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Posts tagged: LCDC

Gookin, Patzer Spar RE: ‘Land Mines’

In a delightful give-and-take, Lake City Development Corporation board member Dave Patzer rebuffs Councilman Dan Gookin, who'd asked about future troubles the urban renewal agency might face. (Video provided by Coeur d'Alene TV Channel 19, per request of Huckleberries Online)

Thoughts?

LCDC, Council Ponder ‘4 Corners’

It’s the core of Coeur d’Alene, and city officials are trying to figure out what to do with it. The so-called “4 corners” area is where Northwest Boulevard runs into Sherman Avenue downtown at the intersection of Government Way and Mullan Avenue.  Crews tore down a warehouse in the area last year, paving the way for new development. Now … what to do? During a joint meeting between the LCDC and City Council on Thursday, officials discussed options ranging from leaving it as green space, to developing townhouses, or dormitory housing for nearby college students. The field is wide open, officials agreed, and will involve input from the city, urban renewal agency, North Idaho College, the county and Fort Grounds residents.

What would you like to see done with the 4 corners area?

Looking For Parking In All The Places

From Lake City Development Corporation board meeting minutes from Wednesday:

Also during its regular monthly board meeting, Coeur d’Alene Downtown Association Manager Terry Cooper reported that a parking plan is in place to alleviate inconveniences imposed by the McEuen Park upgrade project. A free shuttle bus service from the Memorial Field area to the downtown is under evaluation, and other downtown lots managed by Diamond Parking will be open for public parking to accommodate for lost parking during construction. Cooper said notices will be provided to downtown business owners and visitors.

Question: Can anyone imagine the downtown parking mess we're going to have this summer?

McEuen Field Resumes Starts Monday

From Lake City Development Corporation Facebook page: “Here it comes! Crews will begin moving in equipment and construction fence lines on Monday as work gets under way for the 2013 McEuen Field project. This will be a whirlwind transformation with noticeable changes happening fast. For regular updates, check out our Facebook page. We'll also take an in-depth look at the project in our March LCDC newsletter. If you're not a subscriber, simply click on “join email list” on our homepage at lcdc.org.”

Question (from LCDC Facebook page): What excites you most about the McEuen project? Randy?

McEuen: Fall Work About To Conclude

From Keith Erickson, spokesman for Lake City Development Corp:

Work on the 2012 McEuen Park project will wrap up by mid-November with crews expected to pave the southern entrance to the new City Hall parking lot at 8th Street and Young Avenue early next week. Both new City Hall lots will be open to the public by Nov. 16, although finishing touches on the parking areas may impose minor inconveniences over the next several weeks. The upgraded parking lots will accommodate 186 vehicles and 26 boat trailer spots. Crews are hoping to hydroseed the parking lot islands this fall. Next spring, 43 trees and 235 bushes will be planted within those areas. Meantime, gravel has been laid on the new trail along the base of Tubbs Hill. Soggy fall conditions have postponed paving until next spring. Though work will soon be shutting down for the season, crews plan to install light poles in the City Hall lots and construct a retaining wall along Young Avenue west of 8th Street over the winter. Construction will resume next spring and focus on redevelopment of the park. (Remember: You can see up-to-date photos of McEuen Field work by clicking on LCDC tile in upper lefthand rail of Huckleberries)

Question: What is your impression of initial work on McEuen Field upgrade?

Crews Remove City Hall Parking Lot

Spokesman Keith Erickson for Lake City Development Corporation reports on latest development in McEuen Field upgrade:

As expected, crews today finished removal of asphalt from the City Hall parking lot and will soon begin hauling in base rock for that lot, as well as the new East Lot under construction adjacent to City Hall. Meantime, Team McEuen engineer Phil Boyd said Friday that when complete, the McEuen Park upgrade will include parking for 45 boat trailers; 23 in the new East Lot, 19 in the parking facility and three handicapped spots near the launch. The project remains on schedule and Boyd does not anticipate looming rain to hamper efforts.

  • Remember: You can see latest Webcam photos of McEuen Field work by clicking on LCDC button in upper lefthand rail of Huckleberries.

McEuen: City Hall Lot Work To Begin

McEuen Construction Parking Plan (in green area) from November to March 2013 (493 total car space, 34 total boat spaces)

From Lake City Development Corp. spokesman Keith Erickson: Earthwork on the Third Street parking lot is complete, with the removal of 25,000 cubic yards of soil (lowering the level by 12 feet). The dirt was hauled eastward to what will become the new parking lot south of City Hall. Demolition of the present City Hall parking lot will begin today or tomorrow. Work there will create 14 new parking spaces and improve lighting and landscaping. Officials plan to keep the city utility payment drop box at the new location on 8th street, adjacent to City Hall. Meantime, officials continue to evaluate temporary parking plans to accommodate motorists during construction (see conceptual drawing). Authorities are working with local businesses and the Coeur d’Alene Downtown Association to ensure adequate parking alternatives are provided. “Work is on schedule and we have enjoyed very suitable working conditions so far,” said Phil Boyd of Welch-Comer Engineers.

McEuen Field Work Ahead Of Schedule

Lake City Development Corporation spokesman Keith Erickson provides this update on McEuen Field work:

Beautiful early autumn weather and good soil conditions have combined to put crews ahead of schedule on the first stage of the McEuen Park upgrade. Crews are currently excavating soil from the Third Street parking lot and hauling it to a site south of City Hall, where a new lot will provide parking for 179 vehicles and 23 boat/vehicle slots. “We’re slightly ahead of schedule,” Welch-Comer Engineers President Phillip Boyd said Tuesday afternoon. Soil taken from the “borrow site” at the Third Street lot is “sufficiently compactable,” expediting construction of the City Hall parking lot, Boyd said. Meantime, the City Hall parking lot off 8th Street is closed, but the utility drop box in that area is still accessible on the east side of 8th Street. While the good weather holds out, crews are working 10-hour shifts six days a week. Look for regular updates on the city’s blog site.

Question: Have you taken time to view work on McEuen Field?

LCDC Budgets $12M For McEuen Work

Lake City Development Corp. expects to spend $18.6 million in 2013, triple the amount it did two years ago, in large part due to the urban renewal agency's commitment to fund a big chunk of the McEuen Field redevelopment project. The draft budget pencils in drawing $12 million from the $16.75 million line of credit the agency has with Washington Trust Bank to pay for upgrades to the downtown park's redesign - a project set to begin this month and one of the major reasons LCDC was formed in 1997. The agency estimates it will pay the bank back around $2 million off that borrowed sum in the fiscal year. “This is a conservative budgeting approach,” LCDC director Tony Berns wrote in a summary of the proposed budget, which is up for adoption today. “Given that the taxing entities … will most likely increase the levy rates to offset the valuation decreases for 2011, which will result in higher tax increment revenues”/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Kathy Plonka 2011 SR file photo of girls playing extreme Frisbee on McEuen Field)

Question: Are you ready to break ground on McEuen Field?

LCDC Unveils Online Newsletter

As part of its continuing commitment to maximize public awareness of the community projects it is involved with, the Lake City Development Corporation has launched a monthly newsletter. This online publication will highlight various LCDC projects, include comments from stakeholders and interested citizens, and offer photos and facts that help define our mission to promote economic vitality. The LCDC will post a link to the newsletter on our website at lcdc.org and on our Facebook page. A link to the Facebook page can be found on our website. Within the newsletter, there is a link for citizens to sign up and be included on the mailing list to receive the newsletter via email/Keith Erickson, Lake City Development Corp. And: 1st newsletter here.

DFO: I've always thought that one of the problems with LCDC is that it didn't do a good job of publicizing all the good things it has done for the community. Rather, it allowed the naysayers to pick them apart and gain political clout.

Question: What do you think of the first LCDC newsletter?

Midtown Construction Update Set

The transformation of midtown continues with the proposed 2012 construction of a mix-use retail and housing development along the Coeur d'Alene corridor. The Housing Company, developer of the proposed project, will provide an update to midtown stakeholders and the general public March 14 at 6 p.m. at the American Legion, 754 N. 4th Street, across from the site. In its continuing midtown revitalization efforts, the Lake City Development Corporation plans to partner with the Idaho Housing and Finance Association and The Housing Company for the mix-use development to promote the business environment in the sector and facilitate development of new workforce housing. The proposed project will include 9,000-square-feet of commercial space on the street level and 45 workforce residential rental units on three floors above/Keith Erickson for Lake City Development Corp.

Question: Do you support ongoing efforts to redevelopment Coeur d'Alene's Midtown area?

LCDC OKs $11.5M For McEuen Work

Lake City Development Corp. agreed Wednesday to allocate $11.5 million to the city of Coeur d'Alene to pay for Phase 1 of the McEuen Field project. But before anything can be cashed in, the urban renewal agency said it wants to add contingencies to the financial pledge to ensure LCDC is involved in the process as the park design moves forward. “I understand this is a concept and I support it,” said Brad Jordan, board member, on the downtown park's redevelopment plan moving forward. “But it's LCDC funding so we have to have some control over it.” The board didn't name what those contingencies would be/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
 

Question: Do you support both LCDC moves — pledging $11.5 million for McEuen Field work and hiring a PR person?

Edit: LCDC Perfect For McEuen Work

When the board of Coeur d'Alene's urban renewal agency meets this afternoon, a big step in creating McEuen Park should be taken. Lake City Development Corp. has been asked by the City Council to be a major funding arm for improvements to McEuen Field. In one of the most divisive, hotly debated civic issues in recent years, the council recently voted to move ahead with plans to improve the park without inviting citizens to participate in a nonbinding advisory vote. … We respectfully remind city officials, the LCDC board and citizens that the urban renewal agency was created 15 years ago for the specific purpose of generating dollars to renovate McEuen Field. Despite simmering recent sentiments suggesting that LCDC dollars would be an inappropriate investment for the park, local history is replete with evidence that it constitutes the very most appropriate investment for the park/Mike Patrick, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Kathy Plonka SR file photo: Eleven-year-old Erika Boifeuillet (cq), left, Lauren Trueblood, 11, center and Alex Boifeuillet, 13, battle for the Frisbee at McEuen Field in August 2011)

Question: Do you agree with the Coeur d'Alene Press that improvements to McEuen Field is a perfect place to put LCDC money?

CdA To Ask LCDC For McEuen $$$

The city of Coeur d'Alene's Parks Department is expected to request financial support Wednesday from Lake City Development Corp. for the McEuen Park redevelopment project. Parks Director Doug Eastwood and Team McEuen are scheduled to make a presentation on the downtown park project and request financial support before the urban renewal agency at 4 p.m. in the Community Room of the Coeur d'Alene Public Library, LCDC director Tony Berns said. The urban renewal agency has long been identified as a likely financial supporter for the project, though a formal request has yet to come. In June, the agency borrowed $16.75 million, $11.7 million of which it could use to fund projects inside the Lake District, the boundary in which McEuen Field sits/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo: Kathy Plonka)

Question: Do you see anything wrong with LCDC pumping up to $11.7 million into McEuen Field upgrades?

Adams Targets LCDC From Get-Go

Item: Urban renewal options: Incoming city council members ponder what to do with Lake City Development Corp/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Steve Adams says he could explore one legal avenue to shut down the city’s urban renewal board. The city council-elect, set to take his seat in January, said in interviews he could make a motion to disband Lake City Development Corp., the city’s urban renewal agency, and have the council fill its shoes — a legally possible route. While urban renewal law allows cities to take over their urban renewal boards, Adams said he realizes the motion doesn’t have much of a chance of getting off the ground, at least not in the immediate future. … Yet Dan Gookin, the other council-elect who campaigned on urban renewal oversight, called disbanding the board a “doomsday” option.

Question: Do you think the state's urban renewal law is unconstitutional, as Adams does?

Sims Upset w/LCDC Rent Income

According to records obtained by IdahoReporter.com, the Lake City Development Corporation (LCDC), Coeur d’Alene’s urban renewal agency, is bringing in more than $14,000 each month in rental income from residential and commercial properties it owns. One LCDC official says the practice is common, but an area state lawmaker (state Rep. Kathy Sims, R-CdA, of course) wants the agency to sell the properties immediately. Tony Berns, LCDC director, wrote in a letter to IdahoReporter.com that his agency is holding onto the properties because it has strategic plans for the land on which the houses and businesses sit. “As practiced across the country, one of the key tenets of urban renewal/redevelopment is the acquisition of and assemblage of real estate located in key strategic areas identified for future public/private redevelopment purposes,” Berns wrote/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here. (Idaho Reporter photo: LCDC owns several rental properties along Park Drive, near NIC)

Question: Are you surprised that Rep. Sims is bedeviling LCDC re: earning rental income from residential & commercial properties it owns? Seems to me that the agency is acting responsibly.

Gookin: Of Course CdA Owns Library

Well, of course, the City owned the Library all along. That’s not the issue. The issue is, once again, the reactive approach by highly-paid city staff to a long-standing issue during an election campaign. It’s becoming predictable. In today’s Press, an article states that the City owns the Library. For whatever reason, the County Assessor has listed the Library as an asset of the LCDC. It’s been listed that way since the Library was constructed over four years ago. City Administrator Wendy Gabirel took it upon herself to “correct” the situation. According to the article, she directed Finance Director Troy Tymesen to contact the County and have them re-classify the Library as a City asset. Having the county make that adjustment is okay because the City does own the Library, but I have a question: Why did it take one of the City’s highest paid officials so long to recognize such an obvious mistake?/Dan Gookin, Dan Gookin Campaign Blog. More here.

Question: What to you think of the point Dan Gookin makes here?

Gookin LCDC Isn’t Tax Neutral

One of the dividing lines for candidates in this election is the LCDC. There are lots of details, but the big issue is whether the LCDC raises your property taxes. Based my understanding of the law and six years research into the topic, the answer is an unqualified yes. The status-quo crowd says that the LCDC is “property tax neutral.” And then they stop talking, as if those three words are some sort of mental novocaine. Ask yourself: Does saying something is “property tax neutral” really answer the question of whether or not urban renewal raises your property taxes? The phrase “property tax neutral” is attributed to Alan Dornfest/Dan Gookin. More from Gookin campaign blog here.

Question: Seems to me that someone needs to put a dollar figure re: just how much “extra” we're paying in taxes for LCDC. Also, for that amount, are we getting enough bang for the buck (library, Riverstone, education corridor, etc.). Finally, how much extra revenue are we going to get for the sponsored projects when LCDC reaches its end. Anyone?

Amateurish ‘Toon Rips McEuen Plans

On Friday, I published a comment re: an amateurish cartoon published in the Coeur d'Alene Press, sliming LCDC, city elected officials, and possibly the originator of the popular Mudgy & Millie children's book series, Susan Nipp. Seems a letter writer in today's Coeur d'Alene Press had the same reaction. You can read Kathleen Peterson's comments here.

Question: What do you think of the cartoon by “The Patriot 2011”? And/or: Is a fifth-grader a better artist that “The Patriot 2011”?

LCDC Will Have $11.7M To Invest

Item: Lake City board should have $11.7 million pot: Many public projects seeking agency funding/Alison Boggs, SR

More Info: The city of Coeur d’Alene’s urban renewal agency should have $11.7 million over the next 10 years to invest in public projects within its Lake District, according to a financial consultant’s report Wednesday. That means the board of the Lake City Development Corp. could have some tough decisions to make in coming weeks because the value of projects looking to the urban renewal agency for funding dwarfs that sum by many millions.

Question: Should most of the available LCDC money be invested in McEuen Field upgrades?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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