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Delayed marina edges toward opening

Harry Green is the developer of  Post Falls Landing.  
 (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Harry Green is the developer of Post Falls Landing. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

POST FALLS – A 142-slip marina at Post Falls Landing is slated to open any day, said developer Harry Green. Moored there will be a new $75,000 Kootenai County Fire and Rescue boat paid for by the development.

The marina’s opening was delayed last summer by a stop-work order from the Idaho Department of Lands that required additional safety equipment. All that equipment has since been installed and Green said the marina will be the focal point for both Post Falls Landing residents and other boaters, especially after the retail portion of the project is completed.

So far just two condominium buildings have been constructed at the mixed-use development.

Green has sold 38 of the 40 existing condos and has already secured commitments for 12 of the 20 condos in the project’s third building. Construction on that building is set to begin as soon as the weather warms up, he said.

Also on tap this year is a start to a parking garage and fourth condo building behind the two existing 20-unit condo structures.

There’s no specific timeline for retail and commercial phases of the project.

The former Louisiana Pacific mill site sits on prime Post Falls real estate, and Green said he kept his eye on it for years, just waiting for the opportunity to buy it.

Wilcox dairy holds job fair

CHENEY – Wilcox Family Farms held a job fair recently to help 47 employees who will be laid off when the business closes.

The decision to close the Cheney milk processing plant came after Wilcox Family Farms announced it would close its Roy, Wash., facility and expand its organic and cage-free egg product lines. Initially, the company said there were no plans to shut down the Cheney operation.

The milk processing plant has been in Cheney since 1997 and produces more than 230,000 gallons of milk a week.

Linda Thomas, an outplacement consultant, said the company has been in business for three generations, and the owners think it is important to help employees. One of the ways they did that was the job fair.

Thomas said she called employers around the area who agreed to talk about job opportunities. Employees also have access to computers to check the Internet for jobs or apply online. Thomas said she is offering tips on salary negotiations and will help workers write or update resumes.

“At least 15 of them have offers they could accept or not accept,” Thomas said. She said workers were offered incentive packages to stay through April 30 when the plant closes.

City employee’s wife among plan supporters

Some of the most enthusiastic support for Spokane Valley’s proposed Sprague-Appleway Revitalization Plan at a March 13 public hearing came from the wife of a city employee.

No one pointed out that relationship when Anngela Wakan addressed the city Planning Commission.

“I really like the plan,” Wakan testified. “As part of the young working class, this is something that would bring our family to Spokane Valley.”

At the back of the auditorium, her husband, Duane Wakan, was working on a three-dimensional computer graphic he prepared as an intern in the Spokane Valley Planning Division.

Duane Wakan said he was so busy he missed most of his wife’s testimony, but she had told him she wanted to comment and he told her to “go ahead.”

“I think I had a right to express my own personal opinion,” Anngela Wakan said.

Senior Planner Scott Kuhta, manager of the revitalization plan, and Community Services Director Kathy McClung agreed that anyone is entitled to speak.

Splash pad postponed

Spokane parks officials are giving up on a proposal to complete a splash pad at Manito Park this year but hope to get the project built in 2009.

A problem with subsurface rock has slowed a consultant’s effort to find a good location for the play feature, being financed through a $42.9 million bond issue approved last year.

Much of the land at Manito has bedrock so close to the surface that excavation for pipes and utilities will be difficult, said Nancy Goodspeed, parks spokeswoman.

Work on five splash pads is expected this year, at Thornton Murphy, Coeur d’Alene, Chief Garry, Friendship and Audubon parks.

– Mike Prager