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Monday, March 7, 2011

Free Street Trees For New Neighborhoods

If you live in one of Coeur d'Alene's new neighborhoods, you may be eligible to get free street trees for your neighborhood. The trees are available to homeowners or residents in new neighborhoods who are willing to provide care for them. Interested people should contact the Urban Forestry division of the Coeur d'Alene Parks Department at 415-0415. There are a limited number of trees and they will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Funding for the trees has come from a street tree fee collected on residential building permits. The street tree fees can be refunded to builders or new homeowners who plant a street tree upon completion of a new home. Six months after the completion of a home, unclaimed funds are forfeited to the city. The city is now using these forfeited funds to purchase and plant trees in new neighborhoods.

The owners of the homes whose building permit fees were forfeited are the first choice for using these funds. The city has already contacted those property owners regarding the planting program. However, there are still some trees unclaimed. These street trees are being offered to any homeowner who is willing to make sure that the trees are watered and protected from string trimmers and mowers.

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Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization (KMPO) is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Kootenai County, Idaho. Federal law requires urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people to have an MPO. KMPO was formed in 2003, to provide coordinated transportation planning within Kootenai county for the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and the Coeur d'Alene tribe.

KMPO's Board of Directors oversees KMPO for Kootenai County, ID. KMPO's Executive Director and Staff are responsible for day-to-day operational and administrative needs.