City partners with Lions for park improvements

RATHDRUM – The Rathdrum Lions Club recently added to their long history of community service projects by offering to supply the materials and labor to build a new pavilion at Rathdrum’s City Park. City officials were quick to recognize the generous offer and approved the project at their Feb. 13 meeting.

“It’s a great partnership for the community of Rathdrum,” said Lance Bridges, Parks and Recreation Department director. “What a great opportunity to see a civic organization offer to revitalize our city park.”

The need for upgraded facilities at the park has long been an item of concern for city officials. A new restroom had been penciled into the 2007 budget, but due to financial constraints, it was unlikely the replacement of the building containing the kitchen and shelter area was not going to happen anytime soon.

“We had it in our capital improvement plan,” Bridges said. “Within the next five years, we would have replaced it.”

Partnership with the Lions Club will jump-start the improvements. With final negotiations yet to be completed, the hope is that both the pavilion, including kitchen facilities, and an adjoining handicapped-accessible restroom can be completed sometime this summer.

The new pavilion will be a permanent structure, modeled after the one built by the Post Falls Lions Club at Q’emiln Park in Post Falls, according to Larry Quimby, chairman of the project for the Lions Club.

“The structure will be 40-by-50-feet, with partially enclosed exterior walls,” he said. “Gas lights in the ceiling will radiate heat downward, making the kitchen usable during cold weather events, such as December D’Lights.”

He also indicated that removable canvas sides could be used during inclement weather.

The Lions Club will be seeking sponsorships for the materials, Quimby said.

“The cost for the basic building has been estimated at about $7,000,” he said. “That doesn’t include the cost of either the kitchen or bathroom facilities.”

Like the pavilion at Q’emiln Park, the names of sponsors will be placed on permanent signs that will form the lower portion of the walls. Quimby noted that former mayor Joe Hassell, of Inland Northwest Consultants, has already stepped forward to donate plans for the project.

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