January 8, 2009 in Washington Voices

Liberty Lake civic building renovations behind schedule

Building to house library, police station
By The Spokesman-Review
 

Renovations of the building destined to become Liberty Lake’s new library and police station is behind schedule. The two entities probably won’t be able to move in until February, said community development director Doug Smith at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

“The schedule may have slipped a bit, but the budget has not,” he said.

The city allocated $670,000 to pay for renovations, which included splitting the building at 23123 E. Mission Ave. in two. During Tuesday’s meeting, Police Chief Brian Asmus spoke about the need to pay for some security systems not included in the work that went out to bid. The items he would like include garage door openers, fencing, an automatic exterior gate and an access control system.

“When the original estimate was provided, $40,000 of that was just for an automatic gate,” Asmus said. “We thought $40,000 for a gate was a little ridiculous.”

Since then the department has sought other bids for its equipment, which totals just over $41,000. All the systems are important for safety, Asmus said. A new fence around the back would prevent library patrons from driving behind the building. “With some of our clientele we’re dealing with, we want to restrict access.”

The lower bids would allow the city to pay for the security equipment while still staying within its planned $670,000 budget. “We would remain within that budget,” he said. “I’m not asking for additional dollars.”

The new equipment is affordable because the bids for the renovation work came in lower than expected, said Smith. Part of the savings also came from not installing a fireproof door. “It was determined it was not required,” he said.

The bids will come before the council for approval at a later meeting, which means the equipment won’t be available when the building opens next month. “Those don’t have to be in place for us to move in,” Asmus said. “It’ll probably be before the middle of the year.”

In other business, the council voted against an old proposal to develop the Cataldo Business Park north of Interstate 90 at Cataldo just inside the city limits.

The land was originally platted for development in 1995 under Spokane County. The owner, Ted Williams Partnership, tried to come back and further subdivide the land after the existing site plan had expired, said Smith. The city’s hearing examiner ruled that the owners and developers would have to start over and file a new site plan that follows city municipal code. The city council voted to uphold the hearing examiner’s decision.

The council also heard a presentation by Spokane Valley Fire Deputy Chief Larry Rider on the department’s special levy that will be on the Feb. 3 ballot. The three-year levy will collect an estimated $1.59 per $1,000 in assessed home value through 2012. The levy will provide 52 percent of the fire departments annual budget, Rider said.

“We’ve made very conservative estimates in our growth for assessed value,” Rider said.

During the meeting the council also observed a moment of silence for former city manager Lewis Griffin, who died recently.

Nina Culver can be reached at 927-2158 or via e-mail at ninac@spokesman.com.

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