Engineering work has started on some of the more than $618,000 worth of improvements planned at Spokane Valley parks this year.
Parking lots will be paved in April at Edgecliff Park on Park Road and at Shields Park, informally known as Minnehaha Rocks and located just across the Spokane River from Felts Field.
Wyn Birkenthal, manager of the county’s parks, recreation and fair department, said bids for the projects are not in, but the combined cost of the paving projects is estimated at about $100,000.
Sullivan Road Park, just north of the Spokane River, will get a new sewer connection, with bids expected to open in April. The $40,000 job should take about 30 days, according to a tentative schedule, but the actual starting date of the work depends on the contractor’s schedule, Birkenthal said.
A survey was just finished for a new irrigation system at Browns Park at 32nd and Pines. But if the work can’t be completed before the second week of May it will have to wait until softball season , Birkenthal said. It is expected to cost between $50,000 and $80,000.
Sewer improvements at Mirabeau Park, near Walk in the Wild zoo, may take longer because an old drainfield and septic tank may have to be relocated, Birkenthal said. The septic system serves one of the few restrooms along the Centennial Trail. That work likely will be done within the year and could cost up to $80,000 if the restroom itself has to be moved, he said.
Meanwhile, county pools should have no trouble opening this season, Birkenthal said. Last year, the county nearly closed three of four pools because of leaks and safety problems. Instead, the county spent about $170,000 on repairs. In addition, the Park Road pool will get $60,000 worth of handicap accessibility work this spring to meet federal requirements.
This year, the parks department will hire a person dedicated to monitoring the pools and doing preventative maintenance, Birkenthal said. The job will be paid for by the county’s general fund.