Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Questioning growth in our community

| March 2, 2023 1:00 AM

Bonners Ferry is a small town. With that comes all the benefits that people love. A close sense of community, and running into a known friendly faces at the shops, stores and restaurants.

But it doesn’t have everything we need.

We occasionally need to trek further. Ponderay isn’t far when only Walmart, Home Depot or North 40 will do. Less frequent are trips to bigger cities like Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and Spokane.

But Bonners Ferry is growing, with a new “travel center” and Tractor Supply. Tractor Supply will undoubtedly be a convenient benefit to the local community. But what comes with that?

Just as we go into Ponderay, I expect folks will be drawn north to shop here. Likely increased visitation from Montana and Cañada as well. And that is also good for other businesses here. In and of itself not a bad thing.

But will expansion stop there? The “travel center” is being built on 9 acres, just a portion of the 40 acres available for expansion. Will we have a new strip mall in our future, or a car dealership or our own Walmart? Things like this would bring new jobs and tax revenues to our county. But with that also comes new housing needs. Land divided up into smaller and smaller lots with single-family houses and the inevitable apartment complex. More traffic lights, road expansion, and dare I say it… jail space. How long until Bonners Ferry is the new Ponderay, Sandpoint or Coeur d’Alene?

Is that what we want?


Moyie Springs

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