The Liberty Lake Parks Department is capping off a busy summer after making improvements to Pavillion Park and the Trailhead Golf Course as well as taking over maintenance of 2 miles of the Centennial Trail.
Each jurisdiction along the Centennial Trail – including Spokane, Spokane Valley and Spokane County – pay into a maintenance fund that is used to maintain the trail. The Liberty Lake City Council voted last month to join the program even though the trail is actually just north of the city limits between Hodges and Molter roads, said Operations and Maintenance Director Jennifer Camp.
“Nowhere does the trail actually fall inside city limits,” she said. “The county has maintained that in past years.”
There were a few reasons the City Council voted the way they did, Camp said. “It’s not so much to take over the maintenance, it’s to have a voting voice on the Centennial Trail Coordinating Council.”
The future growth of the city and planned connections between neighborhoods and the trail is another reason, she said.
“The city is growing so heavily to the north,” she said. “In a sense it’s a way to claim it as an amenity. Greenstone is anticipating nine direct connections in the next 20 years.” Greenstone Homes is a real estate development company.
Further south the city installed a new irrigation pump in Pavillion Park, which eliminated persistent dry spots and created a park that is green from edge to edge, Camp said. “There’s no dry spots,” she said. “That’s a huge upgrade to that park.”
The city also listened to public demand and has put a pickleball court in Pavillion Park. It had its grand opening on Aug. 4.
“That has been a recreational activity we have been asked to do every year,” she said. “The HUB (Sports Center) does indoor pickleball and it’s huge.”
A portable net and other equipment are kept in a locked box at the court, which was created from an old basketball court. Players go to Liberty Lake City Hall, fill out a reservation form and check out the key that opens the box. The court and equipment are free to use.
Camp said mornings have been the most popular time, and players use the court almost every day. “It’s been crazy,” she said.
This week the city also started a project to completely redo the irrigation system at the Trailhead Golf Course. It includes all new pumps, pipes and wires, Camp said.
“It was 45 years old,” she said of the irrigation system. “It still had some of the original copper heads on it. These systems generally last 20 years. We were behind the times.”
The former Valley View Golf Course was privately owned before the city bought it in 2001 shortly after incorporation.
Many irrigation heads didn’t have the proper spray distances, and there were several main water line breaks every year. There were both dry spots and wet spots on the course. The new system will not use the zone organization the last one had, Camp said. “We’ll actually be able to control every single head,” she said.
The golf course will remain open during construction, which is expected to last until the end of October. Players will enjoy reduced rates during construction and disruption should be minimal. “They’re only working on one hole at a time,” she said.
The project is estimated to cost $1.3 million. The city uses a well on site to water the course, so improving the system and stopping the frequent line breaks won’t save the city money on its water bill but it will conserve water, Camp said.
“We’ll be saving a lot of water,” she said. “How do you put a dollar figure on that?”
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