The Ketchum City Council on Monday voiced its support for placing a bond measure before voters this November to fund construction of a new fire station.

     The bond will seek at least $10 million in funding, with more possible depending on what option is presented to voters. Ballot language is due to the Blaine County Clerk’s Office by mid-September to be placed on the Nov. 5 ballot.

     The council discussed the possibility of acquiring a property owned by Brian Barsotti on Northwood Way, next to the Sun Valley Community School dormitory. If purchased by the city, the Barsotti property would be used for the new station. That would add an estimated $3 million cost to the project.

     Another possibility is using the dirt parking lot north of the Wood River Community YMCA. Ed Lawson, an attorney representing the YMCA, told the council that the organization must retain its use of 150 parking spaces and snow storage, or else it would oppose the bond measure.

     The council also voiced support for acquiring a new truck for the Ketchum Fire Department, which is called a quint. The truck would serve as a combination of a pumper and a ladder truck.

     The purchase would cost a little less than $1 million. The city has the option of using about $500,000 from a capital reserve as a down payment, and then making $57,000 annual lease payments for a 10-year period. Or, the city could spend $89,000 in annual lease payments over a 15-year period, for a total of $1,335,000, Interim Fire Chief Tom Bowman said.

     The council will make a decision on how to purchase the vehicle at an upcoming meeting.

     For full coverage of this story, see the Wednesday, May 8, edition of the Idaho Mountain Express.

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