Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ketchum CDC secures funding from city

Councilman wonders whether group is off course

Express Staff Writer

Supporting the mission but adding some words of advice, the Ketchum City Council approved a contract with the Ketchum Community Development Corporation Monday.

The fiscal year 2012 allocation of $116,400 will come out of the local-option tax fund.

"We have a lot on our plate and we'd really like to keep doing it," said KCDC Executive Director Jon Duval.

Duval recapped projects the KCDC completed in the past fiscal year, including affordable-housing complex Northwood Place and, a portal for business relocation, expansion and retention information.

Projects proposed or gaining footing in the 2012 fiscal year include OK-GO, a group for young people who want to get involved in civics and community issues; affordable-housing project Washington Place Residences; solar streetlights; free town square wi-fi and others.


Duval said Ketchum's return on investment is many times what it puts into KCDC-related projects.

For example, a city investment in town square of $160,000 prompted more than $500,000 of financial or service donations. The city center also gets an increase in activity and businesses get a boost, he said.

Councilman Larry Helzel said he supported the group but questioned whether it is adhering to its mission.

"The activities have diverged somewhat from the original design and from what I'd like to see," he said.

Helzel said he hopes for more public-private partnerships supported by community volunteers and less project-management initiatives.

Mayor Randy Hall said the KCDC is showing its worth.

"The return on investment is great," he said. "We believe in the mission."

Rebecca Meany:

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