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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of July 3 - 9, 2002


From a distance

Worker housing initiatives are dead in the water in the Wood River Valley.

While Ketchum and rural fire districts quietly acquire housing for a few essential workers, action on the larger long-term shortage is stalled, perhaps permanently.

Ketchumís mayor and council members say they will look for a replacement for its departing housing administrator, who also works with the Blaine County Housing Authority. They have their work cut out for them.

Writing a description for the administratorís job is going to be like writing a job description for the Maytag Man, who is famous for having nothing to do.

A county ordinance that would stimulate development of worker housing is stalled, with no end in sight.

Ketchum itself has no plan to stop the migration of middle-income workers that has clogged it with commuter traffic during the day and has left once lively neighborhoods deserted. Its energy for the issue seems exhausted after dozens of fruitless meetings.

Itís going to be interesting to see the impacts of doing nothing. Itís going to be interesting to see what happens to the valleyís businesses and culture as worker housing becomes scarcer and scarcer.

Of course, most people will have to watch from a distance.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.