Spokane Valley Partners, 10814 E. Broadway Ave., has received $100,000 in capital funds from the state to improve its facility.
Ken Briggs, chief executive officer, said the funds will be used to install a fire-suppression system inside the food bank in order to put in more shelves to store food. He said this will help the food bank greatly, since distribution has been up in recent weeks. Last week alone, the food bank served 265 families and distributed 35,000 pounds of food.
“This is good economic development,” Briggs said of the construction projects, since it will bring jobs into the community.
He added the project will cost around $40,000. The system will also require workers to tap into the water main. Briggs said this would have cost them anywhere from $18,000 to $20,000, but the board of Modern Electric recently voted to forgive those charges.
The second project Spokane Valley Partners will complete with the funds is repaving its overworked parking lot. Briggs said workers will lay down 1 ½ inches of overlay, reseal the lot and paint it.
The last project is to begin a much-needed upgrade to the original kitchen on the lower floor of the building. The kitchen hasn’t been upgraded since it was built for the old church that used to reside in the building in 1960.
To show their appreciation to the many people that helped bring the funds to Spokane Valley Partners, the organization held a short reception and open house Wednesday.
“Thank you to each and every one of you,” Briggs told attendees.
Among those in attendance were Spokane Valley Partners board members, members of the Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, members of the Spokane Valley City Council and Mayor Tom Towey.
Briggs said a group of people visit Olympia every year with the hope of acquiring funds from the state. Members of the chambers of commerce from the West Plains, Spokane Valley and members from Greater Spokane Inc. made the trek this year to express the needs of this community.
He then thanked the City Council for lending the organization their advocates, who helped the group explain what is important to the community.
State Sen. Jeff Baxter was in attendance, and Briggs thanked him and Reps. Larry Crouse and Matt Shea for helping to secure the funds.
“We have to thank you and your staff for such a wonderful job that you do,” Towey said to Briggs.
Briggs told the crowd that although these three projects will be funded, there are still projects that need to be completed. The building’s boiler was installed in 1960 and is in need of replacement. Briggs said he once heard an estimate of $15,000 just to open it up and see what needs to be done.
After Brigg’s addressto the community, attendees helped themselves to cookies, coffee and tours.