Bellevue’s City Council meeting Monday night focused on two hot-button topics: evaluation of study proposals of the Big Wood River and use of O’Donnell Park.

Though no conclusion was reached on either item, a councilman was appointed to a working group to look at flood-mitigation strategies and the Bellevue Park and Tree Committee was given marching orders to come back to the council with a proposal of how to fix issues at the park.

Keri York, Big Wood River project coordinator for Trout Unlimited, attended the meeting to look for a council member to join the Bellevue River Working Group to help propose a project design and implementation strategy to mitigate flooding for the stretch of the river that runs through Bellevue.

The proposal would be based on one of two river studies: a 2015 study done by Jackson, Wyo.-based research consulting firm Biota that spanned from the North Fork confluence to Magic Reservoir, and a study currently being done by Cardno, an international engineering firm contracted by Blaine County, of the 36 miles between North Fork, north of Ketchum, and Stanton Crossing, south of Bellevue.

With the newly formed working group, to which Councilman Mike Choat was appointed, the goal is to have a dialogue with stakeholders, including neighboring Hailey and the county, to create a project design that would benefit all parties. York noted that to qualify for grant funding, it would be important to have that done by June.

Additionally, members of the Bellevue Park and Tree Committee and of the Bellevue softball community came together to discuss overuse of O’Donnell Park. Two representatives of the Park Committee said there were two issues that need to be addressed—overuse of the soccer fields and softball field and lack of parking.

According the city’s website, “the city of Bellevue is currently evaluating the health of the soccer field and the softball field. We are also in the process of determining how to mitigate the parking problems that occur when both parks are in use at the same time. For these reasons, we are currently not accepting park reservations.”

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