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COEUR d’ALENE - The Lake City Development Corp. has played a role in making the Kroc Center, McEuen Park and the Coeur d’Alene Public Library a reality.
Executive Tony Berns of LCDC responds to comments made by Councilman Dan Gookin earlier this month:
At the City’s June 6, 2013, strategic planning session, Councilman Gookin shared that a key strategy of his to address the City’s budgeting challenges would be to terminate the LCDC, thus resulting in more revenue to the City (link to his comments: http://youtu.be/h-oOmNDmq0). As you know Wendy, LCDC has two redevelopment districts; the Lake District which sunsets in 2021, and the River District which sunsets in 2027. Councilman Gookin shared that via his analysis, it would take about 3 years to “unwind the debt” of the LCDC, which he shared would then result in an additional $3 million/year of revenue for the City. There will not be $3 million in revenue per year to the City of CDA in three years by terminating the LCDC in 2014. The City will not experience a windfall of new revenue if the LCDC is terminated. Here is why: More here.
Question: Would it be foolish/wise to terminate LCDC in 2014?
Coeur d'Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem addresses small crowd on hand for the dedication of Phase 1B (infrastructure) of future Education Corridor Wednesday afternoon at Military & River, north of North Idaho College. The project was a cooperative effort between NIC and the Lake City Development Corporation. Ribbon-cutting photograph here.
Item: The road to opportunity: Second phase of Education Corridor opens/Tom Hasslinger, Press
JohnA: What a difference a week makes. From the division of the recall we have the unity of the city and NIC completing this great project. None of it could have happened without visionaries at each entity finding a way to make this happen. And, the best part is they make it look so easy, when in reality it is far from that, as I’m sure Christie can attest. I’m also pleased that DanG attended, giving action to his words that it is time to heal the rifts and get back to making Coeur d’Alene the greatest city in Idaho.
Question: I agree with JohnA. That was a good gesture by Councilman Dan Gookin to be present at the ribbon cutting for Phase 1B of the Education Corridor. Such steps are needed to bring healing to this community. Thoughts?
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.
At the Lake City Senior Center this week, Sharon Culbreth, state Sen. Kathy Sims, and Mary Souza line up to bash Lake City Development Corp.
Never one to fail to attack when she smells blood in the water, Bill McCrory of OpenCDA.com is crying for Tony Berns's head over his decision to deal with her and the Coeur d'Alene Press via email. (Side note: How would you like to get up every morning knowing Mary Souza was sticking pins in your voodoo doll in one quarter & Bill was spitting & spewing at his keyboard command post: "Me hatessss him"? Poor Tony Berns.) Bill believes the lack of public access is a firing offense. Reluctantly, HucksOnline agrees with her that it's a poor decision, even though the intent behind the decision is to put some distance between you and a relentless foe who can't be pleased. But Bill wants more than just Tony's head this fine morning: "The Executive Director and some Commissioners of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho’s urban renewal agency, the Lake City Development Corporation, appear to have enacted and then on more than one occasion followed an official policy which is contrary to the Idaho Code. They have engaged in a pattern and practice of unlawful conduct. They all need to be removed." You can read the rest of the spiel here.
At the candidates forum sponsored by the Coeur Group Tuesday night, Coeur d'Alene council candidate Steve Adams (pictured) claimed the Education Corridor project is experiencing cost overruns of $2 million to $3 million. HucksOnline asked North Idaho College about this claim. Here's the reply from executive Tony Berns of the Lake City Development Corp., responded under the heading "Mr. Adams is wrong in his statement." He emailed: "MDM's bid price of $3.69 million for Phase 1A came in under JUB Engineer's project cost estimate for Phase 1A of $5.1 million. So a great deal for the public. Currently, MDM is adhering to their budget. There will be some minor change orders to the original contract for project add-ons that NIC has requested (not big money, you can talk to Ron or Garry about those). Change orders are not project cost overruns; they are simply additional work items added to the contract agreed to by all parties."
Question: Should Adams publicly correct his error made in public?
Item: LCDC to set funding limit: Board to decide how much to spend on McEuen/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press
More Info: On Wednesday, Lake City Development Corp. will know how much money it could borrow to help fund the McEuen Field redevelopment project. While the urban renewal agency won't pinpoint during its monthly meeting the precise amount it could be willing to pay for the project, it will find out how much revenue its Lake District could generate before closing in 2021.
Question: Would you be more likely to support an overhaul of McEuen Field, if most of the money was provided through borrowing and direct grants from the Lake City Development Corp.?
The information contained in Mr. Hayes’ email today regarding estimated urban renewal tax increment receipts for the 2010 tax year are higher than the fiscal year 2011 LCDC district budget tax increment receipts adopted by the LCDC Board last August (please refer to 8/18/10 LCDC Board Minutes). Assuming everyone pays their taxes, Mr. Hayes’ documents show $3.9 million of estimated tax increment revenue for the LCDC Lake District ($3.1 million per FY2011 LCDC budget), and $1.7 million of estimated tax increment revenue for the LCDC River District ($1.4 million per FY2011 LCDC budget). The primary reason for the variance in Mr. Hayes’ values and the LCDC budget values is that LCDC has to use projected increment valuations and estimated taxing district levy rates when setting the budget in August of each year/Tony Berns, executive director/Lake City Development Corp. More here.
The Lake City Development Corporation will discuss a proposed contract with JUB Engineering to begin survey work for the proposed education corridor — roads, roundabouts, etc. Proponents of the contract would like to get the work finished before the snow season. The LCDC board will meet at 3:30 p.m. in the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce building to discuss the matter.
Overall, the urban renewal agency is anticipating a $5.4 million budget, with roughly $2 million of its expected expenditures geared to go to capital enhancements for a possible reconstruction project of McEuen Field and improvements to portions of the education corridor near the North Idaho College campus/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.
Question: Is $2M enough money to overhaul McEuen Field and begin improving Education Corridor?