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For the week of Oct. 20, 1999 through Oct. 26, 1999

Lottery winners harassed

Local business owner unfazed


By GREG STAHL
Express Staff Writer

The Fields at Warm Springs continues to create controversy.

Last week, following a lottery drawing for the 14 affordable units at the Fields, one or more of the lottery winners received nasty telephone calls, according to Garth Schlemlein, a representative of the project’s developer, Seattle-based Sawtooth Development.

Schlemlein said he heard the news second hand, but would not say from whom.

Blaine County housing director Steve Amsbaugh said he did not wish to discuss the issue due to requests from some of the Fields applicants.

Schlemlein said one of the calls came from a local real estate company, and another may have included name calling.

Nanci Warren, a local businesswoman and single mom who has lived in the area for more than 10 years, was the first-place lottery winner. Warren said she did not receive any inflammatory phone calls but one of her friends, also a lottery winner did. The call was something to the effect of "If you can’t afford to live in the Sun Valley area, then leave," Warren said.

News of the harassing calls upset Ketchum City Councilman Randy Hall, who was at the lottery drawing last Tuesday night.

"The people that won the lottery, they are a snapshot of our community. They are people I would want as neighbors. I think they’d be an asset in any community," Hall said.

Hall explained that he thinks the city council’s decisions to trade density in the Fields project for affordable housing units was a good one.

"In areas where it’s appropriate to trade density for affordable housing, I think we should continue to look at it as a potential solution (to Ketchum’s affordable housing shortage)," Hall said.

Warren, who owns Collage Interior Design, said she thinks local people are confused about The Fields project.

"They think that this is subsidized, low income housing, which it is not," she said.

"I am a professional, and I do make a decent amount of money, but I can’t afford a $500,000 condo," she said. She added that she never considered moving to Hailey for the lower cost of living.

"I would rather rent in Ketchum than move to Hailey," she said.

And in light of last week’s inflammatory calls, she said: "I’m not nervous at all."

 

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Copyright 1999 Express Publishing Inc. All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited.