Thursday, November 15, 2018
Ned Burns Wants to Act on Vacant Lots, Potholes
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Ned Burns did a little politicking during Bellevue’s Trunk or Treat on Halloween.
 
Saturday, November 3, 2018
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

Ned Burns likes how he can look down from the ridge tops lining the town of Bellevue while hunting and see his house.

What he doesn’t like are the potholes he must dodge on his way back home.

Crumbling streets is one of the reasons Burns is running for Bellevue mayor.

 
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Ned Burns said he wants to find real solutions, not just put Band-Aids on things.
 

“Pine Street is a nightmare, and that’s our access to public lands out Muldoon Canyon,” said Burns. “The street has suffered from flooding, it doesn’t have the proper road bed, it’s not aligned correctly and it doesn’t drain. Just to pave Pine Street costs a million dollars for three-quarter of a mile. Still, it’s on (the city) to provide good infrastructure,” said Burns, who serves on the Bellevue city council.

Repairing Pine Street—and Second Street, which parallels the bike path—will not be easy given Bellevue’s limited budget, Burns said.

“But if we’re smart, if we get some grants, maybe we can get some money to take care of a couple of the streets.”

Burns grew up in Twin Falls but moved to the Wood River Valley after studying business at the University of Montana. He worked in the fronts of restaurants, then switched to real estate.

“I love real estate. It’s so rewarding to help someone achieve their goals, whether it's selling a house or purchasing their first house. I've helped a couple of people who were close to having to leave the valley because they couldn't afford to live here."

Affordable housing is among the things Burns would like to tackle if he's elected mayor.

“We missed a prime opportunity in 2008 to 2010 when guys were out of work. People should’ve been taking risks. Now, land costs are higher, labor costs more, we haven’t done anything in 10 years. Now, the city needs to be creative with zoning to allow for tiny houses, townhouses. We don’t need to set up any road blocks. We need to say, ‘Yes.’ ”

Burns shares his Bellevue home with his wife Sara and a black pug named Roscoe. He plays recreational league hockey and enjoys fishing, backpacking and hiking. He’s forgone hunting for elk this fall in order to go hunting for votes.

 “It’s one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I’ve been asking people to tell me one thing the city does well and one thing the city needs to do better.”

Burns also attended the Sun Valley Economic Development's Economic Summit this past week where he was inspired by Roger Brooks’ admonition to find something that will prompt people to stop in, not pass through, his town.

"He was right on when he said, 'Start with one block, then grow it. If you take it in segments, it's not so daunting,” Burns said. “We have a lot in the middle of town that was vacant even before I moved here. I'd like to see if we can figure out a way to have the owner donate it to the city or find a guardian angel to buy it so we could create a town square."

Next spring, Burns wants to collaborate with the Environmental Resource Center to get out a big turnout for the ERC’s Clean Sweep Day. He’d like to see Bellevue residents help neighbors clean up eyesores they’ve been wanting to get rid of.

“And maybe at the end of the day we can have a big party –bring some bands to Memorial Park, get Mahoney’s to cook burgers. With a little patience, I think we can get a lot of things done in a little time. The city staff knows how to get things done. If we can just point them in the right direction, we can get things done.”

 

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