Evergreen project for federal funds
The Ketchum City Council unanimously agreed Monday to write a letter to the Idaho Housing and Finance Association supporting a current ARCH Community House Trust project for federal funding.
The project, a proposed remodel and expansion of the Evergreen Apartments on Bird Drive in southwest Ketchum, is one of two proposed affordable housing projects seeking Housing and Finance Association funds. The other, named Washington Place, is spearheaded by the nonprofit Ketchum Community Development Corp., and would be built on the corner of First Street and Washington Avenue.
Several members of the public have said at past council meetings that the city should choose between the two projects and back only one of them so they don’t compete for the federal funds, but the council members agreed Monday that it’s in the city’s interest to have as many irons in the fire as possible.
ARCH director Michelle Griffith also requested $100,000 for the project from the city’s Open Door Program fund, which she said was meant to be spent on the development of affordable housing in Ketchum.
The council voted to continue the discussion on the allocation of the Open Door funds till Monday, Jan. 14 at noon.
Ketchum approves $10,000 for Sustain Blaine
The Ketchum City Council unanimously approved a $10,000 contribution to Sustain Blaine on Monday.
Mayor Randy Hall and the council members complimented Harry Griffith, the nonprofit’s executive director, for catapulting the organization toward success since he took the wheel in 2010.
“The work you guys have done is invaluable,” Hall said at the meeting. “Thanks for getting [economic development data] out in the open so the community can discuss factually what’s best for us.”
Griffith said he is currently working on analyzing data on valley events and also on trail user days as compared to skier days in the valley. He said the valley sees a greater number of trail user days than skier days.
“Everybody knows that trails are important to the community,” he said. “But when you see the data, it’s incredible!”
Griffith said Sustain Blaine will be “rolling out” the new studies to the community in February.
Ketchum gives $3,000 to reggae fest
The Ketchum City Council voted Monday to contribute $3,000 to the Reggae in the Mountains music festival, which will take place on the Simplot lot in west Ketchum—across from the Post Office—at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2.
The festival, formerly known as Marley in the Mountains, will be the fifth annual and has received city support in the past. However, this year, three of the four council members said the event should become self-sufficient, and the council gave the event $2,000 less than event organizer Danny Walton of Mountain Niceness Productions had requested.
Councilman Michael David said the festival is the “affordable housing” of events and voted against the contribution, saying the council should grant the event the full requested $5,000.
Walton said the idea was to create an affordable event to bring people into the valley.
“It’s a labor of love,” he said. “These things aren’t huge money makers.”
Walton said the event drew about 800 people last year and he expects 800 to 1,000 this year. He also said it is the only outdoor winter reggae festival in the country. This year, artist Pato Banton will headline. Tickets are $20 if purchased in January and $25 at the gate. VIPs, or “Very Irie People,” can purchase access to the VIP sponsor’s tent for $100. For more information, visit www.mountainniceness.com.
Public invited to Senior Project Day
One student figured out how to make an attractive dress out of toilet paper. Another built a skeletal reconstruction of a beaver. A third studied Chinese medicine.
The works are among some 160 high school senior projects that will be unveiled to the public at Senior Project Day on Thursday, Jan. 17, at Wood River High School in Hailey. Panelists will evaluate the projects later in the day, but the public is invited to see what the students have come up with from noon to 1:30 p.m.
Successful completion of a senior project is a requirement for high school graduation in Idaho. Blaine County School District Communications Director Heather Crocker said the program also helps fulfill a district goal of helping students develop independent learning.
“This event is an excellent opportunity for the public to see how its tax dollars are being used to increase student learning and prepare students for the 21st century,” Crocker said.