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The 2021 budget and future of Sun Valley Road were taken up at City Hall this week.

The Sun Valley City Council on Thursday heard fiscal 2021 funding requests from Visit Sun Valley, Blaine County Housing Authority, Mountain Rides and Sun Valley Economic Development.

Visit Sun Valley asked for $275,000, a 14 percent decrease from this year’s budget allocation.

Wally Morgus, executive director of Mountain Rides, made a financial request of $265,000, a 25 percent decrease from fiscal 2020.

The Blaine County Housing Authority asked Sun Valley for $9,000 to support management of assets and management of its database, according to Executive Director Nathan Harvill.

Sun Valley Economic Development asked for $7,500 and Outreach Director David Patrie told the council that although the COVID-19 virus impacted many local businesses, some have reported their best May revenues ever—particularly outdoor goods stores and outfitters.

Looking ahead, new City Administrator Walt Femling said this fiscal year’s budget has already been slashed by about $500,000 to account for losses in revenue due to the coronavirus.

However, Femling told the council, “we’re in pretty darn good shape.”

More information on the remaining year’s budget and fiscal year 2021 budget will be shared during special council meetings next week on Monday and Tuesday.

Sun Valley Road

A road transfer that was scheduled to take place this month is now on hold as the Idaho Transportation Department has determined that it doesn’t have the funding to complete the handover right now.

The transfer would grant ownership of Sun Valley Road from the state to the city to give the city more control over road maintenance.

June is the end of the fiscal year for the state, and the city had hoped the road transfer would occur by then.

According to documents from previous meetings, the city anticipated beginning road maintenance work this summer, but due to the delay in transfer, those projects will likely be deferred to next year, according to engineer Betsy Roberts with Jacobs Engineering Group.

“This is a great disappointment, in my opinion,” Mayor Peter Hendricks said during Thursday’s meeting. “It’s not dead, but it’s on a ventilator.”

Hendricks said he didn’t see that coming and that there was never a question on whether there would be enough funds available to see it to completion.

The city did not to respond to several requests for comment from the Idaho Mountain Express as to why the transfer was initiated and exactly what it will mean for the city and its residents.

Other Sun Valley news

  • The council approved a building envelope adjustment for a residence at 119 Paintbrush and approved a final plat for phase five of the Crown Ranch Townhomes, allowing for sale of individual lots.

  • The Planning & Zoning Commission continued discussion of an ordinance amending city code to add specifications on outdoor lighting until July 9. According to city documents, the change reflects “new technologies and best practices that fulfill the International Dark-Sky Association’s minimum standards for the International Dark Sky Community designation.”
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