Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Donít stall the climb

    When it comes to marketing the Sun Valley area, it’s time to spend, not save.
    Friedman Memorial Airport, a local economic barometer, lately has been forecasting high pressure and sunny skies.
    Airport Manager Rick Baird reported that July saw 5,345 landings and takeoffs —the most in six years. He said, “I think that these numbers are reflecting that this valley is beginning to climb out of a very difficult four to five years.”
    That’s a climb that no business that’s operated in this battered local economy wants to see stall. But stall it could unless members of the Sun Valley City Council come to their senses before a looming budget deadline.
    On the table in the city’s proposed budget are continuing cuts to the Sun Valley Marketing Alliance—a group that the city itself created. Yet, after little more than a year of operations, the city began to strangle funding for an organization that’s operated for only slightly more than three and a half years.
    Mayor Dewayne Briscoe says the city needs to pave streets and buy a new fire truck instead of increasing marketing funds. Councilman Franz Suhadolnik says he believes that the local economy is “awash in money” and that businesses aren’t contributing enough. This assertion shocked the majority of local business owners who know they’re not swimming in greenbacks.
    An economy that may be emerging from the doldrums needs to be fueled, not starved. Otherwise, the city of Sun Valley, which derives about half its revenue from taxes on tourism, may never be able to afford that fire truck or to fix its roads.

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