The state of Idaho has taken ownership of the Central Treatment Plant in Kellogg under the direction of the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The plant has been responsible for cleaning up mine pollution in the Coeur d’Alene Basin since it began operations 50 years ago. Under new ownership, the plant is expected to overcome the facility’s former water capacity restrictions and lower the amount of heavy metals from the nearby mine before it flows into the South Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River. Source: Shoshone News-Press
Lanzce G. Douglass Inc. has started work on a $73.3 million housing project in the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene area. The River’s Edge Apartments in Coeur d’Alene will account for $45.2 million of the total project. With 12 apartment buildings and 384 residential units, River’s Edge will be one of the largest multifamily complexes in the region. The apartments will be located in the Atlas District, part of Coeur d’Alene’s urban renewal district along the north side of the Spokane River, in west Coeur d’Alene. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
The Priest Lake wetland is set to be subdivided for land development and housing construction. Local residents have expressed concerns about the permanent loss of several ecosystem functions and their benefits to humans such as flood control, water filtration and aquifer recharge. Source: Spokesman-Review
Amazon Air has launched daily flights from a 30,750-square-foot cargo facility at the Spokane Airport. The $5.4 million facility will transport packages from the airport to the Amazon Fulfillment Center, located a few miles southwest of the new Amazon Air station at 10010 W. Geiger Blvd. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
Corwin Automotive Group purchased Gus Johnson Ford in Spokane Valley and plans to work with Mike White Ford of Coeur d’Alene to grow its presence in the area. Corwin Auto is based in North Dakota. Source: The Spokesman-Review
Idaho recorded a sharp increase in the statewide average wage in 2020. Nominal wages grew by 7.7% and real wages grew by 6.4%, outpacing wage growth over the past decade. Annual average wages for the state are shown in Figure 2-1.
Wages are expressed in both nominal terms and real wages, with real wages adjusted for inflation using the consumer price index. Following a precipitous drop in 2008, Idaho’s average real wage remained largely flat with an average growth rate of about 0.1%. Growth picked up in 2014 and remained steady, keeping up with inflation through 2020.Continue reading →
A large mixed-use project is planned for the 33-acre Landing at Post Falls development on the banks of the Spokane River. According to the Post Falls Urban Renewal Agency, at least three separate developers are planning to build on the site, which includes plans for at least 548 residential units and substantial office and commercial space. Source: Journal of Business
A public charter school, Elevate Academy North, is being developed in Post Falls with plans to open in time for the 2022-23 school year. The school will specialize in career technical skills and will initially serve around 310 students. Source: Journal of Business
Idaho’s population grew 17.3% in the 10 years since the 2010 Census, which was the second-fastest rate nationally, to Utah’s first-place growth of 18.5%. During the decade, the state netted 271,524 new residents through natural increases and in-migration internationally and from other U.S. states. After Utah and Idaho, the top five growth states included Texas, North Dakota and Nevada.
Census 2020 reports that among Idaho’s 200 cities and towns, 37 outpaced the state growth rates from 2010 to 2020. This data springboards off the Aug. 12, 2021, release of Census 2020 statistics and is commonly referred to as redistricting data.
It provides information necessary for the process of redrawing political boundaries, both statewide and locally, after each decennial census. The largest numerical increases were in and around the capital city of Boise and the surrounding Treasure Valley, contributing mightily to the headline-grabbing growth.
Fire restrictions across northern Idaho were rescinded on Aug. 27 after cooler weather and moisture abated the summer fire danger. The Coeur d’Alene Dispatch Zone, which includes all five northern counties, announced the end of fire restrictions and lowered the fire danger rating from extreme levels, easing restrictions on recreationists. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Amid rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, institutions are reinstating public health measures. North Idaho College renewed its mandatory masking policy, while Kootenai Health announced changes to its visitation policy amid rising COVID hospitalizations. Source: KHQ News
The city of Hayden approved a new subdivision to be built on the location of the former Hayden Meadows Soccer Complex. The new subdivision, to be named Hayden Meadows Estates, will include 53 single-family homes, built on roughly 16 acres. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Post Falls-based Steel Structures America has started work on a new self-storage complex which will eventually include 170,000 square feet of storage. The first phase will include eight buildings with 70,000 square feet of storage. Source: Journal of Business
The city of Coeur d’Alene began work on traffic improvements, funded by a federal grant through the Local Highway Technical Assistance Council. The work will improve signaling and management at multiple high traffic intersections and is expected to be completed by the end of August. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Long-time Idaho Department of Labor analyst and friend of many Kathryn A. Tacke died suddenly of natural causes Friday, July 2, 2021, at her home in Lewiston.
Kathryn began her Idaho Labor career as a labor market analyst in 1988, serving the five most northern Idaho counties from the Coeur d’Alene office. She transferred to the Lewiston office in 2009 to serve region 2, which includes Latah, Lewis, Clearwater, Idaho and Nez Perce counties.
Highly respected in her field, Kathryn provided economic data to industry, education, local and state government and nonprofit organizations. She knew how to communicate complicated data information in her interactions with customers, in presentations and in her writing. She cherished her relationships with other Idaho Labor economists and was often called upon to teach methods and process.
Editor’s note: Regional economist Kathryn Tacke passed away unexpectedly on July 2. This is the last article she submitted for publication. Her previous articles can be found at Labor’s Idaho@Work blog.
What a difference a year makes. In April 2020, the pandemic and its effects pushed Idaho’s unemployment rate to an all-time high of 11.6%. This April, media across Idaho reported on labor shortages and how some businesses are struggling to stay open because they can’t find enough workers. The labor shortages are widespread — not only showing up in the state’s fast-growing urban areas, but also in rural communities. The businesses finding it hardest to recruit workers are construction firms, home care agencies, employers of certified nurse aides, restaurants, motels, trucking and package delivery companies and some manufacturers. School districts throughout the state are finding it difficult to hire substitute teachers and paraprofessionals.
Why has the job market become so tight? Before the pandemic, labor shortages were common. Now, thousands of Idaho employers are trying to make their normal seasonal hires and add new jobs as the state continues its recovery and growth in manufacturing and construction industries accelerates. This article explains the complex reasons for all the “help wanted” signs in Idaho and why employers are getting little or no response to want ads.
Riverstone Holdings is developing a mixed-use building in the Riverstone district. The new building will include office space for rent on the ground floor, three floors of condos above and underground parking. The project is slated for completion in summer 2022. Source: Journal of Business
The Coeur d’Alene Ironman race was successfully completed, after COVID-19 forced a cancellation in 2021. The triathlon – which features a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run – was the first full-distance ironman race held in Coeur d’Alene since 2017 and drew about 2,100 competitors to the area. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
The city of Hayden’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved a plan to turn the Hayden Meadows soccer complex into a housing subdivision. The 10-acre field was acquired, along with two adjacent properties, by Kulka Land LLC, which plans to turn the parcel into a 53-unit single family subdivision. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
The Coeur d’Alene School District delayed the opening of a new planned magnet school until the 2022-2023 school year. District officials cited financial constraints as the reason. The magnet school will offer a hybrid learning model with a community service focus. Roughly 200 students are already enrolled in the school. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
A new four-story mixed commercial and residential building will be built in Coeur d’Alene’s Riverstone development. The building will include office spaces on the first floor with condo units on the higher floors. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Kootenai County’s Community Development office produced a 22-page report on potential growth management strategies and is seeking public comments and participation. Kootenai County has been growing by roughly 2.5% per year over the last decade, and the Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization projects that the population of the county will grow by more than 130,000 by 2040. Source: Spokane Journal of Business