Monday, September 29, 2014

Building a healthier community one trail at a time

This section of trail recently opened adjacent to the Soccer Complex near Skyway Elementary School.

The city of Coeur d’Alene continues to make great strides toward expanding and improving its trail system with an energetic focus on connecting neighborhoods with schools, parks, business districts and downtown.

Recently, through a cooperative effort involving Greenstone Homes and the city’s parks and street departments, a new section of trail was built in northwestern Coeur d’Alene near Skyway Elementary School that connects neighborhoods in that rapidly growing part of the city to a vast and ever-expanding citywide trail network.

Further west, a new section of trail runs along Atlas Road south to Seltice Way and will soon extend east on Seltice Way and connect to both the Centennial Trail and Prairie Trail. It’s all part of the city’s commitment to building a healthy community, said Monte McCully, the city’s trail coordinator.

Currently, the city has reached the Bronze status as a biker friendly community as ranked by the League of American Bicyclists. Efforts are under way to attain Silver status, McCully said. Several factors will help the city move up to the next level, the League of American Bicyclists said in a report to Coeur d’Alene.

“Continue to expand the bike (trail) network and increase network connectivity through the use of different types of bike lanes, cycle tracks and shared lane arrows,” the association said, adding the city has excelled in several areas, including engineering, education and encouragement and has demonstrated “a sustained commitment to cycling.”

Another area of trail expansion that Coeur d’Alene has enjoyed success in recent years is building loop routes around the community to encourage recreational cycling. Such routes now exist around Riverstone, Ramsey Park, and the Kroc Center.

The city has until 2016 to apply for Silver status. McCully said there are several benefits of a great trail system.

“It can boost the economy by creating a community that is an attractive destination for new residents, tourists and businesses, while enhancing recreational opportunities, especially for children. It also positively contributes to the quality of life in the community,” McCully said.

Friday, September 26, 2014

City considers regulating mobile businesses

With the number of mobile food vendors on the rise in recent years, the city of Coeur d’Alene is considering an ordinance to regulate health and safety issues related to the popular businesses. If adopted, the ordinance would apply to all mobile concessions whether on public or private property. Currently, there are no city ordinances regulating mobile businesses on private property.

A public workshop will be held on Wednesday, October 1, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. to consider adopting laws. The meeting will be held in the Old Council Chambers at City Hall, 710 Mullan Avenue. For information, contact deputy city clerk Kathy Lewis at 769-2229.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Jewett House closure extended

Major renovations to Coeur d’Alene’s Jewett House are taking longer than expected due to labor associated with interior painting of the first floor. This has extended closure of the historic mansion by two weeks. The senior recreation center is now slated to re-open on October 13.

Cost of the renovations, made possible by an anonymous private donation, has not changed and are still $35,000.

The work also includes taking up the old carpet on the first floor, stairways and second story entryway and restoring the original wood flooring. Additionally, the circular driveway will be widened to accommodate handicap parking and emergency service vehicles.

Cd’A arts award winners announced

The city of Coeur d’Alene’s Arts Commission recently announced winners of the 19th Annual Mayor’s Awards in the Arts: 

EXCELLENCE IN THE ARTS:  Stephen Shortridge
ARTS IN EDUCATION:  Jeni Riplinger

“Excellence in the Arts” recognizes local artists who have made a significant contribution to the awareness of arts in Coeur d’Alene.  They are evaluated on their community participation, previous recognition received, and the quality and originality of their work.

“Support of the Arts” recognizes individuals or organizations based on the length of their commitment to the arts, the type of support they give (financial, volunteer services, etc.), and their overall involvement in the support of art in Coeur d’Alene.

“Arts in Education” recognizes individuals or organizations for their efforts to strengthen public arts education within School District 271. The award is given based on years of commitment to and advocacy for arts education.

Mayor Steve Widmyer will present the awards on Wednesday, October 8th, 6 p.m., at the Hagadone Event Center, 900 S. Floating Green Drive, just off Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive.

The Mayor’s Awards in the Arts are presented by the Coeur d’Alene Arts Commission and the City of Coeur d’Alene to recognize and encourage excellence in the arts and to stimulate and support awareness of the arts throughout the city.

For more information, contact Steve Anthony, Arts Commission liaison, at 769-2249.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Celebrate National Community Planning Month in October

Throughout October in Coeur d’Alene, local planners and staff will be hosting small events and displays to demonstrate how planning has impacted our city. Many people who do not work in the planning profession do not realize how much planning touches their lives.

From where you live to how you commute, planning plays a vital role in daily decision making.  Planners consider what the best policy is for the whole community—senior citizens, workers, children, disabled, business owners, and elected officials. Planners consider the immediate impacts of a decision, as well as the future potential impacts of a decision.

Planning focuses on more than building location, but also considers how decisions will impact the safety of the public and the existing character of the community, how it impacts the environmental balance, and if the decision encourages social and economic diversity.

Planning is comprehensive and community-focused. Planning enables greater choices for residents for how they live, work, and play. In addition, planning preserves and establishes different types of communities, giving residents the ability to select the type of community that suits them best.

The efforts made through planning help maintain neighborhood character through historic preservation and design guidelines; provide protection from natural disasters; preserves parks and open spaces; and helps offer housing affordability.  

The city of Coeur d’Alene is arranging several special events in October to recognize National Community Planning Month. These include a “What Makes a Place Great?” photo contest, an open house hosted by the city’s planning department and a neighborhood cycling tour. Additionally, the City Council will pass a resolution recognizing National Community Planning Month at its October 7 meeting.

Look for additional details on the city’s website and Facebook page soon.