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Rotten dock, begone

Staff Writer | August 7, 2020 1:00 AM

Commissioners OK emergency ordinance, criticize negligent dock owners

The Kootenai County Board of Commissioners approved an emergency ordinance Thursday to clear the way for a deteriorating dock to be removed from the north end of Lake Coeur d’Alene.

The ordinance was sought by John Condon, owner of North Idaho Maritime, for the property at 6719 S. Highway 97 in Wolf Lodge Bay. The property is undergoing a separate permit application process to develop a commercial dock and mooring areas.

“Mr. Condon still needs to go through the special permit review of using his dock and we haven’t finished that yet,” said David Callahan, Kootenai County Department of Community Development director. “That’s why this is in front of you, to specially authorize this one-time cleanup.”

According to Callahan, the dock in question is deteriorating near Moscow Bay and causing environmental damage to water quality.

“The basic story here is that the property has a dock that’s worn out. It’s deteriorating; it’s falling into the lake,” Callahan said. “You can literally see the Styrofoam in the water.”

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality believes the dock is a violation of Idaho water quality standards and solid waste rules. Concerns over the quick removal of the debris were also received by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Idaho Department of Lands.

“Mr. Condon has the type of business that can corral and haul (the dock) into another location rather than drag it on land,” Callahan said. “He is one of a handful of people in the entire county that do this sort of thing.”

Condon and North Idaho Maritime LLC own other locations around the lake, but the Highway 97 property is closest to the debris, according to Callahan.

During the meeting, Callahan confirmed that the dock’s owner has agreed to financing the cleanup and hired North Idaho Maritime to step in.

Commissioners Bill Brooks and Chris Fillios were particularly upset during the meeting, commenting on the sloppiness of dock owners on the north end of Lake Coeur d’Alene.

“This is not the first such instance. We’ve had other docks break apart at the northern end of the lake and it’s sloppy ownership quite frankly,” Fillios said. “This is negligence. If it’s going to cost this gentleman three times as much to get Condon to do the job, frankly, I don’t care because he should have attended this years ago. I’m not going to make it easier for him. If it’s going to take six miles to haul it then let it take six miles and let him pay for it.”

On using the Wolf Lodge Bay location prior to permit approval, Brooks said the water quality of the lake is a more pressing issue.

“I don’t want to shortcut anything for Condon. His facility is going to be in a commercial area and he has to go through all the hearings with the agencies,” Brooks said. “However, this is a problem for the lake and anyone who loves the lake wouldn’t want this thing on the lake anymore than necessary.”