Wednesday, June 13, 2012

We could have had it all

Some people are complaining about the loss of access to their favorite hiking trails when annexation of the Quigley Canyon project was denied. Although their concerns are sincere, they pale in comparison to the loss current and future Hailey residents have realized with this denial.

The city has lost the opportunity to provide input about how one of the last areas adjacent to Hailey will be developed.

The city has given away badly needed water rights, improvements to the city's existing well, access to a new well to be provided by the developer for Quigley Canyon residents and to also add additional capacity to the city's well for Hailey residents.

Land set aside for the Blaine County School District for a new school was a part of the Quigley Canyon project. It is gone.

Recreation facilities not just for Quigley residents, for all of us, was included. Nordic trails, biking and hiking trails, soccer and lacrosse fields, and even a tubing hill, were to be provided by the project. The Sun Valley Ski Education, Blaine County Recreation District and Wood River Biking Coalition were some of the organizations that praised the plan.

A cost-benefit analysis, contracted by Hailey city officials, paid for by Hailey taxpayers, determined there would be no new costs to the taxpayers from annexation of Quigley Canyon for either inside or outside development, and concluded that there would be an increase in city revenue during the course of the project. There will now be no additional revenue.

Guiding the future of our community by providing 440 houses to be built in phases, as needed, over the next 20-30 years, new recreation facilities, and additional water is no longer an option.

We could have had it all.



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