February 22, 2005

Craig, Crapo, Otter Introduce Bills that will Benefit Local Goverment

WASHINGTON, DC â?? Idaho Senators Larry Craig and Mike Crapo and Congressman C.L. â??Butchâ?? Otter introduced companion bills in the Senate and House today that intend to transfer ownership of the local General Service Administration (GSA) building in Sandpoint, ID â?? in which the Forest Service is currently housed â?? to the Forest Service. The bill also provides authority for the Forest Service to work with Bonner County, ID to transfer the building to Bonner County, which will then provide for the construction of a new and more functional building for the Forest Service.â??The transfer of this facility will allow the Forest Service to improve service, public and employee safety, make the Idaho Panhandle National Forest more financially competitive, and allow increased spending on resource programs that contribute to healthier ecosystems,â?? Senator Larry Craig said. â??In turn, Bonner County will benefit by being provided a building that consolidates county offices so that better services can be provided to the local public â?? including ADA compliant access to the county courtrooms.â??â??Sometimes common sense solutions to problems are obvious, and this is one of those times,â?? Senator Mike Crapo said. â??This measure takes a situation that isn't working for either the county or the federal government, and proposes a way to improve services and access along with public safety. I am particularly pleased that the solution was reached by those involved on the ground with the building concerns; it demonstrates strong collaborative working relationship.â??â??Itâ??s an unfortunate fact that people have come to expect nothing about government to make common sense. This does. Itâ??s a credit to the working relationship between these two federal agencies and local leaders in Bonner County that the agreement was reached. It should give folks some hope that sometimes the government can get it right,â?? Congressman C.L. â??Butchâ?? Otter said. [30]