Thursday, March 30, 2006

A Tale Of Two Cities

I've been railing against the Kroc Community Center in Coeur d'ALene for months on the presumption that the community cannot afford the $3 to $5 million estimated annual operating costs. Bearing in mind this is not a static amount, if the tax payers are willing to pick up the difference when projections fall short, terrific. In a community that's constantly howling about its tax burden I don't see that coming easily.

Then there is Rathdrum. Kim Ransier of Hayden came forward with a plan to renovate and preserve the historic Milwaukee Railroad Depot and turn it into a community center complete with a park like exterior and an interior designed to accommodate seminars, business meetings or corporate retreats with kitchen facilities that could be used to cater small parties.

Push came to shove when the suggestion of wedding receptions came to the fore. "Don't need another commercial venture," was one response. Wedding receptions "would be outside" and they'd have to call the cops when projected noise levels became unbearable. Such a facility "would attract strangers" to the neighborhood. "Crime would likely go up." " Who would clean up?"

I'd like to address some of those comments. Noise. The railroad is maybe two blocks away and the traffic is constant en route to the fueling depot. You cannot carry on a conversation when one is rolling through whistling at the crossing. Out door wedding receptions would be unlikely.

Commercial venture. Guess who would do the clean up? The commercial venture.

Strangers and increase in crime? The pictures show the depot and the neighborhood as it is today.

If a picture is worth 10,000 words than I need say no more. The city has no money to preserve anything of its past. If it is to be done it will be by private investor. Like those who would refurbish the old Methodist Church. Is that too going to go the way of the depot?

If the community as a whole doesn't come forward and extend a welcome to these people maybe the town should consider changing it's name to Rathdumb.

Architectural rendering compliments of The Rathdrum Star. Click the pics for better viewing.

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