Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Support the road and bridge levy

    It is my belief that we should support the Blaine County road, street and bridge levy on the May 20 ballot. 
     We are a community that has always supported regional efforts to make the Wood River Valley a better place. For example, we support  the Sun Valley Marketing Alliance to promote our tourist economy; we passed a local-option tax that subsidizes airline flights to increase accessibility to the valley; we’ve invested in nonprofits like the Sun Valley Economic Development Corp. that court businesses and educational institutions interested in developing in our community; we continue to work together to bring a four- to five-star hotel to town; and we have upgraded all sorts of services from police and fire departments to public transportation.
     With all of these efforts to promote and improve our valley, it would be foolish not to put money into maintaining our roads. Our roads are too valuable to allow them to deteriorate while we squabble over who should pay the cost and how it should be paid. Not that we shouldn’t pursue a long-term solution, like a use tax or state gasoline tax, but at this stage I believe this short-term levy gives us time to lobby the state without unrecoverable deterioration of our roads. It also is important to note that our roads are very close to the end of their useful life. If we don’t fix them now, the expense of fixing them later will increase exponentially.
     I urge voters to support the levy.
Baird Gourlay
Ketchum City Council


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