NEWSREVIEW.pngIssue 31/February 2015

Our mission is to bring together resources to achieve Coeur d’Alene’s vision of a diverse, sustainable community with healthy neighborhoods, a vibrant central city, a strong regional economy, sustainable, superior public open spaces, and quality jobs and housing for all.


NIC’s Joint use facility to focus on Healthcare Occupations

The prospect of a joint use facility building on the Higher Education Campus to be shared by NIC, University of Idaho and Lewis-Clark State College has been bantered about for several years and included in NIC’s published 2009 Facilities Master Plan. The original plan was envisioned as a three-story structure, with the top floor dedicated to the University of Idaho's MBA Program, the second floor to faculty offices, and the first floor dedicated to Consolidated Student Services which combine the registration, financial aid and other student services for all three institutions in one place, which ultimately will result in considerable savings to taxpayers.

Looking back to October 2013, LCDC’s ad hoc jobs committee took a look at our local healthcare industry and determined that strengthening the workforce in this job sector had huge potential to provide good paying jobs, attract new business, and help provide opportunities to keep local talent in our area.

Denny Davis, Chairman


“The healthcare industry has been targeted as one of the largest employers we have, but some of the job growth has been impeded by a lack of qualified local applicants.”
Denny Davis, LCDC Board Chair


Fast forward to 2015. The joint use facility has now been reimagined as a 40,000 square foot, two-story building, with a cost of $12 million. The newly created square footage will free up space in the Meyer Health and Sciences Building, which will provide increased capacity for healthcare and other programs.

With potential partnerships from Kootenai Health and LCDC, the joint use facility may have a focus on expanding classrooms and laboratories to accommodate the growing need for eight health occupation programs, as well as consolidated student services.

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“We need a bigger pipeline of students (locally) that are coming out trained and eligible to apply for our positions”.
Jon Ness, CEO of Kootenai Health


Idaho's Permanent Building Fund Advisory Council has recommended to the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee (JFAC) to approve the $4 million seed money requested by the institutions that would move this project into the next phase. In 2014, only $9 million was earmarked for the entire state for new building construction. This year the proposed new construction budget is $15 million and will come up for approval by the legislature this March. The additional $8 million needed to bring the plan to fruition relies on institution funding along with additional partner contributions.


Seltice Way Roadway InitiativeSeltice-Way.jpg

In October of 2014, Dennis Grant and Gordon Dobler, both engineers with the City of Coeur d'Alene, made a presentation to the LCDC Board requesting partnership funding for the roadway re-design of Seltice Way between Northwest Blvd. and Huetter Road. The amount requested of LCDC was $250,000. A motion to approve the funding was made by Commissioner Goodlander, seconded by Commissioner Hoskins, and approved by the board. The $250,000 has been reserved for this project from the LCDC FY 2015 River District budget.

Pending a formal request to submit the funds to the city, we spoke with Gordon Dobler as to the progress of the project thus far. The city generated a draft agreement to the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) in December 2014 and received comments back in January of this year, to which the city has recently commented back. As we all know, such is the standard negotiation process before beginning a project of such scope.

To review, the anticipated design cost total is $555,000. The Kootenai County Metropolitan Planning Organization (KMPO) has assisted in securing $305,000 in federal funds. However, the agreement with ITD must be ratified by June 2015 or the funding will become unobligated.

If all goes as planned, a design consultant for the project will be selected in July. Because the total for the design phase is below the required amount to be set out for bid, the city can select from three pre-qualified engineering firms to receive SOQs (Statement of Qualifications), and get the project started. ITD, of course, must approve final scope and estimates.


Communication Strategy to Enhance Public Awareness

Brand equity can be defined as the degree of name recognition to those with whom you wish to connect. Strong brand recognition increases a person’s attitude towards the brand, and has an impact on perceived quality and inferred attributes. Nonprofit organizations, government agencies and educational institutions have perceived quality just like branded consumer products.

After a thorough evaluation of Lake City Development Corporation's brand equity through a recent public survey conducted by Robinson Research, it became obvious that what the organization does, and why it exists is not clearly conveyed in part by the organization's name. In recognition of this problem, the communication committee led by Dave Patzer has been working on a communication strategy to better engage the public as to the work, services, and benefits Lake City Development Corporation provides to the community.

eden_color-smaller.jpgAt the January 2015 board meeting, Eden Irgens from Range NW relayed that as the public survey pointed out,


“The name Lake City Development Corporation” is too corporate sounding and confusing to the community and recommends LCDC reevaluate its name and logo. Furthermore, "The existing LCDC website is too technical in nature and could be enhanced to be a more inviting and user-friendly communication portal."
Eden Irgens, Range NW


Dave Patzer"The proposed Range communication strategy is designed as an educational / awareness outreach effort to the community, not a self-promotion effort to sell the LCDC to the public."
Commissioner Dave Patzer


LCDC is sincere in its efforts to provide the community benefits through a variety of projects that fulfill the agency's mission, create jobs, and enhance the local economy. Misconceptions about what the agency does and how it works need to be addressed. Because urban renewal agencies fund projects through tax increment financing (aka taxpayer dollars), it’s important that the public be proud in knowing that they had a part in creating public places that provide wonderful amenities to our community like the Coeur d'Alene Library, the Kroc Center,  McEuen Park, and that they are also contributing to the effort of bringing good paying jobs to their community by creating an infrastructure that nourishes business and industry.


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Community profile
Editor's note: As part of the LCDC's continuing commitment to maximize public awareness about community issues and the agency, we offer monthly profiles of community leaders. This month, we feature board member Scott Hoskins.

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SCOTT HOSKINS
Network Manager,
Kootenai Health

About Scott: After 34 years of service, Scott Hoskins retired from Verizon, and in short order, leapt into a career leading the network and telecommunications team at Kootenai  Health as their Network Manager. He has been married for 30 wonderful years with 2 children. Scott has served on many boards in our community including: Jobs Plus , Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce, Kootenai County United Way , School District 271 Long Range Planning Committee, and The Festival of Sandpoint.

Scott has been the recipient of the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce Ed Abbott Memorial Award, which is presented in recognition to the chamber volunteer who best exemplifies qualities of infectious enthusiasm and confident leadership in the service of our community. Other awards include: Kootenai County United Way Volunteer of the Year and the Idaho Education Association’s Friend of Education.  

In 1998 Scott designed and implemented a literacy program for the public schools in Coeur d’Alene known as the Help Encourage A Reader Today (HEART) reading program. The program teams a caring adult with at risk children to improve literacy and life skills.

What committees do you serve on as part of the LCDC board? Communications Committee, Jobs Committee, and the Higher Education Campus committee.

There is a continuing effort such as those of Jobs Plus, to recruit businesses from other states to move to our community, and to make sure that an infrastructure is in place for an influx of new businesses. How does Coeur d’Alene’s telecommunications infrastructure stack up to neighboring states? I’ve worked extensively with Jobs Plus (and others) on recruiting new businesses to town and we have been very successful due to the great infrastructure that is in place.  The US Bank Service Center is a perfect example as they require a lot of “diverse” telecom infrastructure. In my current position with Kootenai Health, we require a lot of bandwidth, with diversity to Spokane, and it is readily available and reasonably priced.

What positive aspects do you perceive the Midtown Placemaking Project generating? The Midtown Placemaking Project has generated a lot of positive action.  Just look at the growth since the new street and sidewalk infrastructure was installed. The proposed new mixed-use workforce housing project for Midtown will only continue to generate positive actions and additional jobs.

There has been a lot of talk about re-developing East Sherman. What may need to happen to make that a reality?  First there will need to be enough energy, dialogue and a plan on what will be developed on East Sherman that will create tax increment.  This would have to be enough tax increment to pay for any public infrastructure development that will take place.  Then I believe the City will need to create a new Urban Renewal District.