local weather Click for Sun Valley, Idaho Forecast
 front page
 public meetings

 previous edition

 express jobs
 about us
 advertising info
 classifieds info
 internet info
 sun valley central
 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 © 2003 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. 

Friday — May 28, 2004

Arts and Entertainment

Bellevue may seek levy increase again

Cemetery district tax hike passes

Express Staff Writer

The mood at Bellevue City Hall this week was one of disappointment after the special election for a levy rate increase failed to pass.

The city asked voters Tuesday to approve a property tax rate not to exceed 3 percent, up from the current rate of 1.3 percent.

The measure failed by a narrow margin. A majority of voters—56 percent—cast ballots in favor of an increase, but the measure failed the 60 percent margin required to pass.

"I was disappointed," said Councilwoman Joanna Ehrmantraut, who was sworn into office this spring as the campaign to boost the city budget was winding down. "I think we may try again, but we may try for less."

The goal of the tax increase was to improve city services like fire, police and street maintenance by increasing the money the city can collect in property taxes by about $277,000.

City Administrator Jack Stoneback said he expected the City Council to try again at the general election in November, but in the meantime he said the city would "carry on."

"There are some other things we can do," he said. "We can cut back a little here and there. I don’t see us hiring any new people."

Stoneback said basic services will continue, but the city is likely to pinch pennies by not doing regular equipment maintenance or street paving.

He expected the City Council to discuss a strategy for moving forward at the council meeting Thursday night.

"I’m sure we’re not through with this yet," Ehrmantraut said. "The city really needs the money."

Voters did approve a two-year bond to improve irrigation at the Bellevue Cemetery.

Ballots cast on the measure came from Bellevue and three other county precincts within the Bellevue Cemetery District, which includes Baseline Road to Gannet and part of the Woodside subdivision in Hailey

The vote was a simple majority election, 488 in favor and 160 against. The bond will cost taxpayers between $7 and $10 per year for two years. The money will go to installing an underground sprinkler system, something that is also much needed, Ehrmantraut said.


City of Ketchum

Formula Sports


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.