November 17, 2012 in Washington Voices

CVSD sells property to Liberty Lake

City plans playing fields east of Liberty Lake Elementary school
By The Spokesman-Review
 

The Central Valley School board has agreed to sell 23.85 acres of surplus property to the city of Liberty Lake.

The board held a public hearing about the land just east of Liberty Lake Elementary School, land that is earmarked for a future middle school.

Superintendent Ben Small said the land will be sold for $10 to the city, which plans to develop the site into playing fields. When the school district needs the land in the future, the district can purchase it for $10, plus fair-market value of any improvements the city has made, with the exception of projects developed through grant funding.

Small also said the reason the district and the city can agree to such a reduced price is because they are two government agencies that share a common purpose.

“We are about promoting community,” Small said.

During the public hearing, Liberty Lake’s City Administrator Katy Allen thanked the board for considering the agreement.

She said the city has earmarked $200,000 of the 2013 budget for improvements to the land and has doubled the size of its grounds crew for maintenance, a sign the council is enthusiastic and supportive of the project.

“It is about community,” she said.

Resident Sharilyn Norin was not excited about having a ball park so close to her home.

She said she grew up in Chicago with a ball field in her backyard. While the ball field catered to youths in the community, it also catered to adult leagues. There were often beer bottles in the bushes around her home.

Norin worried the ball park might be as busy as a Plantes Ferry Park on the weekends, with extra traffic and noise.

“Ball fields are predominantly helping the Little League and not the community in general,” she said, although she herself has children involved in baseball.

Another resident, Jennifer Tomlinson, said she is in favor of the project.

“Every town has a baseball field,” she said. “Liberty Lake doesn’t have one.”

Tomlinson added the fields will serve small children involved in T-ball as well as middle-school age children and softball players, too.

“Thank you for moving ahead with this project,” she said.

The board voted unanimously to the agreement.

West Valley DECA

West Valley High School’s DECA chapter has launched its “Help Us Light Our Star” campaign to raise funds and awareness for Spokane Fantasy Flight, which sends children from local shelters on a “magical” trip to the North Pole in December.

DECA students will hold many events to raise funds. There will be candy grams, pictures with Santa, raffles, classroom caroling and speaking events at school assemblies.

For a $1, $2 or $3 donation, students will place an ornament on the DECA Christmas Tree in the donors honor. When they reach their fundraising goal, the star on top of the tree will be lit.

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