- Associated Press - Monday, June 8, 2015

RATHDRUM, Idaho (AP) - City officials are seeking public input on how to use the 556 acres on Rathdrum Mountain it gained access to last year.

The Coeur d’Alene Press reports (http://bit.ly/1KWIrdg ) officials say they are looking to create recreational opportunities on the property and want to hear residents’ concerns.

Last year, Mayor Vic Holmes said he had only heard concerns raised by nearby landowners about the development of the area. But, more concerns have come about since then.

Ed Young, who served on the city council in the 1980s, said the region has enough recreation offerings and developing the site would destroy wildlife habitat and create more problems for the community.

“We already have more than 50 lakes and streams all over the place,” Young said. “You’d get people coming in and setting up (makeshift) homes. That’s what gets invited when you do something like this in a town area.”

An open house is being held June 16 for residents to learn more about the planning process and to voice their opinions.

“With ownership of this beautiful piece of property, the city has an obligation to manage the property in a way that best serves the community,” said Brett Boyer, city administrator. “We understand there are a number of ideas and concerns associated with opening up the land to public use. We want to use this opportunity to answer any questions members of the public may have and provide feedback for the mayor and city council to make decisions.”

Boyer said local police don’t believe homeless people will be attracted to the mountain because Rathdrum doesn’t offer the kind of services that larger cities along freeways provide. He said community groups have also offered to help maintain the site.

“This is a quality of life issue,” he said.

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Information from: Coeur d’Alene Press, http://www.cdapress.com

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