Scuttlebutt, the trees are staying
COEUR d'ALENE - Top city officials said they're confident the city will be able to save the trees on the dike, and they weren't giving it any political spin.
City Administrator Wendy Gabriel and Mayor Sandi Bloem said they believe they are very close to certifying the dike's ability to protect the floodplain through a third party at the price of around $200,000. That would allow the city to keep most, if not all, of the 500-700 trees the Army Corps of Engineers has ordered removed.
Details and meetings will be worked out in the coming months, but Gabriel said the chance at tree-keeping is "very good."
Bloem seemed even more confident.
The pair were talking inside City Hall following a noon workshop when they were asked what they thought of the $1.6 million estimate a firm recently said it would cost to take down the trees, per federal order.
"That's for removing the trees," Bloem pointed out.
"We don't have any plans to remove the trees," she said, before adding, "so what about it?"
Editor's note: A third party is working on certifying the dike, not the floodplain. This web story has been updated to reflect the correction.