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Community center proposal moves ahead

LIBERTY LAKE – A proposal for a new community center and library inched forward again Tuesday when the Liberty Lake City Council unanimously agreed to request Bernardo-Wills architects draw more detailed plans for the 36,000-square-foot facility.

Council members said they’d like to see a “turn-key” project whose cost does not exceed $9.8 million.

Councilwoman Wendy Van Orman, a member of the building committee, said architects by Jan. 15 will provide the council with information on footprint options, estimated construction and operating costs and building timelines.

If the council likes what it sees, it would ask residents in April to vote on issuing bonds to pay for the facility – at Appleway Avenue and Signal Road.

In other action, the council unanimously adopted a 2008 city budget of just over $14.7 million – including $6 million from the general fund.

New expenditures include: $310,000 to create a community garden and arboretum; $300,000 to develop a skate park and improve baseball fields; $150,000 in seed money for the proposed I-294 interchange off Interstate 90 east of Barker Road; $100,000 to outfit an office and hire a city engineer; $42,000 for expanded youth recreation programs and $40,000 towards Pavilion Park’s free summer concert series.

A standing-room only crowd packed the festive council chambers to thank outgoing Mayor Steve Peterson for his more than six years of service and to congratulate five police officers on their special commendations.

Peterson’s 86-year-old father, his wife, Charmaine, and even the “First Dog” Pecos were on hand as the misty-eyed mayor received standing ovations, accolades and plaques from city employees and council members.


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