Residents thankful for small-town feel
| December 13, 2010 8:00 PM
POST FALLS - As Gerry Demaris recently exercised her black lab Bentley at Kiwanis Park, she reflected on life in Post Falls.
"It's a beautiful area," said Demaris, who has lived in the city for more than 20 years. "Of all the places I've lived, I like this the best."
Demaris said that, despite the city growing to about 27,000 people, it still has some sense of a small town.
"You're seeing more crowds, more traffic, more road rage, but, in general, you've still got a small-town feel," she said. "It's still a good place to live, and I love the proximity to Spokane. I also love the parks here."
She said she also likes the four seasons and proximity to outdoor activities.
Demaris does have a gripe that gas is generally 7 to 10 cents higher than in Coeur d'Alene. It's a situation industry analysts attribute to less competition among outlets in Post Falls and a closer proximity to Spokane, where gas is generally higher than in Post Falls.
"I know a lot of people who say that they will not buy gas in Post Falls," Demaris said.
Resident Josh Gernns said he appreciates how Post Falls still offers community events such as Post Falls Days and a Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
"They're not trying to live in the limelight of Coeur d'Alene, but still offer free smaller events," he said.
Gernns said he also enjoys seeing Blossom Mountain as a backdrop to the city. Like Demaris, Gernns said he still likes being between Spokane and Coeur d'Alene, making it easy to visit either city.
"We can go to their activities and come home and not have to deal with as much traffic," he said.
The city seems spread out, Gernns said. Business activity started on both ends - near the state line and along Highway 41 - but has halted due to the recession. He said not having a long-time, established city center core - one is being developed with the new City Hall, chamber and the revitalization of Fourth Avenue - isn't a big deal to him because citizens are used to not having one.
"It's all just part of how Post Falls got developed," he said.
Senior Grace Kunow said she believes Post Falls is a safe community.
"I've seen so many bad things on TV about Spokane that I'd never live over there," she said.
She believes the new City Hall is a nice addition.
"If you want to get new businesses here, you have to look like you're prosperous," Kunow said.
Kunow said an Interstate 90 overpass at Greensferry is needed to improve traffic mobility, but wonders if a full interchange is overkill with exits already at Highway 41 and Seltice Way.
"An interchange will also cost a heck of a lot more money than an overpass," she said.
Kunow said she's pleased about free programs, including the snow berm removal service for seniors and the extra garbage pickup dates to clean up the city in the fall and spring.
Kunow said she moved to Post Falls from Arizona when the population was about 10,000. While it would have been nice for the city to stay about that size, she realizes other people saw it as a nice place to move as well.
"You can't keep the people out," she said.
One area she'd like to see improved is snow plows reaching residential streets sooner. She realizes the main streets and areas around schools need to be tended to first, but there's times when a plow doesn't come by at all during the day of a storm.
All of those interviewed said they believe they're getting a good bang for their taxpayer buck.
"I think they do an excellent job here with out taxes and the city parks are well-maintained," Demaris said.
Gernns, who works for the Timberlake Fire District, which serves Athol and Bayview, said he believes Post Falls Police goes "above and beyond" to assist fire crews during emergencies.
"The law enforcement has a better-than-average response time," Gernns said. "They take care of vandalism and graffiti quickly. There's also areas where dog owners can take their dogs, which is nice."
Demaris said she believes the parks are well-maintained. She's generally pleased with the street plowing service during winters. Street maintenance could use some work, however.
"We're all going to find potholes," she said.
Kunow said she believes the city and school boards are cautious with taxpayer dollars and don't raise taxes if at all possible.