Legal costs ascend in SilverWing lawsuit

Print Article

A model hangar home is seen through a security gate at SilverWing at Sandpoint. (Photo by KEITH KINNAIRD)

SANDPOINT — Bonner County commissioners declared a financial emergency Wednesday to sustain its vigorous defense of a multi-million-dollar lawsuit filed by developers of SilverWing at Sandpoint.

The declaration enables the county to pull additional funding from a contingency account in the county’s justice fund to cover legal costs in the federal lawsuit.

The county budgeted $400,000 in the current fiscal year to fend off the suit and the emergency declaration increases that line item by another $450,000, for a total of $850,000.

The county spent $400,000 during the last fiscal year on the SilverWing suit.

“It’s the nature of the litigation and the risk is so high that we have to fight it aggressively,” said Commissioner Mike Nielsen, noting that an adverse judgment could cost taxpayers up to $26 million. “We cannot afford to ignore this litigation.”

SilverWing, a fly-in housing project under development on west side of Sandpoint Airport, filed suit in U.S. District Court last year, alleging that the county engaged in unfair dealings and violated the developers’ rights to equal protection under the law.

The 45-unit subdivision features hybrid dwellings that are part residence and part aircraft hangar. At the time of the suit’s filing, developers said $6.1 million had been spent grading home sites and installing utility and road infrastructure.

When the developers purchased the 18-acre site in 2007, an easement afforded through-the-fence access to the airport grounds.

SilverWing alleges in the suit that the county sought to shutter direct access to the airport under pressure from the Federal Aviation Administration and was not forthright about plans to relocate a runway, which it argues would encroach onto its property and conflict with a $500,000 taxiway it developed.

The matter is set to be tried in federal court this spring, according to Nielsen.

Print Article

Read More News

Turkey hunting memories; no trigger pull required

April 22, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press This is the short version. We parked the car and walked through a dark woods to a place where we sat with our backs to trees and listened. It rained. After daylight we started to call. Eventua...

Comments

Read More

A springtime wake-up call: It’s black bear season

April 22, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press There was that one bear that denned 40 feet up a hollow cedar tree. It may not have been the best place to den, but the black bear didn’t seem to mind, said Wayne Wakkinen, regional game manager for...

Comments

Read More

Trap avoidance seminar being offered in Ponderay

April 22, 2018 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee Idaho Fish and Game Hunter Education Technician John Kunkle will conduct a trap awareness seminar in Ponderay for pet owners on Saturday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to noon. The seminar will be held at ...

Comments

Read More

Enter Super Hunt drawing for the state’s best hunts

April 22, 2018 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee Enter Super Hunt drawings for Idaho’s best deer, elk, moose and pronghorn hunts Unlike other controlled hunts, you can enter the Super Hunt drawing as many times as you like 2015 was Gavin Moody’s ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 263-9534
PO Box 159
Sandpoint, ID 83864

©2018 Bonner County Daily Bee Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X