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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

Park Board OKs Mobius contract

The Spokane Park Board approved a 50-year lease with Mobius Spokane to build a science center on property north of Riverfront Park. 

They did it at a 7 a.m. meeting at Manito Park, but unlike last week's meeting, this one was open to the public (although not many members of the public were interested enough or awake enough to show.)

Quick details of the lease include rent of $1 a year in exchange for Mobius building the $29.5 million complex. If Mobius develops commercial structures on the property, the city gets 15 percent. Mobius also has to pay $12,500 a year for parking.

The contract has been a cause celebre among some city watchers ever since the board discussed it in a close session at a 7 a.m. session last week. After approving it this week, Parks Director Barry Russell initially refused requests to make the contract public, saying a formal public records request would have to be filed. Assistant City Attorney Pat Dalton quickly corrected that, and supplied a copy, which can be found here.

It's not the end, because both Mobius and the City Council must still approve the contract, and the latter must apply it's own scrutiny and hear from the public.

It's not even the beginning of the end, because after that, Mobius still has about $14 million to raise and a complex to build. But maybe, to borrow from Winston Churchill, it's the end of the beginning.

The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.