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

Louie’s move backed by council

Express Staff Writer

Historical society president Dick Meyer encouraged the Ketchum City Council to take action on the Louie’s building Monday night. Were action not taken, the building would have been torn down this week. (Express photos by Willy Cook)

It was a fine display of city government at its best, Ketchum resident Paul Kenny said Monday night.

The Ketchum City Council looked into saving the historic Congregational Church, more recently Louie’s restaurant, and reached a favorable, if temporary, solution.

If the Ketchum/Sun Valley Heritage and Ski Museum (historical society) can raise enough funds to move the building, the old church will be transported via truck to the city’s park & ride lot on the corner of Warm Springs and Saddle roads within the next week. The council voted unanimously to do so.

According to historical society president Dick Meyer, Ketchum citizens have committed close to $12,000 to moving the building on an "as is needed" basis.

Meyer was busy yesterday morning calling those who had pledged money.

The council looked into the issue because Louie’s owner, Louie Mallane, declared that he would tear the building down at some point this fall, before the snow flies. Mallane’s announcement came three weeks ago, and local entities and individuals have been moving on potential solutions since.

Meyer and past historical society president Floyd McCracken suggested to the Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission last Monday night that the building be relocated to city-owned land at the south end of East Avenue. However, that site posed snow storage problems and a loss of city parking.

o20meet1.jpg (9775 bytes)Ketchum real estate agent Robert Renfro, who represented the Louie’s building owner, said the building would certainly be torn down within the week if the city council did not move on the issue.

Ketchum resident Karen Mueller stepped forward and suggested the building be moved to a lot she owns on the corner of Rivers and Leadville Avenue. She said she has over a half acre there, and, if the building were moved to her property, it would remain open for public uses.

"I’ll do whatever I can to try to preserve the history of this town," she said.

Ketchum city administrator Jim Jaquet pointed out that there might not be enough parking at Mueller’s site to accommodate public uses.

So for the time being, the city will house the building on its property at the park & ride lot, and a permanent home will be found for it later.

If it were not to be moved this week at all, Robert Renfro, who was at the meeting representing Mallane, said the building would certainly be torn down within the week.

Councilwoman Chris Potters, referencing a prior comment about the character of Ketchum, said, "The character of the town is right here. Everyone worked together to make this a success."


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