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For the week of March 28 through April 3, 2001

Blaine County in pace with Idaho’s growth

Hispanics numbers increase 
411 percent

Express Correspondent

Blaine County is on the move upward on the growth charts.

Idaho statistics released last week by the Bureau of the U.S. Bureau of the Census shows Blaine moving from the 20th largest county in Idaho to the ninth largest over the past decade.

Blaine County’s population leaped 40 percent from 13,552 in 1990 to 18,991 in 2000 ¾ the sixth fastest growth among Idaho counties.

One of the largest and fastest growth rates in Blaine County was among Hispanics. Only one other Idaho county reported a faster and larger growth in its Hispanic population than Blaine County.

Blaine County’s Hispanic population growth from 397 in 1990 to 2.030 in 2000 was an increase of 411 percent, outstripped only by neighboring Camas County’s 1,275 percent of Hispanics from 4 in 1990 to 51 in 2000.

For Idaho as a whole, Hispanics now represent 8 percent of the state’s population with 101,690.

Among Blaine County cities, the big story is Hailey, whose blistering growth rate of 73.4 percent ¾ from 3,575 residents in 1990 to 6,200 in 2000 ¾ made it the county’s fastest growing community.

Hailey Mayor Brad Siemer said that "although these numbers are almost intimidating, it’s not the growth rate that’s put so much pressure on city services as much as the type and sophistication" of developments."

Growth of other cities in the county was a robust 50 percent for Sun Valley (from 938 to 1,427); 47 percent for Bellevue (from 1,275 to 1,876); 20 percent for Carey (from 427 to 513), and 19 percent for Ketchum (from 2,523 to 3,003).

Up the road from Blaine County in Custer County’s Stanley, a 41 percent growth rate (from 71 to 100) puts to rest the image of a town standing still.

Growth has worked a hardship on the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office. Chief deputy Sheriff Gene Ramsey says the spending for overtime increased 25 percent over last year, and county jail prisoners have been moved to Burley because of a lack of space.

Ramsey said the county needed a new jail five years ago, but a bond issue for a new facility failed.

Ketchum realtor Dick Fenton said another measure of growth has been real estate sales—$310 million sold in the county in 2000 compared to $186 million in 1990.




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Copyright © 2001 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.