The Ketchum City Council will address some major portions of the city’s efforts to improve fire and emergency medical services today, May 6.

The council meeting will begin at 4 p.m. at Ketchum City Hall, and the agenda features discussion of a bond measure in the Nov. 5 election to fund construction of a new fire station. The actions are intended to retain the Ketchum Rural Fire Protection District’s $325,000 annual contract with the city of Ketchum, which began in the late 1950s.

The council will be asked to approve a resolution expressing its intent to send the bond measure to voters in November, among other steps related to the Fire Department.

The cost estimate for the facility that includes parking for the Ketchum Police Department is $8 million to $10 million. If the city wanted to acquire land for the new station, it would cost an estimated extra $3 million.

If the station is located on city-owned property, it would be on Lewis Street, which is currently where a fire training facility is located, on a parking lot to the south of the Wood River Community YMCA, or on a dirt lot to the north of YMCA, according to a city staff report.

The staff report offers a series of options for the bond measure, depending on the size of the project.

The staff report states, "Instead of providing one lump sum for a new fire station, the following elements could be presented individually for voter approval: fire station, police vehicle garage, firefighter housing, replacement fund for fire apparatus, land purchase.”

Under this scenario, “voters would authorize which elements of the project they would support funding,” according to the staff report.

Accordingly, the bond measure could be between $10 million and $20 million, with a term length of 15 years to 20 years. With estimated interest rates between 2.74 percent and 3.5 percent, the tax impact per $100,000 of assessed valuation would be between $19.72 and $54.61, according to the staff report.

Ketchum’s average property is valued at $717,000, according to the report. That means the tax increase would be between $98.60 to $820, depending on the bond scenario.

The final language for the bond measure has to be submitted to Blaine County by Sept. 16.

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