May 25, 2006 in City

Judge grants request for garage hearing

By The Spokesman-Review
 

A Spokane County Superior Court judge has scheduled a hearing at 1:30 p.m. June 6 to examine the River Park Square parking garage.

The hearing before Judge Kathleen O’Connor was granted at the request of former Spokane City Councilman Stephen Eugster, who has argued that parking spaces in the garage facing the outside should be closed until the sides are reinforced.

Pullman resident Jo Ellen Savage was killed April 8 after her car hit a barrier and fell from the fifth level. Witnesses told police that Savage’s car hit the wall at a slow speed.

River Park Square and the garage are owned by the Cowles Co., which also owns The Spokesman-Review.

“It’s the garage ownership’s perspective that this legal action lacks any legal merit,” said River Park Square spokeswoman Jennifer West. “They continue to believe that the garage is safe.”

At the hearing, Spokane officials will be asked to require River Park Square to improve the barriers or explain why that action isn’t necessary.

Last week, River Park Square presented a report to city building officials that said the barriers meet building codes. Mall officials said they are completing a more comprehensive study over the next few weeks to confirm the preliminary findings. The city plans to hire LSB Consulting Engineers to examine the mall’s report, said city spokeswoman Marlene Feist.

“We don’t have the evidence at this point to take action as severe as Steve Eugster suggests,” Feist said.


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