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Panel To Buy Small Parcel For Park

A small parcel of land near Felts Field might become the city’s newest - and one of its smallest - parks.

The city Park Board agreed to purchase the 1,000 square-foot lot and house at 5428 E. Commerce for $68,500, said Dennis Beringer, city real estate director.

The purchase has been longsought by residents of the Parkwater neighborhood. said Jerry Shoemaker, chairman of the neighborhood steering committee that serves east Spokane, said there is no vacant land or recreational opportunity in the neighborhood.

“There’s no place for the kids to play except in the middle of the street,” said Shoemaker. “So they agreed to go ahead and purchase this pocket park.”

The neighborhood would actually pay for the acquisition and for any playground equipment through community development money. It has already set aside funds.

If not for the neighborhood commitment, the city would probably not go forward with the park. Small parks pose maintenance problems and the Parkwater acquisition would be one of just six city parks under one acre in size.

“You have to maintain it just as you would any other park,” said Mike Stone of the city Parks Department. “We feel this is the only opportunity the neighborhood has to put a park in its boundaries and an exception we feel is worth it.”

A house on the site and will be sold and moved when the park is developed. Until then, the city may rent out the property in order to bring in revenue.

, DataTimes