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

One team we can all cheer for

July 22, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Whoís your favorite team? The Mariners? Yankees? Cubs? How about Hecla Mining Company? Donít laugh: Theyíre good. Really good. Tomorrow through Thursday, Heclaís Lucky Friday Mine Rescue Team will ...

Comments

Read More

Singers were right then ó and still are

July 20, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Look outside. Thereís glory for you. Peace. Sanity. Sunshine on your shoulders. If a hefty dose of Mother Natureís nurturing is just what you need, youíre far from alone. Sometimes the world is to...

Comments

Read More

This lake debate gets really deep

July 18, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Weíre all wet. You might be, too. If you call that big, beautiful body of water Lake Coeur díAlene, youíre sunk. Thatís not its proper name, as an alert reader recently pointed out. ď[Fridayís] le...

Comments

Read More

Prop 1 is racing toward you

July 13, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Idahoans will vote this November on hysterical horse racing. Oops ó thatís historical horse racing. But some view the measure as hysterical. To critics, itís hysterically funny that proponents of P...

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