Monday, August 30, 2010

Commercial Building Permits & the Project Review Process

The goal of the city’s Building Services Department is to provide excellent customer service by working with citizens and their design teams to ensure a timely construction start and successful project completion.

The Building Services Department provides commercial plan review to ensure that all municipal codes are met. Pre-existing buildings are reviewed for compliance with the adopted, existing Building Code, which assists owners, designers, and the department in achieving accepted levels of compliance for the protection of occupants, adjacent structures, and accessibility (in areas where full compliance with the Building Code for new construction may be difficult to attain).

In most instances, applying for a commercial building permit will trigger the scheduling of a Project Review, which is a free service offered to help applicants prepare a complete application submittal, may be scheduled at any time for most proposed projects, prior to a property purchase, or for tenant improvement. It also streamlines the Plan Review Process. The project review provides an opportunity to meet all city departments represented in the plan review process. Staff will review the submitted materials, provide written comments, provide an estimate of any projected fees, and identify issues or concerns that may exist which assist the owner with construction budgeting.

How do citizens schedule a Project Review? Once the project review application and checklist are completed, applicants turn them in with the site plan and proposed floor plan electronically as a Portable Document Format (PDF), on a disk, at the Customer Service Center. When the submittal has been accepted, a date will be set for the project review meeting, which gives staff five days to review it. Forms are available at

Topics of a Project Review – Among the requirements typically discussed in a Project Review meeting are: Building Code • Provisions for Persons with Disabilities (Accessibility) • Compliance review of sidewalks, approaches, etc., when the construction valuation exceeds $30,000 (for pre-existing buildings) • Fire Code • Water Service Backflow Protection • Water Connection & Hook-up Fees • Sewer Cap Fee & Rate Review (compared against preceding permitted activity) • Roadway and parking lot improvements • Sign permits • Stormwater and site drainage • Zoning Compliance-Use, parking, landscaping, and design guidelines • Impact Fees.

A Project Review is required prior to permit submittal for all commercial projects except when: (1) There is only painting, carpet, other decorative items that are not permanently attached to the walls, or non-fixed and moveable fixtures, cases, racks, counters, and interior walls not over 5 feet 9 inches in height; (2) There is no change in use, occupancy, or occupant load; or (3) There is no increase in a previously permitted restaurant’s seating.

Note: A building permit is required for: (1) A change in use or occupancy. This could apply to a new business moving into an existing building or space where no construction is proposed or required; (2) Non-Structural Work. This would include construction of fixed interior walls over 5 feet 9 inches in height, fixtures, cases, racks, bathroom remodels, tenant improvements, etc.

If you have ANY questions regarding whether or not a building permit is needed or about our processes, please contact the Building Services Department, Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., at (208) 769-2267, or visit our website at

Friday, August 27, 2010

ReTool at the Library for Computer Skills

Need to use a computer to apply for work or just to improve your communication skills? ReTool Box free help sessions are beginning at the Coeur d'Alene Public Library during September. Here's a video update of all the activities at the library produced by Jeff Crowe for CDA-TV. Cable Channel 19 provides live and recorded coverage of public meetings and other information of interest to the citizens of Coeur d'Alene, ID. For more about the library visit

Monday, August 23, 2010

Student Representatives Appointed to CdA Boards, Commissions, and Committees

At last Tuesday’s City Council Meeting, Student Representatives and Student Alternates were appointed (some reappointed) to Commissions, Boards, and Committees and approved by Council. The following students were selected to serve as representatives: Mitchell Shellman – Recreation and Parks Committee; Colton Robertson – Arts Commission; Sam Wagner – Urban Forestry Committee; Chelsee Longley – Childcare Commission; Jacob Garringer – Planning Commission; Kierstie Shellman – Pedestrian/Bicycle Advisory Committee; Brooke Fackenthall – Parking Commission; and Tiana Simmons – CDA-TV Committee.

Student Alternates approved for appointment are: Ben Woolley – Recreation and Parks Committee; Kaitey Mosgrove – Arts Commission; Nickolas Radobenko – Urban Forestry Committee; Jennifer Schuman – Childcare Commission; Jennifer Kiesewetter and Aubrey Neal – Planning Commission; Devan Karsann – Pedestrian/Bicycle Advisory Committee; Tangie Lyons – Parking Commission; and Alyssa Yarbrough – CDA-TV Committee. A student alternate, who is encouraged to attend all meetings of his or her respective committee, may vote in a student representative’s place if the student representative is absent.

In 2000, City Council members approved an ordinance that allowed high school students living in the boundaries of School District 271, between the ages of 14 and 18, to be members of various city committees. Full voting membership is given to students who wish to join the Recreation and Parks Commission, Urban Forestry Committee, Child Care Commission, Arts Commission, CDA-TV Committee, Pedestrian/Bicycle Advisory Committee, and Parking Commission. Students may serve as advisory members to the Planning Commission and the Sign Board.

The student representative and alternate who served last year on the Arts Commission, and alternates on this year’s Planning Commission, are being reappointed. Students who demonstrate an interest to continue serving on their respective committees may be considered for reappointment at the end of the school year.

“When young people serve their community, everybody wins,” said Mayor Sandi Bloem. “Our committees gain fresh ideas from young minds, the students learn about the many volunteers who make Coeur d’Alene a ‘City of Excellence,’ and we all have an opportunity to meet our next generation of leaders.”

A reception for Student Representatives and Student Alternates is planned for Thursday, September 9th, at 5:30 p.m., in the City Hall Council Chambers, 710 E. Mullan. At this reception, students will have the opportunity to meet with members of the various boards, commissions, and committees, and to learn more about their roles as representatives and alternates. For more information, please call Victoria Bruno at 769-2204.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Computer Workshops, Archaeology, Book Club, Oh My!

The unofficial end of summer may be getting close, but that doesn't mean the end of activities at the Coeur d'Alene Public Library. Here's a video update produced by Jeff Crowe for CDA-TV. Cable Channel 19 features live and recorded coverage of public meetings and other information of interest to the citizens of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. For more about the library visit

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Make a Birthday Card for Mudgy & Millie!

Mudgy the Moose and Millie the Mouse are almost one year older and area children are invited to join in the celebration by creating birthday cards for Coeur d’Alene’s favorite pair of hide-and-seekers.
Kids can create a card, and bring to the Seagraves Children’s Library at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library – 702 E. Front Ave. – by Friday, Sept. 10. The cards will be displayed during the “Mudgy & Millie Birthday Party” on Sunday, Sept. 12, beginning at 1 p.m. in the Community Room.
The celebration will include a group read of “Mudgy and Millie” led by author Susan Nipp; an appearance of the characters, birthday cake, and singing “Happy Birthday.” Copies of the book and other “Mudgy & Millie” items will be for sale.
The book was created by Nipp, in part, to benefit the Library Foundation. All royalties from sales of the book and of related products go to the foundation. The book was illustrated by Charles Reasoner, the illustrations were the basis for five “Mudgy & Millie” statues created by local artist Terry Lee.
The bronzes are placed along the “Mudgy Trail” winding from the base of Tubbs Hill, through downtown Coeur d’Alene and City Park, and ending at the lakefront. The statues and informational signs depict scene from the hide-and-seek game described in Nipp’s book.
Anyone who needs accommodation to participate in a library program is asked to contact the staff prior to the activity by calling 208/769-2315. For more information about the birthday party, contact the Library Foundation at 208/769-2380. More news and information about the library is available online at

Historic Cemetery Tour This Sunday

The Coeur d’Alene Public Library – in partnership with the City Parks Department – will lead a tour of the historic Forest Cemetery Sunday, Aug. 22, beginning at 10 a.m. at the cemetery.
The cemetery at 1011 Government Way was originally owned by the U.S. Army from 1878 to 1901, for use by Fort Sherman troops. The remains of about 100 soldiers and their families were moved to Ft. Wright near Spokane in 1901 when Ft. Sherman closed.
A proclamation by President Theodore Roosevelt deeded the original one-acre parcel and surrounding 19.7 acres to the City of Coeur d’Alene in 1905.
Forest Cemetery is the final resting place of Ed Pulaski, early day Forest Ranger and a hero of the Big Burn of 1910, and other historic local figures. At the gravesite, Forest Service historian Steve Coady will discuss Pulaski and the role of the Forest Service in responding to the great fire.
Sunday’s tour will last about an hour and will involve traversing grass and hilly areas in the cemetery. Parking in the cemetery will be limited and participants are encouraged to carpool, walk, or ride bikes to the site.
Anyone who needs accommodation to participate in a library program is asked to contact the staff prior to the activity by calling 208/769-2315. More news and information about the library is available online at News about the library and other city departments is also available on the City of Coeur d’Alene news blog:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

U.S. Census Gives CdA Outstanding Partner Award

The City of Coeur d’Alene received an award for being an outstanding partner with the U.S. Census Bureau for its outreach to the community, educating citizens about the Census, and encouraging full participation in Census 2010.

This is the first time the U.S. Census Bureau partnered with various community organizations to educate citizens about the census. The city shared educational information through press releases, radio announcements, and even placed short messages on its utility bills to remind citizens to “Stand up and be counted.”

At the August 17th Council Meeting, Mayor Sandi Bloem thanked Sean Holm, Planner (who worked on the annual Boundary Adjustment Survey [BAS] and the decennial Boundary Validation Program [BVP]; Debbie Frisbie, GIS Coordinator (who worked on the New Construction Program and Re-Addressing Assignments); David Townsend, Library Communications Coordinator (who worked with the Portrait of America Road Tour and the special programs he presented to complement it); and Victoria Bruno, Project Coordinator and staff liaison to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Most of all,” said the Mayor, looking out into the public audience, “thanks to the community for stepping up and answering the call and being there when you were counted.”

The official report on the nationwide results of Census 2010 will be available in December. For more information, please call 769-2204.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Nominations Being Accepted for 15th Annual Mayor's Arts Awards

The Coeur d'Alene Arts Commission is seeking nominations for the 15th Annual Mayor's Awards in the Arts. The Mayor's Awards in the Arts is an annual event, held this year on Thursday, October 21, 2010, at 6:00 p.m. at the Coeur d'Alene Resort.  Please consider nominating a deserving individual, business or organization for this award.  This year, a 4th award category has been added for a "Youth Art Leader," which recognizes a high school senior who is bettering their school and community through the arts. For more information and to download a nomination packet, please click here

Give Young Trees a Little TLC

By Karen Haskew
Urban Forester

As a result of city growth, Coeur d’Alene has many newly-planted trees. The city’s street tree inventory shows that about half of the city’s street trees are less than two (2) inches in diameter. Young trees, like young people, need a little extra care to get off to a good start.
Providing supplemental water is very important to getting new trees established. An important thing to remember is that your young tree lost a lot of its root structure during the transplanting process and that all of its remaining roots are in a very restricted area. It is important to concentrate watering efforts on this "root ball." It is also helpful to water the immediately surrounding area to encourage new root growth beyond the root ball.
If natural rainfall equals an inch of water every week, additional water may not be needed. However, when natural rainfall drops below that amount, start giving the tree some additional water. Don't just rely on lawn sprinkling to provide adequate water to your young trees – it usually does not water deeply enough. A good rule of thumb to follow is to provide five (5) gallons of water per week for every inch of stem caliper (trunk diameter measured six [6] inches above the ground on young trees). This amount should be adjusted for factors such as soil porosity and high temperatures.
There are several techniques for proper "deep-watering" of trees including:
• Installation of a drip irrigation system.
• Building up a berm around the outer edge of the root-ball to provide a "well" area, filling it up with water that will slowly soak in.
• Coiling soaker hoses over the root-ball area and just beyond.
• Allowing a garden hose to very slowly trickle water onto the target area.
• Drilling four, very small (1/16”) holes in a five-gallon bucket; place over the root ball and fill, allowing to drip out slowly.
Providing extra water should be done for several years. A general rule is to water one year for each inch in diameter (measured 6” above the ground) of size, plus one more year. For instance, a tree with 2” of diameter should be given supplemental water for three years.
A good method of preserving soil moisture is to provide a 2” to 3" layer of mulch over the root area. Taper the depth of mulch so that there is no mulch touching the tree trunk. Do not mulch deeper than 3” as this can cause problems. Mulch also provides nutrients and keeps the root area cool in the hot summer months.
Keep the soil moist but not constantly soaked. Over-watering will cause leaves to turn yellow or fall off and can cause the tree to fail. Water new trees deeply at least once a week – barring rain – and more frequently during hot weather. Watch your tree's "body language." When leaves droop and wilt, a tree is telling you it does not have enough water available to the roots. Continue watering until mid-fall, tapering off as temperatures get lower and the trees require less water.
The Coeur d’Alene Parks Department has publications available on this and other tree care topics. They are available at the Parks Department office at City Hall (710 E. Mullan Avenue). For more information on this topic, visit the city website at or call the Urban Forestry division at 769-2266.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Programs Mark 100th Anniversary of the 1910 Fires

Screenings of a new film, an author's program, and a tour of historic Forest Cemetery are among activities planned by the library to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Big Burn of 1910. Here's a video update of activities at the Coeur d'Alene Public Library produced by Jeff Crowe for CDA-TV. Cable Channel 19 provides live and recorded coverage of publlic meetings and other information of interest to the citizens of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. For more news about the library visit

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Writer to Speak as Part of 1910 Fire Programs

Stephen Pyne had his baptism of fire early. A few days after graduating from high school as an 18-year-old he joined a forest fire crew at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. He returned to work with the crew for the next 15 fire seasons.
Pyne says this experience has influenced his writing for the rest of his life.
The Coeur d’Alene Public Library will host Pyne, author of “The Year of the Fires: The Story of the Great Fires of 1910,” Wednesday, Aug. 18, at 7 p.m. in the Community Room. He is in North Idaho for presentations commemorating the 100th anniversary of the fires.
Pyne did his undergraduate work at Stanford University and graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin. He has been at Arizona State University since 1985 – 10 years at ASU West, three in the History Department at the Tempe, and he has since been in the School of Life Sciences.
His writing includes a biography of G.K. Gilbert, a geologist and explorer in the region; books about wildland fire, its history and management; then about the Grand Canyon and comparable Earth features. The stories of exploration now include not only the Canyon but Antarctica and the planets. The survey of fire now includes all the continents, at least in parts, with separate histories for the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Europe including Russia.
His interest in writing has even led to a book about nonfiction writing.
His current projects continue to elaborate on these topics: a book on the Voyager mission to the outer planets; a fire history of America since 1960; a multi-authored replacement for “Introduction to Wildland Fire;” and a fire history of Mexico. He has also been co-writing with his daughter, Lydia V. Pyne, a book-length interpretive essay on the Pleistocene epoch, that they are calling “The Last Lost World.”
Pyne’s Coeur d’Alene program is free to the public and is funded in part by the Friends of the Library who will also provide refreshments.Anyone who needs accommodation to participate in a library program is asked to contact the staff prior to the activity by calling 208/769-2315. More news and information about the library is available online at

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

ReToolbox Program Offers Computer Basics

The Coeur d’Alene Public Library and North Idaho College are part of a partnership to provide area residents the basic computer skills they may need to look for work on the Internet, create cover letters and resumes, fill out applications online or maybe just to send and receive e-mails with photos of their grandchildren.
The first free ‘help session’ for the ReToolbox program to be offered in the library’s Community Room, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 6:30-8 p.m., will focus on basic computer operations – using the mouse and keyboard, turning the computer on and off, opening windows, creating files, etc. The same session will be offered again on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2-3:30 p.m.
“The goal is not to make participants ‘computer experts’ but to help them be comfortable with the devices, especially if they have never used a computer before,” said Ruth Pratt, Executive Director of the Coeur d’Alene Public Library Foundation.
“We heard from the library staff that many patrons are coming to the library to use the Internet computers because they need to apply for jobs or to re-enter the job market,” Pratt said. “For whatever reasons, many of these patrons have few or no computer skills and are very frustrated. Their need to learn was exceeding the amount of time the staff can spend with individual patrons.”
The ReToolbox program will use a laptop lab made possible through a major grant from the Women’s Gift Alliance with funding also provided by the Idaho Community Foundation and Waste Management of Idaho.Instruction will be provided by trained community volunteers and through NIC’s Adult Basic Education program.

CdA PD Hosts “Charlotte’s Web” at August 14th Outdoor Movie Night

This summer’s last Outdoor Movie Night, sponsored by the Coeur d’Alene Police Department, will be Saturday, August 14th. The CdA PD is excited to offer a free family event at City Park, which will take place in the Rotary band shell area.

The evening will kick off with Master of Ceremonies, Chief Wayne Longo, welcoming families to the park. He will then introduce Officer Tom Sparks, formerly of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program, who will provide a Drug Free and Character Education presentation. At twilight (approximately 7:30 p.m.), the large movie screen will be filled with the lovely, enchanting movie “Charlotte’s Web.”

The city’s Fire Department will be there to make the free popcorn provided by the Panhandle Kiwanis Club. Police officers will be in attendance to greet children.

Chief Longo, sharing his enthusiasm for the movie night said, “We are excited about hosting an event to help draw families into City Park in the early evening hours. He added, “Next year we hope to host several free movies throughout the summer. All of the movie equipment was paid for with drug asset forfeiture dollars. We believe DARE/Character Education, as well as family involvement in positive events, is fundamental to curbing the use of drugs by minors.”

Families are encouraged to bring their blankets, chairs, and picnic baskets, and then to sit back and enjoy the show.

Nettleton Gulch Water Main Replacement Project Begins August 16th

Portion of Road Closed, Local Access Maintained

The City of Coeur d'Alene will close a portion of Nettleton Gulch Road for a water main replacement project on Monday, August 16th, at 7:00 a.m. Eastbound vehicles will be detoured at 19th Street and westbound vehicles at Maple Leaf Road. Local access will be maintained. The street should be reopened by 5:00 p.m. on September 10th.

The purpose of the project is to replace an outdated water main that currently lies at the base of the road across private property. For more information, please contact the Water Department at 769-2210.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Open House Planned for Ed Corridor Transportation Plan

An Open House for the Education Corridor Transportation Plan will be held at the Lake City Senior Center on Lakewood Drive, Wednesday, August 11th, from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to familiarize the public with selected alternatives for road alignments and widths, intersection locations, bike and pedestrian plans, and general infrastructure improvements. Public comments are welcome. Please call Chris Bates at 769-2228 for more information.

Background: On May 23, 2002, the city entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with North Idaho College (NIC), the University of Idaho (U of I), and the Lake City Development Corporation (LCDC) to develop a master plan for an education corridor. The purpose of the education corridor is to create a community where area youth can go to college locally, be eligible for local employment, and raise their families in the region.

In August 2009, the Mayors’ Institute on City Design (MICD) awarded the city a grant to further study the education corridor project through the MICD Alumni Technical Assistance Program, a partnership program of the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Architectural Foundation, and the United States Conference of Mayors.

After listening to a broad spectrum of community members, urban design experts with the MICD mirrored back to the community the vision that they had heard. It was agreed that the next steps to be taken were: (1) preparing design and development criteria, (2) creating a traffic and engineering study for infrastructure development, and (3) finalizing the annexation agreement.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Driving with Bikes

Cycling in Traffic

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Archaeology Series Begins at Library Aug. 12

When did people begin to create art? What are the origins of the letters printed on this screen? How many human cultures are combined in the These and other questions will be explored in August at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library in series called “From Time to Time: Archaeology in Our Everyday Lives.”
Coeur d’Alene resident Haley Cohen will be the presenter for the weekly series beginning Thursday, Aug. 12, at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of the library at 702 E. Front Ave. The first program will be “The Evolution of Art.”
Also beginning at 7 the following programs will be “Food Through Time,” on Aug. 19 and “Writing and Letters,” on Aug. 26.
The series is supported by a grant from the Friends of the Coeur d’Alene Public Library, who will also provide refreshments for each program.
Cohen is a recent graduate of Boston University, holding her bachelor’s degree in archaeology. Raised in Coeur d’Alene, she is also an alumna of Coeur d’Alene High School, Woodland Middle School and Hayden Lake Elementary School.
During her final year at CHS, she worked with Eastern Washington University archaeologists to complete archaeological analysis of faunal and stone remains as part of the honors senior project competition. She attended Lycoming College in Pennsylvania before transferring to Boston University in Massachusetts to complete her degree.
She is an accomplished vocalist, has shaken hands with President Barack Obama and President Bill Clinton and spent last summer on an intensive archaeological dig in Spain on the island of Menorca. Her analysis, alongside that of BU professor Dr. Francesco Berna, on a micromorphological study of a Miocene-era site in Italy will be published shortly.
Anyone who needs accommodation to participate in a library program is asked to contact the staff prior to the activity by calling 208/769-2315. More news and information about the library is available online at

Idaho Department of Labor Presents Awards

Yesterday the Idaho Dept of Employment presented the Police Department with the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve “ Patriotic Employer” Award. Officer Shane Avriett (Air Force Technical Sergeant Avriett) nominated the department after his return from Iraq earlier this year. Chief Longo and Lt. Ashenbrenner received the Awards on behalf of the city.

Pictured (l to r) Lt. Don Ashenbrenner, Brandia Young (Idaho Department of Labor), and Chief Wayne Longo

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

CdA Police Misconduct Lawsuit Dismissed

Second Purviance Lawsuit Thrown Out in Less Than One Week

A second lawsuit filed by Hayden attorney Larry Purviance against the City of Coeur d'Alene, its Police Department, and several of its police officers has been dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge Edward J. Lodge. The Memorandum Order dismissing the lawsuit, Jason Lee Lorenz v. The City of Coeur d'Alene, et al, was released by the Court on July 30, 2010. This is the second federal court lawsuit alleging police misconduct filed by Purviance that was dismissed in less than a week. The lawsuit sought monetary damages from the City of Coeur d'Alene, its Police Department, Police Chief Wayne Longo, Sergeant Jeff Walther, and Officers Tim Hanna, Greg Moore, and Jon Cantrell.

This lawsuit arose from Lorenz’s arrest on March 14, 2009, following an evening of drinking with his ex-wife, Karen Lorenz, at her home. Ms. Lorenz told police that Lorenz had attempted to remove her clothes and have intimate relations with her while she fought him off and told him “no.” She also told police officers that Lorenz had a knife. Lorenz was arrested and taken to jail based on Ms. Lorenz’s statements. Ms. Lorenz eventually recanted her story, but Lorenz remained in jail until July 13, 2009, when the Kootenai County Assistant Prosecutor dismissed the charges. The lawsuit was filed on August 21, 2009.

“We always respond when called, and many calls involve situations caused by citizens who have consumed too much alcohol,” said Coeur d'Alene Police Chief Wayne Longo. “It is incredible to me that some of these same citizens turn around and file a lawsuit against the police department. As I have said before, I am grateful, but not surprised, that we continue to win these cases.”

“Mr. Purviance and his clients have not had any success in their pursuit of money in the ‘lawsuit lottery’ against the city and its police officers. In the meantime, the city has had to spend time and money to defend against what are essentially frivolous lawsuits,” said City Attorney Mike Gridley. “We will once again pursue the plaintiff and his attorney for our legal costs in defending this lawsuit.”

The defendants were represented by Randy Adams and Robert Williams of Carey, Perkins LLP in Coeur d'Alene.

A copy of the Memorandum Order is attached (Click here) . For more information contact Mike Gridley (208-769-2348) or Police Sergeant Christie Wood (208-769-2363).

Mad Hatter Tea Party at Library Aug. 14

You don’t have to follow a white rabbit down a hole.
The Coeur d’Alene Public Library Youth Services will host the “Mad Hatter Tea Party,” Saturday, Aug. 14, 1-3 p.m., in the Community Room.
This event is taking the place of the “American Girl Tea Party,” but participants are invited to bring their favorite dolls and to come dressed as their favorite “Alice in Wonderland” characters.
A mad assortment of Tea Party games, including croquet in the park, a Mad Hatter hat craft, and Tea Party Bingo, are planned for the event, which is sponsored by the Friends of the Library.
Due to a limited number of seats, registration is encouraged. Visit the library or call 208/769-2315 Ext. 438 for information and to register.
Anyone who needs accommodation to participate in a library program is asked to contact the staff prior to the activity. More news and information about the library is available online at

Monday, August 2, 2010

Water Conservation Practices Save Money, Improve Lawn

By Jim Markley
Water Superintendent

Summer is here and we would like to share a few thoughts about water use. During the hot summer months, it is natural to use more water. We ask our customers to pay attention to how much they use and to take care to not over water.
Lawn over-watering is a primary water waster. Over-watering your lawn will not improve the quality of its turf. In fact, it can make the grass susceptible to disease and actually promote weed growth. People tend to water too often and too much. (For residential lawns, daily watering is not required. Also, lawns only need between 1 and 2 inches of water per week – including rainfall).
Over-watering of lawns increases the runoff of pesticides and herbicides into the streets and the storm sewers. This, in turn, lowers the water quality of our lakes and rivers.
By including landscaping that requires less water to maintain (such as bark, shrubs, and drought resistant plants), you not only lessen your need for water, but also have a more varied and beautiful yard.
If your sprinklers are poorly adjusted and you are watering the street, you are paying for water without receiving any benefit.
Watering during the heat of the day and when it is windy increases evaporation. You are paying for water that doesn’t moisten your lawn’s roots and again you are not getting the full benefit of the water you are buying. Evening or early morning watering is more efficient.
Increased water demand creates a need for additional wells. Customers ultimately pay for the operation and maintenance of new facilities.
And last but not least, minimizing the amount of water needed for irrigation can save you money. Most customers’ consumption of water increases dramatically during the summer. So do their utility bills.
You can easily minimize wasteful watering practices during the summer without negatively impacting either your lawn or your bank account.