The Blaine County commissioners put the final touch on a decision to provide property worth $1.6 million by allocating $500,000 in cash toward construction of a 60-unit residential project, with 30 units promised for seniors, in Hailey.
Instead of acting like bankers and socking away money in the name of earning more, the commissioners acted for the public good.
The people who laid the groundwork for what the Sun Valley area enjoys today are becoming senior citizens, and their need for affordable housing is skyrocketing.
They greeted visitors, provided food and hospitality services, tuned skis, taught skiing, hauled visitors down Baldy if they crashed and took care of their kids. They constructed all kinds of homes. Many worked two or three jobs.
They voted to approve taxes that continue to pay for the Wood River Trail, emergency services, open spaces, roads, water, sewer, parking, visitor information, promotion, special events and good schools.
They shaped the planning that saved the valley from commercial sprawl and saved its beautiful hillsides from the bulldozer. They testified at public hearings, which were numerous and long, that led to those protections.
They labored to start and to finance the many arts and humanities organizations that thrive today. Local performers paved the way for their world-class successors.
They didn’t do these things to get rich or famous, but because they wanted to enrich the lives of others.
The commissioners honored their efforts by shoring up the effort to prevent the housing shortage from driving seniors out of the very valley they loved so well.