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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Liberty Lake turns down community center

UPDATED: Tue., Aug. 1, 2017

Liberty Lake won’t be building a community center any time soon.

A strong majority of voters turned down a $9 million bond issue for the proposed center, which was a scaled-down version of a project that almost passed in 2016.

Last year a majority of Liberty Lake voters said yes to a larger project that included an aquatic center. But it wasn’t the 60 percent super majority needed to approve a bond issue.

City officials came back this year with a slimmed-down proposal that left out the aquatic center after feedback from the community suggested that was a problem for some voters.

It dropped the estimated cost by $3 million. But it also dropped support from voters.

In ballots counted Tuesday night, some 62 percent of voters said “no” to the bond issue, which would have added about 38 cents in property taxes for every $1,000 of assessed value, or about $101 for a home valued at $270,000.

“I was hoping momentum would carry us forward from last year into this year,” Mayor Steve Peterson said. “Maybe we should have kept it the same.”

Opponents used social media, and some voters might have been worried that property taxes will go up next year to pay for schools, he said. Although he still believes Liberty Lake needs a place where people can “be together to be a community” it may be a decade before the city proposes a similar project.

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