A moving story

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LOREN BENOIT/Press This historic bungalow on Government Way, which Kootenai County purchased two years ago next to its downtown campus for future expansion, will be torn down after no bids were received to buy the structure and move it in its entirety.

COEUR d'ALENE — Kootenai County knocked to see if there were any takers wishing to move the entire historic home on its downtown property, but no one answered.

The county received no bids to buy and move the home, built in 1910, according to county officials.

The county purchased the home at 627 Government Way two years ago for $425,000 to create office space to relieve crammed departments.

Officials deemed remodeling the building cost-prohibitive. Nor was it large enough for office expansions and, now that no one stepped forward to move the home in its entirety, the county plans to seek bids to salvage portions and remove the rest from the site.

“It’s unfortunate that nobody wanted to buy it and move it,” said Shawn Riley, a facilities consultant for the county. “There was one interested party, but it’s just too wide.”

Riley said the county was mostly interested in the property for the land, which is at a premium on its growing downtown campus.

He added that the county isn’t in a hurry to have the 4,600-square-foot Victorian-style home removed, but this is the best time of the year to have it done.

The county is determining where to build first as part of its expansion plans. Needs include bringing the Public Defender's Office back to the campus so the county doesn't have to lease space. Also wanted: expanding justice services and other departments.

Robert Singletary, of the Museum of North Idaho, said the home, which is not on the National Register of Historic Places, was earlier occupied by Judge William McNaughton and Kootenai County Prosecutor William Hawkins. It was most recently occupied by the law offices of Brown, Justh and Romero.

"We are sorry it's not going to be preserved, but it also belongs to the county," Singletary said. "It's well within their right (to have it torn down)."

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