Ketchum raises wastewater rates
Beginning in October, Ketchum residents and businesses will pay more to empty their drains and flush their toilets.
On Tuesday, the City Council voted unanimously to comply with a request by Utilities Manager Steve Hansen that wastewater rates be increased by 4.9 percent for fiscal 2013.
“It’s the maximum amount we can increase the rates without calling a public hearing,” Hansen said in an interview. “It’s considered a general increase to stay in line with increased costs and future capital improvement needs. It’s not a complete revamping of the rate structure.”
The increase will be imposed across the board for all classes of wastewater users, Hansen said at the meeting.
“During this year’s budget process, this rate increase was introduced to both the City Council and the public,” he said. “There was time for both the public and the council to weigh in on the decision. It wasn’t something we snuck in at the end of the process.”
Hansen said the 4.9 percent rate increase was recommended in a 2009 Facilities Plan.
“The Wastewater Department tries to stay within the recommendation of the Facilities Plan,” he said. “The wastewater rates have not been increased since 2009.”
Trailing of the Sheep seeks volunteers
The Trailing of the Sheep Festival is seeking people to help from Oct. 11-14 with one or many events. Most positions only require three to four hours.
Volunteers are needed to work at sales tables and help with the Sheep Dog Trials, Folklife Fair, Parade Barbecue and other projects.
For more information, visit www.trailingofthesheep.org. To sign up, contact Sheila Kelley at 720-9361 or Sheila@trailingofthesheep.org.
Benefit to help burn victim
Live music, raffle items and food and beer will be featured on Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Wicked Spud on Main Street in Hailey.
The benefit event will support burn victim Bruce Boyett, who was flown by helicopter to Salt Lake City for treatment a month ago.
Bands will play from noon to 10 p.m., with raffle prizes offered throughout the day.
Pedal for a purpose
The Blaine County Recreation District will host its annual Ride the Rails Bike a Thon on Saturday, Sept. 22, on the Wood River Trail to raise funds for its Fit Kids scholarships.
Participants collect sponsorships for each mile they ride and help give all kids in Blaine County a chance to play, learn a new skill, get fit and be part of their recreation community.
Riders will enjoy healthy snacks and drinks at aid stations along the way. Each rider will receive a bike bell and a BCRD Bike a Thon Passport to get stamped at each aid station visited. People can ride the entire 12 miles or start anywhere along the trail. The official start of the event begins at 9 a.m. in Ketchum at Serenade Lane near the River Run base area.
After the ride, there will be a complimentary barbecue lunch from noon to 2 p.m. for all participants at the Community Campus in Hailey.
For questions and sponsorship forms, visit www.bcrd.org or call Megan Stevenson at 578-2273.
Power Engineers wins award
The San Jacinto-Tizate Geothermal Power Plant near Leon, Nicaragua, designed by Hailey-based Power Engineers, won industry honors for technical achievement and commercial excellence at the annual Geothermal Energy Association’s National Geothermal Summit in Sacramento, Calif.
“It’s a tremendous project in a very promising location for more geothermal plant development,” said project manager Kevin Wallace. “The real design credit goes to Power’s engineering team spread over our Boise and Hailey offices.”
The Geothermal Energy Association also gave its 2012 Honors award in the category of Economic Development to the Nicaraguan plant, developed by Ram Power of the U.S., and its Nicaragua company, Polaris Energia.
West Nile cases rise
Idaho has eight reported cases of West Nile infection—two in Twin Falls County—with five more reports under investigation.
According to a news release from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, the cases include three people with serious neuroinvasive illnesses.
Five horses have tested positive for the virus, two in Gooding County. Counting mosquito pools that have tested positive, so far 10 Idaho counties have found evidence of West Nile virus.
Though there is no vaccine available for people, there are several available for horses.
For more information, visit www.westnile.idaho.gov.
Former rodeo queen dies in accident
Former Hailey Days of the Old West Teen Queen Keely Lance, 18, of Rigby, died Sunday, Sept. 2, in a tragic truck accident in Jefferson County north of Idaho Falls. She was one of six occupants of a pickup truck who were ejected from the moving vehicle when the driver lost control on a curve. Lance was pronounced dead at the scene. The Associated Press reported that none of the six teenagers involved in the accident were wearing seat belts.
In 2008, Lance, then 14, was overall high-point winner and Teen Queen of the Miss Days of the Old West contest in Hailey. She was proud of winning the Miss Teen Rodeo Idaho title in 2010. Lance graduated with high honors from Rigby High School in May and had recently moved to Pocatello to attend Idaho State University. Funeral services are today, Sept. 7, at the Rigby Stake Center. Condolences can be sent to the family online at www.eckersellfuneralhome.com.