The group that’s backing public spending for green space in Spokane County believes that 70 percent of county citizens support its cause.
A survey taken this spring by Robinson Research showed that 70 percent of the county’s voters favor continuing the tax that raises money to preserve natural areas in the county. Twenty percent oppose this use of tax money, while the rest are undecided.
Craig Volosing last week told fellow members of the county parks advisory committee about the survey findings during the committee’s discussion of the upcoming vote on the county conservation futures tax.
The advisory election will be held Sept. 16. County commissioners have said they will abide by the vote of the people in deciding whether to extend the conservation futures tax.
Currently, property owners pay 3 cents per $1,000 of property value Volosing, vice chairman of the parks advisory committee, is also chairman of the steering committee for Coalition for the Future, the group campaigning for extension of the tax.
However, he said his participation in the campaign is personal, only. “I in no way represent the (parks advisory) committee,” Volosing said.
Coalition for the Future has raised $3,500. More groups are getting involved all the time, Volosing said.
Using conservation futures money, the county has bought a handful of properties, including an old-growth cedar grove bordering Liberty Lake Park, 410 acres along the north bank of Long Lake and 2.2 acres of riverfront near the Aubrey White Parkway.
“This is what it’s going to take to preserve our quality of life,” Volosing said.
The parks committee also learned that design work for flood damage repair of the Centennial Trail in the Valley is estimated to cost $61,000. County parks and recreation director Wyn Birkenthal said the design costs are high because of the delicate nature of doing the work right along the shore of the Spokane River.
“The Shoreline Management Act says you can’t just throw some huge boulders along the edge of the river,” Birkenthal said.
Complete repair of the trail between Flora and Barker roads may not be finished until next year, he said. County commissioners are looking for another $366,000 in construction money for that repair. State and federal help is being sought.
Advisory board members also discussed ways to recognize the volunteer efforts that have transformed Fish Lake Park into a well-maintained family park.