Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Ketchum to vote on monument plan

Council approves $25K for Fly Sun Valley Alliance


    Idaho Conservation League representative Dani Mazzotta urged the Ketchum City Council on Monday to make a speedy decision about whether it will support the organization’s effort to have the White House designate the Boulder White-Cloud Mountains as a national monument.
    Mazzotta gave a 20-minute presentation about the history and proposed timeline of the designation and requested that the City Council come to a decision about its support this month.
    Mazzotta insisted that the goal of the national monument status is to keep the area pristine for future generations. The designation would essentially circumvent the Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act (CIEDRA) proposed by Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson. CIEDRA has been hung up in Congress for too long, Mazzotta said.
    Citizen Bruce Smith said he couldn’t support the designation until the ICL came up with more definitive plans about proposals for bike, foot and motorized traffic in the vast area north of the city.

It would be wonderful to associate a national monument with our community.”
Olin Glenne
Business operator

    Olin Glenne, an owner of Sturtevants Mountain Outfitters in Ketchum, reiterated his support for the designation, urging the council to consider the implications for the city.
    “It would be wonderful to associate a national monument with our community,” he said.
    Council President Michael David said the council will consider supporting the designation on May 19. A final decision on the designation, if one is made, would come from President Obama.

Council supports Fly Sun Valley
    Also on Monday, the City Council voted 3-0 to release $25,000 of budgeted funds to the nonprofit Fly Sun Valley Alliance.
    The city budgeted $50,000 in fiscal year 2013-14 to be contributed to the group, which works to support commercial air service to the valley. The $25,000 allocated Monday is the second of two installments planned to meet the obligation.
    Councilwoman Anne Corrock abstained from the motion, claiming that the money was assigned before she had joined the council. Interim City Administrator Ray Silver assured Corrock that the full $50,000 had been assigned last year.
    The city did not release the entire amount last fall because then-council President Baird Gourlay recommended that city withhold $25,000 of the original $50,000 to ensure that the city of Sun Valley also subsidized the organization. Sun Valley has since contributed.
    City funding cannot be assigned to cover minimum-revenue guarantees for airlines.  Carol Waller, director of Fly Sun Valley Alliance, assured the council that the public funds have been and will be used to cover operating costs only.

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