Atlas purchase is nothing like McEuen

Print Article

Letís call it Neuecm Park.

Yep; thatís McEuen backward. With Coeur díAleneís commitment to purchase riverfront property and convert much of it to a park-like setting, we may be witnessing the makings of McEuen in reverse.

THEN: The community fractured over what to do with the hunk of land in downtown Coeur díAlene that had been largely underutilized for decades. The cityís answer was a park conversion that would cost about $20 million ó and bring along unprecedented public anxiety that peaked with an attempted recall drive of the mayor and council members in 2012.

NOW: The city has agreed to spend $7.85 million on 47 acres along the Spokane River just west of Riverstone that was once a mill site and is now considered a brownfield. Part of the property, which includes a half-mile of waterfront land, will be for public recreation. The rest will be resold, ostensibly for development.

Then we had a civic fight unlike any the community had seen for years, and possibly ever.

Now? Crickets, at least from any critics.

Maybe this is just too good a deal all the way around and, therefore, it enjoys unanimous support. The fact that not a single challenger is pursuing a seat on the City Council suggests rather strongly that the citizenry is satisfied these days, so perhaps buying the old Atlas mill site isnít an eyebrow raiser, let alone an earth shaker of McEuen magnitude.

Most certainly, though, there are many questions that need to be answered between now and the transaction closing date of next May 16. Key among them is, how is it going to be paid for?

The cityís urban renewal agency head and its finance director both have expressed general support but qualified it somewhat with concerns about slow paybacks and potential cash flow problems. Asking voters to approve a general obligation bond is one pressure-easing possibility ó for the city, but not the taxpayers.

Another key question is, how ready is the property for use and development? Indications are good that there are no pressing environmental concerns, but the cityís agreement to purchase the land included an ďas-isĒ provision. If, somehow, major remediation is needed, that will be the cityís ó read, the taxpayersí ó responsibility.

Fortunately, city leaders are promising plenty of public opportunities for community members to ask questions and share their opinions, particularly about how the property will eventually be divided. We look forward to that but wonít be terribly surprised if they hold open houses and public forums and only the crickets show up.

Print Article

Read More Editorial

ĎI had no ideaí just wonít cut it, guys

October 14, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Please do something really important today. It might save a life you love. It could be one step toward making the world a better place. Do what one local father did: Email a link to your daughters ...

Comments

Read More

Arm yourself with truly valuable info

October 12, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Donít tell anyone, but there might be some local election momentum building. The proof wonít materialize until sometime late Nov. 6 or early Nov. 7, of course, when Kootenai County votersí ballots w...

Comments

Read More

Bureaucratese should be a dead language

October 10, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Congratulations to North Idaho College trustees and administrators who refuse to sit still with a pretty good hand of cards. Knowing that the wheels of bureaucracy roll slowly, weíll refrain from cr...

Comments

Read More

Comics debate is nothing to laugh at

October 07, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Remember what your mama said? Polite company doesnít bring up three topics at dinner: politics, religion or comics. That is what she said, isnít it? The last of that trio breeds fightiní words jus...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2018 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X