. Patrick's Day on Thursday.

"There were about 15 cars at the restaurants in the morning, left by people who chose not to drive," Mahoney said. "The buses are great but they are done at 9."


Vacant seat on Bellevue Council

The Bellevue City Council and mayor are actively seeking Bellevue residents for consideration to serve on the council. The position pays $50 per month and requires reviews and decision-making regarding the city's budget and other policies.

The open council seat was left vacant by Gene Ramsey last month when he was appointed Blaine County sheriff.

For more information, call 788-2128.

Hailey considers Lion's Park camping

The Hailey City Council unanimously agreed last week to consider allowing camping at Lion's Park across the Big Wood River from the city limits at the mouth of Croy Canyon.

The council would only allow camping on three busy weekends during summer and would likely restrict the camping to the ball field.

The council instructed city staff to explore the cost benefits of allowing camping at the park, as well as security concerns before addressing the matter again this spring.

Hospice offers bereavement support

Four bereavement support groups will be held this spring for people who have experienced the recent loss of a loved one. The Hospice & Palliative Care of the Wood River Valley is holding the meetings free of charge. Participants must attend all four meetings—on the evenings of March 29, April 5, 12, 19—and must enroll beforehand by calling the hospice at 726-8464.

Learn about 'intuitive eating'

Dietician Becky McCarver will talk about how to make gradual changes to make peace with food and rid oneself of food worries and guilt during a Brown Bag lecture on Thursday, March 24, from 12:15-1:15 p.m. at St. Luke's Center for Community Health in Hailey.

Intuitive eating supports the philosophy that healthy eating means having a healthy relationship with food, one's mind and one's body. Learn how to distinguish between physical and emotional feelings related to food to help gain a sense of body wisdom.

All Brown Bag lectures are free and no pre-registration is required. For more information, call 727-8733.

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