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Council looks at costs associated with Valleyfest

In what looked like a strong show of support, Spokane Valley City Council declared Sept. 23 through Sept. 25 Valleyfest Days at its meeting on Sept. 21.

Deputy Mayor Arne Woodard read the proclamation and encouraged everyone to go to Valleyfest last weekend.

“Valleyfest attracts over 15,000 attendees to the parade and over 35,000 attendees to the Mirabeau Point Park events,” Woodard said. “And provides a positive economic impact in dollars at the event and at local businesses in the event area.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Council received a brief report from city staff outlining that Valleyfest costs Spokane Valley $25,774 in CenterPlace staff time, Mirabeau Park staff time and police department overtime.

“That’s money well spent,” Councilman Ed Pace said, Tuesday, before asking out loud why he continues to get emails from people asking him not to defund Valleyfest.

“I don’t know where people get that idea,” Pace said.

Part of the reason may be Pace’s statements at a July 5 council meeting where he suggested the City Council switch its focus from spending lodging tax revenue on events and instead begin funding structures.

Pace also suggested giving 20 percent of the entire lodging tax revenue budget to an “event that can complement Valleyfest.”

During Valleyfest, the Spokane Valley Business Association was handing out fliers encouraging visitors to contact the City Council in support of Valleyfest.

Valleyfest executive director Peggy Doering said Wednesday morning that attendance numbers from the event aren’t ready yet.

She estimated at between 30,000 and 50,000 people visited the free event over the weekend.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting

Five people spoke in support of a proposed proclamation that would declare Spokane Valley a Second Amendment Sanctuary City; not all were Spokane Valley residents. One Spokane Valley resident spoke in opposition.


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