Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Action Plan Proposed for CDBG Funds

The City of Coeur d’Alene is proposing its annual action plan for use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, as well as conducting a review of its first year’s performance, through a document referred to as CAPERS (Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report). The city anticipates receiving CDBG funds in the amount of $304,576.00 to be utilized April 1, 2009 through March 31, 2010. The draft Annual Action plan and CAPERS are available for review and comment for a period of 30 days, April 1-30, 2009. Documents are available on the city’s web page www.cdaid.org.

The city has scheduled a public meeting, to solicit input. That meeting will be held: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at noon, in the City Hall Council Chambers. Additionally, a public hearing has been scheduled at 6:00 p.m., April 21, 2009, Library Community Room, 701 Front Avenue, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814.

You are welcome to attend either meeting or both to provide written comments anytime during the public comment period April 1 through April 30, 2009. Written comments should be submitted to Renata McLeod, City Hall, 710 Mullan Avenue, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814.

Meetings will be held in a facility that is accessible to persons with disabilities. Special accommodation will be available upon request; requests need to be made five (5) days prior to the hearing. For more information, contact the City Clerk at (208) 769-2231.

Coeur d’Alene Celebrates 25 Years of Tree City USA Status

Coeur d’Alene has been named a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation. It is the 25th year Coeur d’Alene has received this national recognition.

Tree City USA recognition must be earned each year. To become a Tree City USA, a community must meet four standards: they must have a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program, and an Arbor Day observance.

The recognition is for tree planting and care accomplishments carried out in Coeur d’Alene during 2008. Over 1,180 public trees were planted last year, including trees planted at two new parks and within the Ramsey Road swales. Public tree activities also included pruning of trees, removal of dying or dangerous trees, irrigation costs, and providing public tree care information. The citizens of Coeur d’Alene expended nearly $11 per capita on public tree care in 2008, which includes funds from the city budget, grants, in-kind donations, special project funds, and investments by private property owners in street tree planting and care.

The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service. For more information about tree care, planting street trees, or volunteering for public tree planting projects, contact the city’s Urban Forester, Karen Haskew, at 769-2266. Please watch for news about our Arbor Day Celebration on April 25th!

Landings Park, Phase II Construction Bid Results

The bids for construction of Phase II of the Landings Park were opened this morning and resulted in the following base bids being submitted:

Small’s Construction $482,832.00

Hillside Landscape Construction $489,600.00

Ginno Construction $496,900.00

Polin & Young Construction $559,990.00

Schimmels Construction $615,000.00

Clearwater Summit $675,083.00

Landscape Architects Base Bid Estimate: $574,000.00

Staff will review the bids for responsiveness to bid specifications and will make their recommendation for awarding the bid to the City Council at their April 7, 2009 City Council Meeting.

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Home Repair Funds

The Finance Department has had a couple of inquiries regarding the article in Monday’s CDA Press regarding Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. These funds are available for emergency minor home repairs (e.g., roofs, windows, furnace repairs, etc.) to qualifying low to moderate income residents who reside in the City of Coeur d’Alene. The Federal grant funding for homeowners is being administered by personnel at the Panhandle Area Council (PAC). The contact person at PAC is:

Nelle Coler
11100 Airport Drive, Hayden
Phone number 772-0584 Extension 3012

Monday, March 30, 2009

C-SPAN Bus Visits CdA Library April 2nd

The C-SPAN Civics Bus is on the road for its new "100 Days, 100 Schools" tour and will be at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library on Thursday April 2 from 11am – 1:30 pm. To coincide with the first 100 days of the new presidential administration, the 45-foot mobile production studio and demonstration center is visiting schools and other community venues to share C-SPAN's education and civic resources with students, teachers, and civics-minded people across the country. Coeur d’Alene residents will be able to take tours of the bus at both locations.

Thursday, April 2
9:30am – 10:30am Time Warner Cable Office
2305 West Kathleen Avenue

11am – 1:30pm Coeur d’Alene Public Library
702 East Front

While in town, C-SPAN will also be conducting an interview with local resident, Bob Titsch, who was instrumental in creating the network in the mid-seventies.

Alley Trash and Recycling Services Resume April 6th

Waste Management of Idaho announced that trash and recycling services provided in alleys will resume in Coeur d’Alene beginning Monday, April 6th. Until that date, please continue to place your trash and recycling materials in front of your home on your service day.

Alley trash and recycling services were suspended last December after record, back-to-back snow storms made it impossible for Waste Management trucks to safely navigate in alleyways.

For additional information, please call 765-4968.

North Idaho POST Academy Starts April 6th

The North Idaho College Advisory Board, chaired by Chief Longo, met Thursday with Peace Officers Standards and Training(POST)and NIC to finalize last minute procedures for the first North Idaho POST Academy. The 13-week academy starts April 6th and has 20 students from departments throughout the five northern counties, including the Nez Perce and Coeur d’Alene Tribal Police Departments. This is the first of two “ trial” academy sessions.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mule Loaner Program Announced

Today the Coeur d’Alene Police Department received notice from Specialty Recreation & Marine of the approval from Kawasaki to participate in the Kawasaki Mule Loaner Program. At no cost to the City, the vehicle will be serviced and available to the Police Department on April 1st. It will be returned to Kawasaki after Labor Day. The cost of the vehicle to purchase would have been approximately $11,000.00. The loaner program is a large cost savings to the Police Department. Pictured: Volunteers Ron and Marian Catlin with the mule.

Like last years program, the intent is to train and assign members of the Police Department and volunteer staff to patrol the many miles of pedestrian/bike trails within the City of Coeur d’Alene. While used in this capacity the vehicle would allow staff to aid a pedestrian in many ways. It could be used to transport an injured jogger, an elderly person, a stranded bicyclist not to mention an overall Police Department presence and crime deterrent. The vehicle would also be used in conjunction with our many summer events that take place in the downtown/City Park area. During these events patrol officers would use the vehicle as needed for lost children, officer transportation, logistics concerns as well as a crime deterrent. The trail patrol program is expected to resume this year in mid-May.

Water Conservation News

The Water Department will be participating in the community garden to be developed at 10th and Foster. As a water conservation demonstration project, the utility will be funding the purchase of material for the irrigation system and some plants for the Xeriscape garden. Both will be examples of how homeowners can reduce their water consumption for yards and gardens. Water Superintendent Jim Markley will also be on the April 7th City Council agenda with Korrine Kreilkamp of the Kootenai Environmental Alliance (KEA) to make a presentation about this project and other ways the City and KEA are promoting conservation and wise water use.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Adirondack Community Trust – North America Sports Community Fund Awards $2,388 Grant to “Camp Allstars”

The Specialized Needs Recreation Program (SNR) has been awarded a grant for $2,388.00 from the Adirondack Community Trust – North America Sports Community Fund. The grant will be used for SNR’s Camp Allstars Program.

Camp Allstars provides school and after school programs, as well as programs during spring, summer, and winter vacation breaks. The camp is typically filled with six (6) hours of meaningful and memorable activities such as community outings, crafts, and games. The day camp is provided for youth ages 4-21 with special needs. (Go to www.cdaid.org and scroll down to "Announcements" for the rest of the story).

Spring Clean-up Marches Along!

Do you ever wonder what becomes of the debris that is left after winter snows, rains, and winds have battered the Inland Northwest for 5 months? With ice storms and other inclement weather patterns, we will use close to 1,000 tons of washed sand a year for traction and to mitigate slick roads. What becomes of this material is a tradition treasured by the city. It is what we call “Spring Clean-up.” Spring clean-up is a time to put away the plows, rake the yards, plant flowers, and wash away the winter blues.

For the Street Maintenance Department, this means clean-up crews are out in the wee hours of the morning, sweeping and washing the winter traction material away. These crews begin their days at 4:00 a.m., cleaning and washing arterials and major intersections free of sand and grit. This is a major task in itself and can take up to several months to complete. By cleaning this debris early in the spring, we assure ourselves of the air quality that we all enjoy. Spring cleanup offers us all a chance to look around and reflect on our clean, beautiful surroundings.

The City of Coeur d’Alene uses four sweepers to clean and scrub our roads. Two of these machines are air regenerative vacuum machines. Air regenerative means that they suck into the hopper the same amount of air that they blast onto the roadway. In theory this means they are virtually dust free and require little water. The two other machines are mechanical scrubbers. They scrub the street surface free of hard-packed debris. As we move forward into residential areas, machines will work in tandem along with a water truck to ensure that we have clean streets, free of branches and debris.

The water truck serves several purposes. It will pre-wet the debris on the streets, flush the street with a deluge of water to move material away from the center of the road, and clean centerlines so that we may put the finishing touches on spring striping. Spring striping is an annual event here in the Lake City. As the ambient air temperatures rise into the mid-50s, our striping crews will be out preparing to put a fresh coat of paint on our roads.

Crews will begin applying 1,500 gallons of paint and 4,000 pounds of reflective glass beads in late April as weather allows. This work is very tedious and takes a lot of concentration. If you watch the operation for any length of time, you’ll be able to see a lot of teamwork between the driver and the sprayer, which ensures the best job possible. Street crews will spray over 150 miles of traffic paint as well as bike paths.

Weather permitting, street striping will take 10-to-12 working days to complete. For your motoring safety, a traffic message board will run with the striper to warn you of wet paint. So follow along with us as the striping crew puts the finishing touches on spring!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

‘Connect With the World’ at Your Cd’A library

Activities Planned for National Library Week
You’ve heard of “speed dating.” The Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front Ave., is putting a new spin on the concept with “Book Club Express.” The library is making plans for activities for all ages during National Library Week, April 12-18.
“Book Club Express” is an opportunity for book lovers to get together during a gathering in the Community Room at the library, scheduled for April 13, at 6:30 p.m. People interested in forming or joining book clubs will meet briefly one-on-one (identified only by numbers at first) to discuss authors, titles or genres and will then meet with the next person. At the end of “express” session, refreshments will be served and groups with corresponding interests can meet to discuss organizing book clubs to meet at the library or elsewhere.

Come Build a Kite at Area Libraries

Three libraries in the Cooperative Information Network invite you to celebrate spring with kite-building sessions with local enthusiast Gary Kubodera.
The Post Falls Public Library, 821 N. Spokane St., will host Kubodera on Saturday, April 4, at 10:30 a.m. On Saturday, April 11, he will be at the Hayden Branch of the Kootenai-Shoshone Kootenai Libraries, 8385 N. Government Way, at 10:30 a.m., and at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front Ave., at 2 p.m.
The free programs are open to people of all ages. A special invitation is extended to all active-duty military personnel, veterans and their families.
For more information contact Kubodera at (208) 755-2011.

Audited Financial Statements

The City of Coeur d'Alene has posted its audited financial statements for the year ending September 30, 2008 to the city's web site. The Finance Department is sending this document to all the trustees, and reporting agencies as required by the Securities and Exchange Commission. There will be a presentation of the financial findings to Council at the April 21st meeting by CPA Toni Hackwith of Magnuson, McHugh & Company, PA.

Hiltenbrand Selected as Cd'A Fire Department Employee of the Year

Tom Hiltenbrand’s selection as Coeur d’Alene Fire Employee of the Year reflects the outstanding job he has done this year. In particular, this award recognizes that he has been an exemplary role model of customer service. The person nominating Tom for this award stated that ... "If one wanted to find the firefighter that most emulates the department's dedication to both internal and external customer service, Tom is the candidate." Tom is known for his smiling, positive attitude, hard work, and great compassionate customer service. He is an effective and efficient program manager, and his tasks are consistently completed ahead of schedule. He is always coming up with suggestions that make the department a better organization. Tom, like the others given this honor in the past, is the type of employee, who puts our city, its citizens, and CdA Fire first and ahead of all else.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Halvorson Earns Certification

Cd’A Fire Department Inspector Brian Halvorson has earned recognition as a Certified Fire Investigator (CFI) from the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI). Passing this rigorous certification process reflects many hours of effort on Brian’s part to study and prepare for this test. Brian is one of only 9 people in Idaho who have earned the CFI certificate and he joins an elite international cadre of fewer than 1,000 Certified Fire Investigators worldwide. Well done Inspector Halvorson!

Monday, March 23, 2009

City Launches Blog March 25th

After a presentation by Councilman Kennedy at the March 17th Council Meeting, Council members approved posting the “City of Coeur d’Alene Today” blog on the city’s website. The community is invited to visit this new communication tool Wednesday, March 25th, at www.cdaid.org. Just go to the main page, look for “New” and “City of Coeur d’Alene Today” and click.

Why did the city decide to launch a blog? Citizens need information and elected officials need to be responsive to that need. With newspapers downsizing and closing around the country, it’s important for the city to communicate directly to the citizenry as much and as often as possible.

Although several city departments have public information officers, the city doesn’t have one person solely dedicated to that function, so last fall, the Public Information Enhancement (PIE) Committee was formed to focus on getting more information to citizens directly and accurately. After reviewing communications vehicles already used by the city – CdA Channel 19, newspaper and other print media, television and radio – the question was asked – the committee sought ways to improve communications without adding the cost of additional staff.

One of the ideas was to enhance the website by adding a “Blog” for more immediacy. What is a Blog? It combines the words “Web” for Worldwide Web, and “Log” for a running journal, into BLOG. A Blog is different things to different people, but in this context, by and large, it’s a way to self-publish information and connect people to resources they need and want.

The City of Coeur d’Alene will use the blog to post routine information such as hearing schedules, bid reports, community events, and links to more information on timely topics. In emergency situations, the blog will be used to inform citizens about snow events/closures, Amber Alerts, and Police updates. The blog will include links to emails and phone numbers for staff, council members, and relevant city volunteers. Furthermore, rather than replace the city’s website, the blog will augment it with a link on the home page and links back to information and communications.

“Cities need to be responsive and creative in communicating with citizens and taxpayers. We’re hoping that this new city blog will give more access to diverse and detailed information to help citizens research the facts on what’s going on in their city,” said Councilman Mike Kennedy. "We’re excited to be able to give clear and straight information, unfiltered, directly to our constituents,” Kennedy concluded.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Specialized Needs Recreation Celebrates Open House March 24th

Specialized Needs Recreation (SNR), an award-winning program and sole provider of sports and recreational opportunities for disabled children in Kootenai County, is celebrating their first home with an Open House on Tuesday, March 24th, from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. Come to 1323 Sherman Avenue, Suite E, to see their facilities, meet staff and volunteers, and learn about all that SNR offers.

Specialized Needs Recreation was begun in 1997 by a group of concerned citizens and parents when state funding was no longer available to Coeur d’Alene’s Therapeutic Recreation Program. SNR initially offered recreational outings to 50 handicapped youngsters. The program now serves over 550 children and adults who suffer from head injuries, Down’s syndrome, autism, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, developmental disabilities, etc. – and offers them a chance to “just have fun.”

Instead of focusing on all they cannot do, they gain confidence through camping, doing crafts, swimming, playing baseball, sleeping in a tent, boating, fishing, hiking, cooking, and being with others in a non-threatening environment. The program has been so successful, in fact, that the Association of Idaho Cities gave SNR the coveted “Award for Excellence” for Camp Allstars in 2001.

In the past year, Specialized Needs Recreation offered opportunities to over 3,000 individuals in Kootenai County and was supported by 6,021 volunteer hours. In the last 12 years, SNR has made a commitment to a growing special needs population and the need for recreational activities for its special citizens.

If you have any questions about the open house, want to volunteer, or would like more information about SNR’s programs, please call Angie Goucher at 755-6781. Or visit us on our website at http://www.snr.bz/.

Governor, First Lady Visit Library

Gov. Butch Otter and First Lady Lori Otter try out the beaver lodge created by local artists Allen and Mary Dee Dodge for the Seagraves Children’s Library. The lodge, which is part of the wildlife mural created by the Dodges, provides a quiet reading area for young patrons visiting the library.
The Governor and First Lady in front of the Louise Shadduck Heritage Wall at the entrance to the Community Room. The wall honors the life of Shadduck who was the first woman to serve in a Cabinet position in Idaho as the Secretary of Commerce among other leadership positions. The author and historian was also Honorary Chairwoman for the library’s building campaign. The bust of Louise Shadduck was commissioned by longtime friends Bart and Pat Templeman and created by local sculptor Terry Lee. The wall, with photos from Shadduck’s life was created by S. Joseph Sharnetsky. Sponsorships, part of the Library Legacy program by the Coeur d’Alene Public Library Foundation, are still available. Contact Foundation Executive Director Ruth Pratt at 208/769-2380 for information.

Caring for Street Trees

Community trees may look like they are just standing there, but they are really hard at work. They provide many environmental benefits, such as turning carbon dioxide into oxygen, filtering airborne pollutants, and reducing stormwater loads. Some of their work is money-saving, like shading homes to reduce air conditioning costs, and shading streets to prolong the life of the pavement. Some of their work is to simply add to the beauty of the city. While they provide a wide range of benefits, trees do require some basic care. The city is able to provide information and assistance regarding the care of trees. However, it is the responsibility of every property owner to assist in the care of our city’s trees.

Trees perform at their best when they are healthy. Coeur d’ Alene’s Urban Forestry Ordinance sets tree care standards and gives guidelines for the care and maintenance of all public trees and shrubs. Public trees include those growing within the city rights-of-way (street trees), such as in the grassy area between the sidewalk and curb. If there is no sidewalk along your property, the planting area could be anywhere from 4 to over 20 feet back from the curb and any trees planted within that area may be considered public trees. Right-of-way widths vary from street to street. To determine whether a tree is growing within the public right-of-way, contact the city’s Urban Forestry section of the Parks Department.

The city does not have a tree crew, so relies on abutting property owners to assist in performing tree maintenance activities. Before working on street trees, a tree permit is required. The permit is free, but comes with valuable information on how to do the work in a way that enhances tree health and function. For instance, when planting trees it is important to match tree characteristics to the site. Only small-stature trees should be planted under power lines. Trees planted in street side stormwater swales must be tolerant of ‘wet feet’ and the impurities that wash off the streets. Coeur d’Alene’s approved street tree list outlines which trees can be used in such situations. A planting permit will also come with tree planting information.

Pruning is another tree care task that is needed. Street trees need to be pruned to provide clearance over the street and the sidewalk. Seven feet of clearance is needed over sidewalks, and 14 feet over streets. Trees must also be maintained so that they do not obstruct traffic signs and views of vehicles at intersections. Pruning permits come with information on proper pruning techniques, such as where to cut branches so that the tree can seal the wound and maintain healthy growth. “Topping,” “hat-racking,” “rounding over,” or “cutting back” are all harmful to the health and safety of trees, and are not acceptable practices to use on any tree.

Removal of public street trees is allowed only if the tree is in deteriorating condition, poses a hazard, or is causing a traffic or sidewalk problem. All requests for a tree removal permit are reviewed by the city’s Urban Forestry Committee.

Abutting property owners can choose to hire a city-licensed tree service to do necessary work on public trees. Through the licensing process, the tree service assures that they are familiar with city standards, have a certified arborist on staff, and are adequately insured. A list of city-licensed tree services is available, along with multiple resources and brochures on the care and maintenance of public trees, from the Urban Forestry division of the Parks Department. Stop by City Hall (710 E. Mullan Avenue) to pick them up; or check out the list of resources in the Urban Forestry section of the city’s web site at www.cdaid.org; or contact Karen Haskew, Urban Forestry Coordinator at 769-2266.

What's Happening At the Library


For complete details on activities and services at the Coeur d'Alene Public Library visit the website at www.cdalibrary.org. If you have questions write to us at info@cdalibrary.org or call 208/769-2315. More video updates on City of Coeur d'Alene services and complete recordings of City Council and other meetings can be seen on Cd'ATV - Cable Channel 19.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Public Hearings Scheduled

The City Council has scheduled two public hearings for the April 7, 2009 City Council meeting:

ZC-2-09 – A public hearing to consider a zone change for 2903 N. 4th Street from an R-12 (12 units/acre) to R-17 (17 units/acre) zoning.

A-7-08 – A public hearing to consider annexing the property at 1130 East Skyline Drive, into the city limits of Coeur d’Alene. The applicant is requesting a zoning of R-3 (3 units/acre). (This public hearing was continued from the March 17, 2009 City Council meeting.)

The City Council meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. on April 7, 2009 and will be held at the Library Community Room located at 802 Front Avenue. If you have questions regarding the upcoming public hearings, please contact John Stamsos at (208)769-2271 or e-mail Mr. Stamsos at jstamsos@cdaid.org.

Prescription Medication Turn-In Program Gains State Audience

The CdA Police Department, in conjunction with the Enough is Enough Committee, has earned much notoriety for its leadership in having a model prescription medication turn-in program. This program has been hugely successful and has resulted in garbage cans full of unneeded and expired medications. Initiated by Chief Longo, the program has gained much local attention, and most surrounding communities are following suit with programs of their own. Today, this program has gained state level-interest. Chief Longo has been invited to participate on a Boise State University panel(by teleconference)to share the CdA program with a statewide audience. This program promotes public safety by eliminating unnecessary drugs and helps protect the environment.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Library's Latest Digital Newsletter is Online

The latest edition of PageTurner, the digital newsletter for the Coeur d'Alene Public Library, has been uploaded to the library website http://www.cdalibrary.org/. The access, click on the photo at right or go to:http://www.cdalibrary.org/Info/PageTurner.pdf.

Anyone interested in receiving future notifications about the newsletter and other library news updates can receive them by sending an e-mail tot he library at info@cdalibrary.org.

Specialized Needs Recreation Presents Camp Allstars "Spring Break" Day Camp!

Specialized Needs Recreation (SNR) is holding Camp Allstars “Spring Break” Day Camp, March 30th through April 3rd, at SNR’s new location in Coeur d’Alene. The address is 1323 East Sherman, Suite E.

Camp is filled with 6 hours of meaningful and memorable activities such as community outings, crafts, and games. The day camp is provided to youth ages 4-21 that may have special needs and or developmental disabilities.

Specialized Needs Recreation also offers summer, winter, and spring break day camps as well as school days off throughout the year and after school programs. If you would like more information about Camp All-Stars, would like to register or volunteer, please call Angie Goucher at 755-6781. Visit us online at www.snr.bz.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Make the move to Spring Reading Programs

Cd’A library has activities for children and teens
“Let’s Move” is the theme for Spring Reading Programs at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front Ave., designed to get youth out of the house and active as the weather begins to warm.
Spring programs also overlap National Library Week, April 12-18, with youth activities included.The reading programs are free and most do not require preregistration. Programs include stories, songs, poems, motion activities and a craft. READ MORE Reading Programs

Alley Garbage Pick-Up to Resume

Trash and recyling service in the alleys will resume on Monday, April 6th. In the meantime, please continue to place your trash and recycling materials in front of your home on your service day.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Downtown Association Shows Appreciation

An appreciation breakfast at the Iron Horse was sponsored Thursday by the Downtown Association, who invited all Street Maintenance Department personnel to show them their appreciation for the crew's tireless efforts to deal with another record-breaking winter. The Street Department was presented a plaque and there was much praise given to Tim Martin and his staff for their willingness to listen and involve the Downtown Association in everything from snow removal and street maintenance to special event planning. We are grateful that these extra efforts in dealing with the challenges of this extraordinary winter were recognized.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Celebrating Community Service

With Police Chief Wayne Longo is Tammy Rubino, Executive Director of Kootenai Alliance for Families and Children. Recently, Chief Longo was awarded the Patricia Kempthorne Community Service Award in Boise. 
Chief Longo was nominated for this award by the Kootenai Alliance in conjunction with our Regional Advisory Committee for his work in the area of substance abuse prevention.  In lieu of RAC members traveling to Boise, they held an separate award ceremony locally on March 12th to honor his efforts. 

Writers Competition lets you share your talent

Do you have a short story begging to be put on paper? Is there an unpublished how-to article lingering in your word processor? Entry forms are now available for the 21st annual Writers Competition at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library.
Forms can be picked up at the library or can be received by mail by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Writers Competition, Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front Ave., Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814-4012. The forms can also be downloaded at: http://www.cdalibrary.org/Events/FORM-WritersCompetition.pdf. Be sure to download both pages – the entry forms and the rules.
The deadline for entries is March 31. Entries mailed to the library should be postmarked no later than March 28, 2009.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bid Results - WWTP Phase 5A

Today, the city received bids for the Wastewater Treatment Plant Phase 5A – Ammonia Reduction Improvement Project:

Shannon Industrial Construction $194,706.00
TML Construction $249,050.00
General Industries $274,666.00
RSCI $324,505.00

Staff will review the bids for responsiveness to the specifications and will be making their recommendation to the City Council for awarding the bid at the March 17,2009 City Council meeting.

Snow and Ice Drive Winter Storm Accidents

The late winter storm kept patrol busy last night and early this morning. The Swing/Power shift reported 34 accidents in the 2.5 hours between 4:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. - one crash about every 4.4 minutes. Fortunately we did not have any serious injury crashes.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bus Bench Prototype Available to View

The “Benches for Bus Stops” initiative was presented to the City Council on February 3, 2009. It was pointed out that Citylink ridership continues to grow significantly and that Citylink riders have expressed interest in the installation of benches at certain key bus stops as an amenity while they are waiting to catch a bus. A community service club (Craig Wilcox/Idaho Panhandle Kiwanis & Public Transportation Roundtable) has been working with the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, Citylink, Spokane Regional Transit Council/Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization (KMPO), City of Post Falls, and the Disability Action Center Northwest on this initiative with the goal of raising funds to have simple, sturdy benches placed initially at priority bus stop locations. The prototype bench is available for viewing in the upstairs lobby of the library.

Sunshine Meadows Featured in National Magazine

Our playground at Sunshine Meadows was featured in a national publication called "The Playground Magazine" in its Winter 2008/09 issue. The feature highlights three components of Successful Safety Programs: Duty of Care, Standard of Care, and Best Practices. To see more, log onto their site: www.playgroundmag.com.

Warrior Olympics in Coeur d'Alene this September?

I met with the Idaho National Guard this morning to review a proposal to stage the 2009 Warrior Olympics in Coeur d’Alene. The event includes agility tests, running, weapons disassembly and reassembly, medical evaluation for shock,suspected fractures, and MEDEVAC. They also will identify vehicle faults as part of the program, then ID the faults and make repairs to the vehicles. The soldiers will likely use some Forest Service property on Canfield to conduct a land navigation test.

Another part of the Warrior Olympics will have the soldiers do a log carry, and move sandbags for one kilometer, followed by a six-mile run/march with 40-pound packs. The community is invited to watch. The National Guard will have an obstacle course, face painting, and a climbing wall that the public can use. Weapons, equipment, and vehicles will be on display for the public to view. The last Warrior Olympics was held in Lewiston and their Mayor opened the ceremony. About 400 soldiers and their families are expected to be at the Warrior Olympics plus spectators from throughout the community. They also inquired about landing an Apache Helicopter; I think we can do that at McEuen.

The event is targeted for September 11th and 12th and would be staged at the City Park other than the helicopter and the land navigation. As we continue to make plans with the National Guard, I will invite them to one of sub-committee meetings for a presentation.

Monday, March 9, 2009

2nd Citizen's Academy Starts April 15th

The Coeur d’Alene Police Department will start its second multi-agency Citizen’s Academy on April 15th. They will be seeking citizens who want to learn about their Police Department. More information will be available soon, but if you'd like to learn more about the department's Citizen's Academies, contact the department at 769-3321.

CdA Hosts Town Hall Meeting March 14th

Legislators to Discuss Legislative Session

Coeur d’Alene will be hosting a Town Hall Meeting this Saturday, March 14th, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., in the Public Library’s Community Room, 702 E. Front Avenue.

Senator John Goedde, Senator Jim Hammond, and Representative George Sayler will be available to talk about and answer questions regarding this year’s legislative session. Other legislators have been invited as well. Everyone is welcome and the event will be broadcast on CdA TV Channel 19. For more information, please call 769-2204.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Cemetery Fence Update

You might recall that when the cemetery fence along Government Way was installed last fall, it was installed incorrectly. We required that the fence pickets be a minimum of two inches above grade. Most of the fence pickets were installed below grade, creating a persistent problem for us. The fence company acknowledged the mistake and said they would remove the fence and re-install it per our specifications. Winter came with more snow than anyone had expected and the work could not be completed in 2008. The cold weather added to the problem and the fence stood as it was throughout the winter.

Now that things are loosening up a little with the warmer weather, the fence company is back on site and correcting the installation problem. They will be removing the fence entirely along Government Way and re-installing. The fence on Lincoln Way was installed correctly originally. If anyone has any questions, just give me, Doug Eastwood, a call at 769-2252.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Upcoming Public Hearings

The City Council at their March 17, 2009 meeting will hold public hearings on the following items:

ZC-1-09 Requested zone change at the southwest corner of Highway US-95 and Hanley Avenue. The request is for a change in zoning from R-8 (residential at 8 units/acre) to C-17 (commercial).

A-7-08 Request is for annexation into the City with a zoning of R-3 (residential at 3 units per acre) for the property located at 1130 E. Skyline Drive

City Council meetings begin at 6:00 p.m. and are held on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month. The meetings are also televised on CDA TV, Cable Channel 19.

Testing the Waters

How would you like to serve your city – and not have to lift a finger? If you are a City of Coeur d’Alene water customer (business or residential), “you” just might qualify as a candidate for being a water quality sampling site.

The city’s Water Department is in the process of validating its sample locations, and is looking for 50 to 60 customers who will let trained, Water Department staff take monthly water quality samples at their residences or businesses. Ideal sample points would be outside faucets without vacuum breakers. Clear access to the faucet or sample site would also be needed.

The Water Department is required to take 42 coliform bacteria samples per month from around the city’s system. Water Department personnel take samples at the most distant points where chlorine residuals are their lowest as well as throughout the rest of the system. The goal of the program is to ensure that our customers enjoy excellent water quality throughout the entire system. The testing has been done for years and occasionally the city needs to re-validate its testing sites. Once chosen, sample sites are subject to review and approval by the Department of Environmental Quality.

Dion Holton, new supervisor with the Water Department and former utility worker, is in charge of water quality and pumping. “This is a great way for you to help your city and a good way to know that the water in your neighborhood is bacteria free,” said Mr. Holton. Test results will be posted on the city website (http://www.cdaid.org/).

If you would be willing to have your home or business considered as a sample site, or know someone on city water who would be willing to let the Water Department take a coliform sample, please email Dion at dholton@cdaid.org or call him at 769-2210 to make arrangements and/or to receive more information.

Urban Land Institute

This is a great group whose publications and presentations the city has benefited from. This is also a place to test the logo and linkage for the blog.
Here is their website: http://www.uli.org/

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Wal-Mart grant will aid library's young adult programs

The Coeur d’Alene Public Library will receive a $7,000 grant from Wal-Mart to be used to enhance programs for tweens and teens.
According to Library Director Bette Ammon the grant was through Wal-Mart’s “Strengthening Services for Youth” program distributed through the Idaho Commission for Libraries.“This generous and timely Wal-Mart grant will allow us to purchase equipment and software to host electronic gaming programs for teens and tweens,” she said. “We’d also like to develop some inter-generational programming with teens mentoring parents and grandparents on 21st century gaming.”

Monday, March 2, 2009

Street Tree Planting Project Announced

The City of Coeur d’Alene has announced the availability of free street trees for seven new subdivisions. The trees are available for planting within the rights-of-way of Sunshine Meadows, The Landings at Waterford, Ramsey Meadows, Copper Ridge, Jae’s Place, Echo Glenn, and Prospector Ridge. Homeowners or residents in these subdivisions who are willing to provide care for street trees can contact the Urban Forestry division of the Coeur d’Alene Parks Department to sign up for a tree. There are a limited number of trees and they will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Funding for the trees has come from a street tree fee collected on residential building permits. The residential street tree fees can be refunded to builders or new homeowners who plant a street tree upon completion of a new home. Six months after the completion of a home, unclaimed funds are forfeited to the City. The City is now using these forfeited funds to purchase and plant trees in the same neighborhoods where the fees originated.

Of course, the owners of the homes whose building permit fees were forfeited are the first choice for using these funds. The city has already contacted them regarding the planting program. However, there are still a limited number of trees unclaimed. These street trees are being offered to any home in these same neighborhoods. The only qualification is that there is someone willing to make sure the trees are watered and protected from string trimmers and mowers.

The tree species still available for spring planting are honeylocust, white ash, and black tupelo. The trees will be planted by contract tree planting crews in May. Since there are a limited number of trees, interested homeowners are encouraged to reply as soon as possible. A response form is available on the city web site at www.cdaid.org, or send an e-mail to karenh@cdaid.org, or call Urban Forestry at 769-2266 or 415-0415.