The Parks and Recreation Committee in Coeur d’Alene voted to ban offshore businesses in the city’s water corridor on Lake Coeur d’Alene. The decision will affect enterprises like the Hooligan Island jungle gym barge and boats that sell food. The committee sited the danger of motorized boat traffic near the beach, in water that is generally full of kayakers, paddle-boarders and swimmers in the summer. Source: Coeur D’Alene Press
Developers Philip Wirth and Rick Robinson have announced plans to create a 233-acre technology park on Highway 41 in Post Falls. The complex is being designed with technology and aerospace manufactures in mind, and the developers have specifically cited proximity to North Idaho College’s technical schools in Rathdrum as a draw to the location. Source: Coeur D’Alene Press
Alliance Data – citing strong growth in its Card Services division – announced plans to add 140 workers in Kootenai County by the end of 2017. This would raise the total employment at the company’s Coeur d’Alene complex to 750 employees, from 610 currently. A company spokesman said that Alliance anticipates a further expansion to between 800 and 850 employees in 2018. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
Viking Construction has begun work on the third and final phase of the Fieldstone Apartments project in Post Falls. This phase will add 64 units to the complex. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
Cascade Team Real Estate – a brokerage based in Issaquah, Washington – announced it plans to open a new office in Coeur d’Alene. Cascade Team focuses on residential real estate and does not provide commercial listings or property management services. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
SPi CRM, a Philippines-based call center, is remodeling the former Sports Authority space in the Silver Lake Mall in Coeur d’Alene to use as a new customer-service call center. SPi’s spokesman noted that the company anticipates total staffing of around 240 employees. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
This article uses from the Idaho Department of Labor’s six regional economists, the Idaho Department of Transportation, CTR and news sources includingCapitol Press, Idaho County Free Press, Idaho Mountain Express, Idaho State Journal, Local News 8, Idaho Statesman, KPVI,Post Register, Los Angeles Times, Spokesman-Review, Teton Valley News, The Atlantic and The Times-News.
The total solar eclipse of 2017 has faded into history, but its effects most likely will be discussed and dissected for some time.
On Monday, Aug. 21, the total solar eclipse occurred along a 70-mile-wide path across the continental United States where the moon completed blocked the sun for about two minutes. In Idaho, the path of totality entered the state from the west at Weiser, passed through the mountainous Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness and continued over Idaho Falls, Rexburg and Teton County.
Before the solar eclipse, southern Idaho communities along the path prepared for unknown numbers of visitors, gearing up to host them at inns, campgrounds and private homes; entice them into stores and restaurants; and protect them from potential problems. Estimates of potential visitors ranged from low to astronomical. No one was sure how many visitors would come, where they would locate and how much money or time they would spend.
A lumber mill in Athol owned by Vaagen Brothers Lumber suffered significant damage in an Aug. 9 fire. Although more than 50 percent of the facility was consumed, none of the mill’s employees were injured. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
The Post Falls City Council approved a new budget with no increase to property taxes and a fee increase which will affect water and wastewater fees. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
North Idaho College hosted the annual Art on the Green event. The art fair, which featured more than 160 artists, drew an estimated 50,000 patrons in its three-day run from Aug. 4-6. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Sandpoint’s new fiber network has begun expanding to business, including Timberline Helicopters and Tamarack Aerospace. Fatbeam, the fiber provider, cited the projects as examples of how public/private partnerships can work, while Sandpoint city officials noted that the fiber will help companies in need of better connectivity to keep their headquarters in Sandpoint. Source: Bonner County Daily Bee
Northern Idaho witnessed at least 21 reported wildfires in July. While the actions of the forest service and other authorities prevented any of the fires from forcing evacuations or threatening structures, the number of fires was above average for July. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Construction work began on a new commercial complex in Athol, which will eventually include the town’s first grocery store as well as a hardware store, a hotel and additional light industrial and commercial space. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
The Idaho Transportation Department and North Idaho College are partnering to offer a free three-week heavy equipment operator course, which aims both to fill labor needs in the construction industry and offer career opportunities to veterans, women and minorities. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Recent tariffs imposed on Canadian softwood lumber should reduce the amount of lumber the U.S. imports from Canada and boost the Idaho lumber industry this year. Softwood lumber — made from pine, fir, cedar and spruce — is mostly used for framing new houses.
Last year, according to Wood Resources Quarterly, imports from Canada accounted for 32 percent of lumber used in the United States. Less competition from Canada should boost U.S. mills’ profits, production and employment.
The countervailing duties on Canadian lumber imported to the United States range from 3 percent to 24.12 percent, averaging 19.88 percent. The U.S. Commerce Department plans to impose additional fees that would mean some lumber importers would face duties as high as 30.88 percent. Commerce says Canada is unfairly selling lumber in the U.S. below production costs, aided in part by improper government subsidies.
The new tariff is the latest step in a 35-year-old trade dispute between the two nations. U.S. lumber producers argue that the Canadian government unfairly subsidizes its lumber industry, since most timber cut in Canada comes from provincial forests. Provincial governments set prices administratively and are lower than if they were set in a competitive market. Under U.S. trade remedy laws, foreign trade benefiting from subsidies can be subject to a countervailing duty tariff to offset the subsidy and bring the price of the commodity back up to market rates.
Intermax Networks is now serving Sandpoint’s new city-owned fiber optic cable service. Access to the city’s cable allows Intermax to nearly double its service in Sandpoint and supports the city’s goals of expanding the availability of fiber. Source: Idaho Business Review
Construction on The Crossings – a new 37-acre business complex in Athol – began in June with the first work on a new Super 1 Foods grocery store. The complex is designed to serve the significant rural population of northern Kootenai County and may eventually include medical and financial service providers. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
The Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce has curtailed its financial support of the CDA Ironman competitions. After 14 years of full Ironman races, the city will instead begin hosting half-Ironman competitions beginning in 2018. Source: Spokesman Review
Silverwood Theme Park has fully ramped up for the summer season after opening its Boulder Beach water park. A representative from the park noted that sales of both season passes and individual tickets are up significantly from the previous year, when Canadian traffic dropped due to a weaker Canadian dollar. Season pass sales are up 23 percent over 2016, while individual ticket sales are up 20 percent. Source: Idaho Business Review
The city of Coeur d’Alene will postpone its planned widening and reconstruction of Government Way. The city received only one bid for the project, which was 34 percent higher than the city’s initial estimate. A city spokesman indicated that the narrow timeframe associated with the project was contributing to high costs, as the project would have required significant overtime work. Source: Spokesman Review