The Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency board voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a contract to provide approximately $201,000 to the city of Ketchum to cover the costs of demolishing the former City Hall building at 480 East Ave.
Ketchum City Council members in December unanimously approved a contract with Bellevue-based Elite Restoration to demolish the building and do asbestos removal.
The city moved its administrative, fire and police operations to new locations last year. It is providing the .6-acre site on East Avenue to accommodate the 51-unit Bluebird Village workforce-housing development.
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If this kind of money "washing" was done in the private sector, I'm not sure it would be legal. Let's follow the money here. For Profit developer asks City for more money for Bluebird--in this case another $200k. City goes to its piggy bank--KURA. KURA, with two officers being city employees and its ExDir double dipping as the City Planner and two of its commissioners sitting on the City Council (so no where near the "independent" agency it is supposed to be), unanimously agrees to provide the money. Then, the $1.2mm KURA owes to the City of Ketchum (aka taxpayers) is reduced by $200k, Thus $200k goes from Ketchum taxpayers to a for profit project that never comes back to the taxpayers in a way that skirts the requirements for an open budget process. This developer is a genius! Gets us taxpayers to pay for his building without us having any say in that. Brilliant.
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