Cd'A agrees to buy land - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Cd'A agrees to buy land

Property could be site for new American Legion baseball field

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Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 12:15 am

COEUR d'ALENE - The city of Coeur d'Alene agreed Tuesday to purchase roughly 5 acres of land north of Cherry Hill Park - a site that could play home to an American Legion baseball field by 2013.

Mayor Sandi Bloem split a deadlocked City Council by voting to approve the property acquisition, which passed 4 votes to 3 votes.

The outcome mirrors last month's council vote not to issue a public advisory vote on McEuen Field, and could repeat itself on future issues related directly or indirectly to the downtown park's redevelopment project as each council member has stood firm on his or her stance on the divisive topic.

The purchase of 4.8-acres along 15th Street was tied to the McEuen Field project because it could house a baseball complex for a displaced American Legion diamond, which would be removed from its current spot downtown should Phase 1 of the park project go through as planned.

Whether baseball is played there or not, Bloem said, it shouldn't be viewed as a reason not to buy parkland for $440,000 from the Coeur d'Alene Eagles.

"We have Ramsey park and that's what we do is play ball out there," she said. "And it's still a park. And Canfield park, we play a lot of ball; it's still a park. So there is a lot of different uses for a park. I think there's no doubt this is parkland and if a baseball field goes on it, it's still a park."

The purchase agreement pays $180,000 from the city's rainy day fund as a down payment, then $52,000 a year at 0 percent interest for five years from the parks capital improvement fund. The parks capital improvement fund, which generates revenue from park and dock rental fees, would also be used to pay back the rainy day fund for the deposit over time.

Council members Dan Gookin, Steve Adams and Ron Edinger voted against the purchase.

Edinger, a longtime American Legion Baseball supporter, has opposed the McEuen Field plan since it was presented over a year ago - in part because it calls for the ballfield's removal.

Gookin and Adams won council seats in November after campaigning primarily against the city moving forward with the park plan as presented.

"It's going to be a ballfield," Edinger said. "Equal or better? I don't know."

The city pledged years ago that if it did remove the American Legion field or boat launch from McEuen Field, it would provide a replacement facility of equal or better value.

"I'm concerned about American Legion, I'm concerned about 'equal or better,'" Gookin said. "I want to make sure they're taken care of."

But Doug Eastwood, parks director, said the parcel has been on the city's wish list for nearly 9 years because of its proximity to Cherry Hill park, which has added several amenities over the years. The Eagles weren't willing to sell then, but has been working with the city on a possible deal for several months.

Whether a baseball field goes there is yet to be determined. If one is proposed, its merits would be vetted separately by the city then.

"It's got to be better, how could it not be better," Councilman Woody McEvers said of the possible future site, calling the purchase "a no-brainer"

"I think this is an investment in dirt," he said. "Whether we put a field good enough for legion, look at it ... It's a great piece."

Eastwood said last week that a separate committee is working on the development of the site for hardball. A fundraising goal, sought through private contributions, would be around $2 million, and the target would be to have the site developed by 2013.

"We have to initiate an aggressive fundraiser to get that to happen," he told The Press Tuesday. "If everything fell in place, it could happen that quickly."

The purchased property fronts 15th Street. That road may be scheduled for street improvements as early as 2013. The estimated cost is $128,310 and that cost will be also be paid from the rainy day fund and reimbursed by the parks capital improvement dollars, according to staff reports.

Of that total, around $25,000 accounts for improvements along the property the city purchased Tuesday, Eastwood said.

Council members Deanna Goodlander, Mike Kennedy and McEvers voted in favor of the purchase.

American Legion Baseball President Jamie Duman did not return messages from The Press Tuesday.

City adopts obscene conduct amendment

The Coeur d'Alene City Council agreed Tuesday to close a legal loophole that made it difficult to prosecute those who expose themselves indecently.

The city adopted an amendment to its obscene conduct law that specifically includes indecent exposure for offenders who drop trou to annoy or offend people rather than those who do so with lewd intent. It passed 5 votes to 1 vote. Councilman Dan Gookin opposed the amendment because the city's disturbing the peace ordinance already addresses the issue, he said.

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35 comments:

  • JonnyQPubic posted at 3:09 pm on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    JonnyQPubic Posts: 325

    Quacks like a duck...

     
  • concernedcitizen posted at 8:25 pm on Fri, Feb 24, 2012.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    JQP,
    You do know what they say about those that ASSume don't you?

     
  • JonnyQPubic posted at 9:59 am on Fri, Feb 24, 2012.

    JonnyQPubic Posts: 325

    @concernedcitizen: so I take it you don't live in the City of CdA.

     
  • JoeIdaho posted at 5:36 pm on Thu, Feb 23, 2012.

    JoeIdaho Posts: 2841

    Just another example of local government run amock.
    I think it's AMAZING that we try to call ourselves a conservative area when nitwits like the CDA government just flatly run over their citizenry with debalces like this & McEuen.

    And Randy, you're just a doofus. Go play with your dolls, better yet, post up that EVER entertaining picture of yourself again.....now THAT was funny!

    And "jonnyduh" you're telling us how or what we can say based on how we live/where we're from?
    You MUST be one of those "equality" based liberals, huh?

    I don;t live in CDA but I SURE have an opinion.....NAH NAH NAH NAH NAH....guess it's time to arrest old Joe for speaking out loud, huh communists?

     
  • chouli posted at 4:56 pm on Thu, Feb 23, 2012.

    chouli Posts: 1283

    To remove the 3rd Street boat launch and then to rebuild a boat launch in another area will disturb the lake beds, sediments, fish habitat and spawning areas, and affect even the down stream areas... and it will require review by several agencies, including the DEQ. This is not as easy and cut and dry as they would like us all to believe...

     
  • concernedcitizen posted at 6:46 am on Thu, Feb 23, 2012.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    What JQP fails to realize, because of the LCDC's involvement the rest of the county will ALSO be paying for the McEuen fiasco.

     
  • Jill Heine posted at 9:38 pm on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    Jill Heine Posts: 408

    wonder if they have EPA/DEQ approval for site disturbance?
    Once existing is torn out, they will incur a convenient stop order.
    They will smile and plant grass.

     
  • JonnyQPubic posted at 9:18 pm on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    JonnyQPubic Posts: 325

    Always fun to read the typical remarks from the cheap seats. If you don't live in the City of CdA, shut your pie hole. If you don't even know how to spell McEuen, shut your pie hole.

     
  • Mary Souza posted at 4:45 pm on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    Mary Souza Posts: 808

    If you want a different view of last night's meeting, so to my follow up newsletter at:
    http://opencda.com/?p=10744

     
  • yarply posted at 3:44 pm on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    yarply Posts: 495

    Seen Mary?

     
  • petand posted at 2:17 pm on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    petand Posts: 271

    Great to see this project moving forward. I can't wait for the day when the downtown asphalt is gone and the park is developed into something that doesn't cater to a minority of the people. And it will be fun for a while but no doubt tiresome in the end to continue to watch the Luddites posting here cry and moan.

     
  • chouli posted at 1:55 pm on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    chouli Posts: 1283

    DeNiles, I laughed out loud reading your little rant...very funny, thank you.

    The deceit in this is that the mayor and city council assure us they will not spend tax dollars on the McEuen mega-park and they assure us they will replace the ball fields and boat lauch with "equal to or better" but they are lying when they tell us that... they have no intentions to meet that promise. and since they determine exactly what "equal to or better" is, we are helpless to force them to keep their promises to us. what's our recourse if they just tell the public to go take a flying leap...and replace nothing?

    Just how do you replace a five lane boat launch that has protected deep water access and is suitable all year round?
    Where would that be located?
    and at what cost would it take to build that now?

    How will the new ball field be built without tax money being used since it is out of the LCDC boundary?

    To remove both of these assets is very expensive and very expensive to build new to replace what was already in use.

     
  • ancientemplar posted at 1:07 pm on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1268

    If the Cherry Hill land deal contract's financing obligations are contrary to the law, take the city to court.

     
  • ancientemplar posted at 1:04 pm on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1268

    McKuen park will be like so many city parks throughout the USofA.

    A sign I've seen many times:

    No Running
    No Bicycles
    No Rollerskating
    No Skateboarding
    No Loitering

     
  • ancientemplar posted at 12:59 pm on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1268

    McKuen park will be like so many city parks throughout the USofA.

    Signs that say:

     
  • IdahoMan posted at 12:30 pm on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    IdahoMan Posts: 100

    A couple of things come to mind:

    One:

    Heaven forbid we have a nice, plain empty field to simply play in. The kind you liked to find when you were a kid.. catch bugs, run around, make up your own game. No, we can't have that. It has to be an "official", "planned" park. DEVELOPED, with signs and rules and lots of money spent left and right by city "officials".

    One of the best places we kids loved to have our parents take us swimming was "Dikes Road" down across from the College. Why? It wasn't like the city beach. It was undeveloped, had lots of trees, grass, and NO LIFEGUARDS. You could jump off the pylons and climb on the logs. You could enjoy yourself without Nanny-State being there.

    But of course the in-your-face, "server the 'community'" big-city "progressives" can't have that! Think of "safety", "the children", "the community"! Let's make it "official"!

    Mayor Sandi Bloem needs to go.

    Two:

    "The Eagles weren't willing to sell then, but has been working
    with the city on a possible deal for several months."

    I certainly hope there was no coercion involved in this, or veiled threats of inevitability.

     
  • uncle fester posted at 11:52 am on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    uncle fester Posts: 831

    @Randy Myers , AKA, the preacher man. The people did vote and several new members put on council. Nothing changed until the next election , so if the people on this blog feel frustrated and wish to express themselves , so what?

     
  • babydriver posted at 10:21 am on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    babydriver Posts: 1393

    Do you have to live within the city limits to run for the city council?

     
  • kimknerl posted at 9:21 am on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    kimknerl Posts: 286

    Let's get to work on replacements for Bloem, Goodlander, Kennedy, and McEvers. We need four solid candidates to insure these self-serving members of the City Council are no longer with us come the next election. Might be a good time to send LCDC packing too.

     
  • Mary Souza posted at 9:21 am on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    Mary Souza Posts: 808

    One more quick edit: The storm water fee was $4 /month/ per household...huge money that must come from somewhere, and the only place government ever gets money is from the people. The city just has to find a creative but legal way to get it back from all of us.

     
  • LTRLTR posted at 8:39 am on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    LTRLTR Posts: 1171

    Do you think it is honest to collect fees from people to unload their boats at the 3rd St. Parking Lot and pay to park in the City Lot and not use the fees for improvements to the same properties?

    Do you think the users were blindsided?

     
  • LTRLTR posted at 8:35 am on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    LTRLTR Posts: 1171

    A Very Interesting Reminder: Council voted that NO TAXPAYER DOLLARS would be used for improvements and/or upgrades to McEuen Field where the now operational ball field is located.

    What City Council Member Mike Kennedy DID NOT TELL you that his RESOLTION did not include using taxpayer dollars to purchase sites for the relocation of the ball field and boat launch.

    So do you think the City was open and honest with the property taxpayers or do you think the public was taken once again?

     
  • Mary Souza posted at 8:30 am on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    Mary Souza Posts: 808

    Oh, sorry, let me correct something: The city started out proposing to buy the park outright by using Rainy Day money. They ended up voting to put a down payment and then yearly payments for 5 years.

    The problem with this method is that legally they are not supposed to bind future city councils to a debt like this. But they wanted it. They need it for their plan, so they rationalized that the good was worth the illegal method. Sounds like their usual, but the end should never justify the means.

     
  • Mary Souza posted at 8:18 am on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    Mary Souza Posts: 808

    The bombshell you didn't read in the article above, but that was revealed last night at the meeting, is that the city might have to take out a $4 MILLION dollar bond, if their appeal of the Dan Dixon lawsuit against the CdA Police Dept. does not succeed. Guess who would be paying for that bond?...get out your wallet.

    City Treas. Troy Tymeson said, rather casually I thought, that if they lose the appeal case, they will just go to a judge and ask for permission to go into debt with a public bond. (they would not want to ask the voters!) The judge would probably agree that this type of spending is "ordinary and necessary" for the city.

    What the judge would not agree is ordinary and necessary is buying a park when you can't afford it. So the money for the park will be spent, the Rainy Day fund, which Troy said is already low, will be lower, and if the court case goes wrong?...oh, well, the taxpayers will just have to pony up!

    The city also has NO plan for how they will pay for the Stormwater utility fee (it was $8./ month/ per household) that was being illegally billed and they had to stop putting it on our utility bill. The city still has to pay for those services, somehow, and Troy said the Stormwater fund is almost gone.

    But not to worry!---Let's buy a park!

    If not for new Councilman Dan Gookin asking questions about these and other important issues, we would never have heard about them last night. Thank you Dan for doing your homework and speaking out for the citizens!

     
  • JonnyQPubic posted at 8:18 am on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    JonnyQPubic Posts: 325

    Note to self: proofread. 8-)

     
  • JonnyQPubic posted at 8:08 am on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    JonnyQPubic Posts: 325

    Jeez I get sick of the close minded conspiricy gang. Have some vision. Little league plays on fields and that's what the McEuen is, a glorified little leage field. Cherry Hill is a wonderful place for a REAL baseball stadium. It's central, easy access location is perfect for home and viviting teams. The City buying more land for parks is always a great thing for the general public. Edinger is his usual self asking "equal or better?" Are you kidding? Any real baseball facility would far exceed what's on McEuen.

    Don't take this as my endorsement of how City Council is pushing their McEuen concept through, thier lack of public participation in this stinks. But as for making moves for better recreational opportunities for a greater segment of the population, this move and changes to McEuen are long overdue.

     
  • uncle fester posted at 8:02 am on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    uncle fester Posts: 831

    City must be rolling in extra money.

     
  • mister d posted at 7:48 am on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    mister d Posts: 1531

    Looking forward to the new council members that will be elected to represent most of the voters. It will be nice to have a nice vacant field sitting around that we can sell to restore the mess this old council has gotten us into.

     
  • lexacon posted at 7:17 am on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    lexacon Posts: 80

    "Of COURSE they agree to buy it. They have to get this deal done before they are gone in the next election."

    Why Wait?

     
  • lexacon posted at 7:17 am on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    lexacon Posts: 80

    "Folks, we do need to bring this to a vote of and for the people!"

    I have heard a little of rumor of such! Ya know, all three of the people elected this last year won by as many votes needed to be placed on such a piece of paper?

     
  • DeNiles posted at 7:14 am on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    DeNiles Posts: 2450

    Eh, we could turn it into a Memorial of Corruption Park. It could feature 'The Maze of Deceit'. We could construct a huge sculpture of a 'Shell Game'. There could be a city tax machine where you put in $20.00 bills and get back 0.03 cents. There could be a huge Mike Kennedy hot air balloon ride filled with the most appropriate (and now useful) hot air. Then we have the Riverstone Bungee jump ride where you pay a ton to get on.... only to have it fail. There's the Mayor 2-face Kroc Palace. The ever popular 'Dixie Skeletal Finger Waggle' animatronic dressing down display. For food we could have Woody's Rustlers Roost 2 Linoleum Pie Factory (yum). There's a 'Rainy Day Fund Parachute Drop' that never works but is always used. The LCDC Appraisal Game where the public looses all of their clothes and jewelry just for the fun of it.

    Fun for everyone. Bring the kiddies. No machine gun noises allowed, ever.

     
  • cdafan posted at 7:13 am on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    cdafan Posts: 26

    This was a great decision. Children need a place to play ball and this is an ideal location. Well done!

     
  • concernedcitizen posted at 6:43 am on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    Of COURSE they agree to buy it. They have to get this deal done before they are gone in the next election.

     
  • I Carry posted at 5:57 am on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    I Carry Posts: 525

    My Momma told me that a rainy day fund was for emergencys like your transmission went out, or a heart valve replacement--not to buy a park. Alas, I guess the council has different values then us common citizens.
    Folks, we do need to bring this to a vote of and for the people!

     
  • immortal posted at 3:41 am on Wed, Feb 22, 2012.

    immortal Posts: 258

    It would be nice to think that those voting for all this spending weren't doing so at the behest of certain downtown business interests. It would be nice to think that those voting for this didn't have a direct financial interest at stake. It would be nice ...

     
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