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

Declaring a truce on newspaper assumptions

June 22, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press When you assume, the British comedian Benny Hill famously noted, you make an ASS out of U and ME. Some journalists are serial assumers. We take it for granted that by injecting certain elements int...

Comments

Read More

Getting Press readers, writers on the same page

June 20, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Despite greeting each other every morning and spending so much time together, often in jammies and slippers over a cup of hot coffee, newspaper reporters and readers apparently donít know each other ...

Comments

Read More

Hereís what dads really want

June 17, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Editorís note: This editorial was originally published six years ago today. Itís still true. If you beard-stubbled, equal opportunity gender watchers are still waiting for a movie titled ďWhat Men ...

Comments

Read More

We could be looking at voter turnout wrong

June 15, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press The quest started out as most modern searches do: Going to Google. ďWays to get young people to voteĒ was entered in the search box. More than 94 million options popped up, and after reading throug...

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