Ketchum’s proposed budget includes a property tax hike and an increase in staff salaries

Ketchum is proposing a 3% property tax hike to help fund next year’s $35.3 million budget.

The plan garnered little feedback from residents earlier this week.

Highlights of the spending plan include a four percent increase for city staff, as well as one-time bonuses and a new full-time maintenance worker for the Warm Springs Reserve.

Ketchum plans to spend more on utilities and fuel, as well as double-digit increases for employee health insurance.

A $1.5 million proposal that would go to an affordable housing project on May 1st and the streets of Washington, however, were pushed back for not being enough.

“I don’t think it’s fair and equitable at all,” said Gary Lipton, a member of the Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency overseeing the project, who said he was speaking as a private citizen.

Lipton pointed to the Bluebird Village affordable housing development, which received more than double the funding.

“I tell you, one hand helps the other,” he said. “The future of funding awaits your response now.

But Mayor Neil Bradshaw points out that no plans currently exist for the 1st and the Washington Project.

” It’s the beginning. You haven’t even seen any proposals from potential developers and partners on this. We don’t know what the funding shortfalls will be,” Bradshaw said.

According to the project’s website, the deadline for submitting proposals is August 26, and the agency will evaluate submitted plans in October.

Bradshaw said he supports using city money to boost the availability of affordable housing and that they may discuss additional funding as the project moves forward.

Members of Ketchum City Council will hold new budget hearings in August. If approved, the plan will come into effect on October 1.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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