local weather Click for Sun Valley, Idaho Forecast
 front page
 last week
 express jobs
 about us
 advertising info

 sun valley guide
 real estate guide
 sv catalogs



Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8060 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2002 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. 

For the week of December 24 - 30, 2002


Plan to redirect Ketchum’s housing funds gains momentum

Express Staff Writer

Ketchum officials are proposing to redirect to the city’s coffers as much as $258,000 in soon-to-be-collected funds that are earmarked for affordable housing. The city would redirect the funds for the purpose of building or buying city employee housing.

The proposal by Mayor Ed Simon to abolish the city’s "guidelines for the spending and distribution of community housing in-lieu fees" got favorable reviews from Ketchum City Council members at a special noon meeting Dec. 19. However, rather than simply delete the guidelines as Simon proposed, the council suggested replacing them with another resolution.

"I think he’s on the right track," said Councilman Maurice Charlat.

A public hearing on a proposed replacement resolution is scheduled for the city’s Jan. 6 regular council meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m.

Housing advocates, including Ketchum Housing Commissioners and Blaine County Housing Authority members, said the change is ill-advised.

"What I hear you say implies that you don’t have confidence in the Blaine County Housing Authority," said Housing Authority member Gabe Cherion.

The guidelines, which were recommended by former Housing Director Gates Kellett, require that 90 percent of fees collected by Ketchum be deposited in a "Housing Reserve Account" managed by the Blaine County Housing Authority. The remaining 10 percent are to be deposited in the Housing Authority’s "Operating Reserve Account."

The resolution stipulates that funds generated in Ketchum must be spent within Ketchum’s city limits or within 1 mile of Ketchum’s borders.

The difference between employee housing and affordable housing is more than a matter of phonetics, said Housing Authority Chairman David Kipping.

Affordable housing is available through the housing authority for the public at-large, including store clerks, teachers and city employees. Ketchum employee housing would be for Ketchum employees only.

But Chralat said he does not envision earmarking the funds exclusively for city employees.

"What I envision the resolution saying is something like, ‘The money is to be used at the discretion of the city, to be used, but not solely devoted to, employee housing.’"

Charlat said he sees no reason for Ketchum to give up control of the funds.

The city has not yet collected in-lieu of housing fees, but several payments are pending or soon-to-be established. Ketchum is planning to collect $160,000 it negotiated through two development agreement rezones. Developers of The Glade Subdivision will pay at least $14,000, and Thunder Spring could pay as much as $84,000.

Council members Charlat, Chris Potters and Randy Hall voted for the in-lieu guidelines when they were adopted last year.

"I don’t think I fully understood what I was doing. I somehow felt that we were doing the right thing at the time," Charlat said. "We’re now actively engaged in the development of the Ketchum-Blaine County Housing authority, it appears to me that we may have given up too much control."


Ski Reports


Mountain Jobs

Formula Sports

Idaho Conservation League



Edmark GM Superstore : Nampa, Idaho

Premier Resorts Sun Valley

High Country Property Rentals

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.