Let's make a deal - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Let's make a deal

State offers Coeur d'Alene five miles of shoreline and $3 million

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Posted: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 12:15 am

COEUR d'ALENE - Coeur d'Alene could become proud owners of around five miles of waterfront property. Oh, and $3 million cash.

Before the city agrees to take that land, and the $3 million check that would come with it from the Idaho Transportation Department, it wants to know what everyone thinks about the proposal.

"There's certainly some value to look at," Mayor Sandi Bloem said of the deal sitting in the city of Coeur d'Alene's lap. "The question is, do we want to move in that direction?"

The deal would give the city around five miles of East Coeur d'Alene Lake Drive, the old highway, from the city limit line at Silver Beach to just west of Higgens Point. The city would also get $3 million. In return, the city would take over maintenance of the road.

Annual upkeep on the road would cost the city $13,160, street superintendent Tim Martin estimated. That would be paint for striping, labor costs and 11 pass-throughs by snowplows, which is the typical amount for an arterial road each winter.

"As neutral as possible, it's doable," Martin said of taking over the stretch of road. "I know my plow times won't go up."

The city would also take control of that portion of the Centennial Trail, which runs adjacent to the road.

The state approached the city about taking over the land last year as the city was looking for a possible replacement spot for the Third Street Boat Launch.

Back then, the Third Street launch was to be removed as part of the McEuen Field redevelopment plan, and the city needed a spot to put a replacement launch.

While the timing didn't work out, and the boat launch has remained at McEuen, the state was still interested in handing control to the city. The city could still build a boat launch at Silver Beach.

The boat launch could partner the city with Kootenai County, costing the city $1.5 million to $2 million to build the launch. City Councilman Ron Edinger said Tuesday he believes that was the city's main focus for possibly jumping on the deal - which he opposes.

But, Deanna Goodlander said, the possible land acquisition needs to be looked at separately, regardless if a boat launch can be built.

"This has to stand on its own merits," she said. "What is the value to the city of Coeur d'Alene? It can't be tied to the boat launch or McEuen Field."

The property up for grabs traces the old road but extends to water's edge in spots, creating public access to the lake.

"We don't plan for what we have today, we plan for the future," Bloem said of the possible deal. "There are opportunities here we won't have if we don't have access to the water."

The state had offered the same stretch of road to the East Side Highway District. The district asked ITD around two years ago to put the offer in writing, including how much the state would be willing to help in maintenance costs, but never heard back, which killed the deal, according to John Pankratz, EHD district supervisor.

The city could take a portion of the $3 million windfall and set up a trust, paying maintenance costs from interest on that trust. The Department of Lands would still be the agency in charge of issuing dock permits for private property owners in the affected area.

Before it does anything, the city wants to host an open house to hear from neighbors of the road or anyone else. That meeting time hasn't been determined.

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  • Mark on the Park posted at 9:17 am on Fri, Aug 3, 2012.

    Mark on the Park Posts: 471

    Seems like a draconian measure just to keep the hydro crowd away. j/k

  • cd1013 posted at 1:05 pm on Wed, Aug 1, 2012.

    cd1013 Posts: 246

    I wish the Cd'A Press would challenge people it quotes just a little bit.

    " I know my plow times won't go up."
    How can plowing even an extra mile not require more plow time Mr. Martin? And we're talking 10 miles, ( 5 out & 5 back).

    Mayor Bloem what exactly are you "planning" for our future and what opportunities does the city need more lake access for?

    Finally can anyone imagine what traffic would be like should another boat launch be constructed anywhere on that road? You can include the Sherman Ave exits in that question, primarily the East bound one considering most of the population is West & North. What about the logistics of having a pedestrian/cycling trail going through it?

    Aforementioned extra police/fire coverage is another concern. Yesterday the news was about raising taxes to cover what is already exisiting. Where does the money come from to cover those extras? $3million doesn't last very long when you start to pencil in all those costs too.

    All questions that need to be asked and answered.

    I agree with LTRLTR, "Remember nothing is free!"

  • DeNiles posted at 10:19 am on Wed, Aug 1, 2012.

    DeNiles Posts: 2450

    Apparently the city needs to grandstand something here. Remember when John Stone donated Riverstone Park so that the city could maintain it for him and the city handed Stone the opportunity of a massive tax break for the favor of keeping the gateway park pristine and manicured (and fixed - if the fake lake breaks). The Mayor jumped on this money losing deal like an hungry lion on a newborn lamb.

    This section of highway stands to be spectacular if properly maintained and the city gets money? Why the hand wringing? Oooh........ I see, now. Something McEuen related that any idiot would gladly support. And then they can expand on that whisper notion of support and report that 'the whole city just loves McEuen'.

    Okay, carry on.

  • LTRLTR posted at 10:07 am on Wed, Aug 1, 2012.

    LTRLTR Posts: 1171


    Let your imagination wonder and look into the future.

    Do you see another urban renewal district on the horizon? Remember all taxes from new development within an URA does not go into a city budget. So who will pick up the extra costs?

    Do you see additional properties annexed into the city? New properties require water and sewer upgrades, police and fire protection.

    Google this area and vision the unlimited opportunities for the city to annex new properties clear to state lands and more.

    Ask yourself why the State wants to dump this property especially when we already have a bike path, a boat launch, and hiking trails, to enjoy.

    $3M will only last until the city builds a new boat launch and then the costs will be on the city property taxpayers should the city annex this property. What will be the real long-term costs?

    Can you name the benefits to our community if this unlimited opportunity becomes real?

    Remember nothing is free!

  • lexacon posted at 8:17 am on Wed, Aug 1, 2012.

    lexacon Posts: 80

    Will the property owners adjacent to Lake Coeur d' Alene be annexed into the City of Coeur d' Alene to pay for maintenance costs on a road that is used by them to reach their homes? Or are the citizens of Coeur d' Alene going to foot the bill for them? As well as, what sweet deal is Mr.Hagadone getting if and when the city decides to develop a boat launch?

    "This has to stand on its own merits," she said. "What is the value to the city of Coeur d'Alene? It can't be tied to the boat launch or McEuen Field."

    Your comments lack merit, especially, when you vote for a plan that included removing the boat launch from the field Project!

  • Close Enough posted at 8:14 am on Wed, Aug 1, 2012.

    Close Enough Posts: 134

    Come on. This article is about the boat launch--you know it, I know it, heck everyone knows it if they read past the first few paragraphs of your article.

    Funny how the article starts with the following: gee, CDA could get free waterfront property and $3 mil. What's not to like about that?

    Oh, yeah... the point would be so the city could scrap the downtown boat launch and spend $2 mil to build a new one on this "free property" parcel.

  • Old Gyrene posted at 7:14 am on Wed, Aug 1, 2012.

    Old Gyrene Posts: 97

    Wondering if this would affect the Diamond Cup Regatta. What say you Hydromaniacs?

  • lola123 posted at 5:57 am on Wed, Aug 1, 2012.

    lola123 Posts: 349

    So Vox.. your assumption is that no one that lives in the county wants access to lake CDA?
    That access would not be a shared asset to the county as well as the city?

    Sorry, not understanding the thought process? Are you saying the county is not part of the overall community?

  • voxpop posted at 4:57 am on Wed, Aug 1, 2012.

    voxpop Posts: 738

    "The boat launch could partner the city with Kootenai County..."

    And why would that be? What benefit would there be to the VAST majority of county taxpayers? Cda can throw it's money down whatever rat hole they want but leave the rest of us out of it.

  • srfost posted at 4:32 am on Wed, Aug 1, 2012.

    srfost Posts: 43

    "The property up for grabs traces the old road but extends to water's edge in spots, creating public access to the lake."

    Life could be so much easier if people would just read before getting all wound up about things. Key words in the sentence above are "in spots". Not a word about usurping anyone's property rights, just a few spots where, currently, the state owns property to the water's edge.

  • tom posted at 3:00 am on Wed, Aug 1, 2012.

    tom Posts: 12

    Hey wait a minute!!!
    Some people own water front there!!!
    I was one of them till I sold my house several years ago.
    I used to live up on Silver Beach and the property went down across the old hwy and across Coeur d'Alene Lake Drive right down to the high or was it low water mark!
    Everything on the lake side of the trail where I lived was my private property.
    I assume I was not the only lake front property owner.

    So, whats up? Does the Idaho Transportation Department think they own all of the lake front there?
    Somebody needs to do some checking for what the many property owners own.

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