With concerns about a mining moratorium in Spokane Valley put to rest, Spokane County has agreed to sell one of its gravel pits to Central Pre-Mix and set up its road operations at a new site nearby.
Spokane County Commissioners signed off on a deal Tuesday selling the land and mineral rights to a 31-acre plot where the county mined for gravel for roads for $395,000 in cash and other considerations. The land also includes the former Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Services shelter.
The buyer, Central Pre-Mix, already owns the lot next to the site and can begin mining while county road operations begin their move to a new, undeveloped site about a mile away, said Spokane County Engineer Mitch Reister.
“They can utilize a portion of the pit while we’re still there,” Reister said.
The county and Central Pre-Mix paid close attention to Spokane Valley’s negotiations to impose a mining moratorium, which would have affected both the sale and the county’s plans to begin mining at the new site. County road operations will move to a 45-acre parcel bounded roughly by Tschirley Road and Eden Street, about a mile northeast of the Flora pit.
Spokane County Commissioner Shelly O’Quinn said the concerns were alleviated by the Spokane Valley City Council’s unanimous adoption of a moratorium extension earlier this month that specifically exempted the two properties.
“I am confident that we are all good moving forward,” said O’Quinn.
The deal also requires Central Pre-Mix to lift a mining restriction on the Tschirley Road property that dates back to 1981. Central Pre-Mix once owned the land and placed the restiction on the property.
The purchase agreement states Central Pre-Mix will provide the county with 20,000 tons of gravel to cover its needs as it moves mining operations to the new site.
O’Quinn said the county already had all the necessary permits to begin mining at the new site and that county mining restrictions prohibit digging that would interfere with the aquifer below.
The purchase agreement will be finalized within the next couple of months, and Reister estimated it would take about a year for county crews to begin operations at the new site.
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.