Friday, November 8, 2013

BRIEFS


Airport moves to new master plan
    With the hiring of a planning consultant Tuesday, the Freidman Memorial Airport Authority began the process of drafting a new master plan, which city of Hailey representatives on the board said should include “trigger points” for a decision to build a new airport.
    The current plan, which identifies the airport’s needs and proposes solutions, was drafted in 2004. The board chose Denver-based Mead & Hunt, with which it has had a long relationship, over one other applicant to begin a new master-planning process.
    “It’s a reaffirmation of the dual path forward,” board member and County Commissioner Larry Schoen said in an interview after the meeting.
    Referring to a construction program intended to bring the existing airport into compliance with federal safety standards, board member and Hailey Mayor Fritz Haemmerle said during the meeting that “we’re responding to circumstances rather than having a long-range plan.”
    “There should be trigger points that say, ‘Enough is enough—we’re not going to always do modifications to standards,” he said. “You can’t keep throwing money at a substandard airport.”
    Airport Manager Rick Baird acknowledged that the airport will be facing a problem when the types of commercial planes using the airport exceed its weight limit, which allows it to comply with the safety standards.
    Schoen emphasized a need for a new master plan to include estimated costs of alternative plans for a new airport.
    “I personally find it very hard to move forward unless we have a very serious community discussion about how we’re going to pay for this when we get to the end of the rainbow,” he said.

Knife River praised for airport work
    Knife River Corp. has successfully completed repaving of an aircraft parking apron at Freidman Memorial Airport.
    In early September, the board reluctantly approved a contract with the company to do a $2.27 million construction project this fall and next spring. Two local road-repaving projects done earlier by the company were plagued by delays, but state law requires political entities to award contracts for major projects to the lowest bidder.
    Engineering consultant Dave Mitchell told the Airport Authority board Tuesday that the quality of work on the apron project was “very high.”
    “Knife River has done a great job,” he said.
    Local company Valley Paving was the paving subcontractor for the work.
    Mitchell said the work done so far covers $900,000 of the project’s total cost. Remaining work this fall includes moving the airport’s perimeter fence and work next spring involves building a new taxi lane for small planes to access hangars.
    The work is part of a two-year $34 million project designed to allow the airport to meet federal safety standards for ground operations.

Woman stable after traffic accident
    A Blaine County woman who was injured Tuesday in a traffic accident in Elmore County was listed in stable condition Thursday at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise.
    Stephanie Olson, co-owner of Velocio Café in Ketchum, was transported to Boise following the accident Tuesday night on U.S. Highway 20 northeast of Mountain Home.
    The Idaho Mountain Express was unable by press deadline Thursday to obtain a police report on the accident.

School board meets Tuesday
    The Blaine County School District board of trustees will hold its regular November meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 12. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the district office at 118 West Bullion St. in Hailey.
    Agenda items include information from district Business Manager Mike Chatterton on projected building projects for next summer, a board discussion on nutrition services and a guest presentation from the Flourish Foundation.
    A complete agenda is available at the district website at www.blaineschools.org.

Livestock workshop set for Nov. 16
    The formation of a regional meat-producer cooperative and a mobile slaughter service are among the topics to be discussed at an upcoming livestock workshop.
    A survey of small and medium-sized regional livestock producers indicated a number of challenges in the industry. Among those were a lack of centrally located slaughter and processing facilities, limited market expertise and access to current educational programs.
    The discussion led to two specific ideas: the formation of a regional “Meat Producer Cooperative” and a centrally located meat facility. In addition, the idea of a “moveable slaughter unit,” which would provide slaughter services on farm premises, has received favorable reviews.
    In response, an organized group of experts from the University of Idaho, University of Idaho Extension Services, Legal Cooperative Services and federal food inspectors will address the issues in a “Livestock Producer” workshop at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, in the Shoshone Community Center.
    To register, call Southern Idaho Rural Development at (208) 309-3090.




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