CdA Reallocates $1.3 Million to Panhandle Health

Monday, March 21, 2022 General Services/Public Works meeting

As committee members of General Services and Public Works Councilmembers McEvers, Gookin, and Miller voted to reallocate a $1.3 Million settlement to Panhandle Health. City clerk Renata Mcleod said city staff felt “undergunned” to properly manage these funds distributed annually at roughly $73,000 for the next 18 years. 

The settlement comes after the Idaho Attorney General requested cities and counties participate in the class action suit against pharmaceutical companies that made, marketed, and distributed opioids which have contributed to dependency and deaths. This is the first of additional expected settlements which could double the annual funds allocated to Panhandle Health. Don Duffy, director at Panhandle Health, said the settlement would likely be used to treat Opioid Use Disorder which may become PHD’s largest program. 

CdA is not the first and only city/county in our region to reallocate the settlement to Panhandle Health. Katherine Hoyer, communications officer at Panhandle Health, verified that the city of Hayden reallocated their funds in November when the settlement occurred. No other jurisdictions have reallocated these funds to Panhandle Health District but advocates are hopeful that other municipalities will follow suit. 

When asked whether constituents will approve of the reallocation considering significant loss of trust in public health entities such as the CDC and Panhandle Health over the last two years, Dan Gookin responded that “PHD is far better equipped to deal with the opioid issue than the City. They already have administration and programs in place, which the City does not. Their charter is public health, which makes them ideal.”

Don Duffy stated that the funds would be considered [Coeur d’Alene] funds and he would like to regularly report on usage. PHD has not commented on how it will ensure CdA’s dollars will be dispersed for the city rather than one of the other five counties or many cities that make up the PHD. Ultimately, a reallocation allows PHD to disperse the funds as needed.

52 New Boat Slips Approved on the Spokane River

*Correction and update 3/22/2022 11:32 am: Correction: Bill Greenwood let us know that the lease is $15,000 per dock bringing the per slip cost down to $576.93 per year for the two companies lucky enough to be selected. Update: As a reference Online listings from local boat rental companies indicate boats rent from $500-$1,000 per day. General Services Committee met 3/21 and moved to daylight this item by placing it on city council’s agenda and seek public input.

The Coeur d’Alene Parks and Recreation Commission approved the addition of two new docks on the Spokane River at the Harbor Center. Each dock will provide up to 26 commercial boat slips. The docks will be constructed and maintained by boat rental companies who will lease riparian littoral rights from the city. The cost is estimated to start at $15,000 per year per slip dock for five years and $30,000 per year per slip dock for the following five years upon extension of the lease.

The first year would bring in $780,000 $30,000 into the Parks’ capital fund. Year six of the lease would bring in just over $1.5 Million $60,000 annually. The city would not have any maintenance costs or liability for the docks. Bill Greenwood who presented this twelve million dollar $650,000 idea to the commission earlier this week is hopeful that a handful of boat rental companies will outbid each other and the lease amounts will be higher than his proposed starting point.

The public benefit is touted as relieving congestion at the 3rd Street dock where rental companies often deliver boats. Although the Parks Commission has approved the concept it will head to General Works on Monday, March 21st, and finally to city council for final approval.

Unelected Consultant to Decide NIC President?

February 23, 2022 NIC Trustee Board Meeting

NIC Trustees Christie Wood and Ken Howard voted to allow the deciding vote for NIC Presidential Search Committee to be cast by an unelected consultant. When the vote was split 2-2, the motion failed. Both Howard and Wood are serving terms set to expire this year. It is expected that both will seek reelection. Observers of NIC board meetings and political warfare aired in meetings and the Press voice frustration with the inability of the board to work together. Christie Wood has been relentless in demanding resignation of Board Chair Todd Banducci who was re-elected to his third term in 2020 with support from the Kootenai County GOP. Is it any wonder that the board cannot agree on who to appoint to a search committee?

NIC Zone 1 Trustee Christie Wood at the February 23td Board Meeting

*This is not a comprehensive analysis of the NIC Board, Trustees, or Presidential Search. However, the local press coverage has appeared to be a mouthpiece for Trustee Wood’s agenda. We have previously reached out to Trustee Wood who also serves on the CdA City Council and she has refused to comment and address our comments.