Person purchased - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Person purchased

City, school board reach agreement to sell park

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Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 12:00 am


After months of negotiating, the city of Coeur d'Alene and School District 271 agreed Thursday to a deal for the school district's half of Person Field, all but guaranteeing the public space popular for Coeur d'Alene Junior Tackle Football will remain as it is.

And Bryan Field, the roughly 2-acre park off 10th Street, is a part of the package deal that aims to sell both public spaces owned by the school district to the city for between $655,000 and $750,000.

It feels "very good," School Superintendent Hazel Bauman said following the public meeting where both sides sat down to hammer out a deal that had stalled in recent weeks, calling the solution "a win-win." "We don't want to be in the parks business, we need the cash, and they're in the parks business."

The deal isn't set in stone, yet.

The school district will have to have a statutorily-required appraisal on Bryan Field before it can part with it. That could take two or three weeks, school district officials said. But the city promised to pay at least $655,000 for the lands, and that's the appraised amount the school district sought for its half of Person Field. Pending the appraisal on Bryan Field, listed around $228,537 with Kootenai County, the city said it could consider bumping it up to $750,000 for both.

Both boards unanimously supported the terms, though official action will be needed as the final details are set.

"It's great," Mayor Sandi Bloem said following the nearly two-hour meeting, calling the end of negotiations a relief. "A deal was made that was absolutely the right one for the community and that's what it's all about."

It also simplifies a transaction that had been clouded in recent weeks.

Leading up to the public meeting - a meeting the City Council called to which the School Board agreed - both sides disagreed on the true value of the 3.8-acre parcel of Person Field owned by the district. The city thought it should have been valued at a Residential 1 zoning, which is what park land is, and not R-12 zoning, which it's actually zoned.

That disagreement in zoning led to a discrepancy in how each viewed Person Field's true value, with the city believing it was worth around half the $655,000 figure. That prompted the city to offer the $655,000, but with added contingencies like increased use for its recreation department in school gyms to bridge what it saw as a financial gap. The school district had countered that offer with one that listed the value of resources the district provides or would be willing to provide the city, such as school resource officers.

Those differing offers laid the groundwork for Thursday's meeting, where both sides said trying to add the value of shared resources to any potential land deal was sidetracking progress. Both sides agreed to address Joint Use agreements between the entities and SRO officer issues separately down the line - setting the table for a straight land for cash transaction.

"It's probably impossible to quantify the intersection," Bauman said of the resources the entities share. "They are so many ... and so rich."

After the deal was agreed upon, applause from the approximately 100 people in the public library broke out. The deal means that Person Field, half of which the city already owns, will remain intact. The park off 15th Street is where junior tackle footballers play. Had an agreement not been reached, the school board planned on selling it though a sealed bid process, meaning anyone could have made an offer. Under its R-12 zoning, the parcel could have been developed at 12 units an acre.

"I like that," Matthew Lucas, a 10-year-old football player, said after the deal was announced. "They're not going to build houses on the field."

Bryan Field is owned by the school district but not utilized by it, the school board said, making it a non-performing asset that would be better off in the city's hands. The money from the deal will go toward a new administration building the school district is planning to construct.

After the meeting, members from both entities mingled, talked and said they were pleased with the outcome. Leading up the meeting, each entity had been publicly critical of components of the other side's offer.

"Hip, hip, hooray," Councilman Woody McEvers said as the deal was reached.

And the bumps in the road during the negotiation won't change the working relationship between the entities, Bauman added.

"I don't think having a disagreement means the end to that," she said.

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  • concernedcitizen posted at 6:22 pm on Mon, Jan 14, 2013.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    Jill Heine,

    Thank you for your astute observation.

    Notice how condescending timeless is when it comes to others opinions. Just like a politician.

  • Timeless posted at 5:36 pm on Mon, Jan 14, 2013.

    Timeless Posts: 480

    Jill Heine: It is not a good idea to drink and comment.

  • Jill Heine posted at 4:06 pm on Mon, Jan 14, 2013.

    Jill Heine Posts: 408

    The bridge is out on your high road Timeless. You will be just as clueless in your belief that even if all of you are miserable, everyone in your circle will believe themselves happy, because your handlers tell them that you are so. Talk about a mindF___!

  • concernedcitizen posted at 1:54 pm on Sun, Jan 13, 2013.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    At least o me they are words properly used while they are apparently a way of life for you and your elitist friends.

  • Timeless posted at 11:26 am on Sun, Jan 13, 2013.

    Timeless Posts: 480

    Concerned: You really like using the words "fleece" and "ilk", don't you?

  • concernedcitizen posted at 11:16 am on Sun, Jan 13, 2013.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    That is correct timeless, a typo or misspelled word makes you and your ilk more intelligent than the average taxpayer. (in you own mind) Isn't that why you feel you have the right to fleece the taxpayer?

  • Timeless posted at 11:01 am on Sun, Jan 13, 2013.

    Timeless Posts: 480

    Concerned: There is a difference between "there" and "their".. FYI

  • concernedcitizen posted at 11:01 am on Sun, Jan 13, 2013.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    Oh, so now you will take the high road after skruing taxpayers? BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • Timeless posted at 10:37 am on Sun, Jan 13, 2013.

    Timeless Posts: 480

    @Jillheine and Concerned: you people are clueless and hopeless. Sorry, just had to resort to a comment you could understand.

    Unite with Mary? Ha! No thanks,
    I will chose the high road , thanks.

  • concernedcitizen posted at 10:29 am on Sun, Jan 13, 2013.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530


    timeless and there cohorts would not be able to capitalize at taxpayers expense if they played by the rules.

  • Jill Heine posted at 9:42 am on Sun, Jan 13, 2013.

    Jill Heine Posts: 408

    rezone, then audit all assessments for uniformity followed by equalization. The library land behind closed doors transaction proves that a properties zoning designation is irrelevant if an assessor or appraiser chooses to consider potential future use rather than present intended use restriction.

    Timeless - you cling to your clueless perception that the playing field is level in the sphere of politics. Citizens are at a distinct disadvantage when secret, illegal decisions are exposed too late for public debate and vote.

    IT WILL BE A DECADE before reform will be realized in either city hall or SD271. Those cultures rule at the moment absent accountability to the ones they serve.

    Look no further for the truth than past public comments that have been marginally tolerated and at times dismissed or eliminated by executive order.

    talk about juvenile...your derogatory comments regarding Mary & OPENCDA! CDA Press fails to print the full story. Who can the public trust when the Powers repeatedly violate rules and the law?

    Get off Mary's back and strive for reform in your timeless sphere of influence. Join with Mary in the hope that the City of CdA will now make a new zone , a Park Zone. But also unite with her in the quest for honesty and transparency in local governance at all levels.

  • Mary Souza posted at 6:28 pm on Sat, Jan 12, 2013.

    Mary Souza Posts: 808

    No fear, just common sense. If all the parks are zoned separately, with reasonable stipulations, their availability in the future will be guaranteed. I'm glad you agree.

  • concernedcitizen posted at 4:42 pm on Sat, Jan 12, 2013.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    "And your fear is that a Park might be turned into a ....what...?"

    There is no telling with you and your ilk timeless.

  • Timeless posted at 2:56 pm on Sat, Jan 12, 2013.

    Timeless Posts: 480

    Sounds reasonable. And your fear is that a Park might be turned into a ....what...?

  • Mary Souza posted at 9:06 am on Sat, Jan 12, 2013.

    Mary Souza Posts: 808

    You didn't answer my question, Timless: Will you join with me in the hope that the City of CdA will now make a new zone , a Park Zone, which they've never had before. They can then re-zone all the parks, including Person and Bryan Playfield, so those areas are protected for public use in perpetuity. Do you agree?

  • Timeless posted at 8:54 am on Sat, Jan 12, 2013.

    Timeless Posts: 480

    Mary: There is a a conspiracy around every corner , according to you. How about those hydroplane races?

  • Mary Souza posted at 7:19 pm on Fri, Jan 11, 2013.

    Mary Souza Posts: 808

    Excuse me for my omission. Mayor Bloem's behind-closed-doors action to give away the city's half of Person Field in 2005 wtihout a public meeting? It was to the School District. I was remiss in not mentioning who would have received the benefit, had their project been successful.

  • Mary Souza posted at 7:15 pm on Fri, Jan 11, 2013.

    Mary Souza Posts: 808

    Wrong again, Timeless. No one on P&Z back in 2005, had any idea that Mayor Bloem had unilaterally signed away ownership of the city's half of Person Field without public notice or a public meeting. We were not told of that situation by city staff and it was not included in our info packet.

    That's why I'm saying that Susie Snedaker did such a service to the public by asking, time after time, over the subsequent several years, for that secret agreement to be voided. It's also why Susie dogged the council to buy the other half of Person. Now she has succeeded and the neighborhood is pleased. Kudos to them all.

    Timeless, perhaps you can join with me in the hope that the City of CdA will now make a new zone , a Park Zone, which they've never had before. They can then re-zone all the parks, including Person and Bryan Playfield, so those areas are protected for public use in perpetuity. Do you agree?

  • LTRLTR posted at 2:43 pm on Fri, Jan 11, 2013.

    LTRLTR Posts: 1171

    We all know very well the City of Cda. has paid very little attention to Person's Field because it was not on their radar of priorities. The School District is doing their very best to be accountable to the taxpayers and I agree they should not be in the Park business. So the issue of Person's Field was moved to the top of the priority list, and because 2013 is an election year, the Mayor and Council needed to avoid any negative attention at this point in time. I would say the campaigning has officially began.

  • Timeless posted at 2:22 pm on Fri, Jan 11, 2013.

    Timeless Posts: 480

    Souza: I did not say that P&Z could acquire property, of course they can't. What I did say, was that those who were aware of the Zoning of Person Field years ago and did nothing to change it, failed the citizens of CDA. And that includes you, Mary. You were on P&Z, aware of the improper Zoning. You should have followed through to see that it was changed. If that had been done, Person Field's recent appraisal would have come in several hundred thousand LESS.

  • Mary Souza posted at 1:00 pm on Fri, Jan 11, 2013.

    Mary Souza Posts: 808

    No, Timeless, P&Z has no power to acquire property, that's up to the Mayor and city council.

  • Timeless posted at 12:01 pm on Fri, Jan 11, 2013.

    Timeless Posts: 480

    Jill Heine: I am really bored with the "clueless" remark, it's juvenile. People like you cannot tolerate an opposing point of view. Face it your Opencda Czarina Mary blew her opportunity to have saved the City several hundred thousands of dollars, by NOT having followed through with a zone change at Person Field, when the issue was raised years ago. Now that, my friend, is clueless.

  • Jill Heine posted at 11:40 am on Fri, Jan 11, 2013.

    Jill Heine Posts: 408

    To impress me, CC's statute would have to be pressure washed and polished at the same time trail pit toilets are cleaned just before ironman. Locals will apply more scat and dread being downwind. Pity the adjacent neighbors.

    As for timeless - try clueless. No conception of CzarinaB and her handlers. It will take a decade before city hall regains the integrity to consider the wishes of locals. For now, you are stuck with mindless bling to attract the rich and famous.

  • Timeless posted at 10:34 am on Fri, Jan 11, 2013.

    Timeless Posts: 480

    If that was true, Mary, why was it not carried out by those of you in a position to see it through?


  • Mary Souza posted at 10:09 am on Fri, Jan 11, 2013.

    Mary Souza Posts: 808

    I believe it was suggested, Timeless, by citizen activist and long time P& Z Commissioner Susie Snedaker. She has been a constant and tireless voice for protecting Person Field and has frequently attended city council meetings, during the past 7 years, to ask the city to acquire the rest of the field.

    Bravo to Susie and the other neighbors who have worked to keep this important neighborhood park.

  • CaiusCosades posted at 9:49 am on Fri, Jan 11, 2013.

    CaiusCosades Posts: 380

    I think we should cement over the entire field and in the middle make a giant 25 million dollar statue of Mayor Bloem.

  • Timeless posted at 9:04 am on Fri, Jan 11, 2013.

    Timeless Posts: 480

    @MarySouza: Hey Mary, you were a member of City of CDA Planning and Zoning during that time!

    With all of your " wisdom " about how Person Field " should have been re-zoned years ago", why did YOU not suggest that to the City?

  • Wiseguy posted at 9:00 am on Fri, Jan 11, 2013.

    Wiseguy Posts: 77

    Who ever heard of getting a park for less than $ 15 million. Ludicrous.

  • Mary Souza posted at 8:48 am on Fri, Jan 11, 2013.

    Mary Souza Posts: 808

    The meeting was last night, of course. "1 Voice", please remember that the city controls the zoning of the land, not the school district. Person Field has been zoned R-12 for as long as anyone can remember. The city could have re-zoned it anytime in the past, but they did not bother.

    The appraisal is required by a law put in place in the year 2000, so the district had no choice and will have to get one on Bryan Playfield also, before the deal can be completed.

    Rezoning Person Field to an R-1 or, better yet, creating a new Park zone, should be top priority after this is all done.

  • cdasfuture posted at 8:44 am on Fri, Jan 11, 2013.

    cdasfuture Posts: 123

    Sandi said, "It's great. A deal was made that was absolutely the right one for the community and that's what it's all about."

    Now apply the same thought to McEuen PARK (plus a one level parking garage planned under Front that stretches from the Resort to Parkside Place.) The PARK can still cost the original, promised $14.2 million (even with the addition of the Harbor House which has always been in Phase 2.) If the $6.6 million needed for the garage is chopped off the new total cost of $20.8 million, LCDC will be funding exactly what they expected: $14.2 Million For a PARK.

    NO NEW FUNDS WILL BE NECESSARY. (Please refer back to Sandi's quote above.)

  • Mary Souza posted at 8:40 am on Fri, Jan 11, 2013.

    Mary Souza Posts: 808

    The meeting tonight started out devolving into the weeds on issues of ownership history, the Joint Powers Agreement and security considerations. But then the possibility of Bryan Playfield was brought forward and that took the limelight and a tentative agreement was made.

    There are people out there who are determined to make the school board look bad because they want to oust them in the upcoming election. But I thought the school board did a good job of working with the city to protect Person Field and get the money they need without adding it to the upcoming levy.

    Kudos to CdA City Councilman Dan Gookin who worked very hard to make this public, televised meeting happen. He pushed for it last week's city council meeting and at Monday night's School Board very long meeting (no one else from the council took the time to attend). Without Dan's persistence, this public meeting would never have happened. And without this public, televised meeting, the elected officials (egos) in both groups would never have agreed to the terms of this deal. Thanks to you all.

  • 1voice posted at 7:47 am on Fri, Jan 11, 2013.

    1voice Posts: 56

    Give your neighbor that cup of flour when they ask to borrow it. They'll return favor some day by selling you a couple of eggs at organically grown prices.

    I watched the meeting and this article is misleading. Not one person on the school board is talking about a $655,000 deal. They MAY take the maximum price depending on the appraisal of Brian Playfield. The original price is based on R-12 zoning but the city's use would be for parkland, not development, worth half. AND we "bought" it once in exchange for 10 acres for Lake City High School, then gave half backc to the school district so that Lakes Middle school could meet accrediation requirements - a kindness based on a good faith agreement. The School District pretty much looks sickening in this whole matter.

  • bionic man posted at 3:29 am on Fri, Jan 11, 2013.

    bionic man Posts: 347

    spend, spend, spend sandi

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