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Restorium tree comes down, community shred day to return

May 10, 2022

The big tree in the courtyard at the Restorium was safely taken down Monday due to safety concerns, and administrators are saving an eight-foot section off the bottom in hopes of having it carved into a statue of some sort to put back into the courtyard when they are done remodeling. If you know or are a local woodcarving artist who might be up for the task please call the Restorium at (208) 267-2453.

The Restorium is still seeking full time maintenance personnel. To learn more, call (208) 267-2453.

Boundary County Commissioners have been working with the Bonner County Public Defenders office on a memorandum of understanding for sharing services in Boundary County as well as continuing planning work on road projects, to include paving a portion of Brown Creek Road from Highway 95 to the top of Brown Creek in 2023 and developing a master plan with the Idaho Transportation Department on improvements and safety upgrades to School House Road in conjunction with an ITD project to make upgrades to Highway 95 from School House Road to the south end of Deep Creek Loop.

Work is underway to widen the availability of high-speed broadband access in the county through a state public access, with studies underway with service providers, and to bring back the once popular "Shred Day," bringing a mobile paper shredding truck to the courthouse and allowing folks to bring in any documents no longer needed but too sensitive to be send to the landfill. Commissioners hope to have dates and times available soon.

County Road & Bridge has gone out for dust abatement materials, including calcium chloride, magnesium and liquid magnesium, but costs are high and availability low, so it's uncertain whether they will be successful.

Commissioners are working with the Boundary County Planning and Zoning Commission and Ruen & Yeager personnel who now provide P&Z administrative services in the county to simplify and speed up processing of land use and addressing applications.

"We are listening to the public and we're working to streamline the process as much as possible," commission chair Dan Dinning said.

Ruen & Yeager was contracted in the spring of 2020 to assist administrator John Moss with a significant increase in applications created a significant backlog in applications. When both Moss and Gary Falcon, who developed and maintained the county's addressing system, retired later that year, commissioners decided to continue with Ruen & Yeager rather try to fill the vacancies with a county employee.

"Due to the amount of growth, we can no longer operate as we once did," Dinning said. "The public is frustrated, but 40 hours is 40 hours ... we can't rush the process, but we are working to change our process. Not the ordinance, but the process. Administrator Clare Marley has a number of items she's working on."

While work is underway, Dinning noted that many of the problems and delays could be avoided with due diligence.

A lot of people buying property either think the county has no land use law or they don't take the time to make sure they'll be able to do what they'd planned before they buy their property.

Dinning recommends those looking to buy property in Boundary County read the introduction to the county zoning and subdivision ordinance, first drafted before the turn of the century and largely unchanged through several ordinance rewrites.

"Those who are contemplating purchasing rural property here or who are considering making the great outdoors of Boundary County home should be aware that life is different here than it is nearly anywhere you may be coming from," it reads in part. "This preface is not meant to scare anyone away, merely to point out some of the differences you can expect so you can make decisions that will help you enjoy all our community has to offer ... It is always wise to check on the availability of utilities before you put up the down payment. It's also wise to check beforehand to ensure that you'll be able to use your property as you intend; not all lots in the county are open to development. If a lot was created in violation of this ordinance, as sometimes happens, no zoning certificates will be issued. There are also flood plains throughout the community, where additional restrictions apply before any development can begin.

"You should also check to make sure you have legal access to your property and that you are aware of any easements that may exist; it's not a bad idea to make sure a parcel has been surveyed prior to purchase. The cost will most likely be added to the purchase price, but at least you'll know exactly what you're buying. Relying on a fence line, a rock or the tree out back is not always prudent.

"Be sure to check out the neighborhood, too. Businesses are located throughout the county; some are noisy, some bring increased traffic and dust; but as they were there first, you'll have no room to complain if you choose to build nearby. Agriculture is prevalent throughout the county, and if you buy next to a hog farm, you can expect the breeze will be a little less than sweet when it blows your way. Farmers work around the clock, and the dust and noise can certainly disrupt your peace and quiet.

"It is the belief of the county that people who buy and build a here have the right to build the home that best suits them with minimal intrusion; if the roof caves in under the weight of the snow, they'll know better next time. Conversely, you may build a beautiful home that meets the most stringent building codes, but your next door neighbor may not. County government will not intercede on your behalf to make your neighbor live up to your standards."

Commissioners recommend that those looking at property in Boundary County take time to contact planning and zoning, (208) 265-4629, and the assessor's office, (208) 267-3301, before deciding to purchase to see if there are any zoning or access issues, easements or other concerns that might preclude their planned use of the property.

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

Mike Weland, Publisher

6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

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