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Ketchum mayor wants to move city hall to Forest Service Park

Actress Mariel Hemingway read from her memoirs in summer 2016 at Ketchum's Forest Service Park. Photo by Teya Vitu.

Actress Mariel Hemingway read from her memoirs in summer 2016 at Ketchum’s Forest Service Park. Photo by Teya Vitu.

Rocked by overwhelming voter rejection of a $23.1 million new city hall, Ketchum Mayor Nina Jonas now is fleshing out an $875,000 idea to move the city’s administrative offices to the city-owned Forest Service Park.

Jonas is assembling a committee to determine if her Forest Service Park idea is workable. She would like to bring on an architect by the end of the year and start renovations in summer 2018.

Forest Service Park, a former U.S. Forest Service compound, is at the south end of Ketchum. The park has two residences, a garage and three buildings, two of which were built in 1933, are on the National Register of Historic Places, and are used as the Sun Valley Museum of History.

Jonas is tapping $450,000 for future construction from last year’s budget. In the new budget, she’s adding $375,000 for essential services facilities and $50,000 for public outreach. The new budget had its first public reading July 17 with the third reading scheduled for Aug. 17.

Lisa Enourato

Lisa Enourato

Originally, Ketchum proposed demolishing the existing city hall – a former car dealership – and police and fire stations and building a new city hall, police and fire stations on the current site. The $23.1 million bond to fund the project was voted down in May 2016 by 75.44 percent of voters.

“The proposed budget opens the door to move forward with a rehabilitation of Forest Service Park for administration and a separate facility for fire and police,” Jonas wrote in her weekly newsletter.

The new fire and police facilities would require voter approval as a bond would be needed, but no dollar figures have been proposed, said Lisa Enourato, Ketchum’s communications coordinator. The fire and police station, likely a joint facility, would not be located at Forest Service Park.

About Teya Vitu

Teya Vitu is an Idaho Business Review reporter, covering commercial real estate, construction, transportation and whatever else may intrigue him in the moment. Join me on Twitter at @IBR_TeyaVitu.