Sun Valley renews recreation contract
The city of Sun Valley will continue to contribute to the Ketchum Parks and Recreation Department, but will pay $10,000 less than last year for the same services.
On Thursday, Dec. 6, the Sun Valley City Council approved a $20,000 contract with the Ketchum Parks and Recreation Department to help fund recreation services that residents of both cities enjoy. Those include summer youth programs, after-school programs and other activities such as outdoor Zumba and the Ketch’Em Alive concerts.
Sun Valley does not have its own parks and recreation department, and both cities understand that Sun Valley residents benefit from Ketchum’s department. However, according to a Ketchum “summary of services” included in the meeting packet, it seems Sun Valley residents are getting quite a deal.
The summary states that 9.4 percent of kids enrolled in Ketchum Parks and Recreation Department youth programs and 10 to 20 percent of adult program attendees are Sun Valley residents. The Parks and Recreation Department budget totals $953,346. According to the summary, Ketchum taxpayers pay just under $300 each while Sun Valley residents pay slightly more than $21 each for the same services. The summary states that Sun Valley residents receive a $64,648 value for their $20,000 contribution.
Ketchum renews police, animal shelter contracts
On Monday, Dec. 3, the Ketchum City Council approved a $1,267,250 contract with the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement services. The city has paid the Sheriff’s Office to man its police vehicles and facilities since July 2009.
Chief of Police Steve Harkins said that when Ketchum staffed its department independently, the city paid about $1.6 million per year for law enforcement. Harkins said that since 2009, Ketchum’s arrangement with the Sheriff’s Office has saved the city about $1.3 million without compromising the level of service.
“The level of law enforcement services has greatly improved since 2009,” he said.
Harkins also said the department has been operating “some carryover” and has managed to save about $287,000 since 2009, which it keeps in a trust account. He said the department would have about $360,000 in that account but it recently used some of its savings to buy two patrol cars, a new parking control system and evidence-tracking software.
On Dec. 3, the council also approved a $2,000 contract with the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley. Harkins said that contract is for the Animal Shelter to provide safekeeping and housing for any animals that Ketchum police impound “long-term” and also to provide shelter to unclaimed animals found by Ketchum residents until the animals’ owners are located.
Former Ducks Unlimited officer sentenced for baiting waterfowl
(AP)—Charles D. Steele, 48, of Hagerman, Idaho, was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Boise to one year of supervised probation for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boise, Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale ordered Steele to pay a $2,000 fine, the proceeds of which will go to the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund. During the probation period, Steele is prohibited from hunting anywhere in the United States. He was also ordered to perform 25 hours of community service.
Steele pleaded guilty to the charge on Sept. 25. He admitted placing corn on private farmland in Gooding County to attract waterfowl. He is former president of the Hagerman Chapter of Ducks Unlimited.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with the help of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
Festivities brighten Holiday Square
This Saturday, holiday festivities at the Hailey Holiday Square will include a visit from Santa at 1 p.m. and area craft vendors and nonprofit groups selling their wares from noon to 2 p.m. Music will star the Hailey Elementary Singers as well as A Few Good Men.
The Hailey Holiday Raffle will follow with its progressive raffle, giving away lots of gift certificates and two cash (Chamberbucks) prizes totaling $500.
The raffle will have its grand finale the following Saturday, Dec. 22. Raffle Tickets can be obtained with purchases of $10 or more at any of the participating businesses in Hailey.
For more information, call 788-3484.