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A team of Hailey-based landscape architects presented plans for a town square that they said could hold hundreds of people.

The Hailey City Council voted unanimously Monday to approve a site for a proposed new town square at the corner of First Avenue and east Croy Street.

The council chose the vacant 2,800-square-foot site over an alternative site two blocks away on the corner of Main and west Croy streets adjacent to the Hailey Public Library, primarily to avoid traffic noise.

“If the Ketchum town square had

been on Main Street, it wouldn’t have been as successful,” landscape architect Ben Young said.

The estimated cost of construction, without land costs, is $1.5 million. No funding has been set aside for the project.

City Administrator Heather Dawson said $14,200 has been spent so far this year on designs, with another $25,000 budgeted for continued concept designs in fiscal 2020.

Mayor Fritz Haemmerle suggested that the city should continue to move forward with a plan.

 “If you dream big, anything can happen,” Haemmerle said. “Some donors could come forward.”  

Young, of Ben Young Landscape Architects, and Marty Lyon, of Lyon Architects, were chosen by city staff to collaborate on design options for both sites after three public workshops.

The town square would likely incorporate a terraced or sloping area that would join the lower levels of the site with First Avenue, about 10 feet higher, and incorporate seating, walkways and a stage, as well as trees.

The council stated a general desire to expand the site’s uses with events that could be held on First Avenue on Fridays and weekends, when county government offices there are closed.

Some members of the public supported choosing the library site instead.

“People are already coming to the library,” said Hailey Public Library Director LeAnn Gelskey.

City Councilwoman Kaz Thea contended the First Avenue site was preferable because it would be on the east side of Main Street where the majority of the population of Hailey lives.

Community Development Direc-

tor Lisa Horowitz said city staff will meet with the landscape architectural team within the next 10 days to move the project forward.

In other Hailey news:

The City Council approved a recent update to the Hailey

transportation master plan

to include current traffic counts and accident data,

thereby fulfilling require-ments to apply for a federal road construction grant for River Street.

Email the writer: tevans@mtexpress.com

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