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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 17 - 23, 2002


Chip seal upsets Ketchum store owners

Express Staff Writer

Ketchum storeowners came unglued this month when customers who had trudged across the cityís freshly chip-sealed streets stained their floors and carpets.

"Obviously this is something different this year," said Barry Peterson, owner of Barry Peterson Jewlers on Sun Valley Road, as he pointed to oil and tar stains stippling his store floor. "Itís been bullet proof for years. I donít know if Iíll be able to save it."

Barry Peterson, owner of Barry Peterson Jewelers in Ketchum, said heís not sure if he can save his carpets after customers tracked in oil and tar from the cityís freshly chip-sealed streets. Express photo by Willy Cook

Peterson wasnít alone, and upset storeowners got the attention of Ketchumís politicians.

"It was a mess," said Councilman Randy Hall, adding that he was lambasted by several local entrepreneurs. "It was hot. It was miserable."

Ketchum Mayor Ed Simon has invited affected storeowners to apply for claims on the cityís insurance policy. City Clerk Sandy Cady said she had received seven claims by Tuesday afternoon.

According to Ketchum Street Department Supervisor Brian Christiansen, the city tried to chip seal earlier this year than the usual late-July undertaking. An unlucky heat wave caused the oil to bleed through the chip-seal coating. Even oils applied in previous summers bled through as temperatures topped 100.

"Mother Nature didnít help us out, and we had a problem with the painters," Hall said. "It was quite a mess. I got quite a few complaints."

Because of a six-year rotating cycle the city uses to chip seal the entire city, the downtown core around Giacobbi Square will not be subject to the stains and pains again in the near future.

"In the meantime, maybe technology will be our friend, and we will be able to find products that will allow us to do it differently," Hall said.


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.