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Rec center defeated in Airway Heights

Airway Heights voters soundly rejected Tuesday a $5 million proposal to build a recreation center.

Just 38 percent of voters supported the measure, which would have created a building with a pool and waterslides, a fitness center and meeting rooms. It needed 60 percent to pass.

Deputy Mayor Matthew Pederson said officials recently had been getting a lot of feedback that the center cost too much, and some residents also voiced concern that a site had not been chosen.

“The timing may not be right for it,” Pederson said. “That kind of shows in the results.”

He said voters likely will get another chance to approve a recreation center after more citizen input.

“We’ll scale it down and see what people are willing to pay for,” Pederson said.

Property owners would have been taxed $3 for each $1,000 of taxable property value. Residents would have paid taxes on the building for 20 years.

The center would have been open to the public, but Airway Heights residents would have paid lower rates to use it.

Meanwhile, voters elsewhere approved two tax proposals for fire service.

In southwestern Spokane County, 62 percent of voters supported a small tax increase for Spokane County Fire District 3. The measure needed a simple majority to pass.

District officials asked residents to up their tax rate from $1.38 to $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The hike will bring the district about $100,000.

District 3, which serves about 15,000 people, covers about 550 square miles – making it the county’s largest fire district.

In Spangle, 78 percent of voters approved a levy that will maintain the same taxes residents pay for fire service, said Spangle Mayor Marcy Cockle. Residents pay $1.50 for each $1,000 of assessed property value. The proposal needed 60 percent support to pass.

The money will be used to pay Spokane County Fire District 3 to service the town, Cockle said.