Commissioners Get Rocky Start By Reading ‘Wrong’ Gravel Draft


The county’s new leaders Wednesday tip-toed into one of their most contentious issues - gravel mining on the Rathdrum Prairie.

They still sparked controversy.

Commissioners Dick Compton and Dick Panabaker reviewed a draft agreement that outlines conditions Interstate Concrete must meet to expand its existing mining operations near U.S. Highway 95 and Boekel Road.

It was the first time either commissioner had seen the document.

But they reviewed the wrong agreement, say neighbors, who have bitterly fought the expansion for more than a year.

With the help of their attorney, Compton and Panabaker skimmed an earlier draft that doesn’t include many of the hard-fought changes that help the neighbors.

Since that draft was written, Interstate and previous commissioners have knocked heads over everything from the duration of the contract, hours of operation and air quality restrictions.

“If they don’t study the new draft, how will they know what they missed?” asked resident Kathy Gill.

The earlier draft is more favorable to Interstate, she said. In a Jan. 9 letter to the county, Interstate requested the county toss out the latest draft.

Commissioners say they will review everything before proceeding.

“A lot of people say ‘what are you going to do? Where do you stand?”’ Compton said. “I tell them we haven’t even looked at it yet.

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