Arrow-right Camera

Washington Voices

County Commissioners To Vote On $1 Million For Repair Of Pools

Spokane County’s four swimming pools are lined up for $1 million worth of repairs next year.

County commissioners will vote on the $966,000 expenditure next month when they decide on the 1997 budget. The final vote is due Dec. 5.

“Depending on the last gnashing of teeth, Wyn (Birkenthal) and Francine (Boxer) think there’s a 99 percent chance that money will stay in,” planner Steve Horobiowski told parks advisory committee members on Thursday evening. (Birkenthal is manager of the parks and recreation department; Boxer is director of county parks, recreation and the fair.)

The parks committee also approved money for Pavilion Park, at Liberty Lake, and discussed Morrow Park at its monthly meeting.

Three of the county’s four pools are in the Valley: Park Road, Valley Mission Park and Terrace View Park.

The pools received $150,000 worth of work in 1994. That year, commissioners considered simply closing the pools. Instead, they spent enough to make repairs that were expected to last just a few years.

“We’ve done some research and found examples around the country where chunks were floating out and causing injury to small children. We certainly don’t want that,” Horobiowski said.

The work proposed next spring would include resurfacing and replacing some pipes and mechanical equipment. Horobiowski emphasized that the $966,000 is an estimate.

“When we get in there and see the extent of the damage, we could possibly have to abandon three of the pools and replace one,” he said.

Liberty Lake’s neighborhood park, Pavilion Park, will receive $20,000 from the parks committee to help buy playground equipment, the parks committee decided.

That $20,000 will combine with matching community money to buy $40,000 worth of playground equipment. Pavilion Park also has won state approval for a $200,000 grant, based on the community’s ability to raise a 50-50 match.

The parks committee also heard discussion about Morrow Park, an undeveloped 40-acre parcel near the Bella Terra development.

A neighboring homeowner, Lyle Jorgens, has inquired about possible purchase of the land, to control vandalism, unmonitored parties and the risk of fires.

One of Charles Morrow’s heirs, Cheryl Olson, attended Thursday’s meeting and asked committee members to keep the property as a park, as her grandfather intended.

“The whole reason my grandfather wanted to leave it (to the county) was so kids could get away from the hassles of life,” Olson said.

The next step, committee members agreed, is for parks staff to meet informally with neighbors in the area, as well as other members of the Morrow family. Final results could range from establishment of a neighborhood park association, to outright return of the land to the Morrow family. The hilly parcel was given to the county in 1961.

, DataTimes

Click here to comment on this story »