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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Utility-Owned Property Perfect Spot For New Pool

Spokane County and Modern Electric Water Co. are talking about siting a new Valley Mission swimming pool on land on the south side of Mission Avenue now owned by the utility.

The property is directly across from Valley Mission Park.

Talks are preliminary. No offers have been made, no time table has been set, and no funding has been found.

But the now-vacant property would be an excellent place to rebuild the disintegrating pool.

“It would be perfect,” said Wyn Birkenthal, county Parks and Recreation Department director. The heavily used pool leaks badly, as a result of being built over an old garbage dump.

“We’re really waiting for the county to come up with some type of plan,” said Mike Baker, general manager of Modern Electric.

Nine acres of field bordered on the north and west by Mission and Pierce is owned by the non-profit utility. Part of the land is intended for a new well. But perhaps two-thirds of the land could go for a swimming pool and expansion of the park.

“Valley Mission Park is so overburdened. It would be great to have a treed picnic area there as well,” Birkenthal said.

There is no obvious source of money to buy the land. But Birkenthal is no stranger to fund-raising chores.

“We have to be sensitive to the assets of our shareholders,” Baker said, “but we’re willing to work with the county.”

The county, meanwhile, will open bids in early February for approximately $600,000 worth of repairs to its other three swimming pools. Two of those pools are in the Valley, at Terrace View Park and Park Road. The third, Holmberg Park, is in north Spokane.

, DataTimes

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