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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Coeur d'Alene - City of Excellence

Each year, municipalities are asked to participate in the Association of Idaho Cities (AIC) City Achievement Award Program. In selecting winners for this competition, judges ask whether the nominated program improves quality of life, if it reduces the costs of resources, or solves a community problem. The City of Coeur d’Alene received awards at the 2011 AIC Annual Meeting. The following projects and programs were recognized:

Parks Day Celebration
During the master planning process for Coeur d’Alene Parks, one of the many surveys conducted indicated that citizens were not aware of all of the locations of city parks. A member of the master planning committee suggested beginning an annual event to feature different parks as a way to familiarize the community with all park locations. Since 2008, Parks Day Celebration Events have been held on the second Saturday in July. Thanks to community volunteers, civic groups, and generous sponsors, events have had all entertainment, activities, and food donated. The 4th Annual Parks Day Celebration was held July 9th.

ADA Hazard Abatement Program
In 2008, City Council created an ADA Sidewalk Hazard Abatement Program that supports systematic sidewalk repairs. Tied to foregone taxes, it produces over 5,000 linear feet of sidewalk repairs annually, based on a five-year plan. Work is accomplished economically by the Street Maintenance crew. The program was created from input from the ADA Transition Plan Advisory Group that consisted of community members, staff, and representatives from the community who are disabled. Since the program was adopted, 16,980 linear feet of sidewalks planned for abatement have been completed and 342 truncated domes on corners have been poured in place.

Idaho Technical Rescue Team
In response to the 9-11 tragedy, the city’s Fire Department proposed the idea of small, regional technical rescue teams that would act as first responders in the case of a major disaster or terrorist event. Because equipment, training, and deployment strategies are identical, teams can meet anywhere in the state and mesh together seamlessly. Three state teams are supported by the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security and provide expert resources beyond local capacities faster than FEMA Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) teams. Idaho Technical Rescue Team members receive “Train the Trainer” courses to teach skills to their respective departments and to keep costs down.

Citizens on Patrol (COPS) Program Enhances Public Safety
The Citizens on Patrol (COPS) Program was established in 2008 to enhance the relationship between CdA citizens and the CdA Police Department (CDAPD). Modeled after successful programs in Spokane, Kootenai County, and Post Falls, academies are tailored to city needs and free to the public. Annual COPS training sessions enable citizens to assist CDAPD with duties and services. Each volunteer receives up to 40 hours of instruction and once they’ve completed training, COPS assist the CDAPD with security checks, traffic control, and provide additional staffing at special events (e.g., parades, firework displays, etc.).

For more information about these or other city projects and programs, please call 769-2204.

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