City Seeks Grant For Ben Burr Park
City parks officials are hoping the fifth time is a charm in their efforts to win state funding for Ben Burr Park.
On Monday, the City Council approved a resolution to seek a $300,000 grant from the state Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation.
The city has applied for the grant in each of the past four years but has been turned down. The park would provide a needed play area for the fast-growing area of Southeast Spokane.
Money from the state would be matched with $342,000 in city park reserve funds for development of the 8.5 acre park tract along Havana Street at 43rd Avenue.
The city Parks department bought the land in 1991.
Parks officials said city funds are so tight they cannot afford to improve the park without the state matching grant.
Other parks in the city, including the new Cannon’s Addition Park, have been developed with state matching money.
Last year, the Ben Burr request was ranked by the state committee as 30th out of 61 proposals submitted statewide.
The nearest parks are more than a mile and a half away, including Thornton Murphy Park at 28th and Ray and the South Side Sports Complex at 46th and Regal.
At the Ben Burr site, the city wants to build a picnic shelter, basketball court, trails, a multipurpose playfield, a restroom and play equipment. The park also would have some native vegetation maintained for natural landscaping.
Sidewalks, curbs and parking would be needed. The plan does not include any wading or spray pools.
The park site was assembled from two acres purchased from a church and six acres obtained from developers of Echo Glen subdivision.