Parking proposal - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Parking proposal

Commissioners seek to build 7-story, $7.8 million structure on Northwest Boulevard

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Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 12:15 am | Updated: 10:52 am, Fri Nov 16, 2012.

COEUR d'ALENE - The Kootenai County commissioners hope to construct a nearly $8 million, 7-story parking garage on Northwest Boulevard, and the officials are asking the city of Coeur d'Alene and the Lake City Development Corp. to jump on the project to share cost and use.

"This is going to happen fairly soon," said Commissioner Jai Nelson on Monday afternoon, at a meeting between the commissioners and city and LCDC officials. "If we can work out a relationship benefiting several parties, it could maybe happen sooner."

Part of the commissioners' draft facilities master plan, the parking structure is projected to cost $7.8 million.

It would sit on a county-owned dirt lot by the administration building, and provide 518 spaces.

Currently, there are 397 spaces around the administration campus on Government Way.

The garage is imperative to accommodate county employees and customers, said Commissioner Dan Green. He noted that the campus' current lots are overwhelmed during jury selections for the courthouse, as well as peak seasons for the DMV and other county departments.

"We're busting at the seams now," Green said.

But there is also obvious potential for public use, the commissioners noted, hence the opportunity for Coeur d'Alene and LCDC to help fund it and open some spaces to citizens.

The commissioners pointed out there is usually a long search for parking during city events like the holiday lights parade, Art on the Green and for general use of City Park.

"Weekends, evenings is the heaviest use time," Commissioner Todd Tondee predicted for the garage, noting that most employees won't be parking then.

City officials and LCDC board members were open to the idea of hopping on board.

Jim Elder, LCDC board member, said he thought the idea was "wonderful," especially considering how parking floods the Fort Grounds during big events.

Elder estimated that thousands use City Park on summer days. He figured this structure would still be needed on top of the new McEuen Field parking.

"You can never have enough parking," Elder said.

But he cautioned that LCDC does have other project obligations.

"I think urban renewal is certainly interested, though I wouldn't want your expectations to be too high," he told the commissioners.

Troy Tymesen, city finance director, said the project would be enticing if the garage was revenue generating, a detail the commissioners had yet to determine.

Tymesen said the city would conduct a feasibility study before committing.

Other details were also batted around, like if a sky bridge would be necessary to help folks cross Northwest Boulevard.

The county also has an alternative plan to add another level to the administration building's south parking lot, providing an additional 33 spaces for $1.3 million.

The commissioners broached the subject with the other officials on Monday because the county is now half finished with its facilities master plan, aimed at consolidating county structures and operations on the Government Way campus.

The still-preliminary plan could include the construction of new county buildings, the commissioners said, so additional parking would have to come first.

The new facilities being considered include a $20 million justice center behind the administration building. The structure would give the county additional courtrooms, and also take on the juvenile court operations now conducted at the old federal courthouse on Fourth Street.

"It's a very costly building," Nelson said of the federal courthouse, adding that a study is being conducted of its operations pricetag.

The commissioners might also add on to both sides of the administrative building, projected to cost more than $2 million, and construct a new $1 million Building and Grounds structure.

The timing of the parking garage and any following buildings, Nelson said, depends on the options the city and LCDC provide.

"It's a very visionary plan," Nelson said. "I'm determined to implement it."

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  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 7:19 pm on Wed, Mar 21, 2012.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    Randy Myers,

    You still haven't figured out the 100k for training yet? Don't you have any commonsense or business knowledge? They add ever expense including uniforms, equipment, even the fuel used during the training period, probably even the car maintenance. Unless you can get the Itemization you never know exactly what games they played to get those figures, but it is so common to have a set of exaggerated dollar figures I am surprised even you haven't heard of it at least.

  • Ziggy posted at 2:36 pm on Wed, Mar 21, 2012.

    Ziggy Posts: 1108

    How does this quality as a "blighted neighborhood" and how is a parking lot going to create ongoing jobs? Yes, to construct it, but after that?

  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 8:59 am on Wed, Mar 21, 2012.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    Ahh Danger Dog another of our officer I would quickly Fire as soon as I found out who your cowardly ask is.
    Sorry I feel no Danger from a mutt like you.
    Now that we have exchanged our niceties toward each other, lets see who is lies.

    Please find an time that I have come "out with his cop hating rhetoric", In my career I work with COPs on almost a daily basis, if I hated COPs, as you flat out lie, after 15 years I would be dead, in jail or not doing this job.

    Also Do Please tell us what part of the increased risks, social and Financial issues I mentioned as trade off was a Lie as you seem to be insinuating.

    And instead of just throwing out numbers, please give the locations those higher salaries are from. New York City surely pays 40k more a year, but try finding an apartment in NYC for your family without bedbugs and cockroaches for less than 3k a month, not to mention the astronomical cost of living increases in other areas. Seattle or LA maybe 20K more but you will pay that difference in mortgage or rent and other expenses there too. If the pay is so much better and you find that so much more appreciative GO, do us a favor and GO.

    Why is it anytime anyone comes out against higher pay or benefits for Public servant, the Rhetoric is always that we Hate them. Don't you ever get tired of spewing that LIE.

    I would love to hear your response if for no other reason but a good laugh, but in the face of you embarrassing yourself worse, I doubt you will answer any of these questions. Have a nice day.

  • Danger Dog posted at 9:56 pm on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    Danger Dog Posts: 9

    I knew it. Jeff Wherley just couldn't stay under his rock. Anytime anyone has anything good to say about our Deputies, Jeff comes out with his cop hating rhetoric, or in this case, flat out lies. By the way Jeff, you must be some kind of millionaire, because the last time I checked, 20 to 40 thousand dollars more a year is a little better than, "slightly higher pay."

  • gggggg posted at 7:15 pm on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    gggggg Posts: 206

    I seriously doubt Wolfinger's claim it takes 100K to train an officer. On the job training and POST costs far less than that.

    Here is a simple est. explanation. For the first few weeks the officer is in POST collecting his salary which is roughly, $2000.00 plus insurance and POST expenses. Then for the next 16 weeks they are in a training program with a training officer where you have double salaries which total roughly $26,000.00. This is not including benefits, overtime and a vehicle with all its expenses. SO you can see that just salaries for the two officers is around a third of the 100K it takes to get an officer to a single car status if everything goes textbook perfect which is rare. If anything, 100K is a low estimate.

  • Spencer posted at 5:36 pm on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    Spencer Posts: 28

    If I am elected to the seat held by Dan Green, I will advocate for keeping the DMV and drivers license open until 7 PM, and at least a half day on Saturday. Think about how many people are waiting in long lines most parts of the day in those two offices. Nearly all of them drove a car, so if we eliminate the lines, we could free up 20-40 parking spaces during the day and reduce the time people spend in lines.

    It would be far less expensive.

    Why don’t the commissioners do this now?

  • CClavin posted at 2:17 pm on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    CClavin Posts: 221

    The way I look at it is 7.8 million for an additional 121 spaces. This will not stop people from parking down at the Fort Grounds, that is just absurd. Take a look at the jail it is too small. Well maybe we could add a few more floors to the parking structure and the over population inmates are kept on floors 8 thru 12. We would just have to place 1" rebar every 8". Use our taxes to pay for it, then charge us to park in it. How about the City put a toll booth on N.W. Blvd. and charge all the Washingtion people that use our City, our beach, our lake, our boat ramps, our parking space, and our jail.

  • Vermontt posted at 1:59 pm on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    Vermontt Posts: 9

    I don't know why everyone is freaking out. We have the money. Well, no, we don't HAVE the money but we sure as heck have the ability to GET the money.

    If the county prosecutor would prosecute all of the felonies sitting in his courthouse against certain corporations, we WOULD have the money.

    Seriously. If you look at the issue with a clear eye, one could conservatively see an easy $25MM ready for the taking.

    But then, that would require the prosecutor to exercise his prosecutorial discretion and actually prosecute these felonies.

    Is that asking too much?

  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 1:48 pm on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    Mr Herzog,

    You should have stopped while you were ahead.

    Whether it is your spending option or theirs. SPENDING is the problem. Why can't any of you Politicking junkies every understand, Less is better. You won't get reelected anymore for your "very visionary plan" or a "better use of funds". Any use of funds beyond basic NEEDS will lose you votes. Any increase in revenues through Taxes, Fees or penalties, will lose you votes.

    You also spew the mantra of the Police assocs. "If you don't pay us better, we will leave." If they want higher risk environments, Higher call volumes, less time with Family, Higher violent crime rates, higher death rates for officers, higher divorce rates for officers, higher Alcoholic rates for officers, al for a slightly higher rate of pay in much higher cost of living areas. Then they aren't very smart and losing $100,000(?) , in training, to find that out is cheap at the price.
    Yes I know the continued mantra, KCSD has no Union or Assoc. We both know that a lie by spin, the Department recognize no assoc or union officially, but almost ever officer is a member of them. And I would bet (not sure) the dues are somehow allowed as a payroll deduction.

    Using Wolfinger as a source also puts your integrity, character, intelligence and wisdom all in question. If I were Sheriff he would be my first priority to fix the KCSD, I'd fire him.

    That the injustice system allows 25+ warrants to be racked up more they chase them down and execute them. Tells me that either the Warrants are meaningless except as a political gauge of personal achievements or something else major is broken, And Jail space won't fix it.

  • Spencer posted at 1:29 pm on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    Spencer Posts: 28

    I wonder if the Reagan Republicans want to reconsider their endorsement of Dan Green...

    Just kidding. He is exactly their kind of candidate. Just another big government progressive.

  • whirldpeas posted at 12:24 pm on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    whirldpeas Posts: 7

    Just curious here. Is there a plan to utilize the ground across from the courthouse on Garden? The building was torn down, adjacent to the courthouse parking lot, and replanted in lawn. Certainly could expand parking to nearly double the current accomodations, at a fraction of cost for theplan.

  • Mary Souza posted at 12:17 pm on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    Mary Souza Posts: 788

    Randy, I actually was surprised and should have started with that admission. I voted for these commissioners and thought they would be more transparent and responsible, but I have not been happy with several things they have done.

    One of my major problems with this facilities proposal is that they went to LCDC and the city for "partnership", which we, and they, all know means $$$$...taxpayer money that we taxpayers will not get to vote on.

  • Tim Herzog posted at 12:15 pm on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    Tim Herzog Posts: 353

    Here's some more ideas...instead of wasting taxpayers money on a parking facility at this time, how about the commissioners approving a pay increase for the Sheriffs department. My wife and i spent about 2 1/2 hours recently touring the jail and some of the problems are turnover of deputies because of higher wages offered elsewhere. According to Ben Wolfinger, it costs us,. the taxpayers, about a 100K to train a patrolwoman and then we risk losing them to Spokane or elsewhere. Now talk about a waste of taxpayers dollars!! With more funding available we might even be able to attract some experienced officers from other areas that would love to work and live here for our quality of life.

    Somebody needs to do the math!

    Also, the jail does need more hard space, for the really bad guys. When our jail is overcrowded we spend more money housing them elsewhere and also pay to transport them, taking deputies off the street. With actual hard space added to the current jail, we can import prisoners from elsewhere and actually pay for the facilities. I do not advocate a 55 million dollar jail expansion but something on a much more reasonable incremental scale to solve the immediate problems.

    Many talk about why we are locking up so many that are in for minor offenses...well, most of these are probation violations and the judges have ordered them to serve time, so that needs to be addressed! Ask the judges and prosecutors to help out there.

    P.S. wife & like cats also. Maybe i should post some pic's too.

    BTW..our current jail is free & clear so other than current operational costs, the taxpayer is not seeing increases in taxes.


  • Jullee posted at 11:52 am on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    Jullee Posts: 539

    Wow.... How sad is this. Another ugly high rise at the tax payor expense.
    I also had voted for these new commissioners with their many promises of common sense business. I won't make that mistake again. The DMV should be moved to a more appropriate location, the sheriffs office / fairgrounds area sounds perfect.

  • Mary Souza posted at 10:51 am on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    Mary Souza Posts: 788

    I looked and looked through the article to find some sort of saving grace, but it was not there. I wanted any/all of the commissioners to say this is just a long-range facilities plan and that they realize these are difficult economic times and they will not raise taxes nor will they ever do any major capitol improvement without putting it to a VOTE of the people.

    But those statements were not to be found. I’m very disappointed.

  • Marc Eberlein posted at 10:46 am on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    Marc Eberlein Posts: 11

    Just wonderful. Keynesian economics at your service. The 2011-2012 commissioners legacy to Kootenai County. The voters have said no new jail, yet they still try. The residents of Kootenai County have expressed great concern regarding the proposed Unified Land Use Code (ULUC) on their property rights and still Kendig Keast is here. In addition we are burdened with heavy impact fees that squash our dreams. Then we have LCDC's version of urban renewal in CDA for which the rest of the county is forced to pick up the tab of the lost tax revenues of the incremental value. So what does the BOCC do? Dig the hole deeper. They commence a study of county facilities to see if they can justify new accommodations and parking facilities. What part of NO don't they understand? Then there is the desire of the commissioners to escape the tedium of the Board of Equalization (contrary to state statutes). Oh and by the way the commissioners surmised that the voters really wanted to give up their voting rights. So they introduce a restructure county government ballot to so we can give up our voting rights and reduce accountability to the voters. Guess who pays the tab for that ballot! Tondee is on record advocating all officials be appointed by the BOCC including Sheriff and Prosecutor. Am I missing something or this the typical fox in the hen house thing? Is there a possibility of them using forgone taxes. What a legacy. For these reasons Marc Eberlein (mark4idaho dot com) decided to run for the commissioner seat held by Todd Tondee.

  • LTRLTR posted at 9:33 am on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    LTRLTR Posts: 1171

    Great Idea Tim Herzog!!!!! That would free tons of spaces. When I drive on Northwest Blvd. and pass the sheriff's office, I see lots of parking. So just by adding an office for DMV it would save taxpayers tons of taxes.

  • Via Chicago posted at 9:30 am on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    Via Chicago Posts: 14

    What happened to the new jail the county supposedly needed so desperately? I guess an $8 million, 7-story parking garage is more vital to Kootenai County's survival ... give me a break.

  • BUREAUCRATS STINK posted at 8:59 am on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.


    I have a better idea, why don't you stop spending money that we don't have and start giving tax money back to businesses so they can hire people to work. More people working= more money to spend= better local economy. The problem with bureaucrats is they never spend their own hard earned money, if they actually earned it they would probably manage it better, but they won't until we stop sending them money willy nilly like things are going to get better. They aren't and we must hold the people who spend our money accountable.

  • DeNiles posted at 8:50 am on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    DeNiles Posts: 2450

    Here's a weird idea. If they have so much extra cash on hand then let's have a tax refund instead of another building.

    Once again the LCDC is viewed like some bottomless treasure chest. That 'treasure' is our taxes.

  • Tim Herzog posted at 8:29 am on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    Tim Herzog Posts: 353

    BAD IDEA AT THE WRONG TIME...We all know parking is a problem but one of the first things that should be done is move the DMV out of there! Cleaning up that bottleneck will help tremendously. The Sheriff runs that office and it should be moved out to the County Fairgrounds where they have the land and space for parking. It could be a stand alone building modeled somewhat after Post Falls, which serves the purpose.

    Temporary parking spaces could be added across from the courthouse which would suffice for time being. LCDC is draining enough of the taxpayers money at this time and this is just the WRONG USE of urban renewal funds! Tax increment financing and urban renewal was designed for infrastructure that will attract commercial development that BRINGS US JOBS.

    Isn't it time for some common sense decisions in county government?

    Candidate for District 1, County Commissioner

  • ancientemplar posted at 7:53 am on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1140

    the second structure , 7 stories at $8,000,000 for 513 spaces is only $15,500 per space. Someone ought to check their math. Neither include the land. I guess that first space is a duezzy.

  • ancientemplar posted at 7:48 am on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1140

    Mark....... and that doesn't include the cost of the land , which they already own.

  • I Carry posted at 7:46 am on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    I Carry Posts: 411

    I don't have enough zeros on my calculator, but I think this would cost over $15K per parking spot?? I think the BOCC should add a pool too. Oh, and a zoo! How about even more spaces and the BOCC could rent out homeless housing?
    I jest, however this is coming out at a time when the BOCC is downgrading county employees wages and short changing their insurance. I have to imagine the two male Commisioners following Nelson like penguins behind a fish wagon.
    We'll just have to set back, grab an adult beverage, and ponder how the tax payers are going to be poked. A new garage does sound nice, especially if LCDC is involved, because the money will appear like magic and no one will will know where it came from (read McKuen Park).

  • JoeIdaho posted at 7:45 am on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    JoeIdaho Posts: 2841

    Gotta spend mo o' that govinment money.....
    They're just flat out, plainly ouit of control, like on McKuen, and all the rest.

  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 7:35 am on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    Well it's better than 2 blocks away destroying the lake access, but More parking for more big government access? How about give the DMV to the state to worry about. Have one courtroom for civil and none violent crime and one for violent crime. Mediation or file 13 can handle anything that doesn't want to wait for docket space. And layoff 50% of County employees. Then parking is solved.

  • rebmem posted at 7:32 am on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    rebmem Posts: 94

    "It's a very visionary plan," Nelson said. "I'm determined to implement it."

    I just had my own vision! can you guess what that is?

  • Hayden Joe posted at 7:27 am on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    Hayden Joe Posts: 169

    1. Cut County Employee Pay that is already too low - Check.
    2. Ignore the econmoic times, slap employees in the face whose pay was cut and build a "luxury for these times" structure for millions - Check.
    3. Cozy up to tax-gobbling pariaha LCDC and further help justify their exisitence - Check.
    4. Vote out all 3 Commissioners - Check..

  • Mark on the Park posted at 7:27 am on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    Mark on the Park Posts: 471

    "The county also has an alternative plan to add another level to the administration building's south parking lot, providing an additional 33 spaces for $1.3 million."

    That's about $40K per parking space. I'm guessing at that price they will be reserved for top-level officials who want penthouse parking for their land-yachts.


  • mister d posted at 7:25 am on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    mister d Posts: 1531

    Oh no, who would have guessed this.

  • Concerned for idiots posted at 6:11 am on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    Concerned for idiots Posts: 17

    There is no doubt that the county is in need for additional parking. Why don't they just pave where the old elections building used to be. That would be cost very little and add a good number of parking spaces.

  • immortal posted at 4:42 am on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    immortal Posts: 258

    Unbelievable. And I voted for some of these people. BIG mistake, which won't happen again. It's astounding that candidates who preach fiscal discipline instantly turn into tax and spend morons as soon as the votes are counted. The only difference between these SOBs and liberals is who the money gets spent on. In this case, and in ALL cases for Idaho, it's business interests who stand there with their hand out.

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