Citizens hopeful that small-town feel remains
| December 19, 2010 8:00 PM
HAUSER - As Joni Borg jogged through the heart of Hauser, she paused to reflect on life in the small lake community where she's lived for six years.
"You can see there's not a lot of traffic out here," she said as she stopped across from City Hall.
Sure, like most North Idaho towns, growth has occurred in Hauser in recent years, particularly in the hills surrounding the lake and city.
But Borg is fine with that, as long as it doesn't get too rampant.
"Every place has to grow because growth brings in more money," she said.
Borg's jogging mate, JoAnn Coffee, who has lived in nearby Hoyt Ranch for four years, said she believes the area has maintained its laid-back rural feel.
"It's a friendly place," she said. "You can even let dogs go swimming with kids."
Like some other residents interviewed, Borg said Hauser could be improved with a recreation trail around the lake. She said joggers, bikers and walkers have used narrow and windy Hauser Lake and Cliffhouse roads to enjoy the lake, but contact with traffic, when there is some, can be too close for comfort.
City officials say the concept of a trail has been discussed for years, but it's not possible for it to go completely around the lake because of highway district rights of way and, in some places, there's little room between the roads and the lake and other parts are too rugged.
Gary Cursi, who lives at the intersection of Burdette and Hauser Lake Road, said speed is an issue around the lake and some intersections, including his, can be dangerous with tight corners.
"People come down this road flying, and the speed limit is 25," said Cursi, who has lived in the city for five months. "They're doing at least 45."
Cursi said the tradeoff is a "nice and quiet" place to live that's still fairly close to larger cities.
"I like it out here because it's peaceful, out of the way and you can easily go fishing," he said. "You're also not far from Spokane."
Sarah Benson lives across from City Hall, yet she still feels like she lives in the country. She said she enjoys the scenery and community events such as Shalena's Breakfast with Santa and Hauser Days that come with living in a small town.
Benson, and others interviewed, are pleased with what services are provided, including street maintenance from the Post Falls Highway District.
"They just redid the whole road, so that's really nice," she said.
Benson is also thankful for community organizations such as the Hauser Lake Watershed Coalition, volunteer fire department and Lion's Club for adding to the quality of life.
Terry Durham, who has lived in a home overlooking the south end of the lake for eight years, said she likes rural communities in which neighbors know neighbors.
Durham thinks more stop signs around the lake would curb some of the speeding problem.
She said most residents take pride in keeping their places up, but she wishes something could be done with other areas to improve the aesthetics.
Durham said some new development is healthy for the area, but there's still a nice small-town atmosphere.
"We love it out here, and the people are friendly," she said. "We don't even have a boat, but we just like the view."