Hailey Council OKs uncovered parking at Blaine Manor – Idaho Mountain Express and Guide

The Hailey City Council passed a resolution last week authorizing the Blaine Manor senior building at 706 S. Main St. to proceed through its final stages of construction without covered parking spaces.

The original planned-unit development agreement between ARCH Community Housing Trust and the city stated that the northern senior building would have three carports covering a total of 22 parking spaces.

But “significant cost overruns” associated with COVID-related construction materials shortage—particularly with lumber and concrete—put ARCH $495,000 over budget for the senior side, according to ARCH Executive Director Michelle Griffith. The carports would cost about $180,000, she said.

“I will continue to try to finance the carports with a number of public and private agencies. Of course covered parking is important, but I would suggest that housing is the priority,” Griffith told the council. “We have 30 seniors who are close to tears with their enthusiasm for moving in.”

No senior residents were told that they would receive a carport as part of their lease, Griffith added.

County Commissioner Dick Fosbury said the county does not plan to help fund the carports, as it already pitched in $500,000 to the project and offered the land on which it is built. He noted that the 150 parking spots at the YMCA in Ketchum are not under a carport, and “two-thirds” of the gym users are over 55.

“[Uncovered parking] is not unusual for our area. What is remarkable is this affordable-housing project,” he said.

Various valley residents have offered to pitch in funding, Hailey Councilwoman Kaz Thea said.

“Thank you all for your support,” Griffith said. “It was extraordinary that we were able to get this over the line.”