The Ketchum City Council will decide whether to fund a series of capital projects in the upcoming fiscal year that would improve Town Square, sidewalks and Forest Service Park, among other projects.

During its budget retreat last Thursday at the Knob Hill Inn, the council reviewed the capital improvement program for fiscal 2020, but most of the money for the projects will come from money budgeted but not spent this year or from a fire station bond that will be sent to voters in November.

Mayor Neil Bradshaw will issue his budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year in late June or early July, and the council will adopt a budget in August. The fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

The city’s general capital improvement fund has $718,200 in revenue, including $265,200 available from the Idaho Power franchise fee.

The city has $38,000 in interest earnings and carry-forwards, and a $415,000 fund balance to use.

On the spending side, the tentative budget for fiscal 2020 includes $108,000 in a recurring expense, which is $43,000 for computer and copier leasing and $65,000 for technology upgrades.

The budget includes $180,000 for utility-line undergrounding, $200,000 for sidewalk improvements, $100,000 for improving Town Square, $100,000 for repairing and upgrading Forest Service Park, $11,000 for a passenger van for the Parks Department and $10,000 for designing and planning the Bald Mountain Connector Trail. The trail is included in the 2006-07 development approvals for the yet-to-be-constructed Warm Springs Ranch Resort project.

Once completed, the trail would extend from an existing trail easement on Bear Lane to a new footbridge over the Big Wood River and run west along the foot of Bald Mountain on the south side of Warm Springs Creek toward the Warm Springs base area. The city would have to begin a planning process with the BLM to kick-start the project, Planning Director John Gaeddert said.

The potential budget has $200,000 for upgrades and remodeling for the planned new City Hall building on Fifth Street, and the city has $95,000 in a fund that collects rent from the building’s current tenants.

Bradshaw said that the city aims to conclude the lease agreements with the current tenants by the end of 2020. The budget also includes $500,000 for preliminary work on a new fire station, but that would only be funded if the voters pass the bond measure in November.

City Administrator Suzanne Frick said the city has hired an architect to do space planning and some design work, and the $500,000 is to get the project the construction documents it needs to break ground.

The Streets Department has a series of vehicle replacements and other upgrades that add up to $483,600, though those projects could be spaced out over upcoming budget years.

The streets’ capital improvement budget includes $8,400 in interest revenue and $350,000 from a fund balance.

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