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Industrial district moving to sell land

| February 14, 2006 11:00 PM

By BRENT SHRUM Western News Reporter

The Kootenai Business Park Industrial District is moving ahead with plans to sell off portions of the former Stimson mill site to spur redevelopment of the property.

At a meeting on Monday, the industrial district board received a report on the status of the property from Kootenai River Development Council director Paul Rumelhart. An approximately 5-acre subdivision intended for use as a motocross track was given preliminary approval earlier this month by the county commissioners. An 11-lot commercial subdivision along U.S. Highway 2 is in the works and is scheduled for a public hearing at the commissioners' meeting on March 1, Rumelhart said.

"There's going to be tremendous interest in the highway frontage property," Rumelhart said.

Rumelhart told the board he expects 2006 to be an active year at the former mill site. He reviewed state laws regarding the disposal of property by an industrial district. Before any property can be disposed of, the district must have a master plan, approved by the local governing body, in place. The Kootenai Business Park's master plan is scheduled for approval by the county commissioners on Feb. 22, Rumelhart said.

The industrial district is also required to advertise the sale of property, take public input and consider

all proposals before making a decision based on its determination of how the public interest would be best served, Rumelhart said. Property would be sold or leased at rates based on independent appraisals.

In other business:

The board approved a proposal submitted by Rumelhart to build a 40x120-foot metal building on the site for marketing to businesses needing shop space. The building would be divided into four stalls of 1,200 square feet each. The estimated cost of the project is $180,000. Funds can be borrowed from a state loan program at an interest rate of around 4 percent, Rumelhart said.

Board member Ardell Filler moved to seek bids for construction of the building.

"I think we need to do something," he said. "We need to move ahead and make this thing look like it's doing something."

Rumelhart delivered a report on current and potential tenants at the site. The three major tenants — CDM, Stimson and Luck-E-G Post and Rail — are doing well, and discussions are ongoing with a small diameter wood mill, a chipping facility and a truss manufacturer that are interested in the site, Rumelhart said. In addition, Mines Management Inc. has signed a letter of intent to use a portion of the property if its plans to revive the Montanore project come to fruition, Rumelhart said.

The board accepted the resignation of board member Stan Kargol. Darren Caldwell has been appointed to replace Kargol.

Last month, board chairman Jim Mayo submitted his resignation. The board did not accept his resignation, and Mayo has agreed to stay on the board, but not as chairman. Dan Larson was elected to serve as the board's new chairman.