Coeur d'Alene tree thinning creates budgetary debate

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - The city has been thinning trees along a dike road that separates North Idaho College from Lake Coeur d'Alene, on Wednesday.

They are doing that so the road, which also acts as a levee, will be up to code with FEMA. The problem is that it is not clear who should be responsible for paying for all of the work.

Studying has certainly been more tedious recently for North Idaho College student Matthew Peck.

The city has begun removing several dead and problem trees along Rosenberry Drive and River Avenue.

"You hear the chainsaws and the giant trees crashing and you wonder what's going on, what they're doing out here," said Perk.

Disruptive as it may be, the work is required by the Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The road acts as a levee, and some of these roots pose a threat to destabilizing that levee. If those trees were not removed, the levee would not be in compliance with FEMA and they would not be required to help in the event of a flood.

But who is responsible for footing the bill?

While the road is clearly the city's property, it is not as obvious who the trees belong to. The city and NIC are currently negotiating that, trying to figure out who should pay.

As for Peck, he will just have to live with the thinning out. It is not necessarily easy on the second year student who is studying outdoor leadership here.

"Say goodbye to the trees, I suppose. I'll miss you, it's been great," said Peck.

Work is expected to continue through the end of February.


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