The Ketchum City Council unanimously passed the final reading of the city’s fiscal year 2021 budget on Tuesday night after receiving no further public comment on the $33.7 million spending plan.

The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1. Revenues will likely be down heading into it, according to Ketchum’s Director of Finance Grant Gager. July’s Local Option Tax revenue was down 15 percent compared to last year, and August sales this year compared to last year are also expected to be down, Gager said.

Fourth Street lawsuit dismissed

Ketchum Mayor Neil Bradshaw also commented on last Wednesday’s Fourth Street open house Tuesday night. The event aimed to receive public comment on whether or not the block between Leadville and East Avenues should remain closed to vehicular traffic. Bradshaw said the event “reminded me of the importance of our reaching out to the community,” adding that due to the pandemic, there has been a lack of “community driven discussion.”

Fourth Street was initially closed between Leadville Avenue and Walnut Avenue at the beginning of July following a unanimous vote by city council members who thought the closure to vehicle traffic would create a more pedestrian-friendly corridor and allow for more social distancing in the area. However, several business owners along Fourth Street said they were never notified of the street closure until after it had happened, with at least two business owners filing complaints against the city with intentions of a lawsuit. In response, the city council voted to open Fourth Street between Walnut and East Avenue and only leave East and Leadville Avenues closed to vehicle traffic.

The single lawsuit formally filed against the city was dismissed by 5th District Judge Ned Williamson on Aug. 31.

Other Ketchum news

Meanwhile, Bradshaw took Tuesday’s meeting as an opportunity to welcome two new Ketchum employees—Jade Riley, the new city administrator, and Jamie Shaw, the city’s new police chief.

The Ketchum City Council will meet next on Sept. 21, during which time Bradshaw said representatives from the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office will discuss policing tactics.

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